The Quick, Neat Guide to Layering Men’s Clothes

If you’re new to the world of men’s style, then you’ve probably heard of this concept called “layering” and deemed it too complicated to learn. Surely it’s some form of sartorial rocket science, not an actual accomplishment that any ordinary man on the street can hope to achieve.

But you’d be surprised just how easy layering can be. And with fall and winter just around the corner, there’s no better time to learn how to bundle up, stack your style, and layer with the best of them.

First Things First: Defining Layering

Let’s demystify layering first. Yes, layering can seem complicated when you first learn about men’s style, but the simple truth is that layering means putting one item of clothes on top of another for a comfortable, warming, attractive effect. That’s it.

If it sounds complicated, it’s really not. You probably did some layering today when you wondered whether your gray T-shirt went with your gray coat and decided to mix up the colors a little bit. That’s all we’re talking about here. Enough said?

Building the Bottom Layer

The quickest way to ensure that you’re good at layering your articles of clothing, taking them from separate entities to one unified, complete outfit, is that you have a versatile inner layer. An oxford cloth button down shirt, for example, provides a white collar that goes with just about anything you can buy to put over it.

But let’s stick to Vinatge1946. Our Vintage Henley in Mushroom is an ideal item for a bottom layer: it has a neutral color, it adds some texture (without distracting from the top layer), and it adds long-sleeve warmth. Our Retro Stretch Polo in White accomplishes the same things, only with short sleeves.

Make sure that these items fit you snugly without being stifling, because you’ll want that snug fit when you add a second layer on top.

Completing the Layers

Now to add the warm, chunkier outer layer. We like the 5 Gauge Pullover in Dark Denim; not only is it warm and snug, but it has some character and texture that really serves as a nice contrast for a subdued inner layer. (And if you don’t want two layers of buttons under your collar, you can always go with a plain tee underneath.)

The important point to remember is that your outer layer and inner layer should contrast in some way. (Some people actively clash their patterns and textures, but that can be a little advanced. Best to start slow.) A plain white OCBD under a textured piece like our 5 Gauge Pullover Dark Denim is a sure way to look sharp; try the Reversible Overshirt British Tan underneath and things might get a little messy.

Achieving a subtle, layered look is more art than science. But once you understand the principles as displayed by the products here at Vintage1946, you’ll be able to move on to even fancier forms of layering. Congratulations—you’ve gone from novice to knowledgeable.