How to Finally Perfect Layering (Once and for All)

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There is simply no greater divide than the one between Who What Wear’s NYC and L.A. offices this time of year. While our West Coast team is still basking in the balmy California evenings, we Manhattan editors are left staring out our windows over Union Square watching the temperamental weather fluctuate from one hour to the next. Between the frizz-inducing humidity and the chilly breezes, one thing is certain: Winter is coming.

Here in NYC, artful layering is more than just the calling card of great style—it’s a necessity. We leave our apartments to increasingly brisk mornings, only to wait on hot, stuffy subway platforms and then embark on brutally air-conditioned train rides. We venture outside at lunch in search of soup, only to turn around and head back inside as soon as we realize it’s unseasonably warm (again). We immediately start sweating in the wool blazer that was saving us from hypothermia in the conference room mere moments ago.

Needless to say, to survive fall in style, we need smart layers that embrace the best of the new season. Read on to discover how to master our three favorite layering tricks for fall—it couldn’t be any easier, especially since everything is shoppable right now on Amazon.



(Image credit: CMG Studios)

Checked blazers are officially the It-girl item du jour, but true style bosses are taking things one layer further. At first glance, heritage and animal prints make for strange bedfellows, but this unlikely combo is surprisingly easy to wear, thanks to the classic color palette. Admittedly, this is—as a certain friend of mine would say—“a lot of look,” so tone things down with classic black denim and crisp white sneakers. Ankle-grazing jeans show off just a little skin and let the look breathe, and the accessories and pops of Stan Smith green keep everything feeling fresh and modern.


(Image credit: CMG Studios)



(Image credit: CMG Studios)

This look is a clear example of it not being about what you wear but how you wear it. Equally loved by soccer moms and all manner of outdoorsy types, the puffer jacket spent many years in the decidedly uncool pile—until the February shows, that is. Suddenly, sporty outerwear was being layered over all manner of tailored pieces, and one show introduced us to the half-zipped, off-the-shoulder styling that’s popping up in street style galleries everywhere. The trick is layering chic, polished pieces (hello, French-inspired blouse and moto jacket) in with athletic ones. We can’t get enough of this glossy metallic leather juxtaposed with a water-resistant matte finish.


(Image credit: CMG Studios)



(Image credit: CMG Studios)

Do we love oversize boyfriend jackets? For sure, but some ensembles call for denim that both relaxes the look and keeps things polished. The first step is finding a more fitted style in a darker wash—from there, it’s all about buttoning all those buttons you’ve never buttoned before. A turtleneck just feels right under a denim collar; pull down those cuffs to show off all the layers and a fresh pop of white at your wrists. This look falls somewhere between sophisticated upstate daywear and surprisingly chic schoolgirl. PS: This gray coat is about to become your most-worn fall item.


(Image credit: CMG Studios)

Love all these pieces as much as we do? Get them ASAP via Amazon.

Natalie Cantell
Executive Director, Brand Studio

Natalie leads the style direction for the all content we create in partnership with our friends at various brands plus the legendary team of editors who work on those shoots and stories. She loves collaborating and storytelling, so it's a really fun role for her. It's also the first full-time job she's ever had⁠! She started out in her career as a very mediocre model who agreed to her first styling job to impress a photographer she had a crush on, which led her down a happy path of contributing to Vogue Australia and working as a stylist, fashion writer, and creative director for all sorts of brands and titles. She has a bachelor of communications, but most of her career opportunities came up thanks to some fleeting and accidental street style moments. She's been at Who What Wear for three and a half years and still loves to work as a freelance consultant with brands and designers to shoot their campaigns in NYC. She's originally from New Zealand, and Bondi Beach is her second home, but like just about every other 20-something, she fell in love with New York at some point. She lives in Williamsburg with her fiancé and their weird little dog, Ruby. If you ever need reccies for feel-good fashion, legit coffee spots, politics podcasts, or non-intimidating yoga studios, she's very much your girl.