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A guide for layering sleeveless dresses

woman wearing an animal print and black jacket

When summer turns into fall, those sleeveless dresses we loved so much during the warm months aren’t as wearable anymore, right? Wrong! Layering is a key method for transitioning your wardrobe from hot temperatures to cooler ones, and it’s an especially effective way to continue wearing that sleeveless sheath dress you love and any other sleeveless frocks you have in your closet. In fact, there are tons of layering options for your dresses, which means you can get a variety of different outfits out of just a few pieces of clothing. Need a little inspiration? Here’s a guide to layering those sleeveless garments this season:

A blazer or jacket

Do you wear your sleeveless dresses to work? How about out for happy hour? If so, pair one of them with a blazer or jacket. There are tons of styles of blazers for women, many of which look flattering and professional when worn over a dress. Opt for one with a hemline that hits at or above your hips along with a cinched waist for an instant hourglass figure. For chilly fall evenings, switch your blazer out with a cool, stylish jacket. Whether you’re a cool leather jacket kind of lady or you prefer something a bit more polished, the overall effect will be trendy and sophisticated.

woman wearing an animal print and black jacket

A classic button down

And speaking of sophisticated, layering a button-down blouse underneath your dress is another way to look polished and professional. Quick tip: Make sure the shirt is fitted so that it doesn’t create any bulges or wrinkles underneath your dress. If you’re feeling a bit more fashion-forward, pair your dress with a blouse that has a tie neck – the addition of the bow at the dress’s neckline is charming.

a black button down shirt

A fitted tee

If you like the idea of laying underneath your dress, opt for a fitted three-quarter- or long-sleeved tee. These offer a slightly more casual look, while keeping your arms warm and your outfit stylish. There are even flattering undershirts with sheer sleeves specifically made for this purpose! Keep in mind that layering underneath a dress works best when the dress has a high neckline – that way, the necklines of both garments won’t clash.

woman wearing a berry colored top

A cardigan

Whatever outfit you’re wearing, you can’t beat the layering power of a cardigan. When pairing one with a sleeveless dress, you have a couple of options. For a more professional style, choose a fitted cardigan with a hemline that hits right at your hips. For a more casual weekend look, go for something long and loose. Feeling trendy? Wear a knee-length cardigan to stay fashion-forward this season.

woman leaning against a wall wearing a cardigan

A pullover

Make a faux skirt out of your sleeveless dress by pairing it with a pullover sweater! Be careful with this, though. If the skirt of the dress is voluminous and you pair it with a bulky knit sweater, it could add the appearance of a few extra pounds. Instead, pair your heavier knits with fitted dress styles.

woman wearing a yellow peplum top

Tights

And finally, it wouldn’t be fall without a few fashionable pairs of tights! Keep your legs warm by wearing tights under your sleeveless dresses. Complete the look with a pair of boots or some loafers, and you’ll be ready for anything.

 legs wearing tights

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