Take Care How You Layer This Autumn Winter
I've been doing a lot of shoots for local shops using their Autumn Winter stock lately and they all seem to want to layer me up like Joey from Friends when he wore everything Chandler owned. There are two reasons for this: firstly they want to get as many pieces of their stock into the photo as possible and secondly, as winter approaches and the weather gets colder, wearing several layers of clothes becomes a necessity to stay warm.
Layering is essential during winter and it certainly isn't the hardest part of men's winter fashion to master as it's effectively just putting items of clothing over other items of clothing yet a lot of guys seem to get it horribly wrong. If you don't know how to layer your clothes properly then your outfit can look thrown together. So to avoid any potential Mismatched Michelin Man scenarios, here are some tips are tricks to help you layer your clothes in the most stylish way possible this winter.
Hot and Cold
In winter you'll spend a good bit of time moving between cold (the outdoors) and warm (indoors) environments. Being able to remove an outer layer without compromising your look is one of the hardest things to get right when it comes to layering. So the first thing you need to be sure of is that every separate piece of your outfit looks good alone, as well as with the other pieces. So think what the outfit will look like without the overcoat or blazer and if it only works as an ensemble then you might need to go back to the drawing. Or get ready to sweat. A lot.
Thin to Thick
Generally, your under layer should be the thinnest garment and the outer layer should be the thickest. This makes it easier to regulate your temperate when you step inside a heated building and it gives the outer layer a sense of depth. T-shirts make for a great base layer as they're usually light and thin and can be worn alone if you're so hot under the collar that you end up taking off all the other layers. A hoodie makes for a good second layer as they're versatile and can be worn on their own. Finish the look off with a nice denim jacket or overcoat.
Colours and Patterns
When wearing lots of different items of clothing together, the risk of colours clashing becomes greater. For this reason, it's important to make sure that the colours you're using compliment each other and don't ruin the layered look you're trying to pull off. Best advice is to keep colours tonal, so greys, blacks and whites work well together. Different tones and shades of each colour will also work well so if you're going for a green scheme then mix khakis and deeper greens to create some kind of depth to the outfit. The choice of pattern is also very important to a well-layered outfit. If you wear too many patterns or clashing patterns then your outfit isn't going to work. The best way to avoid this is to wear simple block colours. Think minimalist rather than boring. Having said that, patterns are a great way to make an outfit more exciting. If you're wearing more than one pattern then try to avoid jarring patterns – make one pattern the base that all others graduate from. The most complex pattern should be the top layer. Be sure to wear multiple items of clothing in the same pattern, as this will look cluttered and a bit odd.
If you work in an environment that specifies a professional dress code then you're going to need to know how to layer a formal outfit. Fortunately, it's fairly straightforward. For example, to layer a suit, you should just wear it in the same way you normally would and just finish the look off with an overcoat. If you want to go another layer deep then try a v-neck or a cable knit jumper over your shirt. If you get the colours right then this is a great look but remember to take your blazer into consideration. This means skinny fit won't work unless you want to look and feel restricted. If you have the room to manoeuvre then try a fitted gilet under your blazer instead of a jumper. Johannes Huebl has perfected this look so go check out his Instagram for some inspiration.
Going Out Outfits
These are a little trickier to master than formal outfits and often be a frustrating experience. You want to look your best on a night out in winter but also remain warm. We all know that wearing a coat to a club is a pain in the backside as you have to choose between queuing and paying for the cloakroom or leaving it somewhere and praying it doesn't get stolen. It's therefore important to have a few outfit ideas up your sleeve for nights out in winter so that you stay comfortable, fashionable and warm. And so you don't lose anything. A good alternative to a coat is to layer with a roll neck jumper. Then, layer up with a light denim jacket or an over-shirt for some insulation that's breathable and easily removable. It also gives you the option to continue to layer up with additional pieces but remember, the more you put on, the more you'll potentially have to take off and mind.
Layering is a great way to experiment with your style and the pieces in your wardrobe. It's also a great way to keep out the winter cold while looking good and feeling comfortable.