9 Fall Fashion Tips on How to Layer Clothes Like a Boss


How to layer clothes so you’re not left out in the cold this fall. (See what I did there?)

Fall is the best worst season ever, isn’t it? It’s beautiful, it’s soothing, it’s bold – but when it comes to the weather, it really needs to make up its mind already. I mean, if you want to be warm, then great – our summer duds can last just a teensy bit longer. If you want to be cold, we can deal with that too – we are women, after all. But as it stands, I have to take my sweater on and off so many times in a day my biceps are starting to look like Mr. Clean’s. Throw us a bone already, will you?

Since we already know that’s never going to happen (pffft!), we’re going to have to take matters into our own hands. By learning how to layer clothes, we won’t have to spend the fall feeling like menopause has come 20 years too soon.

Here are 9 fashion hacks on how to layer clothes (you know, minus all the bulk):

1. Play with proportions

If you want a balanced layered look, the key is mixing proportions. For example, short with long or fitted with loose: A short sweater layered over a long tank, or a fitted tank layered under a chunky knit sweater. Really, the combinations are endless. Think in opposites, and you’ll find your layered looks will come together quickly.

2. Simplify your color palette and focus on texture instead

Layering can be overwhelming, especially when trying to mix colors and prints. Since fall tends to be more about soothing neutrals, try layering different textures instead. It’ll help take the pressure off while giving your look a cozy, yet bold feel.

3. Start with a dress

How to layer clothes depends on the weather in your area, but no matter where you live you really can’t go wrong with thin layers. For example, wearing a dress with pants underneath is kind of a big deal this season. Sweater dresses with tights are also a fun staple to accessorize, and are great for work and play.

4. Punch your neutrals (you know, with color)

I’m a big fan of keeping my fall clothes simple in color, then BAM – adding a bold accessory, like a yellow handbag or red shoes. This especially comes in handy when you’ve been procrastinating on your laundry, since everything always goes together no matter the season. Give simple outfits a touch of the unexpected, and you’ll never run out of things to wear.

5. Stock up on basics

Basic tees, cardigans, button-up shirts and tights tend to be the glue that hold your layered outfit together. They’re super easy to toss on underneath your textured or patterned pieces.

6. Knits? Bring. It. On.

Cardigans, sweaters and vests are your BFFs in the layering department. If you’re wearing a generally basic outfit, you can layer on funky patterns and bold textures with ease. There’s nothing better than looking like it took you forever to get ready in the morning, when really it only took 10 minutes. (Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?)

7. Expand your jacket collection

You don’t want to layer to the point of looking homeless, and this is where light jackets come into play: When they’re made of canvas or other light fabrics, jackets allow breathing room amongst your layers, while giving your outfit a touch of structure.

8. Don’t forget: Accessories are a layer too

Scarves shouldn’t be the only trick up your sleeve: Chunky earrings, statement necklaces, bangles, even gloves all add more movement to your outfit and make for a great finishing touch.

9. Don’t give up on your summer duds just yet

How to layer clothes in the fall doesn’t mean you have to ditch your summer style the second you see a brown leaf. Layer your fave summer shorts with a pair of tights and a bold pair of ankle booties. Throw a blazer over top of a vintage tee or a long sleeve shirt under it. The sky’s the limit, and makes your wardrobe that much more versatile.

Are you savvy on how to layer clothes? What tips would you recommend for fall?

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Image: Elise Dikkens

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).