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A Men’s Guide to Wearing Layers

Man wearing layering clothes in urban style.

Welcome to class, gentlemen. Today, we will explore the art of layering. Notwithstanding the weather, layering plays a central role in helping you stay comfortable, feel great, and look even more stunning. It can also allow you to explore your creative side with various looks, adding a touch of complexity to your signature style.

This comprehensive guide covers how to master the art of layering clothes for men. Read on to find out more.

What Is Layering?

Layering is a styling technique that encompasses adding different clothing pieces to your ensembles for functional and aesthetic purposes. And just like ensuring you attain the perfect fit for your clothes, mastering the art of wearing layers is a secret weapon in every fashionable man’s arsenal.

Generally, layering is an all-season look. It transcends naturally to fall and spring – with changing temperatures making it easy to have clothing items you can remove or add throughout the day. And with the right pieces, you can achieve a layered look year-round.

The Rules of Layering

Remember that the secret to successful layering is not going on a shopping haul buying as many clothing items as you can – it is making the best of what you already own (assuming you already have the essentials) to create a unique look at no cost. 

A layered look can be achieved using everyday clothing items such as sweaters, jackets, shirts, and scarves. And like all things fashion, there are some rules to follow when it comes to layering. You can view these rules as best practices.

1. Each Clothing Item Should Be Something You Can Wear on Its Own

One of the fundamentals of layering! If you feel uncomfortable wearing a layer on its own, then it won’t work perfectly when layering. And if you are like most people, you most likely have a space in your wardrobe for clothing items you can only wear under sweaters. But what if the temperatures rise unexpectedly or someone spills a drink on you, and you must take off your sweater?

Any visible layer should be something you could put on as the only layer in the specific part of the body with just your coat/jacket. If the clothing does not fit you well or is flimsy or tacky, it should not have any place in your outfit.

2. Stick to One or Two Bold Colors

Eager to make a statement? Stay away from many bold colors. While you can play around with multiple colors, the secret is accentuating your subtle tones with one or two “poppers”. For example, if you’ve got bright red trousers, do not wear a lemon yellow shirt and a hot pink scarf. 

You can never go wrong with this formula: light inside, dark outside. Simply put, put on lighter colors close to your body and have darker colors in the outer layers.

3. Outer Hems Should Always Be Longer Than Inner Hems

As a rule of thumb, the hem of your outer layers of clothing should always conceal the hem of your inner clothing pieces. And while you may have spotted Gen Zs walking around with their shirt tails poking out from underneath their sweater, it’s never a great look. In fact, you shouldn’t be attempting such a look unless you are very positive you want to.

4. Do Not Go Beyond Three Layers

Three is the magic number when it comes to successful layering. Anything more than this is overkill and can easily give you a bulky look. Always keep in mind that two is a great choice, three layers are the sweet spot, and four is overkill.

5. Layering With Textures

When it comes to achieving the perfect layered look, textures are key. A thoughtfully-textured outfit can transform your look from basic to sophisticated effortlessly. The secret to looking put together with different textures is to mix fabrics with different finishes and weights to create a unique and stylish outfit.

6. Work Your Outfit From Thin to Thick

Generally, you should wear lighter fabrics like a t-shirt or a thin turtleneck close to your body and build your look with thicker items as you work outwards. Your base layer should be soft and comfortable because it is in direct contact with your skin, and all other clothing items will be packed on top of it.

This guideline, however, is rather obvious and often goes without saying. For example, you would never put on a heavy woolen sweater over a cotton dress shirt.

Layering Ideas

It is common knowledge that layering applies to the top half of your body. Also, most layering combinations consist of a bottom, middle and top layer, and an outer layer when the temperatures are extremely low. To achieve the perfect layered look, it’s important to have several layering essentials, for example:

  • Shirts – popular selections include a Henley shirt, flannel shirt, oxford shirt, and denim shirt.
  • Sweaters and vests – go for a cardigan sweater, v-neck sweater, hooded sweatshirt or a dark-colored vest.
  • Jackets and overcoats – popular selections include a leather jacket, raincoat, top coat, blazer, or field jacket.

Layering is a great way to add style to any outfit. And by selecting the right pieces, you can design an ensemble that’s unique and appealing. Whether you are layering knits, jackets, or shirts, pay attention to the overall goal you are trying to achieve.

Speak to a Fashion Expert Today!

So, how can you come up with a layered look that is both stylish and practical? Get in touch with the menswear experts at Family Britches. We can help you experiment with various combinations until you find what you love.

You can pay a visit to our physical locations at Chappaqua, NY, and New Canaan, CT, where our team will be happy to assist you. You can also talk to one of our representatives directly at your convenience. 

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