Layering is nothing new—we all know how to wear a button-down under a sweater—but the latest crop of runway collections are heading in bolder, unexpected directions when it comes to piling on separates.
From evening dresses over pants, strapless tops over work shirts, and—one of Fall 2015’s biggest trends—pussy-bow blouses under geek-chic sweater vests, it’s clear that layering’s got a whole new set of high-fashion rules.
Turtlenecks under dresses
If the runways were any indication, pairing a tight turtleneck and a dress—anything from slinky slip styles to boxy minis—will be everywhere this fall.
Not only does it let you take a skimpy party dress out in broad daylight—nothing tempers overt sex appeal like a turtleneck—but we're willing to bet you have both items sitting in your closet right now.
From Left: Tanya Taylor; Veronika Heilbrunner during Fashion Week; Delpozo; Mara Hoffman
Imaxtree; Style Du Monde
Evening Dresses Over Pants
The skirt-over-pants trend has been gaining steam in recent months, but we can all agree that pairing a dressy-dress—one you'd normally reserve for cocktail hour—with trousers is a more elevated and unexpected take.
On the runway, designers like Tibi and Jil Sander showcased wide-legged pants with narrow sheaths, but the look works equally well with leather pants that have just enough slouch to send the message that they’re pants, rather than, say, footless tights. We're also loving a babydoll cut with a pair of kick-flares, a la Giambattista Valli.
From left: Tibi; Keisikibi; Jil Sander, Giambattista Valli
Blouses under sweater vests
Designers like Gucci's Alessandro Michele made this retro pairing—it's so '70s!—achingly modern for fall, and we're especially loving the look with a pussy-bow blouse layered underneath a printed sleeveless knit.
While high-end labels and mass retailers like Zara and ASOS are already churning out both pieces at breakneck pace, sourcing Etsy, eBay, or your local thrift store is a killer way to put your own spin on one of fall's biggest trends.
From left: MSGM; Gucci; Bottega Venetta
Shirtdresses and Skirts
A less common layer is the crisp shirtdress and skirt—something several designers were fond of on both spring and fall runways. Try wearing a wrap skirt over your dress, or a sleek pencil skirt underneath.
From left: Peter Som; Maja Wyh; Rodebjer; Peter Som
Imaxtree; Maja Wyh
Strapless pieces over shirts
As a rule, strapless pieces are considered inherently sexy but designers, editors, and street style stars are layering the piece over crisp button-ups and tight turtlenecks.
The result? An all-new way to wear strapless crops and corset-style tops you’d typically save for evening.
From left: Look de Pernille, Mara Hoffman; Marc by Marc Jacobs; Lee Olivera