How to layer your clothes in autumn - part 1

Layering has been labelled as 'pro styling' status and many of us can find it a bit confusing. The trick is not to swamp our frame with lots of big layers.

The biggest tips I can give you are to:

  1. Wear fabrics that are designed to keep you warm

  2. Wear thinner layers.

Layering is typically about taking more than 2 items of clothes to wear plus footwear. This may look like:

vest top + jumper - high waisted jeans + coat + scarf + socks+ boots


long sleeved t-shirt + dress + cardigan + coat + boots


polo neck + blazer + high waisted trousers + coat + shoes

A note about oversized items

A lovely flannel shirt, shearling jacket, or a wonderful coat will also look brilliant as finishing touches. These items can be oversized. Also, an oversized shirt with a cropped jumper will also look fabulous.

The aim of layering it to keep warm. If we can keep warm stylishly, then I think more the better.

At this time of year we want to keep warm effectively but also be flexible to the changing weather.

This blog post is about de-mystify layering clothes and also includes shop-able links. Layering is actually easier than you think, and as you read this article all will become clear.

This post is aimed for dressing during the autumn months in the UK. I will add another blog post in a month or so for layering clothes during our icy winters.

The best way to layer clothes to keep warm is to build up thin layers. We can do this in a way that feels good too and does not add any unnecessary bulk.

Clothes made from cotton, linen modal are not designed to keep you warm. Cotton absorbs moisture and traps it next to your skin. Save the cotton for summer, when you might want a little extra moisture to keep you cool.

Fabrics that have a warming function:

Natural fabrics:





Camel hair

Alpaca wool


Yak wool



Corduroy - when made from natural fibres.

Other commonly used fabrics






Faux leather

Faux fur

Synthetic fabrics:





Corduroy- when made from polyester

Underwear and under layers- you don't need to be thinking about thermal under layers just yet, but that will come. For now, a vest top in a silk or satin blend will provide a great base layer under jumpers and cardigans.

Vest tops - You may be thinking it is too chilly for this type of top but worn as an underlayer or with the right cardigan fabric, a satin or silk vest will help to keep you warm.

Inspiration: How to wear it

Pair with a long knitted cardigan in either wool or cashmere for the ultimate warm outfit. If it is really chilly add a beautiful scarf. You could also try adding a roll neck underneath or over the top of the vest.

Wear with high waisted denim, trousers or skirts.

Long-sleeve t-shirts

Long sleeve t-shirts are hugely versatile, wear under all types of dresses, pair with trousers or jeans and a gillet, or wear with a skirt, cardigan and chunky jewellery. The combinations are endless.

How to style it

Light fabric roll neck tops

Style your roll neck in a similar way to your long sleeve - t-shirt. For bulkier roll necks wear with skirts, over the top of dresses and tucked into high waisted trousers. For lower waisted trousers wear loose and add earrings and a chunky boot.

How to style it


To throw over dresses, wear with trousers or denim. With a high waisted trouser or skirt look to knitwear that is more cropped, but that still meets the waistband of your lower half. Tuck the front of your jumpers into your skirts or trousers for a more streamlined look

How to style it

That's the end of this week's edit. As always, it feels like the end comes too soon when reading it.

Do you feel more confident with starting to layer your clothes?

Knowing the fabrics that will keep us warm will go such a long way, and I hope you find this information really helpful. I know that I am going to start looking at my clothing labels to see what my clothes are made up of.

Please post any comments or questions you have about materials, layering and styling below.

Part 2 of How to layer your clothes in autumn will be published next Friday and we will be covering cardigans, skirts, trousers, boots, scarfs and coats.

*All 'how to style it' photos are from Pinterest.

For tailored advice on clothes for the season please book a personal shopping session with me. Email

Until next week,



Recent blog posts

For more clothing inspiration and shop-able links for boots, knitwear and jackets please see our recent blog post on autumn transitional pieces.

Are you thinking about working with a personal stylist? Please read our guide on how to find the right professional for you. Click here.

Book a style consultation:

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Lizzie Parsons Image consultancy offers intelligent style services for a confident, authentic image. 

Our mission: We give intelligent women the tools and support to define their style, dress confidently and shop with purpose, so they reduce waste and love their clothes.

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