Layering Outside the Box

Lovin’ the layered look for fall? So are we! Bold and cozy, this trend is awesome for autumn, but mixing unconventional shapes and patterns can seem a little intimidating (“How do I layer up without looking like this?“). We asked Rachel, our Styling Manager, to give us her tips for top-notch layering. Here’s what she recommends!

Learning to Layer


You’ve tried a top under a dress — how about another dress under a dress? Try the Born for the Beach Dress under the Book Club Beauty Dress, and top it off with the Hive Been Everywhere Necklace.

Layering is the easiest way to add interest to an outfit. The upper body is the easiest spot to add a layer, mainly because there are the most options for that “zone” of your body. “Third pieces” like cardigans, vests, and super-light jackets are nice ways to add extra texture, print, and color to your look.

You should layer for both style and functionality (climate). If your office AC is blasting in the summertime, add a collared shirt under a dress for a polished, professional vibe. Casual layering can be as simple as tying a plaid or denim shirt around your waist. You get that added interest of color and texture.

Mixing Prints


Feel cool while you beat the chill in a rad jacket. Try the Edgy Update Jacket, shown here with the Cafe Curator Dress & the March Through Manhattan Boot in Maroon.

If you’re new to print mixing, start by choosing items with congruent colors. Having a consistent color throughout your look makes it easier to pair with other pieces. Investing in prints created with neutral colors might be a good
place to start, and then work your way up to bolder, complimentary shades as you feel more comfortable.

Another thing to consider is print size. Tiny prints can sometimes look like solids from a distance, so mixing small prints with small prints would be an easy way to dip your toes in the water.

Creating Shapes


Pattern “clashing” can be smashing! Try the Philly Me In Dress atop the Farm to Folk Dress, & cinch it with a statement belt!

There are so many ways to celebrate your body shape and experiment with creating new, interesting silhouettes through layering. Long, draping pieces tend to create straighter lines. Add a great belt to that same look to highlight your waist and emphasize more of an hourglass shape.If you’re adding lots of layers on the top half of your body, keep it “light and tight” on the bottom. For example, say you have three tops on — maybe a collared shirt, a light sweater, and a blazer. Try pairing those pieces with skinny dark jeans. Keeping things simple on the bottom lets your tops shine, rather than compete for attention.

+ What are YOUR favorite unexpected pairings?

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  1. Leanne 08/22/2015 at 11:11 am #

    How about some links to purchase the individual items?

    • Anna 09/29/2015 at 3:11 pm #

      You got it, Leanne! Check out the captions under each photo.

  2. Emily 08/22/2015 at 12:31 pm #

    This article is a total life saver! Thanks!


  1. 3 Tips for Top-Notch Layering This Fall | - 10/07/2015

    […] This article was originally published on ModCloth. […]

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    […] for the tips, Rachel! Eager for more unexpected fall outfit ideas? Why not learn to layer like a pro? Or experiment with conversation-starting prints and patterns? Autumn fashion is full of […]

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