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Layering Basics

It’s easy to master dressing well for balmy temperatures, but looking good as the mercury drops is a little more challenging. Tempting as it is to dress like an eskimo and don a thick coat at the expense of your outfit, you’ll look horrible. There’s an easy way to keep warm and look snappy at the same time: layering. Not only is it an appealing look, it’s also cost effective. You can layer using garments you wear year-round, saving you from having to get a special winter wardrobe. Here are a few basic tips to get you started on layering.

Thinnest layers first

The key to layering is to build it up. Start with a summer outfit- say, jeans with a V-neck top. Your next layer might be a light cardigan. Next, put on a heavy leather jacket. On top of that you can add accessories such as a scarf and a beanie.

It’s more comfortable and more logical to progress from lightest to heaviest garments, given that if you go inside it’s preferable to take off your outermost layers. It would also look silly to wear, say, your tee shirt over your jacket.

Don’t hide your outfit

The idea is that each garment can be seen. If layering were for warmth’s sake alone, you would be wearing a normal outfit with thermal underwear. Thermal underwear being hideous, this is what people with no sense of style tend to do.

You want each piece including the basic top underneath it all to be seen in some small way. Leave jackets unzipped and cardigans unbuttoned, and poke collars out where you can.

Top half only

Layering only works for your torso. You wouldn’t layer your bottom half by putting jeans over your shorts. That would be disgusting. You would look like you are attempting to shoplift. Keep the layering for your top half. While this rule of layering only exists because it’s the way that it’s already been done, it’s definitely one to stick to. Having plenty of clothes on your top half makes you look buff, while the same effect on your lower half will make your body look anomalous.

Embrace the scarf

For reasons unknown, men tend to not like wearing scarves. Once you’ve mastered knotting your scarf and can wear it with confidence, you’ll find that they’re really not such an intimidating garment. Functional, easy to wear and effortlessly stylish; no layered outfit is complete without a scarf.

Make it breathable

The air is freezing, but underneath all your clothes you’ll be sweating like it’s heatwave if you don’t get your layering right. Choose breathable fabrics, especially for the innermost garments. A cotton tee shirt is a safe choice for the bottom layer. Make sure your clothes are not too tight either, as this will compound the sweating problem.

Casual only

Layered outfits are only appropriate for casual settings, or smart casual at a stretch. However, you can make your outfits that much more stylish by incorporating elements of formalwear, such as by wearing a blazer as a jacket.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/

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