A Lesson in Summer Layering

June 09, 2016

The weather in the late spring/early summer is notoriously unpredictable.  Whether you pack a light jacket or throw on a sweater, the best way to cope with the uncertainty of the early summer months is to master the art of layering.  Think layering is only for the colder months?  Think again.

Sometimes summer layering can be as easy as wearing a cardigan or a denim jacket on a cool July day. Yet we’ve all had that day where the weather’s taken an unexpected turn, and suddenly we’re on the verge of having a heat stroke.

This is why the key to layering at this time of year is opting for pieces you can easily throw on and take off, depending on which direction the temperature is heading. It’s about setting a solid outfit foundation that you can easily build on as the day gets later and the temperatures get cooler.  Although people associate layering with the colder months, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to layer your summer looks as well!  Layering gives your look more dimension, and keeps you looking polished and put together.  It’s all about incorporating lightweight fabrics in separates that will give you a functional, comfortable, summertime look.

First things first: A summer blazer is essential for the warmer weather months.  The chambray blazer I’m wearing is the perfect summer layering piece for the office.  It has a relaxed fit but still gives the outfit a put together, professional look.  It keeps me warm enough when I’m inside in the AC but doesn’t have me sweating bullets if I take a walk at lunch time.  Outerwear that’s loose and drapey with a structured shoulder will always work best.  Having structure up top keeps the blazer from sticking to you, which is a MAJOR KEY.

This structured skirt is the perfect base piece for a fashion forward summer work outfit.  BTW, it’s Milly, and I got it NEW WITH TAGS for $25 on eBay.  I am extremely proud of that.  But anyway, it is so easy to build an outfit around a cute black skirt.  I added a light white button down and at first just put the blazer over that.  It was really lacking something so I threw the striped vest over the button down and it looked like a completely different outfit.  The blazer over it tied the whole thing together and looked great combined with the striped vest and button down.  I love mixing different prints, patterns and colors lately because it’s so exciting when you find a new combination that really works.  The statement necklace was the perfect accent up top, and really all the look needed.  I work the low patent loafers rather than heels because I thought they would make my skirt look too short. 

Some layering pieces to try out:
  1. Denim Jacket 
  2. Lightweight Blazer (my blazer pictured above) extra 40% off
  3. Sleeveless Waistcoat ------ my go-to 3rd piece 
  4. Long Cardi 
  5. Crew neck sweater (no chunky knits!)
Dressing for summer is all about keeping it simple and comfortable, so opt for lightweight fabrics.  You want your blazers/jackets to be lightweight enough to layer over a shirt or blouse on cooler days without feeling too hot, so cotton, linen, chambray, are fabrics you should be prioritizing due to their breathable open weaves. Also, lighter hues are far more appropriate for the summer months than darker colors as they reflect light rather than absorb it (helps keep ya cool).

All in all, style is about confidence so when you arrive at the office or to happy hour, walk in like you own the place.  Try to mix different patterns or try combining two pieces that you’ve never worn together before.  Throw on a tee under your tank dress to capture a real 90’s feel or layer a white button down under a going out tank that you otherwise wouldn’t wear to the office.  You’ll never know if something works until you try it out!

I’ve linked some of my favorite Summer layering pieces that can be worn in so many different ways below.  Also, my chambray blazer is an additional 40% off today!!!!

Have any other layering tips?  Share them in the comments below!

xo Corinne - catch my thrift

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