The one styling trick every guy needs to master now that fall weather is here

The seasons are transitioning, and so must our wardrobes.

As the air becomes crisp and nights grow darker, dressing for the weather is like trying to hit a moving target. The simple solution is to be prepared for anything.

It’s called layering. You may have heard of it.

Here’s how it works: You form an outfit with multiple layers. When it’s cold, you put on more layers; when it’s hot, you take them off. All of the pieces should work together and separately. It sounds simple but there are quite a few pitfalls, like overdoing it on colour or being clumsy about hemlines.

Here are some tips on layering outfits correctly for fall.

Layer from chunkiest to thinnest fabric, keeping lighter pieces closest to the skin

This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but think about it this way: You wouldn’t put a sportcoat over a thick and chunky wool cardigan, but you would put it over a thin Merino wool, V-neck sweater.

Each visible layer should work with the outfit — and on its own

The skill of layering is being able to shed layers without sacrificing style. For this you must make use of the full colour and material palette at your disposal.

For example, this model can lose his puffer coat and still look smart in his sportcoat and grey sweater. He can also ditch the sportcoat and the sweater and look great as well. Still another option is to get rid of the sportcoat but keep the puffer coat. Layering gives you options.

Be careful with colour

Limit pops of colour to one layer, as the blog Effortless Gent preaches. Too much colour can make you appear clownish, or like you have no idea what you’re doing. Keep the bright piece close to your skin, so more of it is covered up, and you’ll be good to go.

While your other layers should have some similarities and not be too disparate, watch your grays and beiges. You don’t want to accidentally wash yourself out in a sea of blah.

Mind your hems

As Art of Manliness’ Antonio Centeno says, the hems on your outer layers should be longer than the ones on your inner layers. Flout this rule and you’ll run the risk of looking goofy and unbalanced.

Tucking can help with this if your shirt tails are too long in the front or back.

Know the purpose of your layers

Each layer has a purpose, says Centeno. The key to layering is to dress purposefully and style pieces in the right manner. In the above photo, the coat provides a protective, weather-proof barrier to the elements while the wool sweater insulates. The important thing is to layer for the weather you’re going to experience.

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