Hello, Monday! I’m glad you’ve dropped in for a little style inspiration today. We’re continuing our Oh So Pulled Together mini-series with our fourth style formula. As you may have guessed, I’m going to share a few essentials to wearing layers beautifully. Let’s talk about how to Layer It On!
Seven Simple Style Formulas
In case you’re new here, let me catch you up to speed. We’re in the middle of a style series I’ve titled Oh So Pulled Together. More than any other question, I’m frequently asked to share tips for creating stylish outfits. So I decided to create this little style series and really hone in on how to put together outfits that make you feel and look Oh So Pulled Together. You can check out all the post in this series here.
Within the series I’m sharing 7 simple style formulas. So far we’ve looked at:
Style Formula #4: Layer It On!
Layering is definitely more difficult in the summer. But fall through spring, layering is such a beautiful and easy way to look oh so pulled together. That “third piece” creates such a complete look. That’s why we also often call those jackets, cardigans, pullover sweaters and other toppers completer pieces.
To illustrate this style formula, I intentionally chose the most basic pieces I have in my early fall wardrobe. In fact, I think the biggest error we sometimes make in this particular style formula is over doing it.
Tip #1: Keep it simple. Let the layers do the work. While you absolutely can layer plaid pants, an animal print sweater and a textured jacket, those advanced combinations take a little more practice and thought. So when you’re in a hurry or just want to throw something on, go simple.
This time of year the easiest first layer is, of course, your favorite jeans. While straight and fuller width jeans are trending (and I’ll be wearing and sharing some), I guess I still prefer a skinny jean for easy styling. They’re definitely my go-to choice for throwing together an outfit on the fly. But you do you. Choose the silhouette that works for you every time and keep it at the ready.
Tip #2: Consider you body shape when layering. Depending on your unique shape you may want to choose a fuller bottom piece or one that fits close to the body. To discover your body shape, check out this previous post. Then to learn more about dressing your unique body shape, refer to this post.
I’m wearing my new rinse wash skinny jeans from Talbots. I love Talbots for good mid-range priced jeans with a great fit. I’m wearing my TTS 8. These skinny jeans also come in long, but at 5’8″ the regular length is perfectly fine on me, hitting just below the ankle bone. I should be able to wear these with booties later on just fine. These skinny jeans are available in petite, petite plus, plus and curvy fit, too. Check out all of Talbots’ jeans here.
Tip #3: Consider your body proportions when layering. I almost always do a gentle front tuck or a full tuck of my shirt to create the most flattering proportions on my body. And when you layer on a jacket or cardigan, most anyone can tuck their top and define their waistline. Don’t be afraid to tuck your shirt! It can make a huge difference in helping you look more pulled together.
I also kept my second piece very simple and pared down. I’m wearing my favorite white v-neck t-shirt from Banana Republic. These Supima cotton tees come in three colors: white, black and grey, and I have them all. They’re semi-fitted and feature a straight hem, so they’re nice for tucking in or wearing out. I’ve given mine a gentle front tuck. They run true to size.
The Completer Piece Sets the Tone
Alright. Let’s talk completer pieces. Utility or safari jackets (as this one is called) are definitely near the top of my list for favorite fall and spring completer pieces. I love the casual vibe, hearty but lightweight cotton twill fabric and utilitarian features, such as the zipper and snap closure on the front of this particular jacket. It also features an adjustable cinch cord on the inside of the jacket, plus plenty of pockets. My safari jacket (I’m wearing a small, as I generally do in Talbots’ outerwear) also comes in indigo blue. And you might check out this other utility jacket for additional color options.
Style Tip #4: The completer piece is the tone setter. Choose a third piece that achieves the overall vibe you want for your outfit. A utility jacket or jean jacket will create a casual, youthful vibe. Wear a blazer to elevate your look. Add a cardigan to create a softer outfit. Pick a piece with ruffles for a more romantic, feminine feel. Drape on a kimono for a little boho or elegance, depending on the piece. You get the picture.
Let’s check out some of my previous layered on looks to see how the different completer pieces set the tone.
a blazer elevates
Even though I’m wearing athleisure commuter pants in the look above, the black blazer gives these super casual pants a more elevated polish. A similar navy blazer pulls together a simple novelty tee and jeans in the look below.
a cardigan adds softness
Even a more sporty, hooded cardigan, like the ones below, soften the jeans and t-shirt looks I created in these photos from last year.
In the look below, I chose a bright neon green cardigan to add a pop of color to this otherwise black and grey outfit. But it still softens the rather edgy vibe of this look. All three of these photos are from last September, so most of the elements in them are no longer available. But I invite you to check out the posts for more styling details.
a kimono gives a boho or softened vibe, depending on the garment
In this recent look, I added a kimono from Christopher and Banks to a simple t-shirt and jeans. Can you see how it adds a bit of a boho vibe to an otherwise very plain outfit?
