Ask any fashion expert the key to no-nonsense fall chic and they’ll utter two fateful words: “Layering, darling.”
But there are three problems with the style cognoscenti’s love of layers.
First, shirts with a tight collar, super luxe knits and jackets with detailed trims cost money – and updating every piece in your transitional wardrobe is bad for durability, too. Second, for those of us with curves, the added bulk of the layered look does little good to anyone’s silhouette.
Alexandria Dale shares hacks to keep you on top of the trends this season. Pictured: Collar a brand new look: jumper, £85, boden.co.uk
And third, by some miracle, it’s still too muggy outside to sleep comfortably.
The solution? It’s time to fake it.
From looped lapels to shirt tails that tie to your waistband, extra accessories that fool the eye are a must-have and allow you to update an outfit without splurging. Starting at just £15, these style hacks will keep you on top of the trends this season.
1 Give your jacket some luxurious lapels
Collar, £44, helenmoore.com
A classic fitted jacket, from Crombie to peacoat, is an essential piece in your wardrobe. Chances are you have an old favorite that you pull out of the back of your wardrobe every year as soon as the mercury drops.
Brands such as Shrimps, Khaite, Saks Potts and Charlotte Simone have all added furry accents to this season’s jackets at the collar and sleeves. Save on buying a new coat and update yours by adding a faux fur collar and cuffs.
2 Pop on a Collar
The Peter Pan collar has been on the catwalk in recent seasons with brands such as Jacquemus, Chloe and Ganni.
People jumped on the collar trend during the pandemic when Zoom offered the chance to show off the style, and it’s just as popular now.
Shopping platform Lyst reported that searches for Peter Pan collared shirts have increased by 32 percent since early September. Choose a sweater with a faux shirt collar or a fully detachable version of the trend.
3 Customization, it’s all in the wrist
Cuffs, £21, meandem.com
The British brand ME+EM has become synonymous with relaxed, tailored style. These layered embroidery cuffs deliver the statement sleeve look for less than a third the price of the brand’s dainty cuff shirts.
Slide under the sleeves with the frills out at the wrists, or try a pair of merino wool cuffs designed to be worn over shirts and jumpers.
4 Go for a shirt without a back
Many of us have spent the last 18 months in loungewear, thanks to working from home. With the return to the office, comes the struggle to adapt to formal workwear. The blouse insert is made to be worn under knitwear and jackets to give the look of a smart shirt without bulk, and is an easy way to accentuate this season’s layered look. The style is super chic, even if the elastic bands to keep the insert in place are anything but (and you can’t take your jacket or sweater off). But this quickly becomes the hero item you never knew you needed.
5 Spoil your love for loungewear with a hoodie
If you can’t bear to completely ditch your loungewear, achieve that smart-casual balance by wearing a structured blazer over the top of a hoodie.
There is no need to buy a whole new piece of clothing, especially if you have drawers of hooded sweaters.
Just look for a knit hood that can be tucked into the neck to get the same look and add extra warmth and layers, without matching the colors and design.
It’s a fun and trendy alternative to your hat.
6 Pretend to be a shirt cake
An oversized shirt is an essential piece in your wardrobe, whether in classic white, blue or striped. This season, the look is a 90s-inspired boxy silhouette, like With Nothing Underneath’s boyfriend shirt (£85) layered under a sweater.
If you don’t have one, or if your existing one is too short, fake it with a fake shirt tail. It comes with an elasticated waistband so the length can be adjusted. In combination with a sweater it gives the illusion of stylish layers.
7 Bibs Aren’t Just For Babies
Open side cardigan, £69, coststores.com
Bibs, collars, ties, whatever you want to call them – if you haven’t got your hands on one yet, what are you waiting for?
They cover the chest and back, come in a variety of lengths and have open sides, some can be pinned or fastened. These raw turtleneck tank tops with zip front designs are designed to be worn as an extra layer under jackets and coats. Jacquemus and John Galliano for Maison Margiela have released their take on the trend, and the high street has followed suit with Cos and H&M offering a number of wallet-friendly options.