Learn to layer for Autumn

It’s the same every year in late September. The nights start to draw in and the morning school run gets too chilly for light t-shirts, but you’re not quite ready for full-on winter woollies. So what do you do?

The answer lies in layering – artfully throwing together outfits with layers that you can peel off or add when the temperature changes – as Karen Skagerlind from Wardrobe Wand explains. 

Learn to layer for Autumn

The secret to great layering is knowing what textures to put with what, which fabrics work together and what layers to peel off if the sun makes a surprise appearance.

To help you master layering for autumn, I’ve put together some of my tried and tested style tips with my pick of this season’s perfect layering pieces.

The basic rules of great layering

Don’t be afraid to layer because you think it will make you look bulkier than you. Clever layering can actually enhance your shape and accentuate curves in the right way.

To layer successfully, start with a thin, soft long sleeve t-shirt – either in a plain colour or stripe. Ideally plump for a scoop or round neck as showing some flesh will mean you don’t look too trussed up.

Then layer over a shirt, knit or dress. The rule of thumb is if you go for a plain under layer you can mix a stripe or pattern (such as check) on top. And if you go for a stripe or patterned underneath then layer a block colour over.

Use round neck t-shirts as a bottom layer then add a low v-neck jumper over the top or unbutton a shirt or blouse to create a flattering V shape. Turn up shirt cuffs or use tabs to reveal long sleeve t-shirts to add contrast at the sleeve and to show off any arm candy or a nice watch.

A denim/chambray or white shirt works well under knitwear too. Keep to fitted, seamed shirts and fine gauge knits.

Try to mix fabric textures so layering doesn’t look flat, and if you choose a patterned shirt pick out a key colour to match with your under layer or accessories for a pulled-together layering look. If your outer layer is a cardigan make sure it has a tie or use a wide belt to cinch in your waist to give you a shapely silhouette.

How to achieve my key look

To make my look in the main image work, undo shirt buttons to a deep V to create a flattering neckline, and turn shirt cuffs up to reveal long sleeve t-shirts. This 2 tone Uniqlo cardigan is edge to edge so I’d add a belt to create a waistline.

You can also pick out the plum in this H&M check shirt to match an under layer from Gap and team with a French Connection belt for a pulled together look.

Gap Black skinny jeans ground this outfit. Team with either a classic converse or an ankle boot with a chunky heel like these from Whistles.

How to achieve my second look



To nail the look above, go for black and blue (an on trend colour combination this season) and mix up textures with a fitted H&M denim shirt layered over a basic grey marl t-shirt from Whistles.

Team with H&M jogging pants in black and add interest with Next pony effect slip ons and a satin backpack from Topshop.

It’s all in the detail and this Zara sequin sleeve sweat gives this sports luxe layered outfit the icing on an otherwise basic look.

By Karen Skagerlind of Wardrobe Wand.