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30 Layering Tips for Flawless Fall Fashion

Don’t be afraid of color.

Don’t be afraid of color.

Even though it’s fall, don’t be afraid of color! You can use brighter colors during the fall as long as they don’t clash with other shades you’re wearing.

The best way to do this is sticking to complementary colors. We wouldn’t suggest adding more than two statement colors and two neutrals.

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Don’t overdo it with pattern play.

Don’t overdo it with pattern play.

Mixing patterns can be a great thing, but it can easily go wrong too. Since you’ll be mixing multiple items of clothing, it’s a good idea to stick to solids and simple patterns. Plaid, stripes, and gingham are all simple patterns that can be tossed in with various color schemes and textures without becoming overwhelming.

The best way to keep yourself in pattern check is to use patterns of neutral colors when layering. This way you get to add the pizzazz of a print without taking the whole ensemble over the top.

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Choose accessories carefully.

Choose accessories carefully.

When you layer several items, you need to be selective with accessories. Too many flashy necklaces and bracelets will ruin a layered look by making it seem like you’re trying too hard.

Layering is a busy look by itself, so choose simple accessories and only the ones that will go on a dead space. For instance, you don’t need a necklace if you’re already wearing a blanket scarf.

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Avoid bulk.

Avoid bulk.

Unless the temperature is literally freezing, you don’t need to layer with bulky pieces. Wearing bulky sweaters or jackets with other items is more cumbersome than it is cozy.

That super-thick sweater might look great underneath your jacket, but it will also limit your range of motion throughout the day, and who wants to deal with that? If you want to wear a bulkier item, try to keep it to outside pieces, like your jacket or scarf. Just be prepared to overheat with your bulky choices.

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Accessorize with your bag.

Accessorize with your bag.

Never forget your bag! Your bag can be the best statement piece you own, and it will tie your look together.

One of the best tips we give everyone is to use your bag as a statement piece, but you should make sure your outfit flows without it.

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Stay within one color scheme.

Stay within one color scheme.

If you're just starting to layer clothing, it can feel tough knowing where colors go. If you stick to muted tones and neutrals as much as possible, the style becomes easier.

If you want a little color, choose one because monochromatic can be just as beautiful as several colors.

Get funky with it.

Get funky with it.

Whether it’s a cropped, chunky knit sweater or a fringe vest, you can definitely layer with punchier pieces. You can wear a crop over a button-up with skinny jeans and boots to dress down the crop. If you’re doing a fringe vest, then pair it with a long, plain tee to counterbalance the fringe.

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Choose pieces that can stand alone.

Choose pieces that can stand alone.

The whole point of layering is to remove pieces as the temperature rises throughout the day and to put them back on as the temperature drops in the evening. Therefore, you need to layer pieces that work together but also look good separately. For instance, if you wear a cardigan and white tank under a peacoat, then they need to look just as stylish and put together without the peacoat.

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Keep it simple.

Keep it simple.

The main pitfall most people make when layering pieces is overthinking the complexity of an outfit. If you’re going to layer, you need to keep it simple. Choose an outerwear piece, a thin middle piece, and then your base. For example, a simple “cool-girl” combination would be a leather jacket, a thin hoodie, and a T-shirt paired with jeans and boots. Don’t make it harder for yourself.

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Neutrals make it easy.

Neutrals make it easy.

Own plenty of neutrals. Whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter, neutral shades make everything easier. Layering with neutrals can really make things better because the tones bring out the statement colors you’ve chosen to wear.

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Pay attention to your silhouette.

Pay attention to your silhouette.

It’s natural to add more layers up top as the weather becomes colder. However, wearing three coats and a scarf with skinny jeans will only make you look top heavy. Balance this out by playing with length, combining longer pieces to create a leaner look.

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Dress for the weather.

Dress for the weather.

Above all, dress for the weather. It doesn’t matter how wonderful you look if you’re freezing your butt off. Look at the weather each morning and dress light to thick. This way you can remove layers as it heats up and put on layers as it gets cold.

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Play with the order.

Play with the order.

You don’t have to do the same shirt-hoodie/cardigan-jacket look every time. By playing with the order you layer your clothes, you can create more visual interest and add variety to your wardrobe. Try wearing a long-sleeved top underneath one with a loose raglan sleeve, three-fourths length sleeve, or a kimono sleeve. However, don’t even think of wearing a long-sleeved top underneath a short-sleeved top. The ‘90s are dead and gone.

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Include fur appropriately.

Include fur appropriately.

