Layer It Up, Baby

Feat. double red and double ruffles, just in time for the day after V-Day

It should come to no surprise that when it comes to layering, I am all. Over. It. This used to be the sole reason why I loved winter so much a few years ago—it's the only season of the year where layering two unrelated items on top of each other is acceptable, simply because it's too cold to wear one of them alone. Two is better than one, no? It gets even more fun when you introduce three or four items in one layering instance because even though you thought it to be impossible for a human to wear a turtleneck with a button-up finished with a denim jacket and a leather jacket to top it off, it actually is doable. Definitely a hassle to take off at the end of the day, but so worth it for those OOTD pics and cold-weather practicality.

My love of layers has stuck with me although my love of winter has not, which makes things a bit tricky—layering in the summer gets funky unless you're all about baby tees under slip dresses. This complicates my constant longing for summer when it's nearly impossible to layer in the aforementioned season. Fortunately, I've recently found a distinct personal style surrounding summer, including statement dresses, vintage jeans that hardly touch my skin, and mules. I seemed to forget the art of layering last summer, and when it got cold, I didn't take refuge in wearing far too many articles of clothing at once and instead went for chunky sweaters and heavy coats, a far easier alternative to the art of layering. My style rut didn't want to delve into this art—far too much time and effort.

But maybe the way to get out of a rut is to do what always saved you in the past. That seems feasible. Since I didn't actually intend on my layering frenzy to stop when it did, it shouldn't be too hard to get back into, right? Just go back to the basics, and it will evolve into what it used to be in no time. Fortunately, I was correct—a really cold day and a ruffled turtleneck would solve the problem.

Turtleneck by Madewell. Vintage blouse and vintage Levi's from The Break (aka my favorite vintage store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn). Shoes by Zara.

To dive back into layers, I immediately pulled out all of the turtlenecks I owned, which is a lot, if you already weren't aware of my obsession with the piece. I decided to opt for a neutral one, unlike the colorful nature of my tissue turtlenecks, so I could focus on the thing going over the turtleneck. This white one from Madewell has a lettuce-hem detail on the neck, making it the perfect layering tool to add a bit of detail to peek out from under that thing going over it. Now, what should that thing be? A short-sleeved button-up from Madewell that I own far too many of? Not really my style atm. Maybe a thick crew-neck sweