Making use of sweaters, jackets and vests to create a stylish effect, layering is a technique that’s a staple in both the worlds of streetwear and high fashion—and one perfect for fall, at that. We figure that means you ought to learn how to do it right. These five rules apply whether you’re a hypebeast or just a snappy dresser.
Mismatched layers? Sure, that works. It used to be that layering was about piecing together several perfectly-fitted items, but the stodgy old rules of menswear no longer apply. A more modern take is all about creating a dramatic effect. Here, Russell Westbrook shows us how to pull off an (actually stylish) XL T-shirt by wearing it underneath a button-up sporting a much shorter inseam. For a more elevated look with streetwear sensibilities, let your outerwear do the talking. A slim, statement-long jacket that hits just above your knees and worn open over your usual getup can take you through the season.
A sweater that suits you
If you’re looking for an easy upgrade this fall, grab a sweater. They instantly make any blazer jacket look like a three-piece suit, as evidenced by Matt Barnes here. Crew necks are having a moment now, as they pull together your shirt collar for a classic prepster look. Another option is a shawl collar cardigan, which you can button down to show off more layers or bundle with a light raincoat for added protection from the elements.
Watch your proportions
A billowy or padded top would look sloppy with equally baggy pants, so make sure to put that into consideration. Here, Tristan Thompson creates volume with some extra-long layers, which he balances out with slim, straight denim. Likewise, a large parka should be worn with more form-fitting jeans. Big, small. Large, tight. Get the picture?
Mixing and matching patterns
Along with the aforementioned rules about length, laws governing patterns are also out the window. Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the tried-and-true method of combining large, blown-up patterns with tight, fine ones, but men these days are encouraged to think big. Camo on camo? Sure. All-over prints? Absolutely. Checked suits with checked shirts? Um, check. (Just make sure they’re different colours). Be brave and load up, sticking to a single theme.
This fall’s only outer layer
For the ultimate topper, go gilet. Or vest. Whatever you do, your sleeves-free option should be right for the weather at hand. While it’s still a little warm, a more formal waist coat looks great dressed down over a long-sleeved T-shirt. As the temperatures take a dip, a down-filled option looks as good over a cardigan as it does atop a denim jacket, or even (gasp) a suit. Better yet, take the opportunity to ditch your fall jacket altogether. Layer up until you’re not freezing with the vest on top, then venture on with your day looking seriously put-together. Repeat until there’s snow on the ground.