The Art of Layering

LayeringOne of the most common things I get asked about as a stylist is how to layer. As you contemplate the transition of your wardrobe from winter to spring, layering can be a great tool to have a your disposal. Not only can it help to keep you warm or cool enough on days  of changeable weather, it’s also a great way to create multiple looks by wearing a few key pieces in different ways. So, here are my 3 easy steps to get you layering-away….

 

Step 1: The Base

The first (and most important) step of layering is creating a good base. In the winter months, your base will consist of leggings or tights if you plan to wear a skirt or dress, and a top.

The sleeve length of your top will depend on the weather and what you plan to wear over the top. Regardless, your top must be very fitted so that no gathers in the material can be seen when you add the next layer of clothing.

‘Leggings’ and ‘tights’ are two terms often used interchangeably. To be technically correct,  leggings are thicker (more like gym pants) and warmer, while tights are more like thick stockings. For very cold weather, leggings and fully covered tights are best, however in the warmer months footless tights are a better option. When buying footless tights, be mindful that full length (down to the ankle) are much more flattering than 3/4 length.

 

The Main Event

Once you have a good base, you are ready for the main layer. This will be either pants/skirt and a top, or a dress. The main idea of layering is to create a feast for the eyes, with each layer peeking out in a way that looks unplanned. Play with different ways of showing each layer. For example, does it look better if your base top is showing only at the neckline, only at the waistline, or both?

Be especially observant of the way the necklines are working together. There are no real ‘rules’ I can give with this (hence why I have labelled layering an ‘art’!), but if a combination looks a bit wrong to you, chances are it will look a bit wrong to everyone else as well, so go with your instincts.

As with the base layer, the main event should not include any pieces that are bulky, because you will be adding more on top. You do, however, need to be comfortable with the look of this layer, because unlike the base layer which won’t be showcased to the world, the main event could be ‘it’ if you are too hot to wear additional layers.

Take note that while this layer is put on second, it needs to be planned first in order to create the right base.

 

Finishing Touches

This is where you can really have some fun, with cardigans, boleros, jackets, scarves and accessories.

It’s a good idea to have a colour theme that runs through your outfit, such as black or beige, then mix it up with the main event or finishing touches, by using an accent colour or variation in the fabric.

 

So there you have it! Layering 101. It truly is an art, because it really comes down to how each individual piece works together. To inspire you, here are some of my layering ideas using the greatest layering brand available – Metalicus…

Look One

Look 2

Look 3

Enjoy!

Elissa x

Header image via jcew.com
Metalicus images via metalicus.com

 

Put some spring in your step!

It seems to me we have reached that time of year when the newness and novelty of winter is a distant memory, yet the warmth of spring feels too far off to provide much hope! Walk into any mall, though, and you’ll be instantly transported to a world full of bright colours, floaty dresses and sleeveless tops. While it might not be 25 degrees outside yet, sometimes this little taste of spring can be just what I need to get me through the remaining darkness of July and August! Here are my picks for working some fun spring trends (in store now) into your winter wardrobe – enjoy!…


The
Floaty Dress

Ahh the beloved floaty dress – the first thing we’re drawn to when it comes to spring fashions, because of its stark contrast to the heavy fabrics of winter.

www.countryroad.com.au

 

Team this gorgeous tank dress by Country Road with black tights and a fitted black top underneath to make it through the winter months.

Made from 100% pure silk, it retails at $199.00, and the breathability of the fabric will be an asset once spring rolls around.

For the warmer months, team it with black heels and a black clutch for a stunning evening outfit.

 

               www.portmans.com.au

 

Portmans’ stripe flippy dress is a perfect trans-seasonal piece. Wear it now with a navy blazer and tights, then enjoy it in spring with white flats or tan wedges.

For only $59.95, you will make the most of your dollar with this one!


Pop Colour Pants

A good pair of pants are a girl’s best friend year-round, and with classic styles becoming available in on-trend brights this season, you’ll be loving them even more than usual!

               www.portmans.com.au

Portmans have always done a great sateen pant, but this season they’ve set a new high bringing us this fabulous coral colour!

Snap them up now to go with your lighter-coloured winter knits and blouses (white and black will look best), then enjoy them through spring and summer with a t-shirt or light weight blouse during the day, and a floaty silk top for a dressier look.

If camouflaging the hip and thigh area is a priority, they also come in a stunning cobalt blue which will do the trick!

At $79.95, these will become a staple!

www.sportscraft.com.au

If coral isn’t quite your cup of tea, Sportscraft’s cotton chino pants in fern might be more your style. Here, Sportscraft delivers a classic and elegant pant, with a subtle nod to this season’s continuation of the colour-blocking trend.

At $129.95, these are 97% cotton, so will allow your skin to breathe when the warmer months come along.

For winter, team these chinos with a crisp, white blouse, and cool off in spring with a white tee and chunky wooden beads to complete your look. The ultimate in trans-seasonal buys!

 


Patterned Tops

This season we see the return of the patterned top, and the key to making a good purchase decision here is versatility. These can be tricky waters to navigate, but here are 2 great picks that will keep you covered from July to December!…

www.countryroad.com.au

Country Road’s spliced print top ($99.00) comes in a classic, simple cut and lightweight fabric, while delivering a colourful punch to any outfit!

Team it with fitted black pants and a blazer to liven up your winter work wardrobe, while in spring and summer, this will work beautifully with black shorts or capri pants.

 

 

www.sportscraft.com.au

When it comes to quality, tailored, beautiful blouses, Sportscraft always delivers, and this season is no exception. With a range of 100% cotton blouses in fun, tasteful prints, you are sure to find a print that suits your existing wardrobe and adds instant personality to an outfit, without being too loud.

My favourite is the eden printed shirt (129.95). Wear it with a skin-coloured cami for extra warmth now, and love it just as much in spring with the sleeves rolled up, or open with a white or purple cami.

 

Statement Skirts

 One of the most delightful surprises in store this season is the statement skirt. Like patterned tops, statement skirts must be chosen wisely, and a good choice can lead to many wonderful wardrobe combinations…

                  www.jacquie.com.au

At $89.95, the Harlow pleat skirt by Jacqui E is the ultimate in a statement skirt – fabulous while remaining versatile. Pair it with a white blouse, simple knit or fitted long-sleeve top in winter, then swap for a short-sleeved top when the weather warms up.

This is one skirt that I don’t recommend wearing with tights, so you’ll have to wait for one of the lovely sunny winter days we’ve been having to bring it out!

 

                 www.witchery.com.au

Ok, this Witchery knit pencil skirt ($99.95) is a little more ‘out there’, but I had to include it! For the bold ones among us, it will be the ultimate antidote to winter blues!

Team it with a fitted black long-sleeved top, tucked in, during winter, and swap for a fitted tee or singlet in spring and summer. Stick to wearing black with this in the cooler months, but once the weather warms up, the colour-blocking sky’s the limit!

 

Enjoy experimenting with beautiful trans-seasonal pieces such as these, and I will keep you updated as the spring and summer trends continue to roll in!


Elissa x

 

(Intro image via www.adelineadeline.com)