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7 Rules of Winter Layering for Men

Winters are here and you’re already struggling to keep your wardrobe crisp, clean, and suave. The art of layering is the answer to all your problems of striking a perfect balance between neither being over the top nor too mellow. Learn how to master

Fashion & Beauty By Ariba Khaliq / Jan 03, 2015

Layer Up to Look Smart

Any major fashion avenue in the world during fall or winters depicts a very common trend- layering. And practically everyone is doing that! While one guy might be wearing a blazer with a knitted cardigan and a dress shirt, another could be donning a corduroy blazer over a jean jacket and a long-sleeve T. The point is they're layering, and so should you. You could combine your favourite pieces through layering and wear something comfortable and flexible. Slip on an extra layer in the morning when it's still crisp outside, remove it in the afternoon once it heats up, and then slip it back on when the temperature drops after sunset. But before you jump on the layering vogue, there are some basic guidelines you must be familiar with — you can start with the following seven rules to layering properly.

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From the Thin to the Thick

It all begins at ground zero, and so the first rule is straightforward and logical: the closer to your skin, the thinner the material. That said, make sure to start with items that are made from thinner fabrics such as a cotton T-shirt, dress shirt or turtleneck, and then layer them with heavier items such as a wool sweater, a corduroy blazer, or a leather jacket. Your first layer should be a plain t-shirt or a base full sleeve sweater that is body-hugging. You could top it up with a shirt or a jacket for additional warmth.

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Pronounce Each Layer

A layer is essentially any item that can be worn on its own and look great. The point of layering is to let each piece of clothing shine. Wearing a tacky wife beater underneath a stylish dress shirt does should not be considered cool layering. To let it have its own identity, let it speak for itself. So whatever you choose to wear, make sure every layer has its own identity as if they were meant to be worn alone.

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The Casual Feel

Layering is all about comfort and keeping yourself warm. It is best used for casual occasions and is generally not appropriate in more formal settings.  Your style could have an edge to it but the point is to keep it as calmed down as you can for your day out at work or home. You should remember, however, that a layered combo can include one or more classy pieces, such as a tailored blazer and a fine dress shirt.

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Layer it Like You Mean it

Don't heap your whole wardrobe on your body. Breath, relax and only use layering at the very basic level. That is where its magic lies. It is a general rule that you shouldn't wear anything that feels uncomfortable. Don’t get too fancy or carried away with one too many layers. So, if you can't put your arms all the way down to your sides or scratch the back of your ear, then your layering combination is most likely too thick and therefore, far from trendy.

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Don't Be Afraid Of Colour

The blues, the black and the greys are classic winter colours but just because the temperature drops, you don’t have to put a freeze on your colour selection. Don't waffle in trying the orange or the mustard or even fuchsia.  Go all out with colourful prints for your undershirt or a pop blue trench coat. Lime green, purple and fuchsia are all great fall/winter colours...well, at least when worn and combined properly. Be fearless and spice up your look with a dash of colour.

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The Hems

Key point: The outer hems should always be larger than the inner hems in order to make your layered look feel complete and adequate. The proportions of the hems play a large role on how your overall composition will appear. Like you could wear a beige, white and brown patterned long-sleeve spread collar shirt, a khaki cotton zip-up ribbed sweater, and a black satin velvet two-button blazer with three pockets.

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Winning Combinations

Now that you're a little more comfortable with the rules of the game, let's put them into practice. Wear a multi-striped lime green cotton dress shirt, with a charcoal gray cashmere zip-up mock-neck sweater, and a military green sleeveless jacket. Wear it with a pair of distressed designer jeans, charcoal gray or military green vintage sneakers, and a matching tuque or trucker hat. You could also throw on a high-neck ribbed virgin wool sweater, a rustic jean jacket with side pockets, and a vintage-looking tattersall jacket with a straight collar and hacking (slanted side) pockets.

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