Who doesn’t love fall clothes? It seems to be everyone’s favorite season for dressing – you pull out all the boots, vests, sweaters, and hats, grab your coffee, and hit the road for some of the best autumnal activities from football season to wine tasting. So, what’s the key to pulling together all those fall pieces in a way that’s both stylish and, more importantly, practical and weather appropriate? LAYERS.
IT’S ALL ABOUT LAYERS FOR FALL
We all know that layers are the look we see over and over again on Instagram once the temperatures start to dip below 60 (65?), but how do we layer in a way that’s flattering rather than figure-hiding? How do we create a look that’s intentional rather than haphazard? And, how do we invest in pieces that we’ll wear over and over again to mix and match with other pieces and create new looks instead of buying our layers as complete outfits that only complement each other?
It all comes down to choosing a few items that add some interest to an outfit with texture, print, and fabric choice. They don’t need to be basic black to become one of the most versatile items in your layering closet. Here, I’m sharing with you the 3 items that I reach for again and again in the fall, and then revealing a few of my tips for pulling it all together.
OUTFIT NOTES: BARBOUR JACKET / GINGHAM VEST / JEANS / BOOTIES / JANE WINCHESTER EARRINGS / SWEATER / LONGCHAMP BAG
ONE: A PLAID VEST
We all love vests, that’s for sure. Whether it’s down or fur, a vest is a fabulous layer for adding a bit of interest to an otherwise basic outfit. But, have you considered a printed vest? A plaid, gingham, or tartan vest is one of the most perfectly fall items you can add to your wardrobe. When I first got mine, I wondered if it would be a statement piece that I’d wear once or twice a month with a solid sweater and jeans, but would sit in my closet otherwise.
Well, instead, I’m wearing this bad boy once a week at least. It’s the piece that I’ll bring on a trip and wear with multiple outfits from a turtleneck dress and boots to a sweater and booties to an athleisure look. It’s got a fall vibe, the colors are neutral enough that it goes with anything, and the fit is perfectly tailored to dress up or down.
TWO: A NEUTRAL SWEATER
My next layering must-have is a neutral sweater. For this outfit, I chose a camel-colored wool sweater, but I also have a gray cashmere sweater that fits the bill. Both have a tailored fit that’s not too loose, but not too slim either. They’re great on their own, but even better when layered with a blazer or a scarf or a jacket. They can be dressed up with a pair of leather leggings and a silk scarf or dressed down with jeans and loafers. It’s the piece that will take you from work to happy hour to weekend brunch without missing a beat.
THREE: A FUNCTIONAL JACKET
Lastly, a jacket that is lightweight enough to comfortably layer, but warm enough to, well, keep you warm is essential. I splurged on a Barbour jacket a few years ago, and it’s probably the best wardrobe investment I’ve ever made. It has everything you need in a fall layering jacket – it keeps out the wind, has a water-resistant coating (without looking like a rain jacket!), and you can add a hood or a liner to it for precarious weather. Plus, it has this “goes with anything” vibe – it’s casual, but effortless, so it’s perfect with whatever you’re wearing.
Those are the keys to finding the ultimate layering jacket – weather-resistant, lightweight but warm, and effortless. Find those three and you have a home run.
A FEW FINAL NOTES
So, what are the best ways to pull together layers in a way that’s chic and intentional? First, pay attention to fit. Just because you’re layering, doesn’t mean that you can just throw on a bunch of loose items or even put on a too-tight bottom layer. Everything should be tailored on its own, so that it comes together in a cohesive – and figure-flattering – manner.
Second, think about the details. A pair of earrings or a knock-out pair of shoes can do wonders to dress up a casual layered look. Lastly, make a few adjustments to pull everything together. A front tuck of your sweater can show of your waist in an otherwise bulky outfit. A cuff of your jeans might be just enough to show some ankle and break up the heavy fabrics. Don’t just put the layers on and assume you’re good to go – pay attention to the look as a whole.