Monday, December 6, 2010

Layer After Layer

Remember just a few short months ago when the temperature was 100 degrees with a heat index of 110?  Oh how I now long for those days (I'm a warm weather girl anyway) on a day like today when the high is right at freezing.

As I was driving out this morning for my meetings on Music Row, I kept thinking how, as much as I enjoy being creative with clothes by coming up with new and different ways to layer them, I hate the feel of numerous layers and prefer to wear as little amount of clothes as I can get away with and still look appropriate.  This cannot be done however when snow is falling (as it was this morning) and the wind is blowing.  I love the look of layers, but wearing layers is not always my favorite thing to do, especially when I get in my car...I tend to feel like a sardine while wearing a heavy coat and numerous layers all stuffed under a seat belt.

In fact, the other day I realized that, including my seat belt, I had on a total of four belts!  How does this happen you might ask?  Well, first, skinny jeans aren't always so skinny in the waist, and so they tend to slide down if you don't wear a plain thin belt to hold them up, so that was belt #1.  Then, I added a wider belt over the long tunic top I had on over the jeans to accessorize my look and to keep the tunic from looking too boxy on top (ladies, you can always create a great shape by adding a belt to a variety of outfits).  That was belt #2.  Then of course with the temperatures we are now having, I had to wear my over coat which also has, you guessed it, belt #3.  Once I was in my car with belt #4 on, my seat belt (something that is always a "must wear"), I felt like an astronaut strapped into the shuttle getting ready to launch into outer space.

While layering is a great way to stay both warm and fashionable at the same time during the winter months, you have to know how to do it without making it look like you've gained 20 pounds.  In the two pictures below, which girl do you think looks the tallest/slimmest?  Which one looks the shortest/heaviest?

For the tallest/slimmest, you probably guessed the girl on the right and the girl on the left for the shortest/heaviest.  Am I right?  You may be surprised to learn that these photos are of the same person.  She is dressed in layers in two different pictures, but the one on the right is an example of the right way to layer and the one on the left is an example of the wrong way to layer (although she didn't realize she was doing something wrong in the photo on the left and actually wore this outfit out in public, but it turned out to be for a good cause).

It's easy to sometimes get a little carried away when it comes to layering so you have to keep an eye out for when it becomes overkill.  Here are some simple rules to keep in mind:
  • Don't wear a winter scarf around your neck if you're already wearing a thick turtleneck. 
  • When layering, make sure most, if not all, layers are of a thinner fabric.
  • Make sure most of the layers, especially those closest to your skin, are somewhat form-fitting.  It's okay to have one outer layer that is a little bulkier for those really cold days.
  • Tuck jeans into boots.  This will make you're bottom half look leaner and keep your legs warmer!
  • Keep any layers on the bottom half (i.e. skirt, tights/leggings, and boots) to only one or two colors and make sure same colors are touching.  In other words, if you have on a light color skirt, your tights should be a similar color as either your skirt or your boots.  You would not want to break up the line of your leg into three contrasting color blocks (like in the photo on the left) such as dark skirt, light tights, dark boots.  Doing so will make your legs look both shorter and thicker.
So, this winter, stay warm, layer with caution, and drive with caution (a seat belt is much more stylish than a body cast!  Talk about wearing an uncomfortable layer!)!

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