Hello! ^_^ Earlier this month, I had the honor and privilege of being a guest writer on Her Name Was Celebration. Olivia asked if I could share some layering tips with her readers and I was happy to oblige! Later, it occurred to me that you guys might want to get a glimpse at this info, too. If you're already following Olivia's blog, you can ignore this. Also, if you don't follow her, check her out!
So, where to begin? Haha. Let's start with the outfit above. If you want to see a pictorial step-by-step tutorial, click here. My aim was to create a medley of textures and shapes using fabrics of varying lengths. This is one of my more complicated ensembles. My monochromatic styles tend to be complex, mainly because it is difficult to do an outfit of predominately one color without looking homogenous and boring. You don't want the main color to look flat or one-dimensional. So, I suggest playing around with different shades of the color to create contrast and using different textures to add definition.
Here is another example of a predominately monochromatic outfit, but with comparatively simpler layering. You will notice that I used various shades of brown so that each garment and accessory retained its identity. In other words, the brown garments don't blend together to form a one-dimensional blob. You can see and enjoy their differences. Yet, the colors in combination have a seamless quality.
Brown and black are very safe colors to experiment with when you do any kind of layering. I would suggest starting with those first. However, don't forget that monochromatic styles are inherently difficult, because there is the challenge of making two or more garments of a similar color pop. There is a kind of art to this process that I enjoy, but getting it *just* right can be maddening. It takes practice!
When you're feeling a little more confident (or daring), try adding brighter colors to the mix. In this outfit, I was able to create a nine color ensemble without looking totally insane. Knowing which colors to choose was not easy. It took a lot of thinking, especially since I am not 100% confident in my bright colored outfits. Such outfits are a bit out of my comfort zone. The amount of colors used here may be too many for some people, but I really like how this outfit turned out. It's one of my favorites!
You can see that I played around with textures to make the outfit even more fun to look at. I combined vertical stripes from the scarf, skirt and tights with textured braids in the sweater, mittens and satchel. I'm very detail-oriented, but I feel like you kind of have to be that way when you do layered looks.
So, we've talked about colors, patterns and using garments of varying lengths to add aesthetic interest to a layered outfit. One last thing worth mentioning is choice of fabric. Be mindful of the season! In my layered winter looks, for example, I usually wear cotton and wool. However, I try to be aware of the thickness of the fabrics I am using. You don't want to look like a burrito when you walk out the door. Haha. Sometimes, it's just so cold that the burrito look is unavoidable. I understand. For the most part, though, you can stay warm without adding unnecessary thickness to the outfit. Just practice!
The same goes for summer outfits. You would think that layers are the last thing you would want in hotter months, but it can be done! Take the outfit above, for example. This is a steampunk style I wore over the summer. It was a very hot day, so I opted for light, sleeveless garments and an unlined skirt.
It is totally possible to layer up without getting a heat stroke! Haha. Knowing which fabrics to use and how to layer them is really the trick. I've had people comment on how my layered up styles look warm for the summer time, but you should know that looks can be deceiving! If you emphasize breathable cotton, sheer fabrics and minimal layering with the most aesthetic impact, you can look incredibly cool (and stay relatively dry) even at the hottest time of the year. Again, it just takes practice!
Finally, here is another example of a layered style I wore at a hot time of the year. I used light, wispy and breathable fabrics and played with shapes to make the monochrome outfit more interesting.
I hope you all found this layering style advice useful! If something I said wasn't clear or if you just find yourself with more questions than answers from reading this post, then by all means contact me by email or just leave me a comment. I'm more than happy to chat with you! Thanks for reading! *^_^*