How to Layer Clothes Like a Pro
Fall is in action as September arrives and class is in session! Layering is an essential technique as the months get colder. While we’re all tempted to just throw on an oversized coat and be on our way, there’s more factors to consider when building an outfit this season.
Besides having the chance to be creative with your style, layering means choosing the right pieces to keep you warm throughout the day. It has to come together smoothly without any ill-fitting items that both compromise the ensemble with bulk and discomfort. Remember that it’s not about being complicated but about building combinations with intention; to create a whole outfit that is both functional and chic.
And should you feel too warm under it, you can always peel off layers without worrying about how it will look like with missing pieces. Get ready to stretch your styling chops with these layering techniques to breeze through fall—even all the way to winter.
Don’t hang up your sleeveless dresses for good just yet! They’re not just for warm weather. These serve as a great base layer whether for sweaters, button-downs, or both. Try a slip dress with a light sweater and top off with a trench coat that has waterfall lapels. You’ll see just how well it goes with the dress’ bias cut hem and creates a beautiful combination of flow.
- Bundle up with the Kaii Jeweled Neck Detail Dress by wearing a satin button-down underneath. Take advantage of the mini length by wearing with knee-high boots and tights.
- When it’s colder out, a long-sleeved sweater can add extra warmth as your base layer. Try it with the Jess Long Sleeves Button Up Shirt Dress with a few buttons open in a darker tonal shade or a jewel tone for a color blocked effect.
- Go for simple and straightforward when the weather is in-between by layering a baby tee underneath the Yellow Strappy Summer Midi Dress.
- Let the high shine of the Multi Color Sequin Dress be the star of the show with just a black oversized blazer. It’s a great cocktail hour look that you can peel off when it’s warm indoors.
Whether it’s a structured waistcoat or cozy oversized knit, a vest will pull together any ensemble into a polished final look—especially with a tailored outfit. Use it as a finisher to accentuate sleeves or wear as a second layer underneath a blazer for a three-piece pantsuit. For a close fit, don’t hesitate to accessorize with a belt to embellish and cinch your shape at the same time.
- Let your arms make the statement by pairing bell or balloon sleeves under the Black Sleeveless Vest Top. Size up for a more comfortable fit when layering.
- Time to utilize your basics! Try a white tee under the Kaii Color Blocked Crepe Vest and finish with a relaxed blazer or a longline coat. Anything goes with this ensemble—from work trousers to casual denim jeans.
- Inject some glitz with the Kaii Beaded Front Vest atop your oversized shirt. We love glittered textures like this as an upgrade to a weekend outfit.
- Use the Knot Belt to emphasize the waist when a vest is your final layer. It works especially well for monochromatic looks to give it a refined feel.
This is one of our favorite styling techniques to look refined without much effort. Tonal dressing is wearing pieces in multiple shades of the same color or sporting the same hue from head to toe—the latter essentially following a monochromatic scheme. There’s just something so cool about it and radiates an air of sartorial confidence that will make layering look like a cakewalk. Here are some of our best tricks.
- Mix textures to keep the ensemble visually interesting. The Adrienne Vittadini Fringe Trim Cardigan has decorative lapels and a jacquard texture to give a black and gray outfit some character and depth.
- Keep the look from looking one-dimensional by playing with varying shades of the same hue. Layer the KAII Draped Collar Trench Coat Jacket over the DR2 Animal Print Dress when temperatures decline. You can tie the trench and create a whole new look when the half of the dress resembles a skirt.
- For sunny days with a bit of chill, take a cropped jacket like the DR Metallic Velvet Drape Shrug and pair it with high-rise black denim and a black turtleneck for a straightforward New York-inspired uniform with texture.
Sometimes a chunky sweater or a shirt that’s too oversized can ruin a layered ensemble. One way to avoid looking frumpy is to explore silhouettes and use pieces in different lengths to create dimension and maintain smoothness. Use a basic like a tank or tee underneath a tie-front crop top for extra warmth and top off with your choice of long outerwear—whether it be a blazer that stops mid-thigh, a midi duster coat, or a maxi robe.
- Complement the frills of the Plaid Woven Wrap Dress with a pop of color using a bright, cropped knit like the KAII Waffle Knitted Sweater. This contrasting combo gives the look visual interest without any bulkiness.
- Get an oversized sweater vest to match with the Marina Top. There’s a balance of a medium fit under an ultra-relaxed piece that bridges the gap between silhouettes.
- Want to try something new? Recreate nostalgia by wearing a mini dress like the Organza Mini Dress over a pair of light, flared jeans. Take it up a notch and wear a mock-neck of the same color for a more cold-appropriate look.
Let your creativity and knack for fashion shine through your layers this season. Remember not to limit yourself to rules on what’s conventionally-appropriate for fall—wear the colors you want, mix and match prints, and invest in basics, tailoring, and outerwear to build a wardrobe that will make dressing a breeze all the way through winter while still staying true to your own personal style.