Here’s a more early fall look with a kimono. The photo is from last year. But I got the kimono at Loft and they have this similar one this year in black or blush pink.
a pullover sweater adds a variety of tones, depending on the sweater
Depending on the structure, fabric and detailing on a pullover sweater, it can give your outfit a variety of different tones. A more preppy pullover will create a very classic look. A colorful or uniquely patterned pullover will bring fun and a touch of whimsy to your look. Or a muted cotton sweater will simply add charm to your look and make it look more fall-ish.
In the look above (from last September) I layered a fun cotton sweater over my favorite black t-shirt. This is one of my all-time favorite looks I’ve created here at Dressed for My Day. Here’s the same look below with the sweater draped over my shoulders for an early fall look.
a jean jacket keeps it casual
You can keep any outfit looking more casual and youthful by adding a jean jacket. While you can find jean jackets in all sorts of styles, I still prefer the classic trucker jacket for unmatched versatility.
Above, a denim jacket gives a decidedly more casual vibe to this otherwise feminine dress. Consider the two looks below to see how a denim jacket and a cardigan change the vibe of my leopard print blouse and cropped chinos.
I’m wearing sandals in these early spring looks. But you could simply swap them out for black flats to make these two looks more fall-ready.
Let’s Wrap It Up!
With this particular style formula, your third layer acts as an accessory. So you don’t necessarily have to add lots more color or interest with your accessories. Then again, you can! I chose to simply add a colorful scarf (that includes the colors in my outfit) to my shoulder bag. I wore suede mules in the same color as my jeans to elongate my legs. These mules are so comfortable and easy to wear.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post. What are your favorite completer pieces for layering on the style? I suppose I like all of them. Ha! But my favorite style uniform includes a fitted blazer over jeans and a t-shirt.
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Blessed for My Day
I love it that the longest recorded conversation between Jesus and another individual in the Bible is with a woman. Not only that, but Jesus initiated the dialog. While the Samaritan woman with a dubious past was trying to avoid the scornful scrutiny of other people in her town by drawing water in the heat of the day, Jesus spoke directly to her.
And He got right to the point. Jesus asked the woman for water, but He also invited her to seek from Him all that she thirsted for. Today Jesus offers us the same invitation. We can bring all our of needs to Him and trust that He alone can provide everything we need in a healthy and satisfying way. Have you had a conversation with Jesus yet today?
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” ~ John 4:11-12
16 thoughts on “Style Formula: Layer It On!”
Another great post with tips that I can easily apply with items in my closet. I like all of your outfits, with the safari jacket being my favorite in every way! I hope you and your girlfriend won’t get completely rained out at the lake! Blessings to you and your family, and Happy Belated Birthday to your mom!
Great Ginger. Thanks so much. ?
Beautiful outfits! So much variety. I have a few of the toppers that you have so I will be able to create a few outfits myself. I so appreciate your style inspiration and your spiritual inspiration. Both bless my days!
By the way, if your mom’s birthday is the 12th then, I share a birthday with her. Tell her happy belated birthday for me. Hope your vacation has been a relaxing one.
Blessings to you and your family,
P. S. You asked if I like animal print. I do. I have a beautiful sweater, very autumnal. Most of my scarves have an animal print on them.
Happy Birthday, Suzanne. I’ll tell her! ?
Love that safari jacket so much I ordered it and it’s ready for curbside pickup. With my birthday discount, $25 reward and $20 off coupon it cost me just $32. Score. ?
Fabulous way to have my favorite looks in one place. I love the new fall wardrobe. I especially love the safari jacket in that pretty color. One thing I’ve learned from you, among many, is adding color in my shoes. I didn’t realize his boring my sho wardrobe was. The pink, the gold, the blue, two toned. I’m on a quest to get those pink loafers in my size.
Love this style #4 one. Just perfect timing as this week started getting crisp in morning and evenings. My favorite is a cardigan (to the waist length) on my body type. But I do most of your ideas, minus the kamono and ruana. I don’t own those. I so appreciated all your pictures. That really helps me understand!
Great! Thanks for letting me know. ?
I have a similar jacket in this maroon color and struggle with how to wear it, for some reason. Maybe I wasn’t thinking simple enough! Thanks for sending me in the right direction, Kay!
Keep it simple: something I tell myself almost every morning when I step into my closet. Otherwise, I spend too much time overthinking. This outfit is so me. I can wear jeans to work and I love to add completer pieces to elevate an otherwise simple outfit. Your ideas are always so helpful. Btw, I bought this exact safari jacket on your recommendation from last week’s capsule wardrobe YouTube video. Thanks!!
Love the suggestions. Do you think the utility jacket is light weight enough to wear indoors like a blazer or cardigan? I work three days a week as a resource teacher and I’m always looking for ways to look casually put together. I wear a jean jacket frequently and it is a perfect weight for what I need.
Yes the utility jacket is definitely about the same weight as my blue jean jacket. I’d definitely see it as an indoor/outdoor piece.
I’ve been looking for a safari jacket that doesn’t have flaps on the upper pockets. The jacket you are wearing looks like a rusty color in the Talbots ad, but in your post it looks similar to the Caslon drape color jacket in the burgundy beet color. What is it like in person? Thanks!
It’s more of a berry. I think my photos are pretty accurate on this one.