Winter wardrobe: the art of layering

Winter wardrobe: the art of layering

Stay warm but still look stylish, with Tamsin Blanchard’s nifty tips for mixing your knits.

Stay warm but still look stylish, with Tamsin Blanchard’s nifty tips for mixing your knits.

You hear the word ‘layering’ a lot in fashion circles.
It’s the word that describes a certain style of dressing that is a bit like when you put on half your wardrobe because you are flying economy and have already filled up your suitcase allowance. You’re wearing a dress over your jeans, with a T-shirt, a jumper and a hoodie on top – and a coat and a sleeveless gilet over the whole lot.

What to wear and how to wear it

There is an art to layering. That’s kind of the point. It’s your chance to mix up different proportions, colours and textures to make your wardrobe look, well, more interesting than it really is.

For fashion stylists, it can just be an exercise in getting as many clothes in one magazine picture at a time. But it can also be a way to play with clothes, an opportunity for a bit of personal expression.

Welcome, winter!

I personally love to layer. That’s why November is one of my favourite months of the year, when there is finally a chill in the air, a bit of morning mist, and crunchy leaves underfoot.

It’s good to start with a base layer. Uniqlo have some really great print vests and long sleeve tops which means you can always have a bit peeping out under a hem or a sleeve.

Then you simply combine pieces from your wardrobe that complement each other – a blouse, a slouchy jumper, a sleeveless gilet, maybe even a scarf.

The sleeveless coat is central to the layering system, allowing you to show off contrasting sleeves, a chunky knit cardi perhaps that would be too tight under a traditional sleeved coat.

Try colour blocking

You may have heard fashion people use the term ‘colour block’, too. This is all part of the layering idea and simply means splitting your outfit up into sections of colour.

Prada is good at this, combining an unexpected flash of a lilac turtle neck with a red dress and a black and brown graphic print jumper over the top. Petrol green boots would finish the whole thing off nicely.

Don’t be scared of colours. There are no rules (blue and green can absolutely be seen but avoid clashing colours that jar and set your teeth on edge). And if your style is black, navy and grey, try adding a pop of something bright around the neck or a bright longer layer under a dark shorter top.

Skirt and trousers for AW16

It may sound a little odd but I’m a big fan of wearing a dress or a skirt over trousers.

It’s something one of my favourite designers Dries Van Noten has always done. He even makes trousers with a skirt attached over the top which is useful as you know the proportions are just right.

I’ve noticed it’s something some of the high street stores are doing this season too – a calf length print dress worn over a pair of ankle length jeans. I’ve been known to wear two skirts at once, partly because I just want to add an extra bit of length.

Don’t over-wrap

Of course, you do have to be careful. You want to avoid looking like a clothes mountain or a Michelin man.

It’s best to keep most of your layers in thin fabrics. If you feel bulky, you probably look bulky too, and that’s not the idea.

But it’s fun to experiment. You can bring things you’d forgotten you had into the mix and make them look fresh again. Think 1970s Yves Saint Laurent and Kenzo, with elements of pattern, plain, and the casual throw of a scarf.

And best of all, this is a practical trend. Simply keep on adding until you are warm enough. You can always remove a layer (or three) when you get too hot.

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sania 16/11/2016

This is a really interesting article


sania 16/11/2016

This article helps me so much. Thanks.

Great ideas

sania2 15/11/2016

Thanks for the great ideas

Nice once

sania 15/11/2016

This is a really interesting article. Thanks for shring.

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