Friday, June 18, 2010

Another Look at Layering

The constantly shifting tides of fashion and a vertically challenged shirt hem prompted me to take another look at the concept of layering.

First 5 illustrations from Ezibuy

The technique of layering garments, whether for warmth or modesty, has to be planned if you don't want to end up looking like a hephalump or a slob who's just burrowed up out of bed.

While short-over-long has been the norm for a few years, I think it's a styling that leans toward oddness. In fact, to my eye a long shirt hanging out of a short jacket looks plain frumpy.

Then there's the pregnant look (below). This is legitimate if you are pregnant, but if you aren't, you may want to reconsider your outfit.

Annie Lantz Grand Tour Jacket. Carriage Supper Top, Orient Express Skirt
Examples in the Annie Lantz autumn catalogue have sent the layering trend back to long-over-shorter, meaning the world shall no more see undergarments hanging out. It's a loss I welcome.

Annie Lantz Grand Tour Overshirt, Autumn Traveller's Shirt, Autumn Traveller's Pant

The key here is working from solid-colour basics, then building with simple contrast, either by texture, print, or colour contrast -- any or all of these so long as you have plain and simple to offset it.

Annie Lantz Salon Car Polo Top, Salon Car Vest, Couchette Car Pant
One can be warm and modest and present an ordered appearance all at the same time. It just takes planning, and the forethought to ensure that outer garments are coat length (hemmed below your butt), and shirts are hip-length or tucked into your waistband.

I've acquired a couple of shirts that have tails as long as a coat. All my skirts are hipsters -- shirts look odd tucked inside these -- and my jumpers and jackets are shorter than these shirts.

Narelle's solution: Cut off the shirt tails and re-hem an inch or so below my hip. Now they sit nicely over my skirts and don't poke distracting tails out from under my jackets.

Method: Line up the 2 sides of the shirt, securing with pins (positioned vertically in illustration). Use a square edge to mark a straight course from the button placket across to the side seams. Mark this line with pins, then use tailors chalk to mark the pin locations. Remove pins and cut along chalked line. Remove vertical pins. Measure and pin hem, press, and stitch.

Getting the neat, all-together look just takes planning!

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