It's starting to snow outside so I thought there was no better time to do a post about layering clothes. :-) This was requested by a reader quite a while ago. This post covers very basic style ideas and not a little bit of common sense.
Wearing clothes in layers is useful for two reasons: a) you can stay toasty warm and b) you can look damn awesome. When I was a younger Goth it took me a long time to twig on to the fact that adding extra layers of detail to an outfit (even something as simple as a T-shirt over a striped long-sleeved top) can make all the difference between a casual, minimalistic outfit and a more complex, textured look. (You'd think it was fairly obvious, but I hadn't really a clue about fashion and make-up in my younger years and am still learning!)
- When dressing for winter weather, we all know that the sensible thing to do is to pull on a thermal vest under our top (mine has a nice lacy trim that you can just see above V-necked tops; it's details like that that actually convinced me to wear a thermal layer in the first place, up until that point I had assumed they were all hideous contraptions in Spandex or something! >.< So shop around for a base layer that will keep you warm without looking daft, I don't know what I would have done without my thermals this winter...) and an extra pair of socks.
- If you are into more Victorian or romantic styles (or don't want to give up pretty dresses even in the dead of winter), you might also find it useful to look for a silk chemise or slip as an insulating base layer to give you an extra layer of warmth. Try somewhere like Marks & Spencers.
- Girls, if you have a fondness for longer-length tops and tunics, you can use a lace-trimmed petticoat or underskirt to make the item look like a dress.
- Conversely, wearing a blouse over a dress gives your dress a new look.
- Ripped jeans under dresses can also be a slightly grungy or punk-tinged look for cooler weather.
- Lace bodies were all over the highstreet for a while - these are useful to add a layer of interest to a plain or casual outfit and relatively inexpensive to buy from stores like Primark.
- A 'classic' Goth fashion tip for both sexes is to rip a hole in the crotch of some old tights and wear them on your arms as sleeves.
- Other commonly-seen layers include stockings or over-the-knee socks over tights, fishnet gloves under a long-sleeved shirt, striped or lace tights worn under ripped jeans, ripped tights pulled over your boots, or just a mesh or fishnet shirt worn over or underneath a tank top or your favourite tee.
- Historically-inclined outfits are the most obviously likely to include a lot of layers, from corset (worn on the outside, you harlot!) right down to petticoat and stockings (or waiscoat, shirt, and jacket for the gentlemen of course).
|Johnny Slut (Specimen)|
Layers. He has them.
- Jackets, blazers, capes and shrugs - obvious but simple ways to layer up and keep warm.
- As you have probably already gathered, tights, stockings, jeans and T-shirts are often ripped to allow the layers beneath to peek through. This is fine if your layers are for fashion alone, but if you're layering for warmth think twice before you start cutting holes in your new jeans. Fishnets are surprisingly insulating (I read in a fashion magazine that the holes trap heat, apparently) but I'm fairly sure this doesn't apply to everything with holes in; you may need more than a loose-knit jumper over your T-shirt to avoid pneumonia.
Sary at The Walrus Room also did a lovely and slightly more timely post about layers; she says, "The key is to try and mix and match textures while trying not to overwhelm the outfit." You can read her post (with some helpful advice about layering accessories) here.