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A guide to help the average man... look less average

Layer

Mark Kwak

Your breath creates a fog as you walk slowly along the breezy coast. A beautiful woman walks by your side and begins to cross her arms for warmth. You ask her if she's cold, and she abruptly says no, even though you can tell she's shivering. Time to be the man she wants you to be. Time to give her your jacket. You take off your fitted trench and drape it along her shoulders, feeling cool and masculine.... But oh no. You start getting goosebumps, your teeth start shaking, and you can barely keep up with conversation. You realize the only thing you're wearing is a thin dress shirt, and it's too damn cold... My friend, you've just lost the cool that you had 10 seconds ago, and it's all because you didn't LAYER.

Gentlemen, we've just started fall, and winter is next door. The time has come for us to layer our clothing in order to keep warm... and of course to look awesome.

To me, nothing looks more sophisticated than a man who properly layers his clothing. You'll get a nod of approval from me if you put a wool scarf on top of your favorite peacoat and sweater, with a little bit of your dress shirt peeking out. Apart from keeping you warm and fuzzy, the technique of layering helps you show off more parts of your wardrobe at once. Layering allows you to start being creative with color, pattern, and texture matching, not to mention the fact that you never need to choose between wearing your black sweater and your grey jacket. Just put them both on and call it a day.

Of course this doesn't mean you can just blindly choose a random sweater, shirt, and jacket to layer on top of each other. We're still trying to remain stylish, and there are some basic rules I would suggest you follow.

1. Don't wear too many patterns.

I love patterns. A gingham shirt or pinstripe jacket can really make clothing a bit more fun and appealing. However, you start layering heavy stripes on top of argyle on top of checks, and you've essentially made your outfit unbearable to look at. Your clothes will start to distract attention from you... and that's never good.

2. Colors matter.

Try to layer with complementing colors. The reason I keep recommending greys, blacks, whites, and browns is because you can match a lot easier with basic colors/shades. Put yellow, purple, green, and orange in one outfit, and you've likely got yourself an eyesore. This isn't to say that you can't have some accent colors in your layered outfit. In fact, I would recommend it! Put a pink shirt on in the midst of greys, or an olive sweater around black. It'll be fun and classic at the same time.

3. Don't overdo it.

Yes, I'm telling you to layer. However, I don't want you to perspire to death or debilitate your arm movements while doing so. Stick to layering two or three pieces. Maybe four if the fabric is thin enough. If you start layering too many pieces, the other problem is that patterns, colors, and fabrics may start to clash. We want to keep style simple, not complicated.

So next time you're on that date and you've just lent out your jacket in the midst of a cold winter night... thank your style knowledge, for it saved you both practically, and fashionably.