By Paige Carlotti
It’s easy to throw on a parka to stay warm—but did you know it’s just as easy to layer your favorite styles together and still look cool? Aside from aesthetics, it’s also practical: You’ll want to peel off pieces when things heat up while still looking polished. To fine-tune this technique, we asked stylist Gus Romero for his best tips to layer like a pro this season.
Consider Each Layer On Its Own
The advantage to layering is being able to strip away layers if you get too warm. But if you want to look polished all day long, make sure each combination of layers looks great on its own.
Romero says you should consider how each piece will look alone before mixing. Would you feel comfortable wearing just the inner two pieces, like a laidback henley with a button-down on top? If the answer is no, rethink your look until each iteration looks great on its own.
Put Complex Patterns on Top
When mixing and matching prints or patterns, remember that the most complex should always be your top layer. Save subtle patterns like smaller checks and printsfor bottom layers, then go more complex. But beware—repetitive patterns or too many patterns can destroy your look. For instance, stripes on top of stripes will clash. Instead, change one layer to a check or a dotted pattern, says Romero.
Mixing textures takes a bit of practice, but can be mastered in no time. Smoother textures, like leather, always look great when combined with soft fabrics. Wool pieces like herringbone and tweeds look best with solid shirts or knits as underpinnings.
Layer From Thin to Thick
Think practically: Having the thickest layers on top makes it easy to regulate your body temperature, says Romero. From a style standpoint, it also gives your outfit some depth and reduces the risk of appearing too bulky.
For example, if you make a lightweight button-down your base layer, and add a sweater on top of that. Complete your look with a quilted jacket for an effortless, versatile look. If temperatures start to rise, you can lose the jacket or the sweater—and still look great.
Let Your Frame Guide You
Color choices and patterns can make you look bigger or smaller depending on how you wear them. If you have a smaller frame, you can get away with wearing bigger prints and louder colors together. Bigger guys, however, should lean toward darker colors and smaller prints for their flattering effects. However, if you’re tall and thin, consider a horizontal stripe to help balance out your height.
Start With a Solid
Combining colors doesn’t have to be tricky. Try laying your items out on your bed to see if the colors work together before putting them on. Reds, blues, and whites always work great together, as do browns and blues, says Romero.
Solid colors work best for your innermost and outermost layers because they frame the rest of your look. To make those layers more interesting, pick a solid color that has some texture, like a knit shirt or sweater.
You can also mix different hues and tones of the same color (like light blue and navy) to create depth. “Multiple shades of grey or blues are my favorites, and always add a bit of class to a look,” he says. Light browns, grays, and whites also add depth. To finish a look, Romero says you can never go wrong with adding your favorite denim into the equation.