How Not to Layer | A lesson in layering from Zara

Why do fashion bloggers all love fall? Is it because of the crisp air? The golden leaves? The fact that they’re all working from the same Fashion Blogging Rule Book, and rule # 10 states: Thou Shalt Begin Every Post in the Month of September With the Words, “Autumn Is My Favourite Season?”

Well, it’s all of those things, really. But it’s mostly about the layering. Here’s what we think of when fashion bloggers start getting excited about the OMGLAYERING:

how not to layer

fashion and layering

a lesson in layering

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Not all layering is like this, obviously. In fact, what the fashion world likes to call “layering”, as if it’s some kind of complex technique, is what the rest of us simply call, “Getting dressed when it’s cold out.” So, you know, you might wear a cardigan over your dress. Or – and brace yourselves for this one, fashion force – a COAT. Over your regular clothes. That, friends, is “layering”, and that’s really all there is not it. It’s not particularly challenging, or even particularly interesting. How, then, we wonder, did ZARA manage to get it so wrong in the outfit above?

No, seriously, how did this happen? It’s like someone threw the model a box of clothes and challenged her to wear them all at the same time. It’s layering gone badly, badly wrong, but there are some important lessons to be learnt from it, about the fine art of “layering”. For instance, from this outfit alone, we learn that:

1. A sensible cardi isn’t the answer to EVERY sartorial dilemma.

2. Dresses over jeans should be left in the 90s, where they belong.

3. Particularly MAXI dresses, over SAGGY jeans.

4. Lots of very loose, baggy layers will make you look like a badly-wrapped parcel. Wear loose layers over structured ones, instead.

5. For the love of Gaga, learn how to cuff your jeans properly, people: there’s “effortless” and then there’s “no, really, I didn’t make even the slightest effort…”

OK, that last one has nothing to do with layering. It’s just annoying.

What are your thoughts on layering, style sleuths? Are you shrieking with excitement at the very thought of FINALLY being able to do what most of do without giving it a second thought? Or are you with us in thinking it’s totally fine and practical, but not a reason to be popping the champagne?

7 Comments

  • September 3, 2014

    Flagless

    I’m not a fashion blogger, but Autumn is my favourite season. I think it’s got something to do with being able to dramatically swish my coattails round corners.

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  • September 3, 2014

    Sharon

    The model looks like the electricity went out in sub-zero temps and to keep from freezing, she put on everything she could—but she DID need to add a coat with a nice heavy Pendleton blanket scarf– plus a couple of bright knitted caps and neon gloves would set it all off nicely as a STATEMENT. Sadly, I see no statement jewelry, and the top just cries out for it, doesn’t it? Of course, the coat and blanket would cover it, but she would have the satisfaction of knowing that it was there! LOL

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  • September 3, 2014

    Sharon

    Oh Dear–I just looked at the pic again, and something is missing! She needs a pair of leggings under those jeans–her ankles will freeze! It isn’t over ’til it’s over! I mean, Chica, complete the look, or don’t even go there!

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  • September 3, 2014

    Cass

    Layering is fine as long as you don’t look like you picked seven random items of clothing and threw them on in the dark

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  • September 4, 2014

    Yannick

    That whole combination looks so very normcore.

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  • September 4, 2014

    Claudia

    Are these textile Chelsea boots??? And yes, I do layer – how else would I wear a jacket? – but I like to resemble a human being even in my clothes, instead of an exploded bag of Goodwill clothes.

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  • September 8, 2014

    Suze

    To me, this look screams of finding out at the airline check-in desk that you’re ever so slightly over your baggage weight allowance so against your better judgement you go to desperate lengths to avoid paying the ridiculous excess charge. And good for her, I say. Anyway you’d be glad of all those layers when everyone else is freezing their bits off in the freezing cold cabin so, in that particular instance, I reckon you’d have the last laugh. In any other scenario though this is an inexcusably misguided look.

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