The weather in Britain at this time of year can present a troubling sartorial gamble. Often too warm to keep wearing your favourite winter jacket, but too cold to take it off and bear your arms in a T-shirt – a few minor shifts in cloud coverage can leave you carrying around a cumbersome coat all day, or shivering your way to work. Short of staying indoors until the Summer sun has got its proverbial hat firmly on, how can you solve this clothing conundrum? The answer is: the ‘overshirt’.
It is officially time to embrace this handy hybrid. Thicker than a humble Oxford shirt, but less bulky than a jacket, it is the ideal tool with which to tackle that awkward period between Spring and Summer.
‘Summer layering’ might seem like an oxymoron as infuriating as smart-casual or happy Monday, but unless holidaying on a nudist beach for the duration of the season, you’ll still need to put some clothes on between now and September. Fortunately, the warmer months bring with them lighter materials like linen and seersucker, both of which have different properties to their stuffy winter equivalents, so you needn’t resort to a simple shorts and T-shirt combination every day.
There are a handful of layering rules that apply to both Summer and winter, formal and casual. Like the further away from your body, the thicker the layer. It used to be that hems always got longer in that direction too, but the rise of reverse layering (see Kanye and co) has turned this on its head. Plus, the shortness of most casual jackets renders that slightly impractical. The trick is being consistent, whether pieces get longer, or shorter, the further away they are.
One rule that still holds sway, though, is the importance of mixing and combining different textures. If wearing, say, a separate linen jacket and trousers, or a pure linen jacket over a pure linen shirt, it’s going to look a bit odd, think of it like wearing a jacket and trousers from different suits: it looks weird when there isn’t enough contrast.
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