There’s nothing easier than putting on a suit or two-piece set and not having to worry about whether your complete look is cohesive or not. On the flip side, layering separates can take a lot more time and thought. It seems like one of those skills some people are just born with—but with a little help, it’s one that anyone can master.
We admit, there’s a lot to keep in mind in order to strike the right balance with a layered outfit. But when you break it down, the “rules” aren’t as complicated as you might think. Read on to learn some very straightforward formulas for coordinating color, proportion, and texture in your fall and winter looks. The results are well worth the effort.
Proportion: Form + flow
This formula is probably the easiest to remember. If you go with a big silhouette on top, keep it form-fitting on the bottom, and vice versa. An oversized sweater or blazer looks fantastic paired with skinny jeans. Or, as we’re showing here, a wide-leg pant makes a big statement when layered with a fitted turtleneck and moto jacket.
Color: Primary + pastel
When it comes to combining two colorful separates, the key is to choose from different palettes. Here, the boldness of the royal-blue pant is tempered by the soft pink sweater. It’s all about balancing soft and loud. A lilac blouse and a bright-yellow skirt, for instance, would look equally striking. In any case, always ground the look with a few neutral pieces, like this brown plush coat, subdued green loafer, and oatmeal bag.
Textiles: Crisp + cozy
As with the other looks, this is all about creating contrast. Heavily textured fabrics from head-to-toe can get a little, well, heavy. Here, we’ve taken a few sumptuous pieces (suede shoes, a cashmere cardigan) and balanced them with crisper textiles, including a taffeta trench, cotton top, and stretch jersey trousers. This approach often gives you a nice balance of tailored and softer pieces, which is always a good look.