5 Rules for Layering Clothes this Fall | JoS. A. Bank
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5 Rules for Layering Clothes this Fall

Jos. A. Bank | 5 Rules for Layering Clothes


With the fall season approaching, it's time to put away your linen pants and polo shirts and start thinking about layers. Layering is the perfect way to combine your favorite garments while showcasing your personal sense of style. It is also practical to have an extra layer for those autumn mornings that you can remove once the afternoon heats up and then put back on in the cooler evenings. Follow these five general layering rules to maximize comfort, warmth and style this fall.

Rule #1: Start with the thinnest layer

The closer to your skin, the thinner the material. Start with a thin, moisture wicking under-layer followed by your favorite dress shirt or sport shirt. Next, a lightweight sweater or cardigan loose enough to slip over your sport shirt is the perfect middle layer. Following this logic, the outermost layer is the thickest layer. Peacoats, wool overcoats and trench coats are meant to be long enough to cover all the layers beneath them while remaining loose enough to allow for multiple inner layers.

Rule #2: Don't sacrifice comfort

Layering the wrong clothes can make you unnecessarily look like the Michelin Man. The goal of layering is to wear practical, lightweight layers that add levels of warmth in colder weather but don't inhibit movement or comfort. Also, just because a garment is thick does not mean it will keep you warm. It is better to have multiple layers of thin garments than one thick garment. Air actually becomes trapped between the layers of clothing and acts as additional insulation as your own body temperature warms the air.

Rule #3: Add some variety but keep it simple

Dropping temperatures don't mean you have to put away your colorful clothing. Navy, gray and brown are all great fall colors but don't be afraid to mix in a little purple, green or even orange. The key is to be subtle with your mix of color by limiting yourself to one or two pieces. Try pairing a burgundy cashmere v-neck sweater with a patterned sportshirt and either tan, navy or black dress pants. Burgundy is a color that is highly versatile, flattering and appropriate for the fall season.

Rule #4: Scale your patterns and textures

Wear your patterns from lightest to strongest. For instance, a tweed or patterned overcoat looks best with a subtle sports jacket and solid color collared shirt. Likewise, a plaid sportshirt should be worn with a light color sweater or cardigan followed by a smooth, dark blazer. No matter which direction you choose, the idea is to have a gradual change in patterns and textures from inner to outer pieces.

Rule #5: Never underestimate the power of accent pieces

Accent pieces not only finish off your look but also add another layer of warmth and comfort. A cashmere or merino wool scarf adds a strong element of style while keeping your neck warm as you travel from home to the office. Hats and gloves may not be necessary in the office but can add personality and warmth to your to-and-from-work attire.

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