It's Time To Take Your Layering More Seriously

As far as simple styling tricks go, layering is nothing more than wearing clothes on top of other clothes. Unless you're totally naked under your parka, you can't not layer in the colder months, which makes "winter layering" a no-brainer sort of fashion move that everyone basically participates in. But, just like you can't say you're a bona fide chef because you can scramble eggs, you can't claim to be a skilled layerer if you're just wearing a cardigan over a tee. To really take advantage of all the fun you could have with shapes, textures, and colors, you've got to flex your fashion muscles a little harder.
Advertisement
This season, you should rethink anything you've assumed about what inner layers look like and what outer layers should be. Mix things up, change the order, and go against convention (that sweater doesn't have to go on your arms, for example). Even so, it's not that complicated. Your seven-step primer, right this way.
1 of 7
PHOTOGRAPHED BY BEN RITTER.
Some call it the sling, others the bike-messenger tie. Whatever you name it, it looks chic to tie a nubby sweater diagonally across your chest. You could do it on a long-sleeved dress or a button-up oxford, but we like how unexpectedly cool it is when you pile a knit on another knit.

Demylee sweater.
2 of 7
PHOTOGRAPHED BY BEN RITTER.
The notches on your fall split sweater beg to be acknowledged, so find a shirt in a contrasting color (to guarantee that it pops), and wear it underneath. A midi-length skirt keeps the balance just right. Bonus points if your skirt comes with a slit to mimic the sweater's.

Creatures of the Wind skirt, Jerome C. Rousseau shoes.
Advertisement
3 of 7
PHOTOGRAPHED BY BEN RITTER.
There's this particular garment on the racks now that we're obsessed with. Part tunic, part dress, and part vest, it's a cozy layering piece that begs to be played around with. We like it over a pair of fun jeans and a turtleneck, but it looks killer over a full skirt, a jumpsuit, or even more knits.

Preen Line pants, Mango shoes.
4 of 7
PHOTOGRAPHED BY BEN RITTER.
Want to bring your summer culottes into this season? Layer a zipped-front skirt on top (unzipped enough so your culottes can swish around comfortably). This also works swell with midi-dresses and skirts.

Crippen shirt, Veda skirt, Paul Andrew shoes.
5 of 7
PHOTOGRAPHED BY BEN RITTER.
A slimmer shift dress actually looks great layered over the top of a cropped pair of printed trousers that are on the baggier side. Make sure that the shift is made of a thicker material than the pants, so you can avoid excess bunching.

Suno dress and pants; Layla Racey shirt; Demylee sweater.
6 of 7
PHOTOGRAPHED BY BEN RITTER.
The apron-pant is a massive trend this spring, but instead of buying a pre-made piece, you can easily concoct one yourself. Start with baby steps by wearing a short black wrap skirt or apron over a pair of black trousers. Then, go rogue and start wearing it on top of jeans, ball skirts, tea dresses, and even jumpsuits.

Tanya Taylor shirt.
7 of 7
PHOTOGRAPHED BY BEN RITTER.
Who knew a tweed blazer could be so sexy? Worn on top of a completely sheer slip and belted at the waist, it definitely can be. The trick is to find a blazer just long enough to cover your derriere. Oversized vests can pull off this trick, too.

Milly skirt and jacket.
Advertisement

More from Styling Tips

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.