How To Get The Layered Look Right

After looking through this blog post of all sorts of beautifully (and expertly) layered folks on the street, I came to the following sartorial realization: creating a slim and cohesive layered look ain’t all that easy. (Though this girl, above, certainly makes it look that way!) So many people (myself included sometimes) end up with big, bulky outfits that look disheveled, and not artfully so. So I figured it was high time we passed on a few layering tricks and tips—it’s all about balance, color and texture. Check out all 10 after the jump, and if you have any fail-safe methods for looking chicly layered, I’m dying to hear!

  1. Stick to similar color families. See how, in the picture above, she rocks out various shades of blues and browns? It pulls all the separate pieces together.
  2. Change up the textures. One way to add interest to your look is with different fabrics and textures. I love her houndstooth coat and woolly tights!
  3. Only one chunky layer per outfit. Rocking a heavy, thick sweater or a big faux fur vest? Everything else should be thin cotton or skinny silhouettes.
  4. Vary your hemlines, necklines and sleeve lengths. Part of getting the layered look right is seeing each piece poking out from under whatever is on top. If one shirt is collared, throw on a scoop neck underneath and a hoodie over it, that way you’ll be able to easily visually distinguish each layer.
  5. Balance, balance, and balance. Going with loads of layers on the top part of your body? Stick to one piece on your bottom and vice versa.
  6. Keep makeup low-key. In this case more is just more. Don’t try to load on the eye shadow to compete with your clothes.
  7. Dresses offer prime opportunity to layer. Think over and under. Got a short-sleeved work dress? Go long and silky underneath. Or try a cardigan and a vest over top.
  8. Take more than just one piece of jewelry off before leaving the house. Unless you are looking to emulate the Olsen Twins’ madcap homeless look circa 2004, don’t overdo it with the bracelets and necklaces.
  9. Don’t be afraid of patterns. There’s nothing chicer than just a hint of a print—if you’re not feeling super adventurous, make your patterned piece one of your under layers.
  10. Add a scarf—it counts!