Pulling Off a Layered Look

By on October 1, 2015

There can be no debate, layering is a great fashion technique that can create a casual fun look. It allows you to use various items to create a lot of different looks – from casual and professional to dramatic and flirtatious, layering allows you to use your creative fashion prowess. It’s also a plus in the unpredictable fall season when the weather can change from cold to humid or hot to frigid without warning.

Yet for aging women, layering is not always a popular go-to choice. We’re careful of piling on clothes and looking bulkier than we are. We don’t want to be drowned in all the fabric and lose our curves and style we still have. Yet nothing could be farther from the truth. When done right, layering will compliment your curves and give you a better-defined silhouette.

But how to go about it? Whether you’re aiming for a casual outdoorsy look or a glamorous look, or are planning to travel to a different climate – here are tips to help you layer like a pro.

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Know your layers

Understanding how layers come together is essential to pulling off a well-layered look. Your base or innermost layer should generally be the lightest, the kind of garment that you could wear on its own in the summer. If you start off with a thick piece of clothing, it’d be harder to keep on the top pieces in weather that isn’t freezing – and while layering is super flexible, the point of it is to create a look where all the pieces complement each other, not one where some of them come off after a while! Get thicker with each subsequent layer to create an adaptable but put-together appearance, such as wearing a chic print cardigan over a short white blouse. See this great age-appropriate look, which beautifully takes a summer dress into the winter months.

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Keep your bottoms close-fitted

Dressing right is about creating a well-defined silhouette that flatters your body type. With layers, your top tends to be heavy, so steer clear of baggy bottoms. Culottes and palazzo pants work well with sculpted T’s or loose-fitted tops, but with layers, these bottoms are likely to bog you down. Pair your layers with close-fitted dress pants, leggings or cigarette pants. This creates a look that slims you down while drawing attention to your layered bodice.

Unless you have a super slim figure, avoid most kinds of floor-length skirts; these will tend to swallow you up, giving you the dreaded ‘piled up’ appearance. However, short skirts make for great layering – mix and match them with leggings or a loose top to look red-carpet ready for a date night or evening party.

Create plenty of variances

One beginner’s mistake is to wear layers that are similar in length, colors, and effect. The best-layered looks play with the distinct effects of each individual layer and its supporting accessories, to create an overall put-together appearance. If you wear a short, dark blouse as your base layer, finish it with a colorful shrug or contrasting pants. Pair a blazing blue dress and knee-high boots under a deep mustard-yellow overcoat, to create a look that is both glamorous and elegant. Or just add depth and beauty to a simple white outfit, by topping it with a vibrant coat and patterned scarf. You’ll find that the most flattering looks aren’t the ones that have the most going on, but the ones that mix and match different but complementary colors and patterns, while also creating a variance in length and necklines.

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Remember to accessorize

Mastering the layered look isn’t just about creating a variance. It also means utilizing accessories to show who you are. Especially for older women who want to dress more towards the modest side, accessories can help add age-appropriateness. Belting a cardigan at the waist can keep the bulkiness at bay. Knee-high boots look amazing without the obvious sex appeal of high heels. Handbags and clutches can infuse fun or flirtatiousness in an otherwise subtle outfit. Scarves can help create looks that are modest, glamorous or right off the runway, depending on how you wear them. Wearing plenty of thick necklaces is great for bohemian looks, while thin necklaces add grace and depth to a subtler layering idea. The size, shape, and placement of your accessories can make or mar your entire look, so make sure you match them to the overall look you’re aiming for.

Kashaf Ali is a passionate fashion blogger who loves to write on prevailing trends. She has featured author at various blogs around and a staff writer at AnythingChenille.com, your premiere source for all your custom chenille and letterman jacket patches.


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Pulling Off a Layered Look