It’s a failsafe autumn trend that never goes away: layering! With a slightly different focus and colour palette each year to keep things fresh, our love affair with autumn layers is here to stay. Not to mention that autumn layers are practical for these months of four seasons in one day! So how are we all wearing layers this time around? This year, we’re keeping it flattering, classic, and chic.
The technical bit
Let’s start by looking at how layering works in a functional way. The idea is that each layer has a visible element, so colours and textures should work together in creating the final look. Fabrics sit best on a structured silhouette, so your first (and invisible!) layer should be a piece of everyday shapewear. This means medium to light compression, waist focussed basic shaping. By supporting all around your bum and torso, you’ll carry the outer layers with more strength.
De-seasonalise your wardrobe
There’s no need to pack away your springtime skirts and dresses. Layering means that you can use these outfits all through the autumn. Layer a chunky jumper over a shift dress, or a white shirt under a summer floral. You’ll feel light and cute while still avoiding the chill! The same goes for those floaty skirts. Just pair with some statement tights and chunky boots. Just be a bit careful on those super windy days…!
Don’t swamp yourself
As the temperature cools, we totally understand the instinct to curl up in ever increasing sizes of jumper! And there will be days when this is just what you need. However, you can still dress in warm autumn layers and have a knockout silhouette. The key is to focus your autumn outfit on your waist and layer from there. Start with a waist cinching control brief, and tuck top half layers into a belt. Then build longer, open layers like a shirt and trench coat where your waist is still visible..
Texture within one tone
A trend for 2023 is to layer tonally within one colour. Mix cottons, tweeds and chunky knits in, say, cream or blue. The different textures create a depth of style, while the single colour is incredibly intentional. This conscious styling will automatically make you feel more poised and elegant. Even more so when you have the added confidence of shaping shorts underneath!
Clash and contrast
Going completely the other way, try to layer to make a splash! Contrasting pops of colour, and clashing prints can work extremely well. Try mixing animal prints and stripes, or florals and checks for a late 90’s nod. As long as you limit contrasting layers to two, the outfit will look effortlessly cool. Don’t forget about accessories here, since a print scarf will almost always fit the bill!
Move towards the light
By starting with a dark colour and moving to lighter colours on outer layers, an outfit is more slimming. This doesn’t mean you should always have a black base layer, of course. Try a bright pop of colour with lighter, more neutral outer layers. A grey hoodie and tan trench coat are really useful wardrobe staples for this principle.
Don’t get too heavy
The thing about autumn is that it can feel baltic one second and then the sun comes out and you’re boiling! So use several layers of light fabrics in your outfit construction. Especially if you’re moving around during the day. For example, a vest top, then sheer long sleeve, then cotton shirt, then hoodie or jacket. This allows you to shed layers in small increments if required.
Autumn layering is such an iconic look that it’s really quite hard to get it wrong. Keep your foundation stable with a snug starting layer, and experiment with the rest!