A Guide on How to Layer Clothes Effectively | Off The Cuff

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February 2024

A Guide on How to Layer Clothes Effectively | Off The Cuff A Guide on How to Layer Clothes Effectively | Off The Cuff

How do you layer clothes effectively?

Layering is a tried-and-true way to beat the chill in the winter months. But who said it couldn’t be fun? We make layering so great that you’ll forget you ever did it just to stay warm. Layering clothes is easy, but effective layering is a bit more complicated. It comes down to creating balanced looks with a few items layered over the top of each other. Layering adds depth and variety to any look, and it’s an opportunity to experiment with bold patterns and bright colours. The key to layering is wearing items that work independently, bringing them together for a unique look. Investing in pieces that you can layer helps you get more life out of your wardrobe. And it’s a great excuse to wear all your favourite pieces at once.

Best clothes for layering

Layering is effortless when you’ve got the right items in your wardrobe. The most stylish layered outfits come from pairing different materials, shades, patterns and textures. There are plenty of Levi’s® pieces that work all year round and complete any layered look. 

Keep it understated with original or oversized Trucker Jackets and Sherpa Jackets layered over a hoodie. It’s super easy to start with tees, turtlenecks, and long-sleeved tops. They make great base layers that provide the perfect foundation for mid-layer pieces like for shirts and jumpers. An oversized shirt layered under a vintage look sweater with jeans is one of our all time favourites. 

From sweaters to knitwear, choosing the right pieces to layer doesn’t have to be complicated. Complete the look with a final layer with accessories for extra warmth on cold days, and to add more patterns and textures into your look. 

Anything works for layering, even dresses. Don’t worry about saving them for summer – try layering over jeans and a tee or an easy turtleneck for an alternative twist on a duster jacket. 


How many layers should I wear?

At its heart, layering is about dressing practically. There isn’t a set number of layers you should wear. The amount you need depends on the time of year, the weather and whatever you’re getting up to. We recommend starting with up to three visible layers. It’ll keep your outfit cohesive and relaxed, and still just as functional. You can always add more to build your style.

Base layer clothing

Your base layer acts as the foundation for the rest of your look. Base layer clothing should be tight-fitting, or at least a tighter fit than other pieces in your outfit. A classic t-shirt is always a good place to start when it comes to layering, or if it’s freezing out there, a long sleeve or crewneck works a treat. 
Try a Ribbed Baby Tee for a classic fit that works great tucked in or out. Or for a versatile style with optimum cosiness, our Mammoth Secondskin Tee is a high-neck, long-sleeved base layer. For men, a Original Housemark Tee never fails. It’s easy to wear, perfect in black or white and long-sleeved for extra warmth.


Mid-layer clothing

Mid-layer clothing goes over your base and under your outerwear. You need to make sure it complements your base and outer layer in shape, colour and thickness. A relaxed Original Housemark Crewneck Sweatshirt looks effortless under an oversized jacket, especially if you want to add a splash of colour to your look. If you’re opting for a lighter middle layer, a Jackson Worker Shirt is a great way to introduce patterns and texture.


How to look stylish when layering

Whatever the weather, get layering right every time:

  • Start with a thin layer. Your base layer should be made of light material and fit close to your body to leave room to layer over the top. And, if your base is one colour, it’s really easy to introduce different patterns and textures with layers

  • Don’t stop at clothes. Adding accessories like hats and scarves can elevate any layered look with patterns, textures and colours while locking in warmth

  • Use a belt. Depending on your proportions, you might be worried about a bulky finish. Fear not – cinching your waist with a belt helps keep your silhouette clean and locks in heat

  • Streamline your layers. Try to offset thicker materials with thinner ones to stop your layered looks from becoming too bulky or hot. If you can’t comfortably move your arms once your look is complete, you might need to swap a layer for something thinner

  • Check your hems. Look at the length of the items you want to layer. Make sure the shortest hem is the closest to your body, and the piece with the most extended hem is on the outside

  • Invest in some essentials. Layering works best when you’re wearing quality pieces, and all your clothes look good on their own. Add some key layering pieces to your cold-weather wardrobe to make life easier

How to experiment with layering

Layering is a great excuse to introduce a loud colour, pattern or print into a look. If you want to experiment, make one layer pop and surround it with complementary neutral shades. 

If you aren’t ready for clashing patterns or bold colours to your clothing, you can always have fun with accessories. Layer with beanies and scarves to introduce bolder shades in small doses. 

If you tend to stick to neutral colours, you can experiment with different materials and textures in your look. Combined textures look great in any colour and create an understated and effortless finish. 

There are plenty of versatile Levi’s® pieces to layer. If you’re new to layering, nothing beats throwing a classic Trucker Jacket over any look for timeless style.


Layering with Levi’s®

You don’t need to wait until winter to incorporate layering into your everyday style. It’s simple when your wardrobe is versatile. You’ll find a range of Levi’s® authentic jackets in our Women’s Outerwear and Men’s Outerwear collections, perfect for finishing a two or three-layered look. Build a timeless layered outfit with Women’s Sweaters and Sweatshirts and Men’s Sweaters and Sweatshirts.