How to Layer in the Summer

The first thing most of us want to do when the warmer weather hits is to free ourselves from the bulky sweaters, outerwear, and excess layers. It can be very tempting to pare down to a single layer and keep it cool until the first sight of fall but don't discard layering in the warmer months. When you layer, the key is to add on layers without creating additional bulk, especially in the Spring/Summer, and because NYC is so unpredictable, I'm always in a lightweight jacket for those unexpected showers or cotton knits for cooler nights. 

Related: How to Find the Perfect Pair of Denim Jeans for Your Body Type

The key to layering in this time of year is to wear pieces that you can easily throw on or take off; you want to set a foundation that you can build on as the day gets later and the temperature gets cooler. In addition to this, there are five tips you should be following when you layer.


Thin Fabrics

When the weather is stifling, every layer you wear should be of fabrics that are breathable and lightweight enough for movement. Think linen, cotton, and chiffon; these fabrics help minimize the heat and allow your skin to be kept cool. I'm not particularly a fan of linen because—wrinkles, so cotton is always my go-to, but when you're choosing fabrics, keep in mind, any fabric can trap heat if it's densely woven, so make sure it's lightweight. 


Because darker colors absorb heat, keep your outer colors on the lighter end of the spectrum. If you notice, Summer colors are bright and vibrant; this is because light colors reflect heat, keeping your body cool. 


Athleisure, clothing that is both performance (exercise) and sportswear (every day) wear, is the craze, and this type of style is perfect for layering in the heat because of its wicking capabilities. Wicking is the fabric's ability to absorb or draw moisture away from the body and fabric—keeping it dry, and cool. Linen is one of the first naturally-wicking fabrics, but today most performance fabrics including it. If you're using these fabrics to layer, make sure they are the innermost layer so they can fulfill their intended purpose. 


I have my own rule when I layer, and it's; if I can't wear it alone, I don't wear it—unless it's an outerwear piece. Anything that you wear as a layering piece, you should be comfortable wearing it as a standalone. As you take off your layers, the pieces because more visible, so they should be of the same quality and structure of your outermost layer. 

Easy on/Easy off

The ultimate key to layering in the Summer or in any season is the ability to put on and remove layers with ease. If it takes effort and requires you to change, you're not layering correctly. 

Layering in the Summer comes down to choosing one or two pieces that work together to get a look, but don't over do it. If done correctly, Summer layering will help you stay cool and look put together throughout a long, hot day.


Key pieces to layer








Shirt Layering


Lightweight Sweaters


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