10 Tips for Wearing Layered Outfits

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Layered outfits are an important component of any fashion-conscious person’s wardrobe, and it’s easy to see why. The way the pieces are layered together can be used to create a variety of looks depending on how much skin you want to show and what kind of environment you’re in (and whether or not you’re ready to brave winter). In order to layer your outfits without being overdressed or underdressed, use these 10 tips as your guide.

What is layering garments?

When it comes to dressing, layering is a must. Simply put, layering garments refers to wearing several pieces of clothing in such a way that each piece adds comfort and extra warmth. The core idea behind layering outfits is flexibility and warmth, so you should always layer your clothes according to weather conditions—wearing heavy coats when it’s cold out or light jackets when it’s warm outside.

1) Start with the basics

If you’re not sure how to layer outfits, start with basics. One of your best bets is a nice v-neck T-shirt under a blazer cardigan (plus a pair of jeans and flats or leggings). But don’t stop there! Keep layering up with lightweight, colorful jackets, pencil skirts, short dresses, and more. Layer outfits are always in style!

2) Play with textures

Blending textures and patterns is an easy way to add interest to your outfits. When thinking about layering, make sure you’re taking into account how your different pieces play off each other. Just remember that textures don’t have to be super obvious: It can be as simple as adding a scarf or wearing a well-tailored blazer with an unstructured shirt underneath.

3) Create an outfit around a specific color scheme

When wearing layered outfits, it’s important to consider how colors look when put together. One of my favorite color combinations is to wear a light-colored top over a darker one; I find that it helps visually lengthen your body and emphasizes your waist. For example, if you have a deep pink blouse on, try pairing it with darker pants or jeans to give yourself some definition.

4) Be unique

If you’re planning on wearing layers, take a few minutes to make each piece stand out from one another. Don’t dress in similar patterns or colors; choose bold fabrics and unique details that create a new look. For example, if you’re wearing a shirt under your jacket, pick an eye-catching shirt that brings excitement to your outfit. Be creative!

5) Wear what you love

Fashion is all about self-expression, so wear what you feel comfortable in. If you’re not happy with your clothes, chances are no one else will be either. Feel confident in what you’re wearing and remember that there’s no right or wrong way to layer. It’s up to your personal preference!

6) Match your belt, shoe, and bag colors

Remember that bag of colored shoelaces from your childhood? It’s high time you put those to use. Grab a handful of laces in different colors and make sure they match your outfit, belt, and shoes.

7) Wear nude or clear heels

Heels are a must-have, even when you’re not on a night out. They instantly add more curves to your legs, making you look slimmer and more toned. Plus, they elongate your lower half, making your body appear longer than it actually is. The next time you step out in a skirt or dress, pair them with nude heels to maintain that sleek frame—no need to compensate with longer garments!

8) Mix and match layers in different areas of your body

An easy way to create depth and dimension in your outfits is to layer items from different areas of your body. For example, try a shirt under a jacket or blazer, or shorts under leggings. Just be sure that any pieces that are more delicate are placed closest to your skin, so you don’t get unwanted snags.

9) Add pops of color

When you’re layering, don’t stick to neutral colors. Pops of brighter colors are eye-catching and will make your outfit stand out even if it’s not a full outfit. Keep in mind that depending on how many layers you wear, they may or may not be visible. If they do show through your other pieces, try to use contrasting colors to maximize visual impact.

10) Have fun!

Making your wardrobe more playful can be one of your best defenses against a season of dull ensembles. Mixing and matching different patterns, textures, and colors can work wonders to liven up an otherwise stale look. Add in some unexpected touches—like tie-dye or rhinestones—to spice things up even more. Designers have been doing it all season; now it’s time to see what you can come up with!

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