Layering up your clothes in colder weather is both sensible and stylish.
Not only does layering fashion allow you to look great and keep warm as the temperatures drop, but it also means you can extend the life of summer staples like your favorite t-shirts and denim jackets.
And, the beauty of men's layering is that it's easy to adjust when the Winter weather is a little more changeable than expected.
That said, get layering wrong and you could end up looking like Joey Tribbiani in this classic Friends episode. So, how do you master the art of layering without looking like you threw on your entire wardrobe? Read on to find out how to layer clothes for men.
Opt for Thin Layers
Chunky cardigans and sweaters look great in fall and winter but a thick knit isn't your friend if you're aiming for a sleek layered look.
Instead, opt for slim-fitting pullovers, track tops, and cardigans which you can then wear over a long-sleeved t-shirt and under a jacket or coat. Thinner layers like these help to keep you warm and are easier to remove should you need to.
That doesn't mean you should steer clear of chunky knitwear altogether. A heavy roll neck or padded jacket looks great and is sure to keep you warm. But these are best reserved for really cold days when you need the extra padding.
Keep it Undone
The beauty of layering men's shirts, zip-up tops, and jackets is that you can leave them open to reveal your lower layers. This adds interest and helps bring your outfit together as a whole. Plus, it's also good for letting in some air and ensuring you don't overheat in the fickle weather.
Look for sweaters with buttons or zip closures and brushed cotton men's layering shirts to wear over t-shirts and Henley tops. Then, pair these with a quality coat that looks just as good undone as it does done up, which is a must for transitional dressing.
Combine Different Styles
Layering men's clothes also opens you up to the possibility of combining different styles to create several looks with the same items. By making one or two of your layers a little more formal, urban or preppy than the rest, you can hint at a style concept without the need to commit to one look from head to toe.
One of our favorite concepts for smart-casual dressing is to combine a shirt and tie with a cozy cardigan. Layered under a trench coat, this look oozes European cool.
Or, you could wear a sporty hoodie over a roll-neck sweater and under a pea coat to bring a warm and casual touch to an otherwise preppy look.
Try a Texture Mix
Likewise, adding a range of textures and fabrics into the mix brings extra interest to your layered look.
Fall and Winter are all about thick textures that beg to be touched such as suede, leather, tweed, and velvet. Wear these alongside soft flannel shirts, cotton t-shirts, and cozy sweaters. And, for the ultimate texture mix, top your look off with a wax jacket, wool overcoat or a denim jacket lined with borg for extra warmth.
All these different textures will help bring your outfit together while showing attention to detail.
Consider Each Layer
As we've explained, the main appeal of layering is how easy it is to add or remove layers. After all, along with changing leaves and Halloween, Fall brings fluctuating temperatures. This means it's often necessary to wrap up more in the morning or evening than it is around midday.
For this reason, it's important to consider each layer and what it brings to the final look. But you'll also need to think about what the overall effect will be without a certain item or how well it will combine with something new added.
For example, if you've layered a quilted gilet over a t-shirt and jacket, will it look too bulky with an overcoat if you need extra warmth? Or, will your grey marl t-shirt and hoodie look too sporty without the unstructured blazer to bring your smart casual look together?
Anticipate the need to change your look as the day goes on and you'll continue looking stylish even if the temperature changes.
Choose Complementary Colors
Another important factor in men's layering is sticking to a color palette.
This doesn't have to mean choosing items that are all shades of the same color. If anything this is a big faux pas when it comes to layering men's clothes. Instead, you should aim to choose different yet complementary colors.
Earthy, neutral tones such as khaki, beige, and camel always work well in the Fall. Mix these with black and blue to add interest without clashing, while a soft cream sweater will break through these darker tones.
If you're a fan of vibrant colors like red and orange, play these down with subtle shades of grey and washed denim. Or, you could opt for soft red or burnt orange to make easier color combinations.
Your Guide to Layering Fashion
As this guide shows, while there's an art to layering fashion, the principles aren't as complicated as you might have thought.
Your main aim should be to keep it simple and base your look around staple items in neutral colors. This ensures you'll be able to combine these classic items for a coherent look.
And, by always shopping for pieces from our most sought-after collections, you can be sure of long-lasting quality too.