It’s that time of year again! I call September the How To Layer Month! When it’s starting to feel a bit chillier in the mornings and evenings but the middle of the day can still feel really warm.
You can pull on a jacket over your summer wardrobe, which will work. But there’s a sense many of us feel, that September marks a new beginning. It’s the start of the academic year and that means a new term. We want to mark that in our wardrobe as much as we loved new pencil cases as a child!
For me I’ve got to the point where I want to ring the changes with my style. Equally I don’t want to feel too hot in heavier clothes. Transitional dressing has become a recognized ‘season’ in the fashion industry as the traditional seasons have become less distinct.
Layering is one of the easiest options. This enables you to extend the life of your summer wardrobe and still be a bit warmer at the chiller ends of the day. The question I’m asked most about transitional dressing is how to layer.
Chunky jumpers slung over cute summer dresses look fabulous on tall slender women. But the art of how to layer for most of us is about not adding bulk to our body shape. It’s also about creating a coordinated stylish look that doesn’t look as though you’re simply recycling your summer wardrobe!
Here are my top tips for how to layer
Keep it simple. Stick to either a monochromatic look (same colour in different tones). If this feels too restrictive then stick to 2-3 colours at the most.
If you want to wear prints and patterns keep this to one layer only and make it a feature of your outfit.
Why? With the column of colour principle you will look taller and more slender. This will help to detract from extra layers you may be adding.
Pop On A Waistcoat
Gareth Southgate did a fantastic job of making the waistcoat popular again this summer. But for autumn a slightly different take on the waistcoat may be a good plan.
Sleeveless jackets and gilets are a great example of how to layer. Add a stylish touch and a bit of extra warmth.
With the faux fur trend being so huge why not add a faux fur gilet to get that extra warmth. This will look fantastic over a dress or jeans and top combination?
Why? A gilet will add warmth without helping you to overheat!
Add A Camisole
Remember when your mum nagged you to wear a vest? How uncool was that! But in fact Mum was not so far wrong! The most obvious way of how to layer your clothing is to add a discreet base layer.
You can add a camisole under a favourite lightweight summer dress. Just be mindful of textures and weight of fabric. I’d recommend silk or viscose. Worried about getting too hot? Look for a lightweight bamboo top. Bamboo has natural wicking properties so that any moisture is dispersed and you’ll feel less hot.
Why? Adding a camisole will extend the season of a summer dress.
Change Sandals For Boots
A pair of boots can look amazing with a flimsy dress or skirt. Add a leather or denim jacket and if boho is your thing, you’re there!
If Boho isn’t your style consider swapping sandals for ankle boots with trousers or jeans. I appreciate this is not strictly how to layer but it’s another great way of adding a touch of warmth.
Just be mindful of wearing natural breathable fabrics. If it does get hot in the middle of the day, full on winter boots are going to be much too hot.
Alternative footwear options at this time of year are shoe boots. Think ankle boots with cut out toes and sometimes ankles. If you’re not sure what style of boots then check out my post.
Why? If your feet are warm enough then you’ll be able to wear lighter weight clothes for longer.
My favourite way of how to layer is to use accessories. Seriously adding a scarf to an outfit can definitely turn a summer outfit into a transitional one.
You may want to throw on a pashmina or oversized scarf as an alternative to a jacket or coat. These can be quickly removed and don’t add bulk. Especially useful if you’re commuting and get overheated (as I do) on public transport!
If like me you’re likely to want to tear the scarf off halfway through the day, then wear a necklace underneath.
Why? You will still feel your outfit’s complete and accessorized if you remove your scarf.
So Now You Know How To Layer
Hopefully this post has given you a few ideas of how to:
- Extend your summer wardrobe when it’s too warm for autumn clothes
- Avoid overheating in September
- Create some fresh looks for September
Online Accessories Course
I’m considering setting up an Online Accessories Course. In the first instance I’m asking for feedback so I can plan the content. A minute of your time to complete a quick survey would be amazing. There’s no obligation beyond that. The survey’s anonymous. But if you add your name in the comments to say you’ve done it then I’ll be saying thank you with a gift!