Men’s Style Tips for Layering

Smart layering is important for guys throughout the year, but especially in fall and winter. If you know how to layer your masculine articles wisely, you’ll always be comfortable and you’ll look stylish at the same time.

If you’re not sure where to start, read on. By the end of this guide, you’ll know exactly how to layer your clothing for maximum comfort and practical mobility.

Thin Inside, Thick Outside

Your first rule of thumb is pretty obvious: you should wear thinner articles closer to your body and thicker articles on the outside. This makes it easy to strip and add layers as needed, plus it keeps you cool without overheating.

For example, you should wear a thin T-shirt – like this metal vent short-sleeved crew neck – as your lower layer for the layer that touches your skin. As you go higher, you can add additional layers, like a thicker flannel, a coat, or even a hoodie. It wouldn't make any practical or stylistic sense to wear a flannel without a T-shirt, after all!

Say you feel a little warm. If you follow this layering advice, you can take off your flannel or coat and immediately cool off. Then, if you get chilly later, you can add the layer back to your ensemble and still look stylish while feeling more comfortable.

Wear Light Shades to Heavy Shades

When it comes to color, you should sequence your hues with the lightest shades at the bottom of the layering stack and the darker shades at the top.

For example, say that you want to put together an outfit that includes a T-shirt, a flannel, and a jacket or sweater. A T-shirt should be the lightest color, followed by a midrange color for your flannel. The darkest color should be on your jacket.

This helps with color contrast and ensures that your outfit’s layers look distinct and unique. If you do it the reverse way, the eyes of onlookers will only be drawn to the outermost layer of your outfit, rather than all the layers together.

Color Compliments

Your many clothing layers should be in colors that complement each other or look good when worn next to each other. As an example, these Black Blue Ridge Joggers from Vintage 1946 should be paired with either high contrast shades, like white or cream sweaters and jackets, or complementary dark shades, like navy blue, gray, etc.

By keeping color pairings in mind, whatever layers you choose to wear will look better altogether instead of separately. That’s the key to putting together a smart, stylish layered outfit no matter the season or what articles you choose.

Avoid Looking Too Thick

Layering can be stylish and practical, but it’s easy to go overboard and accidentally make yourself look thick or chunky. For instance, if you wear a flannel with a very thin sweater, your outfit could look bulky, bulgy, or otherwise less than stylish.

Instead, you should only layer articles if they are suitably thin and fit well for your upper body. For instance, wear a flannel with a jacket that's large and thick enough to stand as a distinct layer and that's sized appropriately (e.g., it should fit you when you wear several layers, not fit you when you're naked – otherwise, it'll look too tight when you finally wear all the layers together).

Each Layer Should Be Independent

Lastly, don’t forget that each layer in your outfit should look and feel independent from the others. In other words, you should be able to strip away any layer in the ensemble and still look appropriate for your situation.

A classic example is a men’s suit jacket and a button-down dress shirt. You can’t wear the suit jacket by itself, of course, but you can remove the suit jacket and still look perfectly appropriate for any formal social occasion.

Similarly, if you pair a T-shirt with a flannel or sweater, you can take away the sweater and look fine. When it comes to flannels, you might even be able to remove the T-shirt and just wear your flannel while still looking stylish and feeling comfortable (depending on the temperature, of course!).


With the above five tips, you’re now ready to simultaneously layer wisely and stylishly. These style tips can be used when layering practically any articles ranging from T-shirts to button-downs to jackets and much more.

Need to start rebuilding your wardrobe to take advantage of these tips, however? Vintage 1946 can help, so check out our selection of menswear articles today!