A gentleman’s guide to layering

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5 tips on mixing and matching for spring

With spring quickly approaching, we all want to get rid of our winter wardrobes. However, this may be difficult due to St. Louis’ sporadic temperatures. One way to outsmart Mother Nature is to try the layering look. Layering can help prepare you for both the cooler and warmer weather we have been experiencing.  Listed below are my top five tips for combining your winter and summer wardrobes for a new spring look:

Tip No. 1: Always start with a thin base layer

A thin base layer is essential to layering in any season. It will reduce your chances of looking “bulky.” If you’re going for a more casual look, a long-sleeve or short-sleeve T-shirt will work perfectly. Layer this under a cardigan, wear with jeans and there you have it: a complete outfit. If you’re a dressy-casual guy, start with a button-down shirt. Layer your button-down under a cardigan, V-neck or shawl sweater and add a tie for a pop of color.

Tip No. 2: Be comfortable

Just because you’re layering does not mean you have to be uncomfortable. Find what sizes and styles work for you. Your clothing should not constrict what you are doing. In most classrooms, the temperatures are at one extreme or another. The whole thought behind layering is to be able to put on and take off layers to be comfortable in different situations. Don’t be caught in the wrong situation by wearing just a T-shirt or a heavy wool sweater; be smart and layer.

Tip No. 3: Mix and match

Be sure to mix and match different colors and patterns. This can be a great way to give your wardrobe a modern edge. Try pairing a bold plaid shirt with a neutral colored striped tie. Another trend that I love this season is bold pants. Who says guys can’t wear an awesome pair of green or yellow pants? Or, if bold pants aren’t your thing, try khaki pants with a vibrant button-down shirt. Be tasteful about mixing patterns; try looking at magazines for inspiration.

Tip No. 4: Layer with a jacket

Sport coats and golf jackets are a yes. Gentlemen, trust me when I say you can all use a good sports coat. It doesn’t have to be your typical navy blazer. Try something different. Layer a herringbone blazer over a classic blue or white oxford with jeans.  You can also try the bolder look of a colored pant for a pop of color.  If you have a full-zip windbreaker or a golf jacket, wear with a button-down or polo and jeans. This is a great casual on-the-go look you can wear to class or to run errands.

Tip No. 5: Accessorize 

Gentlemen, accessorizing is a great way to add color and interest to your wardrobe. If you aren’t the kind of person who likes to wear bold or vibrantly-colored clothing, then please, add color with your accessories. Sport a bright pocket square in your new sports coat or wear a bold watch. I suggest you look into buying a watch at a watch bar. This will give you the option of picking a watch face and the flexibility to change the watchbands as needed. A great way to add some color is to cuff your pants and wear a vibrant pair of socks. This will add just enough color but not too much.

These are my five tips to look and feel your best this spring. Be creative and have fun with your look. Everyone’s style is different, so it’s important to be unique. The Pinterest men’s fashion section has some great ideas and tips to help you look your best. There are no excuses to see anyone looking like a scrub on campus.