Anyone can buy fashion but you cant buy style – you either have it or you dont. But there are some things you can do

Layering 101:  Neutral colours with classic prints and patterns  make for classic combinations

YVES Saint Laurent once said that “dressing is a way of life”. However, choosing what to wear can be confusing and mistakes can be expensive. It is generally expected that a woman should have a sense of style and know how to dress. Truth is, most of us dont. But there is so much more than just getting dressed. 

Style is an innate sense of what works together, an instinct, unfortunately, that doesnt come naturally to all women. It’s the ability to mix and match different prints, patterns, textures and accessories to achieve an outfit that looks good. However, it is not a secret only available to a select few, its a matter of common sense and clever dressing. Its the subtle art of layering, a concept that many women struggle with.

Winter is the time of year when layering is a necessity. And when done well, it is pure genius. (Well, I may be stretching the truth a little, but we are talking about fashion!) 
  Style is very different to fashion. Once you find something that works, own it
Many women are afraid to layer their clothes for fear of looking bigger than they actually are. While logic would suggest that this is true, if you’ve mastered the art of layering this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

There is no right way or wrong way. Its about adding interest, about creating a sense of drama. It’s also about confidence. Your success is measured by how creative you allow yourself to be. Remember that style is very different to fashion. Once you find something that works, own it. However, even the most creative need guidelines

The master of layering, Belgian designer Dries Van Noten, champions the signature style season after season. 
His multi-level layering works on all levels – print, patterns, colour and texture

Before you get started there are six things to consider to help you gain perspective: know your body; understand proportion; be confident with colour; understand prints and patterns; know your textures, and be strategic with accessories.  

But, most importantly, you need confidence. Its the one thing that every woman needs. If you feel good in what youre wearing, youll exude confidence. An outfit, no matter how on-trend, will never be right if it isnt comfortable and doesnt feel like you. But if you feel good in what youre wearing, then youll exude confidence. And ultimately, thats what we all want.

So there is no reason you cant be a style queen. All it takes is a little imagination, some experimentation and the passion to bring it all together. So be bold, be brave and be confident. Knowledge is power, right? 

Classic white shirts provide a great base on which to layer up a selection of knits and coats. 


Before you head to your wardrobe, you need to know your body. A perfectly layered look will complement your curves and create the illusion of a more proportional silhouette.


Balance and proportion are paramount when layering. Think of your body as a triangle. Wider upper body + narrow lower body. Narrow upper body + wide lower body. 

Head-to-toe colour or tone-on-tone is an effective way of elongating the body
Go out on a limb and experiment by mixing three colours together


The best way to create a slim silhouette is to: 

Complementary colours such as black and white are perhaps the most classic of all colour combinations
Layer prints, patterns and textures provided the base colour is the same  


Mixing prints with patterns provides unlimited opportunities to really express your personality. 

Play with textures: Mix with sheer with solid – silk with leather, knits with silk georgettes and ... 
… chunky knits with fine knits, rough with smooth. The choices are endless.


It’s best to incorporate a mix of materials when layering. By wearing the same fabric or texture, you’ll end up looking heavy and dowdy, which will give the appearance of unwanted weight as well.

Strategic use of belts are an effective way to play with proportion. All pictures: Pinterest


The use of accessories continues the concept of creating a continuous vertical line, something you will want to consider if you plan on wearing lots of layers that add bulk. But think of accessories as essentials, not extra pieces.


Okay, so now youve got the basics sorted, its time to start styling. 
  1. Start with a basic lightweight neutral-coloured top. Think classic and plain. Let your top garments do the talking.
  2. Add another layer such as a soft knit – cardigan or jumper – or a floaty overdress or top. This is also a great opportunity to introduce some colour to give your outfit personality or more interest and depth.
  3. Next add top layers such as a jacket or coat. Maybe try something in a base colour – look for classic neutrals such as black, navy or camel – or play with print or texture and colour.
  4. Finally, top off your outfit with accessories – scarves, necklaces or bracelets. But NEVER all of them. 
  5. And finally, do as Coco Chanel once said. Before you leave the house, look in the mirror (preferably a full-length mirror) and remove one thing. 

Do you have a favourite way of layering certain garments? Whats your go-to look for layering? Not sure how to layer like a pro? Let me help solve your problems. Got a problem or a question, drop me a line. You never know, it could prompt another post! 
Stay stylish

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