As a child I grew up on the prairies where layering it up in the winter is an art learned very early in life. Of course that layering was for warmth so your fingers or toes didn't fall off on the walk to school. Or so that you could remove a layer at a time if it warmed up. Or during early morning skating when the rink was often colder than the outdoor air when you arrived for 6am practice.  You need enough layers to be warm but also be light enough to actually skate/move. And then when you got moving you needed to be able to remove layers. Those were the days when I wore leg warmers because I actually needed leg warmers... not like the 80s (but that is another story).

Somehow as I grew up I had a memory of layering being bulky. Or preppy. That probably comes from layering too many Izod Lacoste and buttoned-down shirts in the 9th grade.  The short of it that I had become a rather traditional layerer over the years. A collared shirt under a v-check sweater. A t-shirt under a cardigan. And maybe a blazer or jean jacket on top.

In the past few years I have begun experimenting with longer sleeve items under short sleeves. But again the collars were usually pretty traditional.

This fall I started seeing more and more pictures of layering things under t-shirts. A Lands End catalog got me to start playing more with some of my striped t-shirts over collared shirts. As I played it sort of became the theme for my fall wardrobe.

Here is a 3/4 length sleeve Banana Republic black collared shirt, under an Anthropologie graphic t-shirt. With a sweater thrown over for warmth (on the bottom - unseen- I have my asymmetrical Kiyonna skirt, red tights and high black Camper boots). I suspect my husband was not aiming for this blurry artsy type shot, but that is what we got all the same.

Layering It Up

Layering It Up

I also tried a similar combination, same Banana Republic black collar shirt under a scoop neck black and white striped t-shirt and a bold necklace from Plum under a jean jacket. None of these layers are bulky and they are somehow more interesting than traditional layers.

Serious Selfie for Layering it Up.

Serious Selfie for Layering it Up.

Less Layered Selfie

Less Serious Selfie

I would NEVER have tried a necklace over a collar a few years ago.

I tried a collar under a crew neck last week (inspired by this post over at You Look Fab - and yes now I want that striped blouse). I added a polka dot tunic under a grey crew neck tunic style t-shirt. Both tops had a long silhouette and they looked great over leggings. Alas I did not get any pictures.

And here is the white shirt I layered under a sparkly top for Christmas eve.

IMG_3817 (2)

I have had a few disasters along the way. And picked up a few tips.

  1. Shirts with stiffer collars work better.  This is especially important if you want to add a necklace over the shirt.
  2. If the shirt you hope to wear on the bottom has a tendency to ride up, pick a different shirt for the bottom layer. It is not polite to constantly be reaching up under top layer to yank down the bottom one.
  3. Give yourself a few extra minutes in the morning or try on the different layers the night before. Sometimes you don't know how things will look/feel until you have them on.
  4. Make sure the 2nd layer has a slim silhouette. I tried a loser fit boat neck striped shirt over a polka dot tunic and my husband said I looked like his German Great Grandmother. I understand she was a wonderful woman, but not the look I was going for. I changed - see tip #3.
  5. Being good at ironing is not required. I am lousy at ironing. But when you wear a collared shirt under something else all that needs to look flat is the collar and the ends of the sleeves. :)

Have you had any success or disaster stories layering?

Linking up with Not Dead Yet Style Visible Monday and Mom Trends Monday Mingle.