Whilst out and about at London Fashion Week Men, I came across a colleague who looked great in a t-shirt and mid weight bomber jacket but had seriously underestimated how cold it was and had spent the day freezing. When questioned, I was surprised to hear that he didn’t know how to layer, so here are some ideas on how to stay warm but well dressed this winter.
I was with David Evans from Grey Fox blog who was sporting a suit and shirt with a cardigan as an extra layer. The buttons echo the feel of a waistcoat which makes the cardigan appropriate to wear under a suit and ever so slightly more formal than a sweater. Try a fine gauge one with a smart tailored suit or a heavier knit with a tweed suit for a more casual feel.
Image by Pietro Recchia
My immediate question to my colleague was "why aren't you wearing a sweater over your t-shirt?" It seemed obvious but that was when I discovered his lack of layering knowledge. Try tonal layers eg: a pale blue t-shirt with a dark blue sweater on top and have just a little of the colour of the t-shirt showing at the hem. For really cold days go for a merino wool base layer.
One of my favourite looks is a denim jacket worn underneath another jacket - it could be something smarter such as a blazer. peacoat or tailored overcoat or more casual such as a bomber, parka or duffle. It'll work with almost everything as an extra layer to keep you warm whilst looking cool. ;-)
Image from FashionBeans Pinterest board
I stumbled upon this little trick when I had a bright yellow sweater that had a bit of a run in with the rest of the contents of the washing machine and ended up streaked with other colours! On a particularly cold day I decided to layer it under a navy sweater with just the hem and cuffs showing. It was admired by a friend thinking it was a navy sweater with a yellow trim....aha...success! And very toasty it was too. So if you have a little worn bright fine gauge sweater, instead of relegating it to the back of your wardrobe, try it as a layer underneath a darker one.
Mix tailoring with sportswear for a modern look and an extra layer of warmth in the form of a hoody under a blazer, raincoat or tailored overcoat. Or if you prefer, take inspiration from the Italians and wear a lightweight padded gilet instead.
If wearing a sweater is not smart enough for the look you're going for then try a fitted undershirt instead. Choose a v-neck so it doesn't show under an open neck shirt or a crew neck if you're planning to wear a shirt and tie. Robert Owen have a range in pale blue, white and nude that are perfect to ward off harsh office air conditioning or keep you snug on a particularly chilly day.
If you need help to create a layered look to see you through the rest of winter, then contact me for a Wardrobe Edit to build outfits from your existing wardrobe or a Personal Shopping trip to introduce some new pieces.
"Thanks again for a most enjoyable morning and thanks for these pics – really interesting to see. Certainly lots of food for thought there....it’s very helpful."