The Ultimate Guide to Layering

So what’s the big trick to layering? This is a question that I get asked at LEAST once a week by clients and readers, and a very good question it is, because I’m sure we’ve ALL thought about it as some stage.

So I’m going to try and break down some of the tricks I use, as a Style Coach, to teach people the easiest, and most effective ways to layer!

RULE 1 – Layer VERTICALLY not horizontally.

Think about the shapes you are creating with your clothes – are you drawing the eye across the body in different spots (ie. different length shirt, then coat, then different coloured boots to your pants etc) OR are you drawing the eye UP and DOWN the body? (ie. long scarves, layering in the same colour, open cardigans/jackets etc). The correct answer should be VERTICALLY – UP and DOWN the body.

Cardigan: Top: Pants: Scarf: Boots
Cardigan: Capture longline cardigan $64.99 Top: Emerge layered tunic top $74.99 Pants: Capture stretch woven leggings $29.99 Scarf: Tassel scarf $34.99 Boots: Naturalizer Jeanette Chelsea boot $189.95

So in the outfit above, I’ve chosen a cardigan and tunic top that are the same length, so we aren’t drawing attention to the different areas that they finish (ie, that big area across your behind and thighs) but creating a LONG line down your body, which is a slimming line. By adding a long scarf (like in the cardigan image, or the other scarf I’ve suggested) you’re creating another long line down your body, PLUS creating some tummy protection should you need it.

RULE 2 – Balance your top and bottom halves

Proportion is an important element in dressing well for ANY shape or size, and it particularly applies to layers. Basically how it works is; if you are wearing something fuller (more voluminous) on your top half, make your lower half more streamline and fitted. AND VISA VERSA – If you are wearing something fuller on the bottom half of your body, make sure the top half is more structured and

For example, this outfit below relies on the principle of fuller on the top, fitted on the bottom (if you added a loose-fitting wide-leg jean to this top, you would lose all definition of your body shape, adding bulk to your frame, which we DON’T want). Remember, layering doesn’t just include the CLOTHES you are wearing, accessories are a crucial part of this look too!

Volume on top layering
Top: Capture merino long sleeve wide hem tunic $69.99 Vest: Emerge faux fur vest $89.99 Pants: Emerge PU front leggings $54.99 Necklace: Leather layered necklace $69.99

RULE 3 – Fine layers work best

Once again, even when we are wearing multiple layers, we still want to be creating a sleek, slim silhouette, so by adding bulky layer, after bulky layer, you are working against this! So fine, warm fabrics are perfect for winter layering like the outfit below – use these pieces all together, or in separate outfits to keep you warm whilst using light layers (I’m a SUCKER for my merino cami – I wear them under EVERYTHING in winter – it lets me get away with lighter layers on top because my core is warm!)

fine layers
Pants: Grace Hill leather front pants $199.99 Cami: Capture merino layering camisole $29.99 Cardigan: Grace Hill cashmere blend cardigan $149.99 Leather jacket: Emerge leather drape jacket $159.99

The easier way to wear fine layers AND keep warm is to invest in good quality fabrics – merino, cashmere and leather are three luxurious fabrics that are fine AND will keep you warm.

Apply the top two rules and use these fabrics in your layers and whamo! The perfectly layered outfit!

Until next time,

In Style & Love Always

Cait xoxo

Get more fashion and styling advice from Cait at her fashion blog, Chasing Cait.