Go West this summer and get ahead.

Pile on the layers

On freezing mornings I want to wear my big wrap coat, so I can leave my house feeling just as cozy as I did when I awoke. But as the day wears on the coat becomes such a burden. It’s warm and sunny and the coat weighs heavy on my arm, dragging on the ground. Not such a great idea anymore.

The remedy: layering. Benefits: it’s easier to shed thin layers and toss them in your bag as needed; if you’re bored with your wardrobe, just pile on a ton of random things on top and voila! Totally chic; the possibilities are endless, literally.

Here are my tips for layering:

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The first layer: I wear something tight on the bottom, as this helps insulate the body and keeps everything else from looking too bulky. Think thermals and long sleeve tees, or, my favorites: turtle-necks and unitards. I like to keep this layer the most basic, adding interest as I go.

The second layer: This is when things start going awry, in a good way of course. Button downs and cardigans are foolproof over layer one, and can be worn under sweaters/sweatshirts. This would be a great moment to revive some of those lonely pieces pushed to the far corners of your closet.

The third layer: Outerwear is by far the most fun. Keep things light with an anorak or quilted vest on top. I look forward to the day someone wears a poncho or straight-up blanket in lieu of a jacket/coat. Don’t forget the socks, beanie, big belt, scarf, etc. Experimentation is key here. Warning: you will end up with a pile of clothes on your floor.

I always cater the outfit to the weather, but the splendid thing about layering is that you can do it in any season. It’s all about creating texture and dimension in an outfit. Consider mixing different textiles, like chiffon with leather to make your outfit interesting. Ultimately, HAVE FUN. Happy layer-jamming!

Samantha Reardon is a designer fahionista on a college budget. She will share her love of vintage goods and clothes for the everyday college student and urban dweller without bucks to burn on name brands. Follow Samantha @pinsandplats

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