Mastering the Art of Layering

By Rumbie Dzimba

Transition seasons are always the most difficult to dress for as the weather can change at any time during the day. The worst experiences in my books are when people dress up in boots and buttoned up melton coats just because there was a bit of grey cloud when they woke up. Well, I won’t blame you completely for your choice of clothing, cause I’m sure you’ll be kicking yourself come midday when the sun comes out full on. Rather, let me assist you with a few tricks that could save your dress style as we transition into winter.


It’s the age old trend of layering – we have all done it, and still do it – but probably just didn’t know it has a name.

What is layering?
Layering is a term used to describe a way of dressing using many items of clothing worn on top of each other to give you one look. The idea with layering is to top up as much as is relevant to then allow you to remove as much as is non-relevant.

How to Layer – well it’s pretty simple – pile on the clothes!
Layering has 3 core components:
1.    The Base Layer – this is at times referred to as the underwear layer as it is the very first layer of clothes you put on your body. Its purpose is to remove sweat from your skin. Clothing items in this layer are your vests, tees, blouses or shirts.
2.    The Middle Layer – referred to as the insulating layer – this layer retains body heat in order to protect you from the cold. Items that fall in this category are sweaters, cardigans, pullovers, thicker fabric shirts, jackets e.g. made of corduroy or denim.
3.    The Outer Layer – also known as the shell layer – this layer shields you from the wind and the rain. This is the topmost layer and is composed of clothing made of thick, durable fabric. Items such as overcoats and thick woolen coats are for this layer.


Key fundamentals to remember when layering:
1.    Choose the right inner layers – ensure fabric is light enough and does not overlap
2.    Wear outer layers that can easily be removed
3.    Coordinate your outfit well so it looks complete with all the layers or with some layers off
4.    Combine your colors and fabrics well – pre-layer your clothes on the bed to see if your choices work together.
5.    Match your pieces – this applies not only to color but to prints as well.

As always, the golden rule – have fun with the process.! Dressing up is a fun experience so don’t think too hard about it. And if you miss – well, just look at it as though you are starting a new fashion trend.





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