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It’s almost the season of layering – so let’s get prepared. While the art of layering, at least at face value, might seem as simple as styling a knit underneath a jacket, if you’ve ever found yourself in some cold weather, you’ll know it’s a little more complex than that.
Bunching shoulders, itchy scarves, feeling too hot on your commute, and too cold on your walk home are only half of the issues faced when attempting to wear more items up top than that white tee you donned all summer. Luckily, stylist Toby Standing is on hand with three tips sure to help you wrap up successfully this cold-weather season. Stay warm out there.
Though it might feel counter intuitive, Toby suggests focusing on sleeveless mid-layers that bring plenty of insulation instead of piling on long sleeve after long sleeve. The sleeveless element ensures you don’t bulk out your arms too much (this is where it can look the most obvious).
Padded gilets (or vests) work well for this, because along with that warmth you’re looking for, you won’t look like you’re wearing a muscle suit under your coat. Then, you can choose a classic shape overcoat with shoulder sleeves, or a raglan sleeve, as you won’t have another layer of coat to contend with.
Something to avoid when layering up is assuming that the more-is-more approach is effective and defaulting to wearing layers upon layers to combat the cold weather. You’ll be warm, sure, but at cost: unnecessary bulk which leads you to look like the Michelin Man.
Instead, look for layers that pack a punch in terms of insulation, without bringing the heft with them. For the layers closest to the skin, knitwear made from fibres like merino wool or cashmere work best, as they’re both lightweight (not to mention soft), but still manage to do a solid job of keeping in the heat without feeling sweaty.
The thing with layering is, it’s pretty much exclusively dedicated to your top half – unless you’re a long john kind of guy. But it’s important to balance out the lower half of your look so you don’t come off top heavy. Trousers with a relaxed silhouette are what Toby recommends to get your proportions in check. Also the looser shape actually makes them more insulating as it traps the warm air next to your body more effectively. The more you know.
Words: Yasmine Kennedy
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Toby Standing