So, this layering lark.
Maybe it's because it's been so damn cold here in the UK, or maybe because there are now lots of lovely styles in great fabrics out there that make the whole thing a lot easier, but we love layering and its very well suited to our age.
Layering is about NOT putting a cardi on top of your outfit to keep warm, instead it's about starting with lightweight, long line, slightly stretchy T shirts in sheer fabrics and putting them (in contrast colours) under stuff, like dresses and tops that you wouldn't be getting into until at least May.
It's about wearing dresses over slimline flat front trousers, it's another way to wear sleeveless stuff without feeling self concious (gauzy sleeved Ts under the dress) and a way of doing the leggings look without feeling like a twelve year old (see Uniqlo capri pants below).
Pippa from Nom de Plume, one of our favourite independant stores, reckons its about being demure. A super fine stretch top from Bruuns Bazaar (a top seller this winter for Pippa) as a underpiece means you can wear drapey, lightweight fabrics, shorter length tunic tops and skimpier shapes without looking mutton dressed as lamb-ish.
Pippa also reckons that under-the-knee cycling shorts in fine stretch cotton (defintely NOT spandex) are also a great look for summer worn with summer dresses, but this may come under 'advanced layering' .
Jane is particularly good at layering, and has been an advocate of layered printed frocks over jeans for a while (she's definitely onto advanced layering) and reckons it's a brilliant way of adding shots of interesting colour to an otherwise ordinary look. Her one rule is NEVER layer the same fabrics, always go for different textures, so a jersey T shirt first, a printed cotton tunic over this and denim jeans under the lot.
I'm still on 'beginners layering' and I love my COS T shirt (with a thumb hole to keep the long arm length visible under upper layers) which I wear under an old Betty Jackson dress which makes the dress feel up to date (not to mention warmer).
I totally LOVE my new Uniqlo flat front capri trousers - which are actually called 'leggings' by the brand, but they are woven stretch cotton with a jersey insert on the waistband (comfort and style, genius). I am going to have to move out of my standard boots and thick tights look soon and these will work with tunic tops that feel way to short with bare legs as the weather warms up (if it ever does). Much more chic than lycra ones too.
I also can't abide tops that are too short and expose my not-so-lovely rolls of flesh around my tummy, so layering long sleeveless vests under shorter tops -particularly if they have lacy or raw-edged trims at the bottom- makes the whole look prettier and (as Pippa says) demure.
So invest in some COS Ts,or Uniqlo trimmed vests or splash out on Bruuns Bazaar or All Saints gauzy tops and get layering. I have been trying to find some good pictures of layered looks but so far have failed, will update with better visuals when I find some....below are my recent pruchases, which I love.
Advanced layers might like to note that Pippa reckons gauzy or lace leggings worn under slightly rolled up wide leg trousers (so the leggings are showing below the hemline) is the next big thing.
Below, COS stretchy layering T shirt with thumb holes, sadly not available on line
Uniqlo leggings (really stretchy capri pants)