The Layer You Don't Pay Attention To, But Totally Should

It's early enough in the season that we're layering out of habit more than necessity. We know it's going to be getting chillier, and so we pile up our clothes just because we think we should — even if the weather doesn't call for it quite yet. So how do you cure the layering bug without sweating through your knits? The solution has been there all along, right under your clothes: lingerie.

It lives under our outfits. It's the first thing we put on in the morning. Yet, we don't really think of undergarments as a "layer" — even if it is one of the hardest-working tiers of your #ootd. And, you can have a lot of fun with it. Since you're all covered up elsewhere, you can wear the brightest and loudest bra-and-panty pairing, and no one will be able to tell. It'll be your little sartorial secret.

Ahead, we break down various layered-outfit scenarios, and the lingerie sets to wear underneath.
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For After-Work Drinks With Friends
It's been a long day, in the midst of a long week at work. By the time you clock out, you just want to decompress. Since you're pouring a lot of energy into your to-do list, your wardrobe might not get as much love. However, the lazy attitude doesn't have to translate into a lazy outfit: An oversized knit delivers on coziness, while a fitted, high-waisted trouser and sleek brogues give the look a put-together (and professional) feel. The bright purply-blue lace of the longline bra and thong plays off the orange trousers (even if you're the only one aware of the subtle colorblocking). Then, an olive robe coat says, "I'd rather be at home, but I'll step out on a weeknight for you guys."

Whistles pants.
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For The Days You Just Want To Be Cozy
There's something really special about clothes that make you feel like you never changed out of your pajamas. But, you had to hustle on over to brunch, so you had to ditch the loungewear. Get in dress-up mode by playing up your intimates — a special, lacy number that's anything but ordinary, with a high waist and wrap-around bands. The rest of your look can focus on baggy, soft-to-the-touch silhouettes, like a sweatshirt dress and cocoon coat, a faux-fur stole, and lace-up boots.
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For A Dreary Fall Day You Want To Liven Up
The mid-week grind is only tougher when there's a grim weather report. Strike back at rainy days with an ensemble that's seasonally appropriate, but also defies the forecast: a cropped in the front, extra-long in the back blouse plays off a high-waisted knit midi-skirt in a fun pink hue, topped with a sophisticated white rain coat (because you're not afraid of any stains). Underneath, an embellished-back bra-and-panty set lends a bit of sparkle to an otherwise gray day.
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For An Afternoon Of Gallery-Hopping
Get your art walk on with contemporary staples with unexpected details. This lingerie set may look like your standard patterned-mesh fare, but look closely and you'll notice that the tiny dots are actually stars. A cropped scuba sweatshirt and denim midi check off our "weekend favorites" requirement. The metallic leather of the shoes lends a futuristic vibe to a classic silhouette; meanwhile, a quilted bomber mixes hues and textures like a pro (with no effort on your part).
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For A Business-Casual Dress Code
Dress codes can really put a damper on your outfit creativity. However, your outer layer of work-ready staples, like a button-down blouse and wrap-front culottes, can say "I mean business." But underneath, a modern take on the bodysuit lets you defy convention with no repercussions.
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For When You Need To Get Those Errands Done
Saturday and Sunday may be meant for leisure, but really they're just 48 hours to plow through the to-do list you've been procrastinating on all week. Grocery, pharmacy, tailor, library, and wine shop all in one go? Challenge accepted. Your outfit needs to work with you to check off every last item on your agenda. Jeans, sneakers, and a tie-on coat make mobility easy. A halter bra is soft and agile, but the silhouette is still unexpected, and adds a dressier touch beneath a highly practical outfit.
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For A Dressy Catch-Up Dinner With The Gang
You've scheduled (and re-scheduled) this a dozen and one times, but now — finally! — you nailed down a date and time to catch up with your squad. You know there will be a photo taken to commemorate the occasion, so you want to put in a little more effort than usual. You mix off-duty favorites, like a fuzzy sweater and heeled ankle boots, with statement-makers like a metallic pleated midi and a longline suede coat. Your keen attention to detail translates down to your knickers, the periwinkle hue of your lingerie set giving a nod to the blueish suede on your booties.
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For A Day Of Wandering About Town
One of the best parts of fall is simply walking around and seeing all the browning leaves, preferably with some pumpkin-infused beverage or snack in tow. Your outfit should reflect this spontaneity — fun and ready for last-minute plans, but also comfortable. Let's start from the bottom, with a soft bra and panty set with fun colorblocking and texture-mixing. A tassel-embellished knit and checked trousers provide unexpected contrast, while a long moto coat and track-soled booties lend themselves to long, winding walks.
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For A Night Out On The Town
Dinner and a play? A sit-down concert? Speakeasy? The night is young — and, heck, you might as well dress up for it. You've got your cold-weather essentials on hand: a knit matching set, statement ankle boots, and an extra-long coat. Your contrasting pop of color comes in the form of yet another matching set — a turquoise-colored lace underwire-and-panty duo.
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