Thursday, November 18, 2010

10 Tips for Stylish Layering Techniques for All Occasions - Ideas From My Teens

My Daughters Mugging for the Camera at an Event at The Grove in L.A. 
Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

My 13 year-old girls have taught me so much about style especially about layering clothes, which really is an art that is either innate or can be learned.  I'm always amazed at the wonderful ensembles these two very different daughters (who are triplets) come up with -- whether they are going to a friend's house, an event, or a formal affair.  

The Elspas Girls at Laura Ingalls Farm in SD
Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

Come to think of it, they even layer fashionably when we are going skiing in the Sierra Mountains of California, visiting a farm on one of our family road trips, or heading to the beach.

Here's 10 Things I've learned about layering from this trendy duo
  • Think creatively and never be close-minded about what types of clothing combinations you can layer together.  For example, the younger of my two girls thinks nothing of mixing a denim jacket with an elegant silk scarf accented with some contemporary costume jewelry. I so admire that she instinctively knows how to make it all work together.
  • Be adventurous with fabrics, textures, prints, solids, and color.  I love the way my older daughter pulls this one off, mixing up plaids, stripes and sometimes a summer skirt with a winter sweater.  
My Younger Girl, the Queen of Accessorizing
Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,
  • Accessorize with fun, inexpensive jewelry, hair ornaments, bags, belts and shoes.  Why stop with a lovely layered outfit? Dress it up and make it playful.
  • Experiment with different looks that either include layered outfits that are monochromatic, several complementary colors, or if you're really adventurous include a riot of different bright or muted colors.
  • Beg and borrow from each other, your mom, and friends to find the perfect t-shirt, tank top, blouse or sweater to go with that multi-colored embroidered jeans skirt in your closet.  It's amazing what new things you can find that look great without going shopping, but looking in other people's closets instead.
  • Change up not only what you layer but how you layer the various pieces in an outfit.  For example, wear a twisted shrug instead of wearing it the regular way.  Another great idea is taking the long wool scarves that are so cozy and either twisting them rope style or just tying some strategically placed knots in the scarf before you drape it over your shoulders.
  • Coordinate your favorite layered outfit with your sister's or a friend's, either by using the same color scheme or by both wearing the same layered elements such as a tank, tee, and sweater over sleek jeans. You can have a lot of fun with this one not only planning it but trying each other's layered styles.
  • Organize all your layering elements in your closet and dresser.  There are several ways to tackle this. You can either hang all like colors of various wardrobe pieces together in your closet so you can easily see what you have.  Or, you might want to fold and stack all like items in your dresser, such as stacking all the different t-tops in one pile, all tanks in another, and all sweaters in yet another stack.  This way everything you have is easy to find when you need it, so you can spend more time putting your outfit together and less time looking for lost articles of clothing.
  • Take the time to keep all your layering elements in tip top shape by washing or dry cleaning them as directed. Also be sure to repair tears, missing buttons and anything else that might need fixing before pieces are cleaned so that they are ready to wear when they get back to your closet.
  • Edit your stock of layering pieces at the end of every season, donating to charity things that you either no longer like or that don't fit anymore.  You definitely don't want unused items of clothing taking up valuable storage real estate that could be better used for organizing the pieces that you love and wear often.
I'm so grateful that I have two fashion-forward daughters.  I know I've still got a lot to learn from them, but I am a very eager student. 

What has your kids taught you about style? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post and share it.

FTC Disclosure:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Cuddl Duds blogging program, making me eligible to get a $40 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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