Season after season, we see couture combinations boldly expressed on the runways of fashion week events. While the looks are often too extreme for everyday wear, it is fun to glean ideas from these trend-setting shows. Today, our focus is simply on layering for fall/winter 2014. Layering requires a sense of style that comes from watching the trends and experimenting. We gathered these tips from both the fashion runways and locally from Kittie Kyle, a boutique known for edgy, high-style clothing and accessories that are especially fun to layer. Then, we shopped their inventory with these very same tips to see how to take runway looks and make them appeal into mid-south women.
Layering Tip #1: Simplify the color palette and add textural variety.
The colors in each outfit below are few in number. Textural variety is the emphasis here. While somewhat overstated, the message is clear: There are no limits when juxtaposing materials.
Layering Tip #2: Start with a dress.
Individual layers should be thin, especially in our Southern climate. One way to achieve this is by trying the current runway trend of starting your layered ensemble with a basic dress, and then add pants! This is an idea that should give stylish yet frugal shoppers many more opportunities already present in the closet. These dresses can, of course, stand alone, but consider combining your dresses with slim-cut pants for a high-style, updated look.
Layering Tip #3: Neutrals need a punch.
Be it with a pop of color, pattern, texture or embellishment, neutral combos typically look best with a touch of the unexpected. Incorporating this element is not the icing on the cake … it is the colorful icing swirls and the candles! These cool-weather combos, all based on traditional fall/winter neutrals, have one or two subtle eye-catching characteristics: a hint of red in the pattern, a yellow handbag, and highlights of bold patterns and textural accessories.
Layering Tip #4: Make a hat your final layer.
You know that extra added punch we mentioned? What better way to insert “pop” than with a sophisticated, statement hat … always a smart option and a final layer that expresses style and confidence.
Thank you Kittie Kyle!
Now, let’s layer …
Armed with what we have learned about successful layering, we are off to shop! We have kept the color palette simple and straightforward, added lots of texture and even found a couple of dresses that look great with pants! All of the layers we have used in these looks are lightweight and have stand-alone potential, thus de-layering is always an option during the unpredictable, transitional months ahead.
Look 1: Simple color palette, textural variety, a punch of color and pattern with accessories. This top is also a dress, but we have paired it with slim-cut jeans.
(scarf, $135; dress/top, which includes the white top underneath, $235; jeans, $155; all from Kittie Kyle. Boots are $155 from More Therapy next door. Stop in for more necklaces like the one pictured here … this one sold on the day of our shoot!)
Look 2: Textures change within the look, and a striped pattern in the sweater blends with patterned pants because the color palette is simple and consistent. Turquoise beads add punch to this fall outfit, and even the necklaces are layered for an extra twist. (white shirt, $250; sweater, $275; pants, $210, leather drape jacket, $495, turquoise beaded necklace, $345, necklace with wooden pendant, $345.)
Look 3: Experimentation pays off with this clever combo. It works because dramatic changes in texture and multiple small patterns are tied together with repeated colors. The top is also a dress, and one of the necklaces has colorful beads that, along with the scarf, pick up colors in the sweater’s stripe. (top/dress, $480, sweater, $270, pants, $325, scarf, $180. Stop in for more necklaces like the beaded one pictured here … this one also sold on the day of our shoot! We have layered with the same wooden pendant necklace from Look 2 in this combo, and it is $345.)
Look 4: Another dress-turned-top, paired with legging-weight pants that have a subtle pattern, a loosely woven sweater jacket and a scarf that introduces a pop of light pink as well as a fresh stripe. (dress, $215; jacket, $260; pants, $215; scarf, $135; all from Kittie Kyle. The ballet flats from More Therapy are $90.)
The Final Layer
As seen in all the looks above, we also found pivotal accessories that can complete your fall combination with a single blow. Simply add this wool derby hat or any of these one-of-a-kind necklaces, by themselves or paired together, and you will achieve instant style with a creative, final layer.
Hope you enjoyed our runway review! Take these tips along with you to your favorite local boutiques, where high-style has been customized just for you!