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Fashion: Layering in Style

By: Jessica Shanahan - Updated: 27 Feb 2013 | comments*Discuss
Fashion: Layering In Style

Spring is the perfect time of year to start layering, and it’s all about finding that perfect balance between clashing colours and patterns, and being boldly bang-on trend. Between March and May and then again in the autumn, your wardrobe should be a comfortable mixture of something for every season pieced together like a stylish jigsaw.

Layering for the Seasons

For warmth and style that’s right for march to may, try doubling up on vests – mixing patterned and plain in slightly different styles – with a three-quarter sleeve blazer, jeans, and those block-colour plimsolls that have been sitting in a box since last summer. It’s still chilly enough for scarves, so pick a shade that compliments the vest combo and match it to soft wool to keep you cosy as the last strains of winter cling on.

Cardigans are never ever going to fall foul of fashion, so pair a short-sleeved patterned one (heart, polka dots, flowers and animals are all over the high street knitwear) with a contrasting striped long-sleeved t-shirt, wrist warmers and – an omnipresent wardrobe staple – denim mini skirt. Balance out the contrasting patterns and colours of the top half with plain leggings or tights and long dark boots. Over the winter it was very fashionable to have legwarmers peeking up over the tops of boots, but as it grows warmer perhaps try the same with knee-high socks; just a little extra hint of colour, used almost as an accessory.

Plaid returned a few years back and it’s here to stay. Sling a tartan or chequered fitted shirt over a vest or long-sleeved t-shirt, and take a little of the softness away from the look with a leather jacket. There’s something about leather and a bold coloured plaid that works beautifully, especially when paired with skinny jeans.

Layering for Fashion

If you’re already a layering aficionado but you’re stuck for ideas once the transitional period between seasons is over with, begin to focus on colour and texture. Velvet has been big lately – pair it with leather and bold colours for something a little different. There is also pleasingly a lot of paisley around right now – intricate patterns can be both elegant and cosy, so dress them up with sharp, fine tailoring or soften them down with wool and lace.

If you’re self-conscious about your body shape, layering can make all the difference. A floaty bold-patterned blouse nipped in by a tailored waistcoat is perfect for fuller and hourglass figures, skimming over the troublesome areas whilst highlighting the waist. Long vests and empire line tops have a similar effect, especially if they fall flatteringly low over flared jeans for balance.

For a skinny frame, layers can bulk you up. Try a loose-fitting belted shirt dress with a chunky patterned boyfriend cardigan thrown over the top, with tights and long socks. If you’re self-conscious about being thin, you can wear as many tops as you like at one time in different variations. This style looks great topped with a tailored jacket and bootcut denim or cord.

It helps to have a few staples you can wear with anything – be it a favourite and well-fitted pair of trousers or a trusted jacket – which you can build around. Learning what layering works is about personal experimentation and what allows you to feel comfortable in such a style. There’s no such thing as too much either, so you don’t have to worry about being over the top. Find out what compliments what and only stop when you think the perfect level of ‘walking boutique’ has been achieved.

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