How to Layer with a Dress: 5 Styling Tips

How to Layer with a Dress: 5 Styling Tips

Learn 5 tips to keep in mind when looking to create a beautiful layered look with a dress this season, courtesy of Anthony’s.
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5 Tips for Layering with a Dress During Any Season

The art of creating a put-together layered look while wearing a dress isn’t as simple as it may first appear. But layering with a dress in any season also doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, once you know the right tips and techniques to follow, layering with a dress is much easier.

Let’s uncover five tips for how to layer a dress the right way so you can create outfits to dazzle, inspire, and most importantly, stay both stylish and comfortable, no matter the season or occasion.

1. Choose the Right Dress

Whether layering a dress over a shirt or turtleneck, layering a sweater over a dress, or layering a dress with a jacket, it’s important to choose the right dress — and, for that matter, the right layering pieces!

When first learning how to layer a dress, the most important thing to keep in mind is how the dress pairs with the other layered elements. Choose pieces that “play well” together. In thinking about the dress you choose, specifically, be mindful of:

  • Cut and Style of the Dress: Keep in mind the style of the dress as well as the cut when layering. Start by choosing a dress for your body type and then figure out which pieces layer well with that dress.
  • Pattern and Color: Make sure that the pattern and color of the dress you choose work with the other layered elements of your outfit for a cohesive look. You can also mix and match patterns and colors for a maximalist look if you’re feeling bold, but there’s a knack for doing this and a fine line between intentional maximalism and mismatching.
  • Fabric: A mixture of fabrics can add interest to your layered outfit, but we recommend sticking to two fabric types if you’re layering more than two pieces. It’s also important to choose a dress fabric that won’t bunch or ride up underneath other layers, or, conversely, show every bump and wrinkle if layered over other items.

2. Follow the Rule of Thirds

Following the rule of thirds is a helpful way to ensure that the cut, length, and style of the layered elements of your outfit complement the cut, length, and style of the dress you choose.

 The rule of thirds is a concept rooted in architecture and photography. It’s all about proportions. When it comes to how to layer a dress according to the rule of thirds, all you need to do is create an outfit where ⅓ of the outfit is at the top and ⅔ is at the bottom — or, conversely, ⅓ of the outfit is at the bottom and ⅔ is at the top.

For example, if you’re putting a short jean jacket or cardigan over a dress, make sure the bottom of it falls at around ⅓ of your body height. Conversely, you can choose a long duster cardogam that covers ⅔ of your body. Just remember that the rule of thirds isn’t the end all be all of how to layer dresses. The pieces you choose still need to work well together in other ways, like color and pattern.

3. Accessorize Wisely

The accessories you choose can make or break your outfit. When it comes to layering dresses, it’s all about defining your silhouette in flattering ways and adding visual interest. Here are a few accessorizing tips:

  • Add a belt to define your waistline
  • Add a statement necklace
  • Add bracelets and bangles for extra flair
  • Add hats or headpieces
A smiling blonde woman in a printed dress and white jacket draped over her shoulders stands in front of palm trees

4. Work With the Season & Time of Year, Not Against It

We often layer dresses in the fall or winter. But if done right, you can layer a dress any time of year. Simply strive to work with rather than against the current season and time of year in curating your outfit and choosing pieces. Here are some seasonal-based layering tips:

  • For Summer Layering: Choose light and breathable fabrics to stay cool and comfy
  • For Fall Layering: Incorporate cozy comfort with your layers
  • For Winter Layering: Stay fashionable while protecting yourself from cold temps
  • For Spring Layering: Transition into warmer weather with style

Don’t be afraid to embrace the colors and trends of the current season — even if you live in a climate with a relative absence of seasons.

5. Keep the Occasion in Mind

Last but not least, when layering your dress, make sure that you’re mindful of the occasion. You don’t want to show up to a “black tie” event in semi-formal wear. Conversely, you probably don’t want to show up to a backyard cookout or BBQ in a ball gown! So in choosing both your dress and other layered elements, make sure to choose based on the occasion or event for which you’re dressing.

Ready to put all these tips and tricks to use? Anthony’s has the perfect dresses for all seasons and occasions — as well as the perfect layering pieces.

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