Megan Snowe is an NYC-based stylist, artist, and designer. When she’s not putting together bold yet practical outfits, she’s creating new clothes and home goods from repurposed materials. When it’s time for a break, you’ll find her exploring the city with her dog Gertrude.
As a stylist, my number one tip for sustainable dressing is always to learn how to layer better and smarter. With a bit of planning and know-how, you can wear your favorite sleeveless summer dress year-round, elevate otherwise casual basics for a night out, and give some weekend time to your workplace favorites. In other words, layering helps to diversify the pieces you own, opening up a whole new world of possibilities!
To get layering right, you need the right foundations in your wardrobe. Here 5 key pieces I always recommend for multi-season layering and sustainable dressing:
Fitted Tank Top
A fitted tank top is a great base layer in chilly winter, a supporting role for ever-changing springtime temps, and a mainstay in the relentless heat of summer. No matter the season, a fitted tank top can be at the center of all of your looks.
The Rhea Rib Crop Top and the Namra Tank are my go-tos. For a springtime workday-to-happy hour look, wear the Namra Tank under the Aspen Shirt tucked into a cute skirt. Once the workday is over, transform the look by rolling up your sleeves and opening and untucking the Aspen Shirt. Showcasing the tank underneath adds a fun pop of color!
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of a button down dress like the Bayon Button Up Tunic. This beauty is full of incredible layering and styling possibilities! Here are a few ideas to ignite your imagination:
In cold weather, style this dress with the long sleeve Jill Top, the Classic Cotton Leggings, and The Elena boots. Want more silhouette definition? Belt it! Need another cozy layer? Add in a cardigan!
In spring and fall, wear the Bayon Button Up Tunic open over the Muscle Tank and straight leg pants, like the Rosie Pant. This concept also looks great with the Giselle Mid Rise Skinny. Complete the outfit with a classic loafer, I love The Sofia loafer in Caramel here to play off the rich burgundy tone.
Long Sleeve Top
Let's take a moment to give long sleeve tops like the Jill Top their due appreciation.
Whether with the casual Fillmore Boyfriend Jeans, the elegant Alison Skirt, or the cute Rita Jumpsuit, a fitted long sleeve top will add a polished finish to your outfit. Aside from looking great, it will also keep you warm as a base layer under sweaters and extend the seasonal wear of favorite summer pieces.
Yes, a good pullover sweater is a wonderful thing, but a cardigan has so many more layering and styling possibilities. I recommend a cardigan with some room in the sleeves and body, so that you can wear it over loose blouses, a tunic dress, or even a hoodie for maximum comfort.
My personal vote goes to the Jasmine Cardigan. This piece in particular has a great balance of room for layering and flattering design details. It also comes in 100% organic cotton which is particularly good for multi-season dressing since it’s breathable and easy to wash.
On any given Friday, you’ll find me layering the Namra Tank, Aspen Shirt, and Jasmine Cardigan buttoned all the way up and paired with the Fillmore Boyfriend Jeans. Button it halfway to show more of the top underneath while still featuring the shape of the cardigan itself. I also like to tie the Jasmine Cardigan diagonally across my torso over the Nuon Top when I’m on a summer weekend adventure around town so I’m prepared if the day out takes me into the cool evening.
Last but not least, the collared shirt. It’s already gotten lots of air time here, but it’s worth emphasizing: a button down collared shirt can do so much for your wardrobe any season of the year. The Aspen Shirt is clearly a favorite, but the Joni Classic Shirt is also sure to be your new bestie.
Layer it under the Sasha Shift Dress with tights and The Elena lace up boots for an adorable spring or fall outfit. A collared shirt can also completely change the vibe of The Cropped Sweatshirt from lazy weekend to casual office ready.
I hope this list brings some ease to the idea of layering and encourages you to play around with the pieces you have! For more layering inspiration from an expert, book a personal styling session to help you find the foundational pieces that work best for you.