Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall Essentials: Layering Function with Style

Depending on where you are, weather conditions are subject to change more than once during the Fall Winter months. You leave for the office and its pouring rain. You go out for lunch and its overcast. You leave the office for a hot date and it’s windy and cold. Layering is a technique to be learned to battle most if not all of the elements.

This season there are 3 key pieces that every guy should have in their wardrobe. Worn as an ensemble, you can easily transition your look to suit the weather outside.

The Coat

You’ll find this in a host of materials. Most trench coats are made of a lightweight nylon material which makes it great for the rainy winter months. It’s also works well as a wind deflector compared to coats made from wool or cotton. Car and Pea Coats on the other hand are usually made of natural fibers like wool, cashmere, or camel hair. These types of coats are made primarily to keep you warm not necessarily dry. Depending on the weather outside, pick accordingly.

Helmsman Wool Peacoat by Nautica, $248

Double Breasted Trench Coat by INC International Concepts, $169

The Sweater

The V and the Crew neck are common styles in the sweater category. Crew necks project a more casual look, while V necks are dressier. Regardless of neck styles, sweaters can either be made of merino wool, cashmere, silk, cotton, acrylic, or a blend of materials. As this is your first layer, you need to make sure that the fit is close to your body. Not only do bulky sweaters look like they are as size too big for you, they also don’t give enough warmth. Although you don’t want your sweater to be too tight, you want it fitted enough to keep the heat close to your body.

Cashmere V-Neck by J.Crew, $188

Merino Wool Crew Neck Sweater from Banana Republic, $60

The Scarf

This accessory is the final touch to your fall winter ensemble. When it’s cold outside, a good scarf not only keeps your neck warm but can also protect your face from freeze burns. Picking the right scarf really depends on what look you’re going for. The big trend right now is Oversize and Bulk. Now that doesn’t always work. Oversize and Bulk works best for a more casual, weekender look. If you’re in a suit and an overcoat, having big rolls of wool around your neck is out of place in your already streamlined look. Scarves can be flat and made from cashmere, silk, merino wool, acrylic or a blend. Cable knit scarves are usually made from high grade wool or a blend as well.

Cable Knit Scarf from Urban Outfitters, $28

John W. Nordstrom Cashmere Scarf by Nordstroms, $89.50

Dressing for fall and winter is all about layering, playing with color and working with textures. Understanding how each of your pieces complement each other in terms of function and look will add more dimension to your wardrobe. It will also create a great balance of warmth and good style.


Amber said...

Thanks for the great tips! I like your use of pictures to show examples, makes it easy to shop later.

Johnathan said...

I purchased myself a fantastic lightweight purple sweater just like that one the other day.

Admittedly, it only cost a fraction of the designer label, but I still maintain it looks 'the business'!

Great article on the function of layering; as you mention, slipping out of the office when it's pouring with rain can be a miserable experience (especially if you're left damp for the remainder of the day).

Anonymous said...