How to Layer Clothing in Autumn

Layering in autumn now

Men’s Style Advice on Layering in Autumn

Here in this style advice, we take a look at some inspirational layering technic to make you stay stylish during autumn. Layering is an essential part of dressing properly and although you are already familiar with the term it still pays to get more dress inspiration.

Layering in autumn
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After summer comes autumn and you know what that means for your dressing. Yes, the days of summer shorts and t-shirts at the drinking bar are over and here come the chilling autumn winds. If you want to stay warm all autumn, we have put together some dress inspiration to get you started. These days you have to be tactical in your approach to layering, it’s more than just throwing over an overcoat on a jacket and shirt.

Top Accessory Picks

Driver’s Glove Cashmere Scarf Carhartt Beanie

In other to master the art of layering you have to pay attention to details. Little tips and tricks that can help you stand out from the average layered Joe out there.

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Layering Explained: What is Layering?

If you are new to the terminology, you might want to ask: What is layering? This is not as complex as it may seem as most fashion enthusiast or sartorially aware men would have you think. The act of layering is successively placing clothing over another in a systematic way to provide warmth while remaining stylish. Normally each layered outfit can independently stand on it’s on.

Step by Step Guide on how to Layer Properly

There are three distinct aspects to layering, each completely capable of standing as an outfit on its own. The first layer is known as the base layer, this layer is the starting point upon which all other layers are seated on.

Well layered outfit

The second is the middle layer while the third is the top or final layer. All layers work in tandem to either provide warmth during chilling conditions or keep you stylish.

Style advice: Ask yourself, if you remove any layer from your outfit will the rest look equally good? The trick to layering properly is ensuring that each layer is capable of standing on its own if other layers weren’t present.

Let’s take a look at each layer respectively i.e  base, middle and top layer.

The Base Layer Clothing

The base layers are often made up of lightweight garments, serving as the starting point unto which all other layers rest upon. Whether you are layering for formal or casual wears you need something light at first to start it all off.

Simple polo shirt and coat

Most people start off with a casual shorts sleeve or long sleeve as the base layer. This has the advantage of helping you still look good when you get warm and need to take off all other heavier layers. However, you would want to choose a long sleeve over a short sleeve if you want the base layer to provide a little warmth in chilly conditions.

For formal attires, use cotton or oxford shirt over a synthetic shirt because cotton blended materials are breathable and can ensure you are well aerated with heavy clothing. Synthetic t-shirts can extremely become too hot within; this can make you very uncomfortable. However, there are cases when synthetic bases layers can come in handy.

Top Formal Base Layer Cotton Shirts

Polka Dot Print Goodthreads Mocotono Oxford

For casual base layers, think polo shirts or a regular t-shirt. The collars of a polo shirt can look great if they are well tucked in. Bear in mind that the collars will always be visible no matter how hard you try to hide it so is imperative that you choose the right color of polo shirt to act as a base layer.

Top Polo Shirts: Casual Base Layer

IZOD Nautica Polo Ralph Lauren

The Middle Layer Clothing

The middle layer sits directly on top the base layer. It’s the second layer clothing and the most important of the three layers. For the most part of the day, you will be sitting with the middle layer, so it’s important that you don’t mess this aspect up. Check out some style options below for some inspiration of what to work with.

men wearing sweaters

Just adding an additional shirt on top your base layer t-shirt will do for a casual look for the weekend. This type of middle layer is not the most warmth but most guys use it anyway. A denim shirt over a regular white shirt can work wonders.  If worn rightly, printed shirts can serve the same purpose as the denim.

Top Picks

Diesel William Cashmere State Cashmere

For very cold conditions, use a sweater or a zip-up hoodie over the base layer t-shirt. This middle layer combo is appropriate for casual settings. A middle layer sweater over a base layer polo will add warmth and style because of the fabric and the many color options of a polo and sweatshirt. Natural fabrics like wool and cotton are highly recommended here to help wick sweat away from the body.

For office or formal attire, wearing a sweater over a button-down shirt can make you look sophisticated and unique.

Apart from a sweater, a nice alternative would be a knitted jumper jacket. They are a very nice autumn layering piece. Natural fabrics with neat are best because of the breathability of the fabric. Knitwears are quite heavy, so you might want to use something a little less heavy as the top layer unless if you are really preparing for some pretty cold temperatures.

