LAYERING OFFICE WORKWEAR
Layering office workwear can be difficult. Maintaining a professional and corporate look while introducing a more trendier (and warmer) layered style may be awkward, but it can be achieved.
Generally the more corporate office will lean towards pant or skirt suits, fitted blazers, collared shirts and heels. We can still maintain these corporate elements while introducing layers. Black, grey and charcoal suits are generally the norm in these corporate environments, mainly due to the perception of their being "professional" and "classy." While we can maintain the use of these elements we can also incorporate the use of different textures, colours, patterns and materials for style and depth in layering.
We can add texture to our layered look including different materials, such as, cotton, linen, sheer, or waves through material and then leather and denim for the weekends! We do however want to keep our textures light (apart from the outer layer) so that our layered look doesn't become bulky. Keep the lightest weight pieces closest to your skin, so breathable pieces are closest to you and heavier on the outer to protect you from the win, cold etc.
Our outer layer can be the exception, such as a fur look jacket or thicker wool coat. When layering monochromatic colours (all one colour) it's very important to introduce different textures so that your outfit doesn't fade into one boring look. Some textures like merino wool and cotton set the perfect base for more attention grabbing textures like tweed, twill, suede and other woven fabrics. When mixing texture it's a good idea to stick to one or two colours that work together to anchor your look.
COLOUR & PATTERN
Colour lovers rejoice, this is your time to shine! Although if you are wearing different colours we encourage you to put a neutral layer between pieces, this can be a dark or light neutral. You can absolutely go print on print but keep the print smaller, comparative in size and not too busy or you'll have a major clash. Try two patterns in a row followed by a solid colour so that your layered don't look cluttered.
Accessories add functional personality to a layered look. Jewellery, scarves, beanies and hats. Scarves are an essential component of layering. You can wear a bold scarf to enhance a neutral look, or go for a more subtle colour and pattern to balance out a bolder outfit. Try something a little different like adding a belt around your cardigan or knitted top to inch your waist.
LAYERING WITH KNITWEAR
Layering with knits is great for cooler days (or aircon) without bulking up your frame. Depending on the level of professionalism you need to reflect you could start by adding a chunky knit cardigan over a white shirt or lighter turtle neck top. Make sure that if you're adding "weight" to the top half of your body through layering you pair this with a slimmer cut pant to balance proportion.
LAYERING WITH SHIRTS, SUITS & COATS
A single-breasted black, navy or grey suit is versatile and business ready. Team it with a cotton shirt and add a coloured necklace or scarf (matching or contract) for an additional layer. The next layer should add texture without too much bulk and then finish with a tailored overcoat such as our Midnight Lined Coat or the Celeste Overcoat.
Layering throughout winter to stay warm and use your existing wardrobe is key. You want to be using the pieces in your capsule collection! You can utilise lighter and more summer items like dresses by wearing longer sleeves and turtle necks underneath. Add boots or a block heel with your summer dresses and pair it with tights to keep your legs warm. You don't want your favourite summer key pieces sitting in your closet for half of the year!
BENEFITS OF LAYERING
Besides being on trend...
- Extra outfits! By mixing and matching those key items you are reusing and recycling, but creating a whole new look
- Warmth. Stay warm and if the heater comes on peel off a layer and vice versa if the aircon kicks in you have your extra layer to add
- Hip pocket savings. You don't have to buy a lot of heavy new coats. By mixing and matching outfits you'll be creating different looks each day with the same pieces
- Saving the planet... what is great for the environment? Reusing and recycling! By mixing in and out layered older pieces to keep the life span of your clothes longer and in your wardrobe for a better period of time, you're doing your bit. We always encourage investing in clothing items that you love and will wear so that they don't end up in land fill
- Start with your base layer. Maybe pant and cami or pant and blouse/shirt.
- Add you next layer, opened shirt or cardigan
- Add a jacket
- And fluff.. eg add belt, putt out cuffs, roll up sleeves or cuff pants
- Finish with accessories like scarves and jewellery
TIPS FOR BODY SHAPES
- If you are voluptuous in the top half of your body and want to wear loose-fitting tops to disguise tour tummy then keep your lower body narrow with the pants and skirts you close. Think inverted triangle. Keep your layering to your top half and keep it simple on the bottom.
- If you want to wear wide-leg pants for comfort, to layer over closed in shoes or a maxi skirt, then keep your upper body narrow. Maybe tuck in your blouse or use a French tuck to keep it tapered. So fitted tops layered with a cropped blazer or a tucked in shirt with a less fitted blazer.
- If you would like to cover your bottom or hips your top should sit just below tote widest part. Wearing lighter colour tops can also help elongate your look. You could try layering a longer shirt like the Camden with the rounded tail with a knit jumper that sits towards the more narrowing part of your waist.
- If its a day that you aren't feeling your best (hello PMS) we recommend tonal dressing - head to toe in all black, grey, navy, charcoal etc. Using different textures and lengths will break up the look but you'll still feel like you're on your A game, even when you aren't. Wearing a tonal outfit is one of the most effective ways of elongating your body. Accessories will also help break up a tonal look.
- If you don't favour tonal dressing you could also try complementary colour dressing (when colours are on the opposite sides of the colour wheel) like navy and cream or a brown and mustard. You can also try harmonious colours (that are next to each other on the colour wheel) such as blue and green or pink and orange. We naturally respond better to these types of colours.
- Depending on your height you may want to dress in halves if you are short and thirds if you are taller to help with your proportions
- If you're contgious of your hips but loved cropped jackets wear a longer blouse that finished just below your widest area
- Lighter coloured tops with darker bottoms will always be more slimming than the opposite.
For more information on layering and what pieces will suit your specific you can head to our styling session product for more detail: https://work2weekend.com.au/products/online-style-session