The key to effortless layering for Autumn

Layering! The art of adding extra garments on top of each other to keep warm. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet it’s an aspect of styling and dressing everyday that many struggle with. And it’s easy to see why. Adding layers adds bulk and heaviness, it can feel restrictive and awkward, so how can you layer in a way that feels comfortable AND stylish?

It’s easy to layer when you know how. Choose the right layering pieces in appropriate fabrics and your Autumn/Winter outfits will be transformed. Layering adds weight and fabric but it also adds texture and interest to every outfit. It allows you to play with volume and shape and it gives you more opportunities to combine colours.

When it comes to layering consider this – you can add layers on top of your dress or top or alternatively you can add layers below. The key is to choose light layers that give warmth without the extra bulk.

Thermal Tops

My go-to practical piece is a mid to long sleeve thermal top. They are a saviour on cold days, are discreet and lightweight and they layer under everything. Choose a scoop neck that is invisible under most necklines and you’ll be able to style some of your Spring/Summer pieces throughout the year. The Heattech tops from Uniqlo are an affordable and versatile option. They come in a range of colours and necklines so will layer effortlessly under any top or dress.

Alternatively, I like the Marks & Spencer long sleeved thermal tops. They come in packs of 2 and are great value for money. Unfortunately I can’t see them on the website just yet, I imagine they’ll be available soon.

Knitted Vests

Or knitted tanks, they are a great addition to the wardrobe for Autumn/Winter. I’ve gathered up a little collection now, some in neutral tones and some slightly brighter. They add a lightweight layer without the bulk of heavy sleeves so they style easily under coats and jackets. I also love that they don’t completely hide your top half, so if you have a pretty sleeve or some shoulder detail it doesn’t conceal it in the way a jumper would.

Think carefully about the neckline you choose. Bear in mind that a V shape is always more flattering on a fuller bust and it will accommodate a shirt collar more easily than a crew neckline. Cable knits and busy patterns will also add bulk to the top half while plain darker tones will minimise curve. My advice is to experiment and have fun. Layer over dresses, blouses and even under dungarees!

Here are a few that I’ve spotted recently. Click on the name of the store below each item and it will take you straight to the website.


For a dressier, more tailored look, try adding a waistcoat to your wardrobe. Waistcoats are on trend this season and look great styled with a matching suit, but for a more relaxed look, try styling yours with a long sleeved t-shirt and jeans.

Here are a few that I’ve spotted online.

And if you prefer a more relaxed option for casual days, consider a padded gilet. Layer over a leather biker, hoodie, denim jacket or your favourite sweater. As these are bulkier than the previous layering pieces mantioned, add these as outerwear.

Here are a few options.


Remember that there is always the option to layer jumpers over dresses and cardigans over t-shirts. The key is to keep layers light and bulk to a minimum!

I hope this was helpful. If you need any help with finding Autumn/Winter wardrobe essentials that suit your body-shape, colouring, lifestyle of personality, get in touch. I offer an online personal shopping service, ideal for building a capsule wardrobe. Alternatively I can create a shopping board for a single outfit or a collection of new season pieces . Details are on my website.

Have a stylish and colourful September.