You’re born naked, and the rest is layering
Dressing appropriately in winter is a crapshoot. Thank goddess for layers – the happy medium in handling climate changes. Layers are multi-functional; not only can you adjust to temperature changes (the stuffy office, the overcrowded subway train, the frigid 14 block walk from the train to your apartment) but also, more importantly, you can wear many of your favorite articles of clothing all together and at once! The problem is: how to pull off an actual outfit while wearing half your wardrobe?
In the spring and fall, it’s easy to romanticize layers as a hallmark of the changing season, an ode to the coming or going of wearing next-to-nothing as frequently as possible. In the winter, it’s a begrudged art form. That’s why I've collected some advice for you ... Feeling like a frosh in the ways of winter? Needing a crash course on putting on more than a tee and some jeans? Gentlemen, I’m giving you three easy options, choose your own adventure:
Tough Guy Layering
This approach is great for those ‘no fuss’ fellas who don’t want to appear to have carefully coordinated their outfit to the conditions they will face. The approach here is simple – you put on a bunch of things you already own, in thinner-to-thickest order and just pretend there are no elements of season to contend with. Great staples of the tough guy layers include waffle-knit henleys, thick hoodies, and vintage leather jackets. If you own long johns, slip ‘em under your jeans for extra warmth that nobody can see.
A great option if you accept the reality of working with 20 different pieces of clothing in one single outfit, and you want passersby to catch a glimpse of each special thing you are wearing. Welcome to the world of conscious layering! To begin, don your longest under-layer atop pants or meggings, and whatever shoes you choose to brave the slushy sidewalks. Add more on, piece by piece, ensuring the layers leave each other a moment in the spotlight but leave you bulked up and balmy. When you get to the final few layers – your outerwear – start over with longest to shortest. Must haves for conscious layering are longer tees, luxe sweats with textural elements (for example, quilted, or pilled), oversized fur or faux-fur vests, general nods to current fashion trends.
Mad Max Layering
This is the option for those deeply affected by the temperature and those who DGAF. There are no rules – keep piling on, adding clothing and accessories willy nilly until you can’t feel air touching any part of your flesh. It’s you versus the world and you are determined to win. Sometimes, this option is the most chic and it’s purely accidental. That authentic feeling of just not wanting to face the freezing air translates to new uncharted fashion territory. To go rogue on layering, repurpose everything into a layer. Think mom’s crocheted skullcap over your own cashmere beanie, vintage wool blankets as scarves, down jackets as a middle layer (picture sweaters on top and underneath), sweaters remixed as pants (only attempt this one if you’ve got thin legs!) – the sky’s the limit, your ally is your imagination.
After you’ve gotten layering down and feel confident in your fashion functionality, just remember that next time you’re piling on those layers, soon enough you’ll be peeling several of them off! Before you know it, you’ll be desperately cutting up everything you own, hacking away at pieces you’ve loved in order to transform them into a tank tops or shorts. Mmmmm ... shorts ...