Saturday, 3 November 2012

A beautiful November day

Who would have thought that lunch outside was still possible in November, in Romania? And yet, it very much was the case today, when the sunny weather was more than tempting me to go out... and stay there :)

Now, if you are anything like me, going from one season to another is tough. More than tough, it sometimes feels like a Herculean task similar to cleaning the Augean stables in a single day. This is mostly due to the fact that, staring into the closet, my reaction typically fares somewhere between "Crap, I have nothing to wear!" and "What the hell I am going to do with all my summer clothes? I cannot put them aside, it's too depressing". The solution, which I must confess to having stumbled onto way before I knew the fancy word for it, is layering. The advantages are clear: 

1) No separation anxiety! Layering means I do not have to part ways with my summer clothes just yet and, thus, say good-bye to summer and its beautiful moments. Trust me on this one, it's important to deflect this possible danger to my mental health when depression hangs like a dark cloud over my head on account of, well, the dark clouds hanging low outside my window.
2) You're practically doubling your choices and who does not love having more options? 
3) It buys you some time before you actually have to buy season-appropriate clothing, time which you can spend well by browsing around the stores and checking magazines or the Internet to spot THE pieces that you want to incorporate into your wardrobe. It's an efficient way of saving some money, while also making sure you have just the look you were aiming for the season.
4) It makes you adaptable. Imagine this for a second: you're leaving early in the morning for work, when temperatures are closer to the minus side than the plus, yet by lunchtime, the weather is all sunny, the thermometer has spiked and you're stuck sweating inside a warm coat, looking and feeling miserable. Who wants that?! Having many layers on means you can easily take one off whenever it's getting too hot and still be completely glamorous to boot.

I have been explaining this theory to my friends for years now and, while I have earned quite a few followers, there are still some who set their jaws and say it's not for them. The main reason cited? Layering is difficult. And while at first sight it might seem like it works according to a secret, alchemy-like formula (and I have read many an article that gave just that impression), the truth is that there is just one rule you need to stick to: start with the lightest item on the bottom and work your way outwards. For example, do you want to still wear that chiffon blouse you were in love with all summer long? Wear with a delicate sweater on top, followed by a nice, cropped jacket and, if it's still a little bit chilly, round it off with a big scarf.

Tiffany Hsu
One tip that's always served me well is investing in big, warm scarves - they look great, I can pair them with anything and everything and just throwing them on before hitting the street will ensure thermic comfort regardless of the rest of my outfit. Together with tank tops, the right leather jacket (tight and well-structured), an elegant blazer and, of course, a toasty cardigan, scarves complete the list of essential layering items. Not too difficult, now is it?

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Another thing you need to look out for is the palette of colours - in my experience, one of the best ways to achieve an incredible result is to use layeres in complementary colours or, even better, different shades of the same colour. This way, the look feels much more put together without a lot of effort on your part and you will always have people guessing how you did it. 

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Last, but not least, don't neglect the accessories. Big and bold is my mantra, but, whatever your style, no look is ever truly complete without the right accessories and the layered look is no exception. If you want to take the concept up one notch, layer necklaces with chains of different lengths and I guarantee you will not regret it.

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