Playing with layers

The DKNY collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York. Photo: AP Photo/Diane Bondareff/PA Photos
The DKNY collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York. Photo: AP Photo/Diane Bondareff/PA Photos

If there’s one thing the bloggers, vloggers and other peacocks that parade outside fashion week venues do well, it’s layering.

Captured in ‘street style’ snaps, they have a knack of combining lengths, textures and colours in a way that makes you wonder, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’

And during the colder months, this mix-and-match approach comes into its own, providing much needed warmth and giving your summer separates a new lease of life too.

Inspired by those on fashion’s front line, here are six chic layering techniques to try now...


All those spring/summer maxi dresses landing in stores at the moment look tempting, don’t they?

The good news is, all it takes is the addition of the right blouse to make an otherwise summery frock ready to wear now.

Look for styles with high necks rather than skimpy straps, and pair with fitted Victoriana or Peter Pan collar blouses, in fluid fabrics that won’t be too bulky underneath.

Linea Black Broderie Maxi Dress, £99; Biba Ivory Lace Collar Shirt, £79 (available from mid-February;


There’s a reason the dress-over-jeans look was so popular in the early Noughties: it’s cool, comfy and is another good excuse to wear a summery dress even when the sun isn’t shining.

Update the look by pairing a folk-inspired frock with flared jeans and a saddle bag, tapping into spring’s Seventies vibe.

SimplyBe Aztec Tunic, currently reduced to £31.20 from £39 (

Phase Eight Bea Flare Jeans, £65 (


Sequins for day? You bet: when layered over a fine knit camel or ribbed roll-neck, a sequinned cami provides just the right dose of dazzle.

Pair with skinny jeans and brogues to keep the look laid-back, and lift your spirits on days when a strappy top would otherwise be out of the question.

Star by Julien MacDonald Sequinned Top, £45, Debenhams (available from mid-February;

JD Williams Roll-Neck Jumper, £18 (


The ‘cold shoulder’ style has become a trend in its own right recently, but you can create the look yourself by layering a sleeveless top under a Bardot dress.

For a sexy date night look, a skin-tight dress is a must, but for a more relaxed vibe, try a swing dress teamed with a cute printed top.

River Island Light Pink Bardot Bodycon Midi Dress, £55 (

Boohoo Laura Woven High Neck Swing Top, £16 (


Rather than wearing a blazer over a jumpsuit, try pushing up the sleeves and layering a long-sleeved top underneath.

Casual ‘boiler suit’ styles in denim or khaki tend to work better for this look, but adding a pair of jazzy heels makes it street style-worthy.

Les Petits Prix All-in-one Printed Long-sleeved Trouser Suit, currently reduced to £17.40 from £29; R Essential Skinny Rib Jumper, £22; Mademoiselle R High Heeled Court Shoes with Ankle Strap, £49 (


A skirt worn over a dress may seem either pointless (won’t the dress just look like a top?) or odd, but not the way the bloggers do it.

Pair a knee-length jersey dress with a loosely fastened wrap skirt to let the dress peek through - add knee-high boots and you won’t even need tights. But if you really want to show off your layering prowess, start with a long-sleeved shirt underneath the dress.

Voila, you’ve scored a styling hat-trick. Now head to fashion week and watch the flashbulbs pop.

Tu at Sainsbury’s Pink Marl with Contrast Salt N Pepper Trim Rib Dress, £18 (available from mid-February;

River Island Dark Red Wrap Split Front Midi Skirt, £32 (