Tips for layering your outfit

Isn't it irritating when you wake up to a cold or rainy morning, bundle up for the weather and barely two hours later, the sun is up and laughing at your face? And you are left carrying heavy jackets and trench coats for the next 10 hours or so? That is this Nairobi weather in a nutshell. Well, I have a solution for you; layering.

Layering is a way of dressing using many garments by wearing them on top of each other. Having the right pieces is key in layering and these tips will guide you through it:

Streamline your base layer by wearing lighter clothing on the inside and heavier ones on the outside. Make your layers light in weight. Keep thick knits, coats and jackets on the outer layer. This helps to regulate your temperature and give the outfit a regular sense of depth. This also means that removing the layers as it gets hot will not compromise your outfit.

Belt up if you do not want to look too bulky. PHOTO| KAREN MURIUKI

Tonal colours work best; meaning that greys, blacks and whites will work well together. If you decide to use colour, use different hues and tones of the colour to create a sense of depth. The colours should complement each other.

A t-shirt over a button-down shirt, completed with a leather jacket. PHOTO| KAREN MURIUKI

Consider patterns is as important as colour when layering. Clashing is a no-no. The easiest way to avoid this is by wearing the clothes in simple block colours to create a minimalist look.

Build your wardrobe over time. Avoid buying pieces just because they are in season. Also, use whatever you have in your wardrobe regardless of the season of the year.

High boots over tights or pants make you warmer. PHOTO| KAREN MURIUKI

Consider the occasion or events of the day when layering up your outfit. For example, when dressing for outdoor activities like hiking or zip lining, it is the base layer that wicks the sweat off your skin. Go for fabrics like polyester, nylon or silk. The middle or insulating layer protects you from the cold therefore thicker fabrics from wool or cotton clothing would work great. The outer or shell layer shields you from the wind or the rain. Waterproof fabrics such silicone and rubber are perfect are for this layer.

Tonal colours work best when layering. PHOTO| KAREN MURIUKI

Examples of layering ideas that blend nicely

  • Pair a button-down shirt with a sleeveless dress. This not only makes the dress appear long-sleeved, it also gives it a more edgy look.
  • Layer camisoles and fancy tank tops over turtlenecks to look fancy and most importantly, warm.
  • Layer a chunky sweater over a fitting long-sleeved top for a cool and layered look.
  • Dresses above the knee can be worn in the cold weather by layering long-sleeved tops and tights underneath.
  • Belt your outfit if you do not want to look too bulky.
  • Try a t-shirt over a button down shirt, and complete the look with a leather jacket.
  • Wear a crop sweater over a button-down shirt to make it warmer.
  • Wear high socks over tights, and ankle socks over your high socks for warmer feet. High socks under high boots also ensure you are more warm.