It’s the most wonderful time of the year once again, don’t we all love the holidays? Sure, finding Christmas gifts can be stressful – especially if you’re not a fan of crowded places – but most of us still love this season despite the “rush” it comes with. Of course, for those in the Northern Hemisphere, the holidays bring the cold and we must do everything we can to protect ourselves from the harsh winter weather: after all, isn’t that what clothing is for?

Keeping yourself warm does not mean you have to forgo your usual stylish self, and that’s where layering comes in. Layering is just what it suggests: you layer on clothes together to keep yourself warm and yet still look good. Successfully creating a layered look isn’t as hard as it sounds if you follow a few simple guidelines. Here are some tips on how you can create that layered look that will surely make you shine during the winter holiday season.

1. Layering clothing with different textures

The texture of a piece of clothing is basically how it feels and this so-called texture comes from two main factors: first, the fabric used to create the clothing and second, the design details that are applied on the clothing.

Fabric comes in many different shapes and sizes. It comes in different sources and is woven in different ways hence the different textures that our clothes have. A good example of a fabric that is known for it’s texture is tweed. The other way clothing gets its texture is through design details that are applied after the fabric has been woven. This comes in the form of embellishments and appliques.

To create a textured layered look, all you have to do is to take different textures and put them together. A sequin embellished skirt worn with layers of wool knit and leather is great for going out. A chiffon dress topped with a tweed jacket and a knit scarf is great for work. If you want more ideas check out Chanel’s Pre Fall 2013 collection, which is filled with interesting combinations of textures from tartan to boucle to silk.

textured layering at chanel
Textured layering at Chanel pre-fall 2013: furry boots, textured tights, soft pettycoat and chunky knits.

2. Layering prints

If you want a bit of quirk for the winter season then you can layer different prints together. Before you do this consider a couple of tips or loose rules you might want to follow, because it can get tricky. First, don’t use the same print too much: plaid on plaid is a bit too festive right? But delicate black and white polka dots with a colorful floral print will work just fine. Second rule is to consider the colors of your prints: don’t combine prints with colors that go well together. Third rule, have fun! Prints are at their most fun and festive when you don’t shy away from using them.

layered prints
Layering prints at Sea pre-fall 2013 and Prabal Gurung pre-fall 2013

3. Layering different coloured clothing

If you’re not one for prints but still want a stylish and creative layered look, then this is for you. Layering different colors is an ode to color blocking which has been a trend for the past few seasons. Color blocking allows you to have fun while still maintaining a bit of seriousness and structure to your look.

This is probably one of the easiest layering techniques, all you have to do is to take different colored pieces together, let’s say a mustard yellow skirt, a hot pink shirt and a navy overcoat or cape and viola! If you want to add more quirk to your look, add some colored tights under your skirt.

multi colour layering
Use of colour in layering at Pringle pre-fall 2013

4. Layering in Monochrome

While some people love color even during the cooler months, some like the a darker more monochromatic look. Fear not, lovers of neutral colors, you can still create a layered look for you and it’s quite simple. All you have to do is to take pieces of different lengths and silhouettes. Even if these pieces come in one color, you’ll still have a layered look. You can all play around with different shades of one color, like gray and black, or various shades of cream and white. A monochrome look can also be transformed by your accessories: sparkles of jewellery or a few pops of colour via your belt or handbag can keep it interesting.

single colour layering
Monochrome layering: keeping it in one colour family at Givenchy fall 2012 and Allude fall 2012

5. Layering with coats and capes

The easiest and fastest way to create a layered look is by simply throwing a coat overs your ensembles. Of course, the best way for this to work is to choose the right coat for your look: coats come in different sizes, shapes and silhouettes, so choose wisely.

There is an alternative to the coat, one that is easier to mix and match with and is perfect for layering because of its looser cut. Capes have been around for centuries but the past few years have made a huge comeback. You can wear them with almost anything, jeans, dresses, long skirts, minis and you can wear them to almost any occasion. The cape gives you that layered look without being constrained and you can even wear them on warmer days. Check out Burberry Prorsum spring 2013: capes for summer? Why not! This just shows how much fun capes are. Of course, they’re also highly practical for winter. Because of their shape, you can even layer multiple capes of varied lengths and colours over one another. A cape can contrast your outfit or keep to monochrome.

cape layering
Layering with capes at Gucci fall 2012

Layering is a kind of reminder as to why clothing was created in the first place: to protect us and keep us safe and warm. For the winter season, though, it’s also a perfect opportunity to get creative with your outfits at the same time. So that being said, may you have a glamorous and gorgeously safe winter holiday season.

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