Layering in 3 Fool-Proof Steps Look put together with almost no effort

If there’s one thing gentlemen like about dressing up more than anything, it’s adding layers to an outfit. Adding layers gives a look more depth, more color, and often times, more texture. As temperatures drop, it becomes more necessary to do so. Eventually, form and function need to find a middle ground. One needs to layer to keep warm, but still look presentable. Ideally, the outfit should still look complete as layers are added or removed. But how does one go about doing that?

1. Base Layer

3 simple steps to layering base layer

The first step to any layered look is the bottom-most layer–the one closest to your person. This is essentially what you’ll be wearing when the sweater and coat come off, so think of your base layer as your main outfit for the day. Depending on where you’re heading, you’ll want something more or less breathable. If you’re going to be indoors, and you know it’ll be warm, go with a lighter shirt, like cotton. Otherwise, stick to wintery fabrics, like a flannel or twill shirt. If the weather outside is unforgiving, consider adding something like a thermal first and foremost, underneath the base layer.

2. Mid Layer

3 simple steps to layering mid layer

Next up should be some kind of sweater or lighter jacket. The type of sweater you pick depends on the look you’re aiming to achieve. For example, if you want to venture toward business casual, go for a cardigan or a pullover with a nice collar. If you’re going for a more functional look, or just more insulation, think along the lines of a fleece or puffer jacket. Either way, this will be the layer that retains heat. However, don’t expect your mid layers to be enough to protect your from rough weather, such as wind and rain. For more extreme weather conditions, that’s where the next and final layer comes in handy.

3. Shell

3 simple steps to layering shell layer

This layer brings it all together. This layer is your protection from the elements–wind, rain, snow, what have you. Additionally, a shell will help the layers beneath retain heat more efficiently. The type of jacket or coat you choose to wear should be determined by the weather. Something like a peacoat will emphasize insulation and wind protection, but provide minimal rain protection. Conversely, something like a trench coat will sacrifice extra insulation for added rain protection.

Style Tips:

Color

3 simple steps to layering color

Because cold weather colors happen to be on the muted end, working with them can be easier than with brighter summer or spring colors. There are certain colors, like navy, khaki , and gray, that have endless possibilities during any season. You can layer them in any order, and it’s hard to go wrong. Between fall and winter, stick to colors like rust orange, olive green, brown, and burgundy, in addition to the aforementioned 3. Play with them to figure out what you like, and what makes you feel the most comfortable.

Texture

3 simple steps to layering texture

The beauty of cold weather fabrics rests in their unique textures. The thicker fibers and intricate fabric patterns can make for very interesting layering. Simply remember to keep thin layers closest to your body, and work your way out toward the thicker ones. For example, try out a cotton shirt as your base layer, a cashmere or cable knit wool mid layer, and a tweed or herringbone coat for your shell. Some combination like this will provide instant warmth, protection, and dynamic style.

Figuring out what works for you is very much a trial-and-error process. Play with different textures and color, and don’t be afraid to experiment with items that you’re not sure will work well together. For inspiration, look through the internet, surf your social media channels, and ask your friends for feedback. Before you know it, you’ll be blowing through the elements in style.