Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Layers Ease Into A Relaxed Fall

Women's Biker JacketNot everyone is ready for summer to be over, let alone shop for fall fashions. So I asked several friends what they were planning to do and they suggest easing into it all with layers.

Most are looking for mid-length dresses, mid-sleeve tops, or light jackets to add some life to summer tunics, which will eventually be traded in for warmer pants and dark denim. Just remember to keep it simple. Stick to light basics as a foundation to avoid too much bulk.

It also makes more sense to keep lighter foundations neutral, relying on accessories to provide a prop of color. The same can be said for textures. Anything with textures or more bulk will look better on the outside. The one exception is wearing a short jacket over a longer cardigan. (But honestly, I think it only works for smaller, slender women).

Three looks for fall foundations and layers from Free People.

Free People, which frequently carries more bohemian and vintage looks, is one of the better retailers who understands and appreciates layering. I covered them in late spring and early summer for a similar late spring season, giving summer fashions a reason to come out early.

About Town CardiFor fall, Free People has plenty of layered looks that work well together. One example is about town cardi. The cardigan is soft, light, and reduces bulk because it can be easily swept to the sides. The original design, with cropped sides, allows the bottom to be styled tied, and features two front pockets and button placket closure. It is made with cotton blends, and can be machine washed.

If you want something more dramatic or bohemian in its styling, the marled fringe cardigan provides significantly more pattern and sports a knotted fringe trim. It's cute, borrowing more from a pullover than a cardigan. The unlined outerwear is a blend of cotton, linen, acrylic, wool, and mohair. The only downside is its hand wash cold only instructions.

Cable TunicConversely, using something like the cable tunic as a foundation and then accenting it with the right jacket makes for a smart effect. The semi-sheer sweater tunic works as a dress with scoop neck front and deep v-neck back. But the v-neck makes it less wearable into the fall, unless you purchase a jacket. The one matched to the hero shot above is a tan biker jacket.

But other jacket styles might better match the different colors. For example, the jade green (one of this season's colors) might look better in black. Perhaps with an unzipped fleece jacket by Affliction or, for a completely different look (sticking with a more neutral tunic), a Sacha military jacket by Marrakech, which can be found at the National Jean Company.

Always keep in mind that most layered looks work for thinner women. Women with curves have a greater need to accentuate their waistlines. The examples I used keep things simple, focusing on layers. A third layer could be a scarf or small vest, taking care not to add too much girth in the middle.

Free People Layers And Foundations Stack A 7.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

Layering has worked for a few years, especially as the days run hotter and the evenings cooler or if you have to move from the colder outdoors inside warmer stores or offices. But where layering requires some thought is in that it looks great, provided the layers are thought out for body size and the bottoms are kept reasonably slim. The point is to look comfortable, not bundled.

Free People frequently changes and adds to it's collection. For the newest fashions, look for the collection at Bloomingdales. The fleece jacket (about $108) can be found at Affliction and the Sacha military jacket by Marrakech (about $148) is at National Jean Company. Sometimes specific styles are limited, in which case any links will default to the storefront.
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