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Man About Town: The Man’s Guide to Layering

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Layering is a staple of men’s winter fashion and it’s definitely not the hardest styling technique to master as it’s just a matter of putting clothes on top of other clothes, but a lot of guys seem to be horribly wrong.

If you don’t know how to layer your clothes correctly, your outfit may look thrown together. So, to avoid any potential scenario that doesn’t fit Michelin Man, here are some tips to help you layer your clothes in the most stylish way possible this winter.

What is overlay?

Layering is a styling technique that involves creating an outfit by putting clothes over more clothes, with each piece acting as a step in the overall look. But to avoid looking like a walking marshmallow, the most important thing to remember is that thin to thick, light to heavy layer.

This means that the lightest, most breathable parts are closest to your skin, and the heaviest clothing protects you from the elements. You can also peel off the heaviest layers as your body temperature adjusts to the heat inside.

How can I overlay?

In addition to the practicality of the layering, there is also the aesthetics of the layering that must be taken into account. So here are some of the most important layering tips that you will need if you have all the tools but don’t know how to use them.

Fabrics

Before putting together an outfit, it’s important to consider each piece and the fabric from which it is made. It all comes down to the rule of dressing from light to heavy in the name of practicality. But it also has a visual effect. First of all, notice that most clothes are made from the same types of fabrics: cotton, wool, or a mixture of both.

Then observe the difference in weaving, thickness and weight of the garment. Any two garments can be made from the same fabric, but each will look and feel different due to the warp and weft of the yarn that includes the material.

Finally, break up the fabric mix by introducing technical fabrics like moisture-wicking shirts and waterproof jackets. These active accents are very trendy and will create an extra point of difference between the inner, outer and mid layers.

Textures

By varying the textures, you add and contrast different fabric finishes which will add a sense of depth to an outfit, especially if you are wearing the same fabric everywhere. As it is probably the most frequently presented, we will use cotton as an example. For texture, wear different cotton finishes such as waxed, brushed and garment dyed to distinguish each garment.

When it comes to casual and stylish clothing, varying the texture is very important. Especially with monochrome, neutral and all-black outfits. Outfits that are completely colorless or all earth tones need texture to avoid looking like a walking black hole.

Colors

Layering allows you to work in different tones and shades in one unified look. For those who may be a little shy, layering means you can hide bold prints and patterns like under layers, lowering their noise with a neutral and / or block color shirt or topcoat.

Layer neutrals between color pieces, following universal color coordination rules. Don’t settle for darker shades, either. Lighter neutral shades will work even in winter and add freshness to the cooler season.

Finally, if you are going from printing to printing, the designs should be to scale, relative in size, and not too busy. Unless you want people to think of you as a mural.

Accessories

Those old Christmas gifts deep in your closet can play an important role in mastering the art of layering. From chunky cable knit scares and woolen hats, leather gloves and (now) face coverings, accessories add functionality and personality to a layered look. If you only wear two clothes, these accessories will give you more bang for your buck. Don’t overdo it.

Layering of appearances

It goes without saying that the layering logic mostly applies to your upper half (unless you want to wear multiple pairs of pants and jocks). And most foolproof layers come in three: top, middle and bottom layer and an outer layer for the cooler months. Here are some easy looks to achieve.

Shirts, knitwear and jackets

A cable-knit sweater or a graphic-print sweatshirt are two essential pieces to layer. Take a basic tee or buttonhole (something textured like flannel or chambray is perfect), then layer a chunky bomber jacket, chinos, chunky socks, and stylish leather boots for a vintage, rustic look that the boundaries of lumberjack and urban style.

Knitwear

Layering knits is a sure-fire way to look cool while staying warm without too many layers filling your frame. Start by layering a heavy cardigan over a white t-shirt and add a thin turtleneck or scarf. Then add skinny jeans, white leather sneakers and a wool cap for extra texture.

Suit, shirt and coat

Need to layer for the ride to the office? Start with the costume. Since the two-piece will take up most of your look, you’ll want to choose one that’s warm and naturally textured. Opt for a piece in pure wool or flannel with checks or subtle stripes.

It’s hard to beat a navy or gray single-breasted two-piece for versatility. Pair it with a cotton twill button in a thicker fabric and a colorful silk knit tie. Add a matching or contrasting cardigan or a thin V-neck sweater. The middle layer should add texture without creating bulk. Finish with a tailored overcoat or trench coat and voila! You are ready for the office or the catwalk.

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