4 Ways to Layer

Think texture, proportion and color—here’s how to master the mix.

Men's grey tee, plaid shirt, orange tee, brown button-down, maroon button-down, brown parka, navy pullover and brown jacket.
Find your new favorite must-haves with personal styling.

Spring is on the way ... but we have some weird weather to get through first. With rain one second and sunny skies the next, choosing what to wear is a guessing game, and dressing for either extreme will most likely let you down at some point during the day. The better bet is to channel your inner Boy Scout and be prepared for anything. Luckily, layering can help you accomplish this without much time or effort. And the layered look isn't just practical—it can be stylish too, if you follow a few simple guidelines.

First and foremost, we aren't talking about piling on everything warm in your wardrobe. Layering is all about your upper half, and it comes down to the key three: undershirt, middle layer and topper. Where you take it from there depends on your personal style. These four tips are a great starting point. Used individually or in combination, they offer a foolproof formula for outfits that will keep you comfortable now and take you right into spring.

Men's graphic hoodie, grey tee, maroon button-down, green pants, brown beanie and tan sneakers.

Mix Your Textures 

A variety of materials and weights creates dimension as well as warmth. Think thinner to thicker and lighter to heavier as you work your way out. This keeps it comfortable and functional—the most breathable layer stays next to your skin, while heavier, more durable pieces protect you from the elements. This look starts with an instant-favorite T-shirt, topped with a soft hoodie and a utilitarian jacket in a rugged wool blend.

Keep Things in Proportion

To avoid bulking up too much, make sure every layer is a little longer than the one beneath. Here, we're using a hoodie as our base. Throw on an unbuttoned flannel for a laid-back look, and top it all off with a long, rain-ready jacket. (Bonus points for the waxed-cotton finish on this one, as it adds textural impact.) The jacket's length keeps the outfit sleek, so we balanced it out with casual cargo pants. 

Men's brown parka, plaid shirt, yellow hoodie, black cargo pants and multicolored sneakers.
Men's navy pullover, orange and turquoise jacket, orange t-shirt, brown shorts, green backpack and brown hiking shoes.

Color It In

Pops of color are exactly what we need as the winter dies down, and layering lets you build a whole look around that idea. Splashes of yellow give this outfit some solar power, starting with the long-sleeve T-shirt. Accents on the middle layer and rain jacket carry the color through, and the backpack adds a nice contrast. See—sporty can be stylish.

Go Monochrome

On the other end of the spectrum, picking one color and keeping all the pieces consistent makes a confident statement. You can choose any hue, but rich, warm neutrals are always a good option. We started with a classic button-up and steered it casual from there with a cozy fleece topper and accessories that echo the same shade.

Men's brown jacket, brown button-down, brown cargo pants, brown hip pack, brown beanie and brown sneakers.
Find your new favorite must-haves with personal styling.