As the leaves turn and the temperature begins to drop, the arrival of autumn brings with it a welcome shift in our wardrobes. Fall is a season of transformation, both in nature and fashion. The challenge is to stay both cute and warm; this guide will show you how to do just that.

The art of layering: Tips and tricks

Mastering the art of layering is a skill that strikes a delicate balance between fashion and comfort. 

But layering without resembling a giant bundle is definitely a struggle. Not only does the quest for warmth necessitate thoughtful layering, but it’s equally important to feel confident, comfortable, and impeccably put together. 

So, let’s dissect each step, layer by layer. The goal is to equip you with the knowledge and insights needed to conquer the cold while radiating confidence and style.

Tip 1: Base layers

As the chill deepens, you will need more than just a sweater and jeans. To kickstart your outfit, choose a base layer, such as thermal t-shirts or leggings. Thermal clothing is designed to provide insulation and comfort in cold conditions. 

These garments are typically worn as the innermost layer, close to your body, to trap air between the clothing and your skin. This trapped air acts as an insulator, helping to maintain your body heat while also wicking away and evaporating sweat to keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. Remember that certain fabrics like cotton and synthetic fibers are less effective at keeping you dry, so it’s best to avoid them in your winter layers. 

Uniqlo’s HEATTECH clothing, for example, offers an exceptional range of ultra-thin, lightweight base layers that provide warmth and comfort. This style of clothing is form-fitting without being restrictive, making them ideal for adding an extra layer without the added bulk. 

Sleeves that are intentionally a bit short ensure the layer remains hidden under your shirts or sweaters. Opt for a scoop neckline, which works well with open-neck tops and remains discreet.

Tip 2: A loose middle layer

On top of your thermal base, add some “regular” clothes with a looser fit, like trousers and long-sleeved tops. This layer offers additional insulation and helps maintain your body heat. Woolen fabrics like tweed and flannel are ideal, offering outstanding insulation by regulating heat and repelling cold. For those days when you crave extra warmth, layer with a jumper, sweater, or cardigan. Merino wool, in particular, is renowned for its warmth. 

If you’re looking for luxury, cashmere is another fantastic choice. Its extra-fine weave excels at insulating, ensuring you stay toasty even in freezing temperatures. Tweed, a fabric associated with old money and timeless elegance, is also thick, warm, and great for a preppier look. This season, people are particularly obsessing over classic cable-knit sweaters — the type of knits you’d see Rory Gilmore wear in the early seasons of Gilmore Girls. The “Rory Gilmore sweater” has been trending on TikTok this fall with influencers attempting to find dupes for a perfect autumn look. 

But you don’t necessarily need to come from ‘old money’ to steal the look: vintage stores often sell wool or cashmere knitwear for much less than retail prices. Compared to the quality and warmth of sweaters being sold by fast fashion brands, vintage knitwear is the way to go. Additionally, seek out seasonal sales and check online marketplaces for secondhand options. You might discover off-brand items that provide the same timeless look. 

Zipper-embellished knitwear is this season’s standout trend, and it is all about embracing a sporty twist on classic craftsmanship. Adding zipped knits to your wardrobe is a stylish way to elevate your look, and they pair exceptionally well with cool jeans, striking a balance between casual and comfortable and making them an ideal choice for weekend attire.

Tip 3: The final layers

For your outer layer, consider faux materials. Faux down, whether synthetic or plant-based, mimics traditional down’s impressive insulating properties. These materials trap air and keep you warm, all while being cruelty-free and environmentally friendly. Faux fur is another winner when it comes to staying warm. The tiny hairs on faux fur help keep rain and snow near the surface of the coat, providing insulation and protection from the cold.

While thick or puffy coats offer excellent protection against the cold, thanks to their insulating properties, a well-layered outfit can allow you to opt for a thinner outer shell, such as a stylish trench coat, camel coat, or faux fur jacket, rather than relying on a bulky puffer. This way, you can maintain warmth and style without the extra bulk. 

By following these layering guidelines, you’ll not only stay warm and comfortable but also exude confidence and style throughout the chilly months.