Peeling Away the Layers

November 20, 2006 • Magazine

Peeling Away the Layers

Peeling Away the Layers

Sun, 2006-11-19 12:00

Jacqueline Zenn

Will we ever learn? Every winter, the mercury drops outdoors but indoors, the thermostat rises to a near stifling level. Whether we are ice-cold or suffering in dry, over-heated air, it’s pretty hard to adjust our wardrobes to reach a happy medium.

So what’s the best way to beat these drastic temperature changes? We Chicagoans have the cold weather outerwear thing down pat, but sometimes it’s tough to figure out what to wear underneath it. Layering is key here – for instance, multiple layers of thin knits, such as tissue tees, camisoles, and lightweight sweaters will see you through the in winter in style. Other stylish layering pieces include thick, textured tights or the ever-so-trendy leggings will also keep you toasty while adding visual interest to your look. For example, this Twelfth Street outfit consists of a dress layered over leggings with a sweater on top – an excellent way to beat the cold and the heat.

Long, tunic type tops and sweaters are perfect underneath an a-line cropped jacket or belted over skinny pants. This cozy number by Max Studio would be chic over a pair of jeans for casual days. You can even add a long-sleeved tissue tee for added warmth. A camisole in with pretty trim or in a contrasting color can be a good way to work another color into your look; you can add punches of bright color with your “baseâ€? clothing (the bottom layer of the outfit) and your accessories. Also, wearing menswear-style vest underneath a jacket or alone over a button-down is a great way to combine two trends at once without looking overdone. This T by Tahari vest (from Macy’s) is flattering and fun.

Still want to wear your summer tanks and dresses? Try the tank over a turtleneck sweater, and the dresses paired with t-shirts, tights, and boots. Make sure the summer pieces are a bit seasonless, however – think substantial fabrics, no tropical or pastel colors, and halter styles just don’t work for the layered look, but a strapless top over a button-down shirt can work surprising well. This adorable outfit from Pink Mascara is a perfect example of how summer pieces can be worn all year round.

On the bottom, leggings, textured, or opaque tights are the obvious choice. Pair them with skirts of all kinds, from minis to maxis. Tights also look cute when worn with a pair of winter weight (think wool, think herringbone, and stay away from anything too summery) cropped pants or Bermuda shorts and a pair of pumps. This DKNY pair (available at Nordstrom) would be perfect. However, do not try leggings with stirrups or scrunchy socks (or actually, with any socks at all), or you’ll risk a citation from the fashion police. Some trends just do not deserve to be resurrected.

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