As summer draws to a close and fall rolls around again, it’s hard not to get excited. Not only can we look forward to a bit of relief from hot temperatures, but the changing seasons mean colorful leaves, cozy fireplaces and pumpkin-spice everything. Another reason autumn is exciting? Fashion. From boots to chunky sweaters to scarves, fall fashion is all about staying warm – but not too warm – and that can only mean one thing: layering. If you aren’t sure of the best way to layer clothes as the season changes, you’re in luck. Here’s how to layer clothes like a pro this fall:
Layer clothes from thinnest to heaviest
This is one of the most important rules of layering: Start with light fabrics and fitted styles, and add heavier and looser styles as you go. Here’s an example: a plain cotton T-shirt under a fitted cardigan under a light jacket. This rule is so vital because it keeps the layering from looking to bulky and doesn’t give you a shapeless figure.
Experiment with proportions
When you layer clothes, you want to keep in mind the basic rules of proportion that come into play no matter what season you’re dressing for. For one thing, try not to wear loose-fitting, voluminous or bulky items on both your upper and lower body. For instance, if you’re wearing an A-line skirt, you could layer a fitted V-neck sweater on top of a button-up shirt on your top half, whereas a large, chunky cable-knit sweater may look more proportionate with slim-fitting pants.
Play with textures
When layering multiple garments in a single outfit, add some visual interest by playing with textures. As the weather gets cooler, you have many more fabric options to choose from (denim, knit, flannel, cotton, etc.), so this should be easy. Pair a knit sweater with a denim jacket, for example.
Use wardrobe staples as a base
If you’re just starting to experiment with layering clothes, take a look in your closet and make sure you have plenty of basics. Things like T-shirts, tank tops, button-up shirts, jeans, tights and leggings can all be used as foundations for your layered outfits, so stock up on those.
Transition your summer clothes
Believe it or not, you don’t have to pack up your summer clothes as soon as the temperatures start going down. In fact, almost anything you wore over the summer can be layered to transition into fall. Try wearing shorts, dresses or skirts over tights and boots, rather than with bare legs and sandals as you’re doing now. Toss a long cardigan over a summery dress to make it a little more fall-weather appropriate or even layer a long-sleeved shirt underneath.
Layer accessories on top
Finally, don’t forget the accessories when you layer clothes. There are two in particular that make great additions during the fall: scarves and belts. Scarves add style, but they’re also practical – even thinner ones can keep your neck and chest warm in the cold air. Belts are a great way to give yourself some shape, even when you’re wearing multiple layers. Just toss a belt around your middle to define your waist.