Posted by: RoddyJones | September 15, 2008

Layering Tips for the Urban Professional

Fashion has many layers – literally and figuratively!

If you think layering is only for the young, the hip, and the adventurous, think again. Layering can also work for the urban professional. It can spruce up those blah casual Friday outfits as well as lets you reuse basic wardrobe staples to create combinations that look completely new, innovative, and edgy.

Give your wardrobe a multi-layered edge and exponentially increase the mixing and matching possibilities of all the clothes that are in your dresser. Here is how to wear layers and still look age-appropriate, respectable, and completely pulled together.

1. Keep it heavy on top but light underneath.
This is a very important principle in layering. Heavier fabrics go on top, lighter fabrics go underneath. Think of your outfit as an onion with many layers. The layer closest to your skin should be that of the lightest fabric. As you work your way out, the fabric gets heavier, bulkier.

You see, when you wear layers, you build up a look. Imagine a polo shirt over a cotton shirt — it’s a look that works. Now invert the picture and imagine a cotton shirt over a sweater — you would look like a retard!

2. Pare down.
Avoid bulk as much as possible When you layer, you pile on several garments one on top of the other. If you choose oversized, bulky articles of clothing, you will not look like you are wearing clothes. You will look like you are wearing padding.

Let’s backtrack a bit and remember what layers are for. The purpose of layering is to create a sophisticated but nevertheless warm look that gives instant pizzazz to your casual outfit. If you pile on pieces that are either too big or too bulky, you will only look like an overstuffed turkey. That, or a quarterback. So, keep it light and choose only the pieces with a tailored fit.

3. Wear layers that flatter and complement each other.
Balance the overall composition of your layers by choosing colors that work well together. When the color palettes of an outfit complement or match, the overall appearance is one that looks polished and very well-coordinated. For example, a beige sweater vest worn over a button-up shirt with beige stripes will integrate the two different articles of clothing together.

4. Pattern with care.
Be careful with patterns. Overdone, they could cause blindness or worse, induce seizures in the people forced to look at your outfit. How do you pattern up without driving everyone’s eyeballs crazy? Start by combining a white button-up with light patterns with a heavily patterned sweater of the same color. If you’re new to the patterning business, pattern on the side of caution. Stick to a safe one-pattern, one-solid ratio. Once you get your patterning groove in full swing, you can then begin to experiment.

There are many advantages to wearing layers. You can create completely different looks with one slip of a garment. You can also use and reuse different pieces in different ways. Give layering a try. If your profession has multiple layers, so should your fashion statements.



  1. Very excellent tips I think – I’m currently sitting at my desk and thinking that many, many, MANY working people could take more heed of these ideas! All in all, great concept for a site!

    P.S. Thank you so much for the lovely compliments on my blog 🙂
    Oh, and I generally use whatever bag I have handy/somewhat matches what I’m wearing – in yesterday’s case twas a little vintage leather backpack, and today it turned out to be my Chanel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: