The art of layering

20 May 2014
Written by Trudi Bennett
Print Email

It’s been said that fashion, like a good relationship, works best when you understand its many layers. Layers, as Trudi writes, can revitalise your wardrobe 

We're already nearly a month into winter and it definitely feels colder. So now my attention turns to one of my favourite personal styling tips - layering. Being able to layer for personal comfort, lifestyle and getting the wear out of all your clothing is really handy to know. 

This skill comes in handy no matter which part of the country you live in. Whether it’s the deep south and you are dressing for snow outside, or the milder winter of the higher North Island. Once you are able to layer your clothing successfully, you can add to or take off as needs be. Let’s say it’s very cold outside but your office/the mall/friend's house is warm. If you understand layering, then this is a breeze (hopefully not one that hits your neck as you sit under the air-conditioning….)

I like to break layering down in two ways. What I call ‘over’ layering and ‘under’ layering. Under layering is when you have a sleeveless top or dress and you pop a long sleeved layer – be it a merino, fitted stretchy top like Metalicus/MESOP/Vigorella or cotton T – under it. This type of layering is great for getting extra wear out of a floaty, sheer top or shirt during the colder months.  That under layer also allows you to wear and show off that great shaped sleeveless dress, which you have teamed with knee-high boots to get your through winter.

Over layering is when you throw something over the top of your current dress/top/shirt. Often this can be a cardigan or coat. This season my very favourite piece for this type of layering is the blazer. Blazers are extremely versatile for all ages, shapes and occasions. Wear them casually with jeans and they make your outfit look smarter than any cardigan can. Wear them over a dress for work or with a smarter pair of trousers. The reason they are a personal favourite of mine is that they give the upper body great structure. They cut through broader upper bodies to make them look slimmer and give a defined waist, which again many cardigans can hide. Lose your waist, you lose your shape, gain a size!

The other key to layering is to remember to use FINE layers. Nowadays keeping warm does not mean bulky. Many women feel uncomfortable in thick cable knits, so rest assured, a fine merino piece will keep you just as toasty warm. For those of you who suit a lower neckline but worry about keeping warm, a nice lower-neck thermal singlet does the trick. Then add a lovely, lightweight scarf worn as a fashion accessory, which fills the gap nicely. Just don’t tighten the scarf up too high if you feel your neck length isn’t your best feature.

Longer layers look better on taller folks but multiple lengths of layers are fine on everyone. This is as long as they are keeping your body in proportion, i.e. shorter layers, shorter person. Good luck layering, it’s truly a wonderful, helpful and essential skill to have living here in NZ. Stay warm and stay colourful!

Blazers: Ezibuy, Max
Merino: Glassons

  • Exciting news! Personal stylist, corporate speaker, fashion blogger and our very own Trudi Bennett has opened an Auckland style consultancy branch of So now you can choose either Auckland or Wellington to see a Wardrobe Flair consultant. Trudi looks forward to spreading her love of colour and styles throughout Auckland and continuing to teach men and women how to best dress for their colours, body shape, budget and lifestyle.


Add comment

Security code

  • Fashion & the 40+ woman
    20 October, 2014
    Setting straight the myth  that older women no longer care or are interested in looking stylish, Trudi Bennett gives advice on  how to rock it as a 40...
  • Trends vs body shape
    20 August, 2014
    Just as every body is unique, so to is clothing - as such Trudi tackles the tricky question of 'which trend and style is right for you, our age and sh...
  • Go on - put your fancy on
    20 July, 2014
    Pulling the old sneakers and jeans off and putting on heels and a posh dress can be a daunting thing, however don't despair for our fashionista Trudi ...
  • The art of layering
    19 May, 2014
    It’s been said that fashion, like a good relationship, works best when you understand its many layers. Layers, as Trudi writes, can revitalise your wa...
  • Autumn trends - the good, bad and not quite sure
    20 April, 2014
    What to wear, what to wear, what to wear! As the colder months creep in, the Autumn fashions start to emerge, challenging even the most fashionista am...
  • The importance of accessories
    20 March, 2014
    This month Trudi gives us a lesson in making the best out of accessories - working together with your outfit to create an ensemble that expresses your...
  • Stepping out in 2014
    20 February, 2014
    Trudi Bennett  reminds us that New Years resolutions aren't all about hard work and suggests a more gentle,  relaxed approach to getting the best out ...
  • Stepping out this summer
    20 December, 2013
    Oh summer how we love you, but oh how scary the prospect of fitting a swimsuit can be - never fear Trudi's here to help you choose the best fit for yo...
  • Spring clean your image
    20 November, 2013
    As the last days of spring make way for the long-awaited warm days of summer, Trudi reminds us that there is still time for that all important spring ...
  • WOW what a show
    20 October, 2013
    Having loved the show Trudi shares her thoughts on the art, fashion, excitement and amazing spectacular that is the World of Wearable arts (WOW) extra...
  • What you're wearing white!
    20 September, 2013
    Trudi Bennett laments the colour White and offers some sound fashion advice, to those choosing to wear this tricky colour, on how to make it work for ...
  • How others see you
    20 August, 2013
    First impressions: people forming an opinion of you based on very little - are so unfair. Don't despair, Trudi's here to ensure yours is the right imp...
  • Your one to 10 fashion to dos
    20 July, 2013
    The world of fashion can be pitiless to those who don't know their way around. Not any more - check out Trudi Bennett's top 10 style tips for the unin...
  • Brighten up and beat the brrrr...
    20 June, 2013
    Colour is the new black and, as Trudi Bennett writes, there's nothing like adding a little colour to your style to brighten those dark, cold winter da...
  • Taking fashion to the people
    20 May, 2013
    Trelise Cooper is an icon of NZ fashion. This month Trudi Bennett shares what, for her, makes Ms Cooper such an inspiring, global powerhouse of style 
  • To ankle boot or not to ankle boot!
    20 April, 2013
    Boots are a must-have for any wardrobe and, as Trudi Bennett writes, when worn correctly ankle boots are a key look for anyone with fashionable feet  ...
  • Catwalk in the Capital
    20 March, 2013
    As Wellington prepares for a fabulous week of fashion and creativity, Trudi Bennett gives a few pointers on how to showcase your own fashion and style...
  • The long and the short of it
    20 February, 2013
    Trudi Bennett discusses the highs and lows of that summer 'must have' clothing item - shorts, and what it takes to get the best cut and fit for you   ...
  • I don't DO yellow
    20 January, 2013
    Trudi Bennett laments the look of horror the colour yellow receives and challenges you to try it take a walk on the sunny side and say hello to yellow...
  • Party Outfits
    20 December, 2012

    I have tried to deny it but I'm afraid I can't bury my head in the sand any more. Christmas really nearly here. For many people this sends a shiver of...

MyMag this month...

...your magazine for inspiring stories, beautiful spaces, networking, sharing & celebrating community...

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New Zealand


MyMag is your Mag! Subscribe today - it's FREE.  
Subscribe and receive our monthly newsletter keeping you up to date with the latest edition.