Rounding out the Key Set are the casual layers. These are some of my favorite casual business and casual Friday selections. Some have more layers than might be apparent at first glance.
You may be asking Why layering? Who really cares? Layers = depth; depth = visual interest. Certainly, some garments are so beautifully cut and fit so perfectly that they deserve to be presented alone — like a diamond solitaire. But most garments benefit from a little companionship.
Here is a simple suggestion to get you started: Don’t just wear a blouse and trousers. Wear something under or over the blouse. For extra credit, add a scarf before you walk out the door.
Each layer needs to show; thus, each layer should cover less area than the preceding layer — e.g., a cropped top over a regular blouse. (Note: If you do this in reverse, all you get is bulk. There are exceptions to this rule: blouse under a dress, ultra-thin layers, boyfriend jacket.) Don’t confuse surface area with volume, however. Layers can become more voluminous as you work your way out. Consider the poofy bustier over a slim-fitting blouse. (Note: If you wear volume closest to the body, you also get bulk.)
If you are trying to add more layers to your outfits, ask yourself this every morning after you’ve dressed for the day: What else could I put on? Easy additions are: a striped tee-shirt or patterned camisole under your blouse; a silk tank over a white blouse worn with a jacket; a cardigan or sweater vest between your top and your jacket; a crew neck sweater worn knotted over your shoulders (or around your neck) on top of your jacket; a scarf on top of anything; a belt over your jacket.
Layering essentials include: tissue-weight tee-shirts, patterned camisoles and tanks, sleeveless sweaters, cotton gauze or silk blouses, shrunken cardigans. One final thought. Anything that you’ve looked at and thought That’s too bare to wear to work is made for layering.
What is really remarkable to me, looking back over these photos, is how old most of these clothes are. Three-quarters of these photos involve clothes that are 7-10 years old. That’s old, right? But what does it mean?
I have extracted three observations from this review. First, a universal lesson: If you buy nice things and take good care of them, they will last a long time. Second, a personal observation: I must get dressed up more days than not; thus, my casual clothes get less wear and last longer. Third, a personal validation: I am a little bit less acquisitive/greedy than I thought. Just a bit.
I planned to deliver the Key Set in three parts, but have realized we need one more: The Accessories. Stay tuned.
Have a fantastic weekend!