Top Picks

Layering Knit Jumper with blazers
Layering Knit Jumper with blazers

Blazers look really cool as middle layer clothing during autumn. They are popularly worn over a shirt and under an overcoat by most sartorially savvy gentlemen. It’s the choice clothing combo for bankers, financial business gurus and Wall Street experts. It’s a no-brainer combination.

High quality casual blazers
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The Final/Top layer Clothing during Autumn

Deciding whether or not to use a third layer can depend on a lot of things. Sometimes it might just be used to fight off the cold while most times it might just form part of your dress assembly. As long as you have gotten the basics right you can go ahead and experiment with a third layering.

Third layering with a jacket

The beauty of it is that they are flexible and can be adapted although the day as the occasion demands. The morning might have started with a miserable cold but as the day progresses, heat might have picked up and you will need to remove top layers leaving inner layers that can still look equally as good.

Formal Dress Layering
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In addition to layering, accessories like scarves and a fedora hat can match in seamlessly if combined rightly. For the autumn season, a good cashmere scarf and a nice fedora hat for men can be the accessory addendum that polishes of a well-layered dress combo. As regards to the right belts to wear, I’d stick with the regular black and brown belts and try as much as possible to match them with my shoes.

layering with an overcoat and scarf

Style tip: For the scarf and hat accessory, try using a dark or black knitted scarf and hat. These colors are very versatile and will match well with most outfit combination.

Finally, the most popular used top layerings are jackets and overcoats. You should pay close attention to the kind of jacket or overcoat you buy since they are quite expensive to purchase. Look for jackets or overcoat that are versatile and can match most of your dresses in your wardrobe. Unless you intend to match particular dress combos you can experiment with other less versatile overcoats and jackets.

Top Third Layer Choices

Benibos Legendary Whitetails DKNY

For casual outfits, a weighty bomber jacket will do just fine while formal attires would require outwears that fit in formally. Think trench coats, pea coats and overcoats over a blazer or suit. However, ensure that the overcoat are tailored to fit with enough space within for the middle and base layers.

Men’s Layering Inspiration

Smart look layering Style Examples

Smart layering refers to formal layering best suited for the office environs. The best top layering to use are overcoats either trench or pea coat style. Sometimes a duffle coat might be considered. The major style tip to highlight is that the overcoat must be longer than the blazers. Check out the style inspiration below for examples of smart layering, notice how each layer can stand out independently from one another.

Smart look layering style

Casual look layering Style Examples

For casual layering, as discussed above the best options for a top layer are bomber jackets and hoodies. Why not breaking the bank, there are good zip-up hoodies that are appropriate for casual layering. Mix thing up with a denim jacket, a stylish jeans trousers, and experiment with a casual hat accessory.

Casual layering look for autumn
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Smart-Casual layering Examples

Smart Casual is a blend between formal/smart and casual outfit. Pulling off the smart casual outfit can be very tricky. Attempt it only if you know exactly what you are doing. You can start with a cotton white shirt as the base mixed up with a knitted jumper jacket and dark blue jeans. Combine with a versatile overcoat to finish off the smart-casual look.

layering collection

How to Layer Clothing During Autumn in a Nutshell

  • Normally you only need three layers although some people can opt for more.
  • Keep thing simple.  When it comes to layering try not to go overboard as this might make you look sloppy.
  • There are three main layer levels i.e. Base layer, middle layer and final/top layer
  • The Base Layer. This is the layer unto which all other layers seat. Your starting point. Pick simple clothes with enough breathability.
  • The middle layer. The middle layer seats directly on the base layer and is home to heavier clothing than the base.
  • The Final/Top layer. The top layer crowns the autumn dressing up. It seats directly on the middle layer. This is where Overcoats like trench coats, pea coats, duffle, jumper jackets and hoodies are useful.
  • Finally:  When layering for autumn make sure you layer in such a way that the layers can stand on their own and still look good. Use accessories like scarves, homburg hats or sunglasses as the case may be to spice things up.

In conclusion

Autumn comes with cold mornings, warm afternoons and cold evenings, this presents the best opportunity to practice layering in preparation for wild weather swings. Consider the materials you will use for layering, synthetic fabrics might not offer much breathability, this will make you get hot very quickly. Use them for extreme cold conditions. Make sure you are going to look equally as good when you take off that which you intend to remove later in the day.

Here you have it, go on with your layering and still look good.


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