Layering. It’s the ‘L word’ that strikes fear into the hearts of men. Why? Because although it’s simple enough on paper – just means putting on more clothes when it’s chilly, right? – in practice, layering’s a fine art. Sure, it’s a means of an easy entry into winter, but it can also be a shortcut to looking like an overstuffed sausage skin.
Thankfully, we don’t work on commission and so have no interest in telling you to throw on as many jumpers as is physically possible. Rather, we endorse a clever, comfy-but-cool approach to layering using key pieces. Here’s how to learn layering skills to rival Kanye’s (or at least, the editors of FashionBeans).
As a rule, fashion portmanteaus are pretty much the worst things. ‘Mewellery’, ‘meggings’, ‘mankles’ – all ridiculous, all proof that we’ve taken the English language hostage and flung it in the corner of a cold, dark room somewhere.
But ‘shacket’? Well, shacket I quite like. Mostly because what it refers to is, frankly, genius. Part-shirt, part-jacket, a shacket – or overshirt, as it’s known to people who take themselves too seriously to spend time soiling the English language – is the ultimate in versatility, the layering piece that not only bridges the gap between summer and winter, but smart and casual too. Your mandrobe’s nothing without it.
Lightweight Nylon Overshirt, available at Whistles, priced £135.
Ask anyone what their #LayeringGoals are and they’ll probably point to walking God complex Kanye West. And to his credit, Yeezus does it well – he’s even spoken about using his layers as an expression of his emotions (one jumper: happy Kanye, two jumpers: sad Kanye?)
Hoodies and camel overcoats aside, West knows it all starts with a good tee. Proof that an extra layer doesn’t need to add bulk, a T-shirt’s the perfect antidote to the inclement weather – both hidden under a shirt or on show with a cardigan.
As well as stopping underarm stains from making an appearance when you get warm, the added barrier also prevents everyone from getting a peek at your nipples. Which, trust us, can only be a good thing.
HeatTech Short Sleeve Crew Neck T-Shirt, available at Uniqlo, priced £9.90.
Layering pieces need to be light. The idea being that what they lack in heft they make up for in trapped air, the full outfit doing more for your body temperature than the sum of its parts. But outerwear needs bulk. Weight means structure, means drape, which ensures your coat hangs and swishes, rather than flutters every time there’s a breeze. How to align the two? Add more material down low.
A longline bomber is light enough to wear over a tee in transitional weather, or a knit nearer winter. But that dropped hem acts like a pendulum, ballast that holds everything where it should be. Bonus points for a silhouette that marks you out from every other bomber this season.
Army Green Long Bomber Jacket, available at Études, priced £585.
Classic layers are timeless, but they’re rarely fun. Take the sweatshirt: essential when the mercury drops, but nothing says sterile like grey marl. Instead – when being tucked away under a coat, only to be revealed when and where you want – this should be your left-field fashion pass.
Enter the designer sweatshirt. Cottweiler’s iteration cashes in on the sports luxe trend by adding an oatmeal fleece strip to an all-over neutral tone that can be contrasted or complemented as you see fit.
The months ahead are cold and boring. Who wants to be head-to-toe in classic garb? Splash out. Get a mad sweatshirt.
Cottweiler Contrast Texture Sweatshirt, available at FarFetch, priced £145.