Spring can be cruel, especially on the East Coast. Each clear, sunny day has the potential to be readily punctuated with a rainstorm or a particularly gloomy, overcast spell. A day can go from warm and pleasant to chilly and looming as soon as the sun dips behind the clouds. So the layering trend, in all its stylish glory, is as much fashion as it is function.
Layering works for all men’s body types, adding depth and visual interest to an outfit. If you do it right, you won’t look like a kid in a snowsuit. As long as your layers fit well and match or contrast properly, you’ll often come to look more stylish and put together than just going with your usual t-shirt all by its lonesome. Three layers is generally a good amount for any body type.
Autumn is the other season for layering, but you can play with layers a bit differently in spring. Fall is perfect for deep, rich reds and browns, mimicking the changing season of the falling leaves. Layering in autumn also tends to include a variety of patterns and textures. Flannels over t-shirts are always good, and a solid topcoat in tweed or corduroy really does wonders. The vibe of fall tends to be cozier, with an emphasis on staying warmer with winter approaching. The season’s style inspiration can come from a lot of different places, offering classic layered presentations such as the professorial look, the log cabin aesthetic, and the spooky vibe.
Spring layering, on the other hand, can and should be brighter. If you’re not as into the Easter stun of wearing a bunch of pastels, you can still look into flannels and plaid shirts with brighter colors to layer over your t-shirts. Even t-shirts get a little brighter! For instance, the monthly colors for April at Fresh Clean Tees have fun yellow and rich purple options (Shine and Amethyst). They go well with the exploding color scheme made up of all the blooming flowers and trees.
Although a classic white crew neck t-shirt or a white v-neck t-shirt will never go out of style, spring is definitely the time to have more fun with the colors in your layering looks. During summer, sweat levels are high and, for some of us, it’s arguably hard to wear brightly colored clothes without dealing with sweat stains. They’re a bit of a nuisance to clean too. Spring and its moderate temperature is the perfect time to wear a lot of fun, bright colors to show off your style a bit more.
Denim and chambray shirts are also a great look for spring. A v-neck, a denim shirt, and a black bomber jacket is an easy, stylish look for guys. When you’re layering a jacket over an open shirt and a t-shirt, you should typically go for a jacket that’s darker than both of the layers. However, if your denim shirt is dark (or even black), a lighter-colored jacket will bump up the visual interest of the outfit.
Generally speaking, you should have the heaviest layer on the outside. [Good luck with a plaid shirt over the puffer vest.] Fashion runways are always trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to wearing clothes, though, so maybe this will be The New Thing in a few years. But, for now, it’s safe to say your heaviest layer should be your outer-most layer.
If you live in a climate where it stays rather cool in the spring, leather jackets are ideal for spring layering. Motorcycle and bomber-style leather jackets are quite warm, and they almost always look better when they have some layers and color peeking out. A colorful hoodie or a plaid shirt adds flair to your outfit and helps keep you toasty on a chilly spring day.
If you’re sticking to the three-piece rule, the item at the center will usually be a chambray/denim shirt or a plaid/flannel shirt that you leave unbuttoned over a nice, crisp t-shirt. They tend to look a little nicer unbuttoned in a layered outfit because you don’t appear as restricted. It doesn’t look sloppy. It looks sharp.
If you’re enjoying a lovely day at the park or the beach and it starts to get unbearably warm, you can always take off a layer and tie it around your waist. You can also use it as a makeshift picnic blanket for yourself and a friend. [Grass stains come off with the right detergent, folks.]
Spring layering is such a good look for men because it automatically makes you seem charming and stylish, implying that you spent real time on your outfit for the day. If you stick to the three-layer look, and vary what top layer you’re wearing with a colorful button-up and a colorful t-shirt, you’ll always have a fashion-forward look for your springtime outings.
— Julia Rittenberg