Style Blog

Top Four Basic Men’s Layering Rules

Top 4 Rules

Layer Like You Mean It: The Easy-To-Follow Guide To Men’s Layering

Fall and early winter are those times of year when the weather can’t seem to make up its mind. One day, the forecast is chilly and windy, and the next, the sun is out and the temperature is in the high 60s. Even when it’s consistently cold out, the heat inside your home or workplace might be on high. The months of October, November, and December are particularly tricky to dress for. You might start off the day in a sweater and be sweating by the afternoon–even just from the powerful heating system of wherever you spend your day. Or you might leave your house in just a light jacket thinking the day will warm up and then regret it later.

The solution to these weather+clothing mismatches is to layer your clothes. Layering just means you wear a few different clothes on top of each other, but in such a way that you don’t have to walk around like Joey from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. saying, “Could I BE wearing any more clothes?” There are a couple of easy guidelines to follow for successful layering so you can feel comfortable while still looking stylish.

Top Four Basic Men’s Layering Rules:

1. Three Is A Magic Number

Two to four layers are around what you should be aiming for, but three is that sweet spot of layering perfection. Don’t forget that ties and bowties count as fashion layers (even if they won’t actually keep you warm). A dress shirt (1) with a tie (2) and a vest or sweater over it (3) looks sophisticated and put-together while also keeping you warm and toasty. Instead of a vest or sweater, you can throw on a cardigan for an easy to remove layer. Cardigans are definitely not just for women, by the way.

2. Layer Thin to Thick

You want to wear your thinnest layers closer to your body for two reasons. The first: it creates a smoother look and avoids bulkiness. The second: climate control for your body is much more effective if you add and remove the thicker (aka more impactful) layers rather than the thinner ones.

3. Consider Color, Pattern, and Texture

You want to show contrast between your layers, but in a subtle way. One bright color amongst your layers can really make your outfit pop, but too many bright colors will overwhelm your look. Try to keep your color scheme within the same family or use complimentary colors so your outfit is pleasing to the eye. The same rule of thumb applies to patterns. You want to add interest to your ensemble without it looking too busy. If you’re wearing a dress shirt with a checked pattern, don’t wear a tie with a similar kind of pattern. Instead, try a tie with either a solid color or even go bold with stripes highlighting one of the colors from the shirt, and then put on a solid colored sweater on top.

Wearing different textures adds a sophisticated dimension to your layered look, so no need to shy away from them. The best way to wear textured layers is to show a progression from light to heavy while also paying attention to color. If you choose a monochromatic color scheme, you can achieve a refined look by changing up your textures while keeping the same color.

4. Each Layer Should Be Able To Stand Alone

When you layer up, it’s easy to forget that every layer matters, even ones that aren’t the most visible. The whole point of layering this time of year is to be able to shed layers as the day progresses, or if you go from outside to inside, or if the heat is too high or too low in certain rooms at the office.

That means that you still want to wear a stylish dress shirt underneath that sweater because chances are that sweater might come off sometime during the workday, or during an important outing, like a date. You don’t want to start sweating because you’re uncomfortable taking off your outer layers.

A High Bar shirt is the perfect choice to wear underneath a comfortable but sophisticated sweater and a stylish tie. We carry shirts in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures, so you can exercise your creativity when putting together a variety of layered ensembles. All our shirts are custom made so you can have layered looks in mind as you create your favorite!

Sign up now!

By creating a High Bar Shirt account I agree to the Terms of Service.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your username and email address are correct. There may be changes to your subscription that require you being contacted.

Forgot Password