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MENSWEAR DIARIES: HOW TO LAYER FOR AUTUMN

06.10.15

It’s autumn, therefore for your wardrobe it’s all change. Even if you’re not quite ready to retire your lightweight bomber jackets and trusty chinos to sartorial exile, the weather waits for no man. So, on that fateful day when you suddenly realise that middling temperatures will no longer sporadically jump, and that autumn's frosty bite has bitten and isn't letting go, make sure that you’re ready to take on the worst of the weather with style. This week’s Menswear Diaries is full of tips on how to best tackle layering this season.

It’s non-negotiable. Even the most steadfast of men will at some point be required to layer in the coming weeks and months. And, though the need arises like clockwork year after year, rapid changes in men’s style ensure that there’s fresh confusion when autumn arrives in its crisp yet cheerful manner.

Why layer? Well, aside from the obvious insulating benefits, layering’s appeal is multifold. Ideal for showcasing your own nuanced take on style, layering enables you to get the most out of your clothes and lets the very same garments take on dramatically different guises when worn in a variety of ways. What’s more, when effectively layered you’ll be ready to take on both wintry chills on your morning commute and mid-afternoon bursts of sunshine alike.

Where to start? Well, taking heed of the below rules is a good place to begin.

START FROM THE INSIDE OUT

When approaching layering it’s important to start with the basics. That means starting from the foundations of your outfit and building your look garment by garment, and not vice versa which is often the case. This way, it's easier to remove or add layers as the temperature dictates.

INCREASE THE WEIGHT OF YOUR FABRICS

With very few exceptions it's best to begin your layering by drawing on lighter fabrics (a cotton t-shirt, a chambray shirt) adding a thicker garment (a knitted shawl collar cardigan will do) and finishing with a heavier fabric (such as a shearling jacket). Why? Because thinner fabrics will sit more pleasingly beneath heavier layers, ensuring that your clothes hang in the most flattering possible manner.

KEEP YOUR OUTFIT BALANCED

When layering, be sure to stand back and regularly check how your outfit's silhouette appears in the mirror. As layering tends to be top heavy, make sure that your top half isn't disproportionately bulky when viewed in unison with your lower half. If it is, lose a few layers.

WEAR MOSTLY NEUTRAL LAYERS

Increasing the number of layers that you wear unfortunately means increased opportunity for spectacularly ill-judged colour combinations. By utilising layers in neutral hues (black, navy, grey) you'll be able to experiment with carefully placed accents of colour and pattern easily while remaining on the right side of tasteful.