Fur vests and jackets add bulk to any outfit, so it’s important to be careful with how you layer fur pieces. Clothing with smaller fur details is great for layering with other warm pieces, and the traditional fur vests should be layered with thinner, longer tops and skinny jeans. When trying to layer fur clothing, keep the silhouette rule in mind.

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Layer light to thick.

Layer light to thick.

Layering light to thick gives you the ability to remove layers as it gets too warm. Nothing is worse than getting your layering perfect and realizing you can’t take off the hottest piece because it’s the base layer.

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Use one color to run through the layers.

Use one color to run through the layers.

You can try multiple colors with layering. You just need to make sure that you use one color that runs through each layer to pull everything together. Let’s say you want to use red, yellow, brown, and cream. As long as red runs through each piece, it’ll layer well. 

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Spend more on some things.

Spend more on some things.

Some pieces are worth spending a little more. Not only do they look less tacky, but they will also last a long time. Many layering professionals suggest that you invest in a good leather jacket in a neutral color like black or brown because it can go with pretty much anything.

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Scarves and hats change everything.

Scarves and hats change everything.

Keeping in mind that you should choose your accessories carefully, you may be surprised how much a hat and scarf changes your look. A hat or scarf is like the cherry on top that pulls the outfit together. We suggest wearing one or the other – not both.

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Comfort is the most important thing.

Comfort is the most important thing.

Above all, don’t wear something you aren't comfortable in. We’re not talking about being too hot or cold (although that’s also important). Wear something that will feel effortless and won’t leave you thinking all day or feeling insecure. Wear what you feel good in.

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Try skirts over dresses.

Try skirts over dresses.

Hear us out. Skirts over dresses can work. Think about the '50s when women would wear an apron over their dress. It looked pretty chic, right? A sheer skirt over a dress can also look stunning. The pattern of the dress shows underneath, and the sheer skirt brings an extra touch of elegance.

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Get inspiration from nature.

Get inspiration from nature.

Isn’t autumn beautiful? You should use the beauty of nature to inspire your look. The different colors and textures can genuinely make a fantastic outfit. We’re talking about rich browns, the reds of the falling leaves, and wool fabrics.

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Get yourself some oversized items.

Get yourself some oversized items.

Buy some oversized items. Fall is about being comfy and cozy, and what produces that effect better than an oversized sweater? Not to mention, buying an oversized jacket, coat, and sweater means you have plenty of space to layer under it.

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Embrace darker colors.

Embrace darker colors.

Don’t be afraid of darker colors! Autumn is the time to wear the stuff you can’t wear during the spring, like plums and dark reds. Whether it’s makeup or just a sweater, embrace the dark side. Er, well, you know what we mean.

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Sheer clothing is your best friend.

Sheer clothing is your best friend.

Sheer clothing is your best friend when it comes to layering. It can go on top of pretty much anything to create a completely different look. Ones with opaque designs are our favorites because it gives a little extra oomph to solid color pieces.

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Dark layers under lighter ones have a slenderizing effect.

Dark layers under lighter ones have a slenderizing effect.

Just as the title says – dark layers under lighter ones can slenderize the way you look. It’s all about where the lines fall. For example, you could wear a black tank, black pants, cream sheer sleeveless blouse, then a taupe jacket.

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Play with textures.

Play with textures.

Along with patterns, you should play with textures. Mixing different textures can add a curated effect to your outfit. You could wear a knit sweater with a denim jacket with ease. Not to mention that using the same material throughout your outfit can create a weighted effect.

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Wear tights under skirts.

Wear tights under skirts.

Just because it’s getting cold doesn’t mean that you can’t wear your skirts and dresses. People forget about tights when fall rolls around because they’re so sheer. Just wear them under your skirts and dresses so you can wear that favorite outfit all year long!

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Use belts to accentuate your shape.

Use belts to accentuate your shape.

Layering can create a square effect, and that doesn’t do many people’s body justice. It can make your body look pretty drab, but a belt will change it. Whether it’s large or small, cinching a belt around your waist shapes your silhouette. Don’t be afraid to use your belt as a statement piece.

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Keep the layers functional.

Keep the layers functional.

Layering started out as a functional thing for cold weather, and everyone should keep this in mind. The layer that’s right up against your skin is the base layer. It should be a fabric that breathes and is comfortable since it’s in contact with your skin. Your outermost player should be something warm, especially if you live in areas where the temperature gets down to single digits.

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Don’t cover up your work.

Don’t cover up your work.

We’re not advocating that you freeze for the sake of fashion. That being said, be careful what you wear. A jacket or coat can easily cover up all of your work. If the weather is cooperative, try not to wear a tunic or something that covers up your hard work. 

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