Time was you’d be considered sloppy if your shirt wasn’t tucked into your pants or skirt and it hung below your sweater or jacket.
And who in her right mind would pair a dressy jacket with a tailored shirt? Do either now and you’re right on trend! Layering pieces that work together perfectly, however, takes a little bit of style savvy. Heed these tips from Monica Escamilla, Ming Wang Product Specialist, and your layers will take the cake!
Buy one Ming Wang jacket, use your newfound style tips and create a collection of great looks. Here, Ming Wang’s stunning garnet zip-front jacket, embellished with smooth black nail heads, is the centerpiece of my three layered looks. Its part of Ming Wang’s Sapphire collection and is available at Nordstrom.
Tell us your general philosophy about layering.
Layering lets you maximize your closet. There are some pieces we don’t wear that often, but we’d be more likely to wear if we layered them with other pieces. Layering provides a unique dynamic to your look. You’re using more pieces, and in different ways, and we all love that.
How do you layer?
You usually want to go from thinnest to bulkiest garment. Your thinnest layer—maybe a tank or a tee—will be your first layer. Make sure it’s fitted, but not tight. Then build from there—a cardigan or a sweater and a jacket on top of that. Feel free to belt something to accentuate your waist if you think you’re losing your shape when you layer. If a thick layer is first, you’ll look too bulky.
I wouldn’t do more than three layers, including your outer jacket.
What about the idea of lengths?
Your first layer can be longer than the second but it must be fitted to give you shape. If it’s blousy, you’re detracting from your shape. You need a foundation upon which to build.
A longer shirt looks good with a shorter jacket. It also can create a color block look. Playing with textures provides interest, as well. Most all textures go together. But don’t mix a ton of prints unless you really know what you’re doing.
How does one know what styles look good together?
Always experiment. Some pieces may not look like they’re going to work together when they’re on hangers, but they look wonderful when you put them on. One example is putting a sleek collarless jacket on top of a long-sleeve, button-down shirt. Together, they give you a nice, clean crisp look. Pair them with black denim pants, perhaps, for a more casual style.
Other ideas: Pair a brown and crème color jacket with a burnt orange shirt for a pop of color or put a fur vest over a mock turtleneck for less bulk, but still a nice look.
Can you layer with accessories?
Absolutely. You can layer with jewelry by playing with multiple lengths of necklaces, for example, or mixing gold and silver jewelry layers. It helps you dress up things with a unique touch.
Layering can be done with jewelry, gloves and scarves and clothes.
‘Anything Goes’ today, but some women are uncomfortable with taking this approach. What advice do you have for these women?
Start with a basic tank or tee as well as neutral colors, such as black or white. Pair a basic white tank or button-down shirt with a black cardigan or a brown leather jacket. Remember, however, if you don’t feel comfortable in it, don’t wear it. You can’t go wrong if it makes you feel comfortable, classic and confident.
Flipping through magazines and window-shopping also provide great inspiration. They can give you suggestions about what to play with.
What’s your advice about balance and proportion?
Make sure you have balance and proportion when you layer. If you have lots of layers on top, don’t wear wide-leg pants. Instead wear slender, cigarette pants or leggings. On the other hand, if you want to wear wider-leg pants, wear something more fitted at top, such as a thinner, tailored jacket.
Is there a trick about putting two collars together?
I would recommend your jacket collar be longer than your shirt collar, otherwise it might look a little lost. Keep the shape of the collars similar, too.
Can you layer with dresses?
You can transition summer dresses into winter dresses. Put a mock turtleneck under a sleeveless dress, for example, to be more winter appropriate.
Pair a mid-length dress with a shorter jacket or a jacket that falls at the waist. You shouldn’t pair a tight jacket with a full dress but you can put a looser jacket over a more fitted dress.
What’s a smart way to work with capes?
If you feel you have too many layers, a cape creates a new look. You get the coverage, the warmth and look of a coat but you don’t add bulk or feel constrained.
A turtleneck looks nice under a cape. And since capes don’t cover your wrists, they also look wonderful with knit or leather opera-length gloves. You create a completely different look but you’re still getting the coverage for your arms.
What about layering good pieces with really funky pieces?
I believe it’s better to mix and match. It doesn’t matter what it is, who makes it or what it costs. It’s how you wear it.