One of my favorite things to do style-wise is to figure out how to restyle a “seasonal” piece in my wardrobe using layers. In this instance, I transitioned a collared shirt dress I purchased from ASOS from spring/summer to fall/winter by adding a sweater and a leather jacket. To give you an original frame of reference, this is how the dress looks on its own and how I styled it:
The draped back is what sold me on this dress. You do have to go sans bra or be creative with your undergarments for your straps not to show though (I unhooked mine for the sake of this photo). Also, the fabric is a little sheer so if you’re not comfortable with that I’d wear shorts underneath (I’ve done it before and they don’t show). It has an oversized “boyfriend” fit that I love (I’m wearing an XS and look how big it is) and it’s perfect for spring with OTK boots or summer with a pair of tall gladiator sandals. And if the back weren’t draped, I would cinch the waist with a chunky belt to define my waistline to mix things up a bit.
There’s something you should know about layering with sweaters: there are certain sweaters for layering and others that are meant to fly solo. If your sweater is very fitted, I wouldn’t recommend layering with it. This sweater is flexible enough for both. If you want to purchase “layering sweaters” I would recommend either going up a size for a roomier fit or trying it on in store with a button up underneath it so that you know how it’s going to look if you attempt to layer with it. You can play around with different lengths too! Cropped sweaters and sweater vests a la Clueless are oh so chic over a button up shirt. You don’t have to stick to solid colors either. I love the art deco-inspired pattern on this sweater but any pattern in any color would be fun to add a little pop to your outfit.
I have a confession to make: this is a faux leather jacket. Yes, I know. It looks very real. But, trust me, it’s faux. I was devastated when my previous faux leather jacket finally kicked the bucket last year so my mommy bought this for me as a Christmas present. She has such good taste. I love this jacket. The quilting is exquisite and the zippers really add to that moto jacket look. And because it’s black (and y’all know I love me some black) I find any and every excuse to wear it. Sometimes, I even layer a faux fur gilet over it so it looks like I have on a fur coat with (faux) leather sleeves. Cool right?
I chose to wear my black coated skinny jeans with this look. I wanted to have that “leather effect” without the leather pant price tag so I purchased this great pair from Rich and Skinny Jeans a few years ago. They’re great pants at a reasonable price point and I love the fit and look of them. To be honest, I put on some weight after I purchased these pants and almost gave them away. I’m so glad that I didn’t. I remember the first time I wore these pants after I got back into shape in 2014 and I started crying. I never thought I’d be able to get into these pants again.
I am a shoe lover to the core. I’ll choose shoes over handbags and jewelry any day of the week. I make shoe contact before eye contact. No, seriously, I do. We all have our quirks so don’t judge me. I’ve been fortunate enough in my adult life that I’ve been able to purchase and own amazing shoes. But out of all of them, there’s just something about that iconic red sole on a pair of Louboutins that makes my heart skip a beat. They are truly beautiful shoes – works of art in my mind. These booties are no exception. I wanted the So Kate booties originally but I missed out on them (I personally like to save up for big purchases instead of charging them). I stumbled upon Style Stain’s Instagram feed one day and saw these booties. They weren’t my normal Louboutin size so I was hesitant but he assured me that they would fit. And fit they did. We’ve been joined at the hip ever since.
You may remember in my Signature Style in Brooklyn post how much I emphasized having ankle boots in your shoe arsenal. They are extremely versatile. If the button up shirt you use to layer isn’t as long as mine, you could wear OTK boots, knee high boots, or ankle boots with your look. I opted for ankle boots to break up the flowiness of the dress layer to add structure to the look. Remember, if your top is oversized, your bottom should be structured to avoid looking frumpy.
I hope I’ve inspired you to give layering a try. You might surprise yourself with what you come up with and next thing you know you’ll be a layering pro!
Oh, and why was I laughing so hard in this photo? My friend Karl who tagged along on this shoot got into Kristin’s way and she told him off. He was supposed to be guarding our stuff inside of the restaurant anyway.
Photography: Kristin Tully
Outfit Details: Collective Soul faux leather jacket (a gift but I like this one too), Hinge sweater (old), Mirror Mirror “boyfriend” collared shirt dress (similar here), Rich and Skinny coated jeans (old), Christian Louboutin “Ishtar” suede ankle booties (old but similar here), Celine sunglasses