Layering in Winter
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
We hear so much about layering at this time of year and for some reason there's an air of mystery that surrounds the layering of clothes, or at least how to do it well. So, I thought I would dispel the mystery and impart a few very simple tips that will have you marching down the street like the fashion maven you are, rather than a Michelin man style silhouette that can result from a lumpy jumper and large coat combo (although funnily enough I happen to love that particular combination, especially around horses).
Opt for thin, fitted under garments
Your mum made you wear a vest, right? You make your kids wear a vest, right? So what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Follow your own (and your mother's) excellent advice. Choose a beautiful camisole or other fitted top that sits snugly against your figure. This will not add weight to your outfit, in fact if you choose the uber-fitted spandex variety you will define your shape.
Add a basic, lightweight top
Something plain, neutral or striped works best; stripes are particularly effective if you plan to roll up the sleeves on the next layer and have the striped cuff peeking out.
Cover up with a shirt or lightweight cardi
If you've gone patterned on the previous layer go plain on this layer (and vice versa) unless combining plaid and stripes which frankly look awesome together. A half turned up collar will add style points and nonchalance. Don't tuck this layer into your bottom layer, it adds movement and form to the look when left free.
A note on sweaters
If it's seriously butt clenching cold outside add a plain, neutral, or navy (which is the new neutral) sweater over the top of all the other layers. You will now BOIL on the tube or in any building you enter. Remove as required.
Add a coat
Coats finish an outfit, after November it's thoughtless to leave the house without one and people will suspect you've been at the gin if you can't feel the cold, so there you are. By the way if you haven't read it yet, check out 'Hurrah for Gin', it's rather darn funny.
Winter accessories are wonderful, scarfs, hats and gloves are like ribbons, bows and tags on Christmas presents, they adorn and improve the existing look. This season the modern way to wear a scarf is to belt it at the waist, this works brilliantly with the oversized blanket scarfs that are popping up everywhere as it has the effect of turning them into makeshift ponchos. Keep jewelry to a minimum to avoid looking overdone.
Mix it up
Play around with different lengths within the layers and choose contrasting fabrics to add interest and texture. There are no colour rules, but you might want to avoid the mix of a green and red top with brown bottoms unless you are in actual fact an elf.
Really the best way to get an idea of what works for you is to play dress-up with the clothes you have. If you get stuck it will be because you're missing a key item in your wardrobe in which case Christmas is coming so you could put it on your wish list. Happy days.
I do a little de-layered strip-tease below.
Coat by Reiss
Scarf by Gap (instore only, find similar here)
Dress by Cos (sold out)
Boots by Billi Bi at Feather & Stitch (20% off until Friday)
Belt from a selection at Feather & Stitch
Bag by Mulberry
Watch by Bell & Ross
Sunglasses by RayBan
Yeah, that's it. I'm not taking anything else off.