With winter in full swing, and New York Fashion Week just around the corner, spring isn’t far behind. So the time to recreate the season’s best styling moments is now. One idea that’s especially fresh is layering. Dressing in layers is one of the most inventive ways to embrace the changing of the seasons and create unmatchable style regardless of the weather.
During cold winter days, this styling technique goes further than ever before, becoming the statement of the times.
By letting opposing patterns and contrasting colors play together, removing fallacies and antiquated fashion rules, and allowing basic staples to transition seamlessly from one season to the next, layering is playing a starring role in the “nothing new” movement because it says “yes” to buying less and “no” to wasteful consumption.
Fall/Winter 2023 saw a focus on a return to classic staples and capsule wardrobes—the perfect white shirt, classic denim, suiting separates, and the must-have tees— so it makes perfect sense to evolve that idea by way of artful layering formulas that add core investment pieces into the equation.
Emerging Layering Tricks this Winter
Fall’s plaid on plaid and pattern on pattern trends and out-of-the-box “no more rules” movement prepared us for an even bolder and more daring way to layer in the winter.
Wearing two skirts of varying lengths, cuts, and fabrications definitely plays into the latest layering trend. Reinventing one of last season’s sheer slip skirts by adding another skirt of varying length on top is a simple way to transform last fall’s must-haves into this winter's hottest look.
Layering two skirts of varying lengths, pairing last year’s denim with this season’s dresses, pairing fishnet dresses over pants, transparent midis over baby tees, corsets over oxfords, two-at-a-time skirt combos, trench coats over bomber jackets, micro minis over jeans, and combining bold contrasting patterns and colors like never before is great way to stretch your wardrobe dollars and reinvent your statement pieces.
But if mixing patterns and colors and going all out with layering feels intimidating, instead of rocking this trend at the office, give it a shot on the weekend while perusing vintage boutiques for fun additions to your new bold and brazen wardrobe.
Winter is the perfect time to get into layering because you can pile on the pieces while the weather’s still cold and peel off some layers as the thermometer rises or once you are in warmer indoor settings.
Layering can add interest to any outfit and put sustainability heavier into the fashion mix by reinventing investment pieces, regenerating classic staples, and reviving vintage finds.
Try using some of these clever styling techniques to bring more versatility to your wardrobes this winter to add a modern patina to your day-to-day looks. From reliable ribbed knits to trendy tees, tried-and-true blazers to over-the-top dresses, these tips will help you love-to-layer.
Gauzy knits and playful skirts layered over baby bramis and boy briefs, transparency is a playful way to upcycle your favorite pieces of season’s past to transform your this-season wardrobe.
Styling Tip: Hang a bunch of your favorite pieces on a clothing rack and mix and match them until you find a look that feels like you. Then play with different combinations. If you see a missing piece of the puzzle, add it to your shopping list. Invest in statement pieces that can be paired with just about everything on the rack.
A lightweight coat or shacket, a denim jacket, a pleated skirt, a great new top, or a fabulous dress that screams spring. Pile on layers and peel them off as the weather gets warmer and the time tick by into summer. You get the picture!
Put planet-first by recreating, reinventing, and regenerating capsule wardrobe pieces you had to have in the fall for winter wardrobing. Shop your closet and pair your “already-have” tonal basics to elevate your favorite basics for looks you can start to wear right away. Mixing suiting separates in grays and creams with basic white and subtle toned tops and bottoms is an inventful, simple, and eco-conscious way to recreate the must-haves of the fall and winter.
Keep these ideas in mind as you recreate your capsule wardrobe, re-using as many pieces as possible so as not to buy too many new pieces — just the ones that blast you into a sustainable style.
Layering Tricks to Try
Layering two skirts together is one of winter 2023’s biggest trends. Try pairing a micro mini over a maxi or two pleated skirts in boldly different patterns and colorways for a layering look that shouts ingenuity.
Tap into last season's peek-a-boo trend by layering sheer pieces in lighter fabrication for the warmer months. See-through layers are a great way to suggest skin without actually showing it. Take a bold print dress (all the rage this season) and throw on a sheer skirt on top. Then tie a contrasting print scarf or last summer’s sarong skirt around the waist to take the layering piece to the next level.
The key to carrying it all off is simplicity. Keep things grounded with a relaxed henley shirt and casual ribbed knit underskirt. Go monochrome with similarly toned accessories that play with textured elements and allow a statement skirt to do all the talking.
Transparent elements reign supreme this season with ruched jersey minis combining with sheer maxis, an ethereal look that still feels modern. When recreating the look yourself, keep things up-to-date with a thin top, allowing undergarments like a simple triangle bra to peek through. Then, reach for a ’90s-inspired belt and incorporate a flash of shine with statement earrings or a cool shoe.
Short ‘n Sweet
Incorporate tailored and organic elements like a mix of ruffles and streamlined minis. Then add a playful jacket, blingy bag, and chunky heels to complete the look.
Adding a fringe element to any look will take it skyrocketing into the trends of 2023. Tried-and-true trousers with fringe elements can elevate any look. Layering a shirt, vest, blazer, and trench for a wear-to-work look that inspires.
Doubled Up Outerwear
Anyone can wear topper over a sweater, but what about pulling off two coats or jackets at once? That’s what I am talking about!
Consider wearing a lighter-weight coat underneath a slouchy coat; an opera-style coat over a shacket, or a leather jacket over a denim topper or underneath a long wool coat. Pair a belted blazer under a bold opera coat for a layered look that travels from cold winter days into warm spring nights.
Adding a second coat is perfect as the weather transitions. Instead of hiding your outfit under a bulky down winter coat, choose oversized statement coats that can become a key ingredient in your layered look. Shifting your thinking about coats, using them as an accent piece instead of just a cover-up, you can create even more outfits in the cold months and reimagine your style as the temperatures start to rise.