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How to Create Perfect Layered Outfits (A Beginner’s Guide)

How to Create The Perfect Layered Outfit (A Beginner's Guide)

Layering your clothes is a cold-weather staple to help you stay warm in all kinds of wintery conditions. But did you know you can wear layered outfits all year round? Light clothes and breathable fabrics create chic layered looks even in the spring and summer.

The layered look is a popular look right now on runways and social media alike. In this post, we’re giving you our best tips for learning how to layer outfits yourself. From basic combinations to daring looks you never thought of, you’ll leave this post inspired to start layering every piece of clothing you own.

What is Layering?

Layering is wearing more than one piece of clothing on one part of your body, such as a cropped leather jacket over your tee shirt. It’s not only trendy; it’s a great way to elevate basic outfits while showcasing your personal style.

Layering Tips

Before getting into layered combinations, we need to review some basics. Here are some tips to guide you as you begin playing around with layering.

Know Your Proportions

Layering gets a bad rap for making you look bulkier. But if you know your proportions, you can use layering to balance your silhouette or draw attention away from areas you feel self-conscious about. If you have broad shoulders, wearing a fluffy skirt balances that out. If you have a larger stomach, use layers to bring attention to your neck or legs instead.

Body shapes
Body Shapes via

Use Different Cuts

Layering works best when you combine form-fitting clothes with looser ones, as seen in the next section. But you don’t necessarily have to layer the loose item over the tighter one. A bustier or tank top can also look great with an oversized sweater or flowy dress.

You can also experiment with the necklines of various tops. Mixing and matching different collars and cuts brings interest to your outfit. Consider wearing a round neck under a sweetheart neckline or a collared shirt under a v-neck.

Finish with Accessories

You can also layer accessories. Try including multiple necklaces, a scarf, arm or leg warmers, headbands, and belts. Consider using them in unusual ways, such as wearing a necklace as a belt or socks over tights.

Basic Layering Ideas

These basic layering ideas are easy to pull off, perfect when starting with layering. Use them as inspiration, combining ideas and playing around with different silhouettes to find what you like.

Sleeveless Over Sleeves

Start with a base short or long sleeve shirt. Then add a tank top, corset, or bustier over the top.

Sleeveless over sleeves

Dress and Shirt

There are two ways you can do this. The first way is layering a thin shirt with short or long sleeves under a short sleeve or sleeveless dress.

Dress under shirt

Or you can reverse this and wear a shirt on top of a dress, imitating the look of a skirt. It’s a great way to get more outfits from a few pieces.

Shirt over dress

Sweater Over a Dress

You can also combine a sweater and a dress. Wear it loose over the dress, or add a belt to cinch it in. If it’s an extra light sweater, you can even try wearing it under your dress.

Sweater over dress

Pants With A Skirt

This might seem very 2000s, but using the right pieces makes it a striking look. Try pairing trousers with a long, flowy skirt or skinny jeans with a mini skirt.

Skirt over pants

Double Jackets

Double jackets can help you stay extra warm and stylish in the cooler seasons. Start with a thin, short jacket, then top it with a long, heavy coat. Add a belt at the waist to keep it from looking too bulky.

Double jackets

Button Up Over an Outfit

Start with any outfit you like, then throw on an oversized button-up shirt for interest. Leave it loose, button a few buttons, or tie it to change the look.

Button up outfit

Advanced Layering Ideas

Are you ready to try some more difficult layered outfits? With some practice and confidence, these trendy combos will turn heads wherever you go.

Triple Tops

If you’re ready to take your top game up a notch, try adding a third shirt to elevate your look. You can try wearing a long sleeve top, a short sleeve top, and a corset, or a sleeveless dress, short sleeve shirt, and a cardigan.

Triple tops

Double Skirts

Similarly, try doubling up on your skirt or wearing a skirt under or over a dress. Experiment with different fabric weights and lengths to see what you like best. You can layer two similar-length skirts for a petticoat look or choose vastly different lengths for more of a statement.

Double skirt outfit

Use Scarves

Scarves are versatile accessories you can wrap around your head, waist, or neck. You can wear them as tops or skirts. Play around with different ways to use them in your outfits to add more dimension.

Scarf outfit

Mix Fabrics and Textures

Mixing fabrics, textures, and patterns takes layered looks to a new level. Pair opposite kinds for more interest or similar styles for a more cohesive look. Like always, experiment to figure out what you like the look of.

Mixed fabrics

The best part about layering is there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Use these ideas as inspiration and experiment from there. Play around, and you’ll find the combinations you can make are endless.

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