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The Art of Layering

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The Sartorial Secret to Winter Shopping in Style – It’s All About The Layering  
The nights are drawing in, the mercury is plummeting and there is a distinct chill in the air – it can only mean one thing – it is time to showcase that winter wardrobe. But the arrival of arctic temperatures just as the biggest shopping season of the year gets into gear can cause some serious sartorial issues for girls about town. The bane of winter shopping is that while you may be dressed perfectly appropriately for the weather outside, often department stores, malls and even bars are heated to tropical proportions inside. The result is a pretty uncomfortable and inconvenient experience, and sometimes a rather unflattering look.
What’s the answer? Marie France Van Damme says the secret is in layering.
Here she gives five simple steps that will ensure you can run the temperature gauntlet in style.
1) Start with a staple. A basic white cotton T-shirt can be worn under most things, or if it is really cold, start with a black turtleneck.
MFVD’s top tip:  “Go for cotton or cotton spandex but never wool as in an overheated environment you will quickly become hot and uncomfortable.”
2) Throw on a silk crepe de chine dress or an open shirt dress over the top and team with black stockings and winter boots (flats for the day,
heels for the night). The look also works brilliantly with leggings – cotton spandex, leather or suede.
MVFD’s top tip: “Make the most of your wardrobe across the seasons. The silk dress and the shirt dress are great worn alone in the summer.”
3) Add to this either a short cashmere cardigan or a long silk cashmere sweater – both look great over the dresses.
MVFD’s top tip: “This light layer ensures your silhouette stays sleek
rather than bulky.”
4) The final piece is a little sleeveless fur.
MFVD’s top tip: “If it really is chilly outside then you can add in an additional layer before the vest: a longer cashmere cardigan. But to keep the streamlined look, make sure you tie up the ends so the cardigan is the same length as the coat.”
5) As soon as you stroll into the department store – heat take off your coat. Don’t wait till you are hot to de-layer as you’ll already be uncomfortable and sticky. Then take off the longer cardigan (if you’ve opted to wear one) and simply wear the fur vest over the shorter cardigan or sweater. If it is super-hot then simply wear the vest with the dress and t-shirt.
MFVD’s top tip: “Keep the coat on your arm. The long and short cardigan and the fur vest are all delicate and small enough to fit in the 40 Birkin Bag.


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