Women's Style Inspiration  / Guide to Layering  / Easy Ways to Layer

Easy Ways to Layer

Nail new-season style with three foolproof formulas.

A navy cardigan, a plaid button-up, an animal-print dress, a white vest and a green jacket.
Find your new favorite must-haves with personal styling.

This time of year, dressing for cooler weather is the last thing on our minds … until the sun goes down and we start to feel that chill in the air. That's why we love layering—it lets you ease back into longer sleeves and hemlines while still incorporating your summer go-tos. It can be tricky to master the art of layering, but when it's done right you're rewarded with equal parts warmth and style. To remove some of the guesswork, our personal stylists built outfits that demonstrate three simple strategies.

An outfit with a blue plaid shirt-jacket, a leopard-print dress, a black turtleneck, a blue beanie, dark brown Chelsea boots and a black bag.

Contrast Your Prints

Layering two patterns makes a strong statement, and it's surprisingly easy to pull off. The key is to choose from complementary palettes. Here, the boldness of the leopard-print dress is tempered by the soft blue hue of the shirt-jacket. It’s all about balancing mild and wild, and then grounding the look with a few neutral pieces.    

Mix Crisp and Cozy

This trick is all about texture and creating contrast. Layering the same texture from head to toe can lack dimension. Here, we’ve taken cooler-weather favorites (a leather skirt, a merino wool cardigan) and lightened them up with a canvas trench and a cotton shirt. This gives us a nice blend of weights and fits, from tailored to more fluid pieces.    

An outfit with a green trench, a navy cardigan with white trim, a light-blue button-up, an asymmetric brown leather skirt, snake-print boots and gold earrings.

Mind Your Hemlines

Proper proportions are important for layering without bulk. The standard is to start with a short underlayer and get progressively longer, but this look flips it for a fresh perspective. We made the longest layer the base, then worked out to a shorter vest and a cropped topper. Straight-leg jeans balance out the lower half.

Find your new favorite must-haves with personal styling.