Layering it up
Lately we’ve been experiencing some harsh weather, pairing both rain and temperatures of about 5ºC. The art of layering is crucial to withstanding the worst winter days, but even more so when rain joins the picture, as most waterproof garments such as trenches or macs are not the best when it comes to keeping you warm.
Layering consists of wearing several garments on top of each other, in order to increase your body’s thermal insulation. In some of the world’s coldest regions this is vital to your survival…in others, it’s just an amazingly stylish way to stay comfortable. By combining different pieces on distinct “levels” of your outfit, you are able to add visual appeal as well as functionality and versatility, by letting you adjust the number of layers to any given situation.
However, pulling it off may prove to be a harder task than it may seem at first. As a rule of thumb, the thickness of the layers should increase towards the exterior, keeping the thinner pieces closer to your body, as in: tee - shirt - pullover - cardigan - blazer - topcoat (you don’t need to wear them all at once, obviously). Mind you, every rule has exceptions and you can leave it to the Italians to find them…puffed vests over blazers anyone? Other than that, it all comes down to personal taste and experimenting with your pieces to see what works well together.
This is something I wore to work on a cold rainy day. Although this trench has a warm inner lining, it is still not enough, so I paired it with a chunky heavy knit cardigan, a brushed cotton vest, shirt, tie and a reversible scarf. One of my favourite things about this look, besides the color palette, is how the tie remains perfectly framed among all the layers. Also, notice the versatility I mentioned above, as it adapts to more casual (chunky knit), or formal occasions (shirt and vest alone).
Beige trench coat by Paul Smith, navy chunky heavy knit cardigan by Massimo Dutti, vintage brown cotton vest, slim fit pink dress shirt by Hugo Boss, dark blue jeans by Levi’s (511 slim), distressed brown loafers by Lottusse, reversible scarf by Fred Perry, polka dot pink tie by Vicri, brown braided leather belt by ACNE and watch by Gucci.
Back to black
2010 was undoubtedly a pattern filled year…plaids were everywhere to be found and quickly became one of the “must haves” of the season. Coming in all types of scales, shapes and colors, there was one particular pattern that stood above all else, thus reenforcing its place as one of the most sought, beautiful and timeless of the bunch: Blackwatch.
Originating from one of Scotland’s most famous regiments, this tricolored tartan bearing the shades of blue, black and green, is thought to have been primarily used for hunting purposes due to its subdued nature. Its timeless character and overall allure have made it into one of fashion’s most beloved plaids. Exuding a unique sense of class and elegance, it’s an amazing addition to any wardrobe, adding color in an understated way and being easily paired with other pieces. The only downside is deciding which item to get, given the amount of offerings out there…
Checked Peacoat by Paul Smith
Dark blue plaid blazer and reversible plaid vest by Aquarama @ Porvocação
Tartan hoodie by Fred Perry @ Bonobos
Clarks Originals Desert Boots @ Asos
Pendleton four pocket tote bag @ Asos.
Blackwatch Plaid Wool Scarf @ Rugby
On the street…
Beyond Fabric suggests…
This time around, I decided to pair two of my favourite pieces of the year: the chambray shirt and white jeans. Chambray is just one of those fabrics that can’t go unnoticed; love it or hate it, its unique texture sets it apart from the rest and adds a fresh and relaxed feel to any look. This updated take on the traditional chambray shirt, by Sir Paul Smith, features 2 front pockets, contrasting white stitching and cream buttons. Top it off with this navy lambswool shawl collar cardigan by Fred Perry, for added warmth and a play on the different hues of blue. The wooden-like buttons and padded elbows make it all the more interesting. On the bottom, a pair of white jeans: one of the most terrifying pieces for most men (more on that on a future post). White is neutral, so as long as you keep your jeans fitted and simple, you can mix them with pretty much everything. This pair by Nudie Jeans Co. are slim fitting and will treat you good. In what regards footwear, D.S.Dundee’s chestnut oxford brogues in contrasting leather (grain/soft) take it to the next level. Accessory wise, a soft cashmere Stewart tartan scarf by Ralph Lauren will keep you warm while introducing a new color to the look, adding flare and an invigorating twist. Finally, this seamed buffalo leather shopper by Zara is perfect for carrying around your belongings and is a perfect match for those outstanding brogues.
Bear in mind that these looks are mere suggestions to get you inspired.
Fred Perry Lambswool Shawl Collar Cardigan - 137€ @ Asos.
Paul Smith Washed Chambray Shirt - 136€ @ Paul Smith.
Nudie Jeans Thin Finn Extreme Bleach Jeans - 129€ @ Nudie Jeans.
D.S.Dundee Chestnut Oxford Brogues - (approx.) 385€ @ D.S.Dundee.
Ralph Lauren Stewart Tartan Cashmere Scarf - (approx.) 200€ @ Ralph Lauren.
Zara Buffalo Leather Seamed Shopper - 99€ @ Zara.