There’s something about fall that gets us all warm and fuzzy—inside and out. But the crisp and cool air is often followed by warmer afternoon temps that can you leave all hot and bothered. Thankfully, there’s a style of layering that works for every occasion, whether you’re commuting to the office or walking around town on the weekend. We asked Jamie Frankel, a fashion stylist in New York City, to share her thoughts on combining transitional trends in a way that looks effortlessly chic while remaining comfortable. “Layering provides an opportunity to craft unique silhouette combinations and incorporate unexpected, fashion-forward elements such as texture, print, and color into an otherwise ordinary look,” she says. Flex your style muscle this season by piling on some of these unexpected pairings.
No need to pack away your ripped denim just yet. Slip on a pair of fishnet, sparkly, or bright-colored tights underneath to keep warm while looking cool. “Use tights with caution, though,” warns Frankel. “When incorporating a statement tight, keep the rest of the look simple.” She recommends pairing them with vintage Levi’s and a relaxed white t-shirt. Try Wolford Net Tights in Dark Cyan ($67; wolfordshop.com) or Modcloth Accent Your Ensemble Tights in Curry ($13; modcloth.com).
Photo: Dries Van Noten
A Maxi Dress + Blouse
Layering a patterned maxi over a blouse is the perfect way to pull off an otherwise summery dress come sweater-weather. “It’s important to choose pieces in luxe fabrics—a crisp shirt with a gorgeous silk or suede dress for balance,” says Frankel. If you’re feeling fashionably brave, go for a pattern-clashing pair, like this Mara Hoffman Striped Organic Linen Maxi Dress ($425; netaporter.com) and Elie Tahari Martha Blouse ($298; neimanmarcus.com). Finish the look with boots or stilettos.
When it comes to layering, tbh, nothing is off limits—including your undergarments. A lacy bralette over a fitted sweater may seem a bit racy for daytime wear, but when done right, the delicate finish will be a welcomed style upgrade. “It’s the perfect combination of sexy and sophisticated,” says Frankel. “This pair projects a strong, feminine confidence without looking overly suggestive.” Layer the Aerie Padded Romantic Lace Bralette ($25; ae.com) over the J.Crew Mockneck Sweater in Merino Wool ($118; jcrew.com).
Mother Nature has been in one hell of a mood lately, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if temps dip sooner than expected. Instead of reaching for your down coat at the first sign of winter, toss a stylish fur coat over casual hoodie for street-style-inspired warmth. “The hoodie helps ground the fur for everyday wear,” says Frankel. A good (faux) option: Topshop Faux Fur Coat ($150; topshop.com).
Robe Coat + Jeans
If you’re comfortable rocking your undergarments on top, then you likely won’t shy away from the robe coat trend. Essentially, it’s a fresh take on a trench. Frankel recommends looking for one that is longer and looser. Try a traditional kimono style or go for a more structured satin duster, like the Long Sating Coat by H&M ($60; hm.com). Pair with cropped jeans and heels or embellished flats, so you don’t look like you just rolled out of bed.
Photo: Mums Handmade
Granny Cardigan + Shorts
Your grandma was onto something when she knitted you that chunky cardigan. Not only are oversized sweaters cozy AF, but they also add a touch of seasonal style. Pay attention to proportions, though. While the temps are still a bit warmer, toss one over shorts and a fitted shirt to show off your shape. We like the Mums Handmade Warm Up Cardigan ($265; mumshandmade.com) shown above.