When done right, layering is one of the best ways to simultaneously satisfy two of our most pressing sartorial needs: the need to look fly, and the need to not freeze our asses off once the mercury starts to dip.
The key to autumnal layering is to invest in classic pieces that will play well with things you already own. That means looking for stuff in easy-to-match colors like blue, olive and grey, and then using a few well-selected accent pieces to spice them up. Your solid blue French work jacket, for example, would look sick with a handsome patterned scarf or a vintage Rolex. See where we are going with this? There are no rules, really, just so long as you pay attention to textures and proportions.
Read on as we unpack how to layer like a boss this fall.
Casual blazers are perfect for layering, because unlike a suit jacket, they are actually meant to be worn as separates. This fall, class up your whole operation by investing in a natty tweed blazer, which looks great with everything from crisp dark blue jeans to (gasp!) a pair of luxe joggers. So long as you account for a little wiggle room in terms of sizing, you can easily slide a crew neck sweatshirt or thin sweater underneath and also wear it as a piece of sturdy outerwear.
Speaking of thin sweaters, after we interviewed Raekwon a few months back, he really sold us on the idea of rocking one. Turns out, the chef was right. A simple cotton or cashmere V-neck sweater can be worn with a dress shirt and crisp chinos for a more upmarket look, or styled with a simple T-shirt and a pair of Jordans for a hip, casual vibe. When it comes time for copping yours, this is one of the easiest items to shop for, as everyone from Uniqlo to Ralph offers them as part of their core collections.
WORK IT OUT
Pay homage to the workers of the world with a classic proletarian-inspired work shirt/jacket. At once rugged and elegant, this piece is guaranteed to be a workhorse in your wardrobe. Lots of pockets mean it’s perfect for travel, and its seasonally fluid weight means you can wear it as an outer layer in the fall, or underneath a heavy coat in the winter. For a modern twist on this timeless piece, we love French brand Arpenteur, which recently did a version in swanky waterproof moleskin fabric.
COP A QUILTED
Add a bit of high society polish to your look by rocking a quilted jacket. While a lot of people prefer to style them in a traditionally preppy manner (think: pink polo, chinos, boat shoes), we advise you to extend a well-manicured middle finger up to all that. Instead, wear your quilted the same way you would a motorcycle jacket. This classic model from Barbour would look real badass with some Red Wing Boots and a pair of rugged jeans.
Long sleeve graphic tees are perfect for those in-between moments when it’s too chilly for short sleeves but too warm for a full-on hoodie. Channel your inner skater, assuming you have one, by rocking one this fall. Paired with some heavy-duty chinos and a pair of canvas sneakers, this is a classic skater look that any dude can pull off, even if you don’t know your nose manual from your manual transmission. For best results, cop a boldly colored shirt from a brand that has some actual ties to the culture, like this 80s-inspired joint from NYC skate/prep kings Noah.