5 tips for the perfect layered look

Choosing an outfit can be tricky, especially in the changeable transitional season. After all, we want to be prepared for whatever the weather has in store for us – whether that’s fresh gusts of wind or the first warm rays of sunshine. You quickly find yourself wondering: Will I be too warm in this thick cardigan? Will I freeze in this light blouse? The solution: layers, layers, layers!

What is the layered look?

As the name suggests, the layered look is all about wearing several layers of clothing on top of each other. But to really pull off the layered look, you need to do more than just wear individual garments one on top of the other. In fact, it takes a little sensitivity and an eye for combinations to create a coherent look. Once you’ve mastered the art of layering, you’ll find it has lots of benefits:

  • The layered look is perfect for concealing problem areas and making the most of your proportions.
  • Layering provides countless options for creating endless new combinations and individual looks from your own wardrobe. So you don’t even need a huge amount of clothes in your closet. That’s because the layered look even allows you to wear light summer clothes in colder temperatures, so you can reinvent your look over and over again.
Blazer Layered Look

Stretch Knit Blazer


Knit top


Knit Pants

Layered Look

Open front cardigan


Knit Top


Skinny Jeans

Layering for curvy women – how to perfect the layered look

1. Get your layers right

When it comes to layering, it’s all about playing around with the different lengths of the individual pieces of clothing. That’s the only way the separate layers can come into their own. For example:

  • Layer 1: a long, loose blouse
  • Layer 2: a knitted cardigan or pullover (The blouse should show slightly below the hem of your pullover, and the collar can peek out the top too.)
  • Layer 3: a slightly shorter blazer or between-seasons jacket. This should be shorter than the pullover. The sleeves can be rolled up if you like.

2. Pay attention to fabrics and materials

The layered look really gets interesting when you experiment with a range of materials, cuts, and fabrics. If there’s one golden rule, it’s this: Coarse, chunky materials like knitwear and leather look great with flowing, lightweight fabrics and really add a little edge to an outfit. A heavy cardigan and a delicate chiffon blouse make the perfect pair, for example. And a rock-n-roll leather jacket goes beautifully with a feminine dress. Skinny jeans should be worn with a loose top, but go for a close-fitting shirt to pair with wide-leg boyfriend jeans.  Have the courage to contrast!  

Outfit layered look



Long sleeve blouse



3. A good base layer

No layered look is complete without the right base layer! To make sure your look isn’t too bulky, opt for one or two close-fitting basics. That can be a simple shirt or a pair of skinny jeans, for example. Then build your layering around that. A long, open blouse goes well over a more close-fitting shirt, for example. The best layered looks have no more than three or four layers, otherwise the outfit quickly starts looking baggy and piles on the pounds.

4. Think about how you combine colors

To create a coherent layered look, you also need to make sure you have good color combinations. When it comes to layering, this means using soft shades and the same families of colors. A warm white will always go with beige and light brown, for example.

If you’re brave, build your layered look around a key piece in a bright color. Then combine it with neutral colors. For a particularly up-to-date take on the layered look, combine plain-colored pieces of clothing in colors such as black, gray, and camel. It makes for a really sophisticated look.

Layering Look

Long Blazer


Slim Leg Pants



5. Sometimes less is more

Layering is addictive! But beware: Sometimes less really is more. Never wear more than four or five items together. It’s easy to add way too many layers, and before you know it you’re looking a bit chunky. That’s why you need to go easy on the accessories, too. Thick scarves can quickly become unflattering. If you’re already wearing several layers, try not to go for bulky accessories like a big hobo purse or an enormous necklace. Find the right balance for a well-coordinated layered look.

Must-haves for successful layering

It pays to have a good selection of clothes in your closet to give you flexibility when you’re putting together your layers. If you’re careful to choose colors that go well together whenever you’re out shopping, it’s pretty easy to find the right ensemble quickly. And of course, a bright color or striking pattern can also look great as part of a layered look if the rest of the outfit complements it. So don’t be scared of incorporating the latest trends!

Here are a few basics you should have on hand:

  • Close-fitting base layers like tops or shirts with cropped sleeves
  • Long blouses
  • Oversized knitted sweaters
  • Long cardigans or long blazers
  • Various types of jeans (skinny jeans make the perfect base)
  • Leather or denim jacket, trench coat or overcoat
  • Belt

You may also like