The British Spring is fickle. Temperatures rise and fall dramatically even in one day. The trick to beating the chill and avoiding overheating later in the day is to layer your clothing. At the same time adding several hemlines and necklines adds dimension to your look. Layering lets you play with colour and shape to create casual and chic styles.
Start with close-fitting items so the effect doesn't get too bulky. Use the foundation of an elegant silhouette which is still seen beneath a flowing over-sized shirt or tunic. Extra long button up shirts are ideal for layering under knitted vests or a crew neck sweater with the collar showing. Pull the cuffs down to show below the sweater sleeve. Polo necks fit under most things and meet that form-fitting criteria. They are wonderful under jumpsuits or spaghetti strap dresses.
Layering enables you to experiment so many aspects of fashion including colour and pattern, texture and fit. Consider a pale pink shirt under a red sweater, a tiny floral print under a bold statement piece.
Scarves, shawls and ponchos give so much flexibility when the weather changes from cool and overcast to warm sunshine. They can really brighten up an outfit. Even a lightweight scarf keeps your neck and shoulders warm just by trapping a layer of air. It can really brighten up a formal blazer adding colour to the face.
Contrasting textures add so much interest. Choose two or three fabrics in one outfit, cotton, denim and wool combine well. Spring gives you a chance to get creative with combining summer items with winter ones, for example a summer dress with a chunky knit or wool coat. Balance the amount of each texture. Denim jeans would make up 50% of a look, a woolen vest 30 and cotton shirt sleeves 20%.
When you are layering the fit and size of the different items as well as textures, there is a lot going on before you consider colour. Sticking to one colour family keeps the ensemble chic and elegant. For example, beige and camel tones look smart and sophisticated. Monochrome doesn’t have to be just black and white. Various shades of blue combine to give a sophisticated, pulled together look.
Keep in mind your own body proportions when selecting oversized items. Taller women can pull off oversized sweaters with baggy jeans but this might swamp a shorter person. You want the clothes to complement your form, not let them wear you! Be careful of adding more than 2 oversized items into the look.
Belts are key to keeping definition in a layered look. Don’t be afraid to add one over a blazer or coat or chunky sweater. Belts can instantly emphasise your curves in a positive way. They can also hold several different pieces in place.
Have a play and experiment in front of the mirror to see what suits your body proportions. Let layering be fun.