Layering 101: Transitional Style

Written by Dan | 16/02/2024


Ever looked at someone in the street and wondered how they managed to look so effortlessly cool? Well, chances are, he’s mastered the art of layering. At Mainline Menswear, we’re all about helping you bring out your inner style icon. So, buckle up and get ready for some layered outfit ideas.


A selection of layering options

What is Layering?

Wearing layers is a great way to add interest and dimension to your outfit. It involves wearing multiple layers of clothing, with each layer peeking out from underneath the one before it.

The layered look can be achieved with a variety of different garments, but some of the most popular options for layering are shirts, sweaters, jackets, and scarves. By layering clothes, you can create a stylish and unique look that will keep you warm through unpredictable weather.


Layers from CP Company

Starting Off: The Base Layer

Layering starts with a solid base. This is typically something lightweight and breathable. A cotton crew neck T-shirt from Ralph Lauren or a long-sleeved T-shirt from BOSS Business could be your go-to.

Remember, comfort is key here. If you’re not comfortable in your base layer, the rest of the outfit won’t feel right. The base is an essential layering piece that not only provides a solid foundation but also helps regulate your body temperature in cold weather.

Shirt Layering: The Middle Layer

Next, we move on to the middle layers. This should be slightly heavier than your base but still relatively thin. Think along the lines of a flannel shirt from Barbour International or a light cotton sweatshirt from New Balance. These pieces provide extra warmth while keeping your outfit stylish and versatile. Shirt layering has become a popular trend, so don’t be afraid to mix and match different patterns and colours.

Shirts and outer layers

Sealing the Deal: Outer Layers

The outermost layer is where you can really start to show off your style. This layer should provide the most warmth and can vary depending on the weather. A denim jacket from Dsquared2, a wool sweater from Emporio Armani, or a winter coat from EA7 are all fantastic options.

Experimenting with Textures and Patterns

Textural interplay is crucial in layering. Different fabrics with different weights and finishes can create an interesting visual effect. For instance, a chunky knit jumper from Fred Perry layered over a striped shirt from Timberland or under a jacket from Paul Smith can add texture and visual interest to a stylish outfit.

When it comes to patterns, don’t be afraid to mix and match. Just remember to stick to items in the same colour family and vary the size and scale of the prints.  A checked flannel shirt from Barbour paired with a striped sweater from Tommy Hilfiger can add depth and dimension to your layered look.

Incorporating Colours in Layering

The art of layering isn’t just about textures and patterns, it’s also a canvas for colour play. Colours can dramatically alter the vibe of an outfit, taking it from subdued to vibrant, or from playful to sophisticated. When layering, stick to a consistent colour palette for a harmonious look.

You might start with a white T-shirt as your base layer, add a navy blue V-neck sweater as your middle layer, and finish with a khaki shirt jacket as your outer layer. Each layer subtly builds on the colour of the previous one, creating a pleasing visual hierarchy. Remember, the key is balance – if you opt for darker colours in one layer, consider subtle tones for the rest to avoid an overwhelming effect.


Interesting layer choices

Accessorising for Added Style

Accessories are the cherry on top when it comes to layering. A scarf, beanie, or gloves can provide extra warmth and add a personal touch to your outfit. Opt for a patterned scarf from Ted Baker or a classic beanie from Barbour to add some flair to your look.

Layering Ideas for Different Occasions

This styling technique is not just reserved for casual outfits. It can also work for more formal occasions. For example, wearing a tailored jacket over a knit sweater and dress shirt can elevate your office attire. Or layering a turtleneck under a suit jacket can add sophistication to your evening wear.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Layering

Before we wrap up, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

  • Do experiment with different textures, patterns, and colours.
  • Do make sure each layer is visible and not hidden completely.
  • Do pay attention to proportion – balance out bulkier layers with slimmer ones.
  • Don’t wear too many layers – two to four are usually enough.
  • Don’t go too heavy on fabrics, especially in warmer weather.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match pieces from different seasons or styles.

Remember: Less is More

Layering is all about balance. While it’s fun to experiment with different styles and textures, remember that less is more. You want to avoid looking visually cluttered. So, when you’re layering shirts, knits, and jackets, keep the overall look cohesive. A cotton dress shirt, a cable-knit sweater and a wool-blend coat can create the perfect layered outfit for a cool, crisp day.

Final Thoughts

The beauty of layering lies in its versatility and adaptability. It allows you to transition seamlessly from a chilly morning to a warm afternoon and back to a cool evening. So take these tips, play around with your wardrobe, and wear layers that reflect your style.

And remember, whether you’re looking for a simple cotton T-shirt, a stylish denim shirt or a luxurious wool sweater, Mainline Menswear has got your back.


Layer like a pro with Mainline Menswear



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