Feeling the cold? If the answer is no, then you are a true man and you have the respect of all of your peers. If the answer is yes, then you need improve your skills until you are a true master of layering. And you need to learn to stop whining 😉
By definition, layering is the simple act of placing one item of clothing on top of another until you are warm, but there is more to it than that.
As well as being a practical method to keep out the cold, layering can be done to work extra style into your outfit, provided you have the right tools for the job. The good news is that we’ve decided to take pity on you and share some of the secrets to fashionable winter layering. Read on, grasshopper.
The Golden Rule
Before you start stacking any old clothes over one another, you need to learn the basic rules if you are going to succeed. The golden rule of layering is one that you should follow at all times: thin to thick.
You should always make sure that your thinner garments are on the inside, and that you only bring out the big guns, the heavy stuff, when you start to progress outwards.
The reasoning behind this age-old rule is that the lighter, more breathable clothing is closer to your body while the heavier, more protective layers make up the outer layers.
This allows you to remove the heavier layers first should you begin to feel the heat. So if you have a super-warm layer, you should look to wear something thin like a T-shirt or polo shirt underneath. This Fjallraven Lada sweater is a fine example of a quality knit midlayer that can go over a lighter layer, and under a heavier jacket or coat.
Mix it Up
An important thing to remember is to try to vary the materials of each layer in your outfit. Adding the same material over and over is not very inventive and it is not cool.
To avoid looking like the least imaginative guy in the room, try to pick garments with different materials: a woollen jumper over a cotton shirt, or a flannel shirt over a T-shirt. If you absolutely must use the same material, try to have a layer between the garments, or choose items that have a different texture or pattern to create some contrast.
As cotton is one of the most used materials for mid-layers and smart jackets, a popular option is to opt for a check shirt to contrast with other cotton clothes.
There are loads of stylish checks out there to choose from, but one of our favourite go-to patterns is the timeless micro-check. For a luxury option, check out this Paul Smith Jeans shirt from Jules B which will add a classy touch to any outfit.
Make sure that every single one of the items in your layered look complements the others. With the purpose of layering being that you can remove items to control your temperature, you don’t want to end up wearing a nice jacket over an embarrassing slogan T-shirt when you have to take off your jumper.
Never leave the house believing that nobody will see the layer that doesn’t match, because you will never know when you will run into an overheated train or an air-conditioner on the fritz.
Don’t Forget About Your Lower Half
While the vast majority of your layering options will take place above your waist, you don’t want to risk overdoing it and sporting a top-heavy look that will leave you looking like a walking clothes horse.
Be wary of how many layers you are adding and how thick they are, especially if you plan on wearing skinny jeans or slim-fit trousers. If the weather outside is too cold and you are forced to combine more layers than usual, avoid shorter jackets or coats: choose one with a longer cut to extend the layered look beyond your waist. Go for something like this Aquascutum double-breasted coat to add slimming length to your look.
Wearing too many items can also mess with your silhouette, so that suit jacket that was tailored to you perfectly can soon begin to look bulky and ill-fitting. Think about the fit of the clothes you are layering, and make sure not to ruin their shape.
If you follow all of these rules, not only will you be able to layer like a pro, but your outfit will look great when you do. So follow our advice and get yourself layered up with some cool winter threads.