Perfect for days like this!
Now, I know a lot of people hate layering — hate layering — but I love it, am always craving to do it — which is partly the reason why autumn is my favorite season and summer my least.
However, there are certain days in the summer when you can actually layer clothing, if layering so please you, and, of course, I always take those days up on that offer. They’re days like the one pictured above: rainy, gloomy, not hot (but also not cold), and thus calling for something a little more than spaghetti straps but a little less than a sweater. Like I said, sign me up!
The key to layering in the summer is to use ridiculously lightweight materials, so very thin garments made of cotton are your best bet. However, I caution to only let the layers on top of your base be super light; you need some thickness somewhere to spice things up (and also to not let you walk around flashing your butt to everyone due to see-through pants and such).
Here, I wanted to wear one of my most favorite dresses. It’s a tank dress and I would be heading to work, so I knew I’d be cold if I didn’t put something over top of it, especially because the weather was as is pictured above. So, instead of reaching for a cardigan (LAME — as well as too hot for June), I rummaged through the few button-downs I have in my closet, looking for any that would pair well with this dress.
I wanted a button-down for many reasons. First of all, you can never go wrong with a collar, and button-downs almost always have collars. Second of all, being that they’re generally considered blouses, they’re generally made of very light materials, perfect for giving an ever-so-slight layer of warmth to a too-summery outfit. Third of all, they can be tied, which is basically my most favorite thing to do with clothing: tie it.
Now for why I chose this specific blouse to go with this dress: Mixing stripes and florals and colors IS A LAYERING MUST.
Okay, so maybe not a must, but it’s definitely a way to add some depth and individuality to your outfit. Plus, it’s just generally super fun to do.
At work, I had one of my peers ask how I could so easily pull off a mixing such as this, and, honestly, it’s just paying attention to details. The reason why the stripes on the blouse work with the floral of the skirt is because they’re white, and so they match the floral seamlessly. (But it also helps that the flowers on the dress are quite small; it’s generally very hard to clash anything when you’re working with a small pattern as your main pattern — unless you pair colors that don’t work, of course.) And, honestly, any color within your main pattern that isn’t the base of the garment (in this case, red) will work wonderfully.
In my case, this blouse matched perfectly the little pops of light blue within the dress, so I chose it.
The following will give you a better look at the outfit, for I don’t think I really captured it on myself well enough (thanks be again to the MIA tripod…). Sorry for the poor lighting, but it was 1:00 am:
This is the blouse untied (even though you can clearly see that I spent the day wearing it tied). You can also clearly see just how thin the material of the shirt is; I mean, when you can see the floor through a shirt, that’s when you know!
I then tied the shirt up by buttoning it down to the waist of the dress and then proceeding to tie the remaining undone halves up like a shoe.
In this picture here, I have the shirt knotted (because I was lazy), but in the above images where I am wearing it, I tied it into a bow. Warning: Tying shirts into bows is not easy, so if you can’t do it, just settle for the knot. Also, if the shirt you are tying is split at the sides (like this one), once you tie the front, simply roll the back under itself; no one will ever know!
And here is the outfit in its two stages of completion:
It’s cute, it’s in style, it keeps you warm on a slightly chilly summer day, and it takes only a few seconds to put on. Who could argue with that?
Here’s a few more angles for you to grow on:
Tip: If you want to pack some extra punch with your look, keep all of your makeup natural except for your lips; choose another color in the pattern, either dark or bright, to put on your kissers, and you’ll have an even more fantastically pulled-together outfit. Just don’t go too crazy with the color!
Here’s a closer look at my pout that day:
BAM! You’ll be a knock-out every time.
What I’m Wearing-
Dress: H&M (no longer available)
Lipstick: H&M in the shade “For Audrey” (lip products available in stores only)
Here’s a similar look, but with shorts instead of a dress.
Just play by the same rules as the outfit before: Choose two very lightweight shirts and sturdier bottoms, and you’re good to go. Again, pay attention to the patterns and colors you’re mixing; have a base pattern and then pick pops of color from that pattern to play up in your other layers.
Here, I used a purple plaid as my base pattern, then chose the baby pink and navy blue undertones to use in the rest of my layering.
Tip: Never be afraid to layer two button-downs together. The visual depth it creates is absolutely fantastic.
And if it’s really wet out, feel free to add some boat shoes to the party.
Or even if it’s dry. Boat shoes only imply water.
But just remember: Navy blue is a neutral, and thus it goes with everything. Even brown. Even black.
What I’m Wearing-
PS – No, I am not affiliated with H&M in any way, shape, or form other than the fact that I work there, and me working there should easily explain why 99.9% of what I own and recommend comes from there. Let’s just face it: H&M is simply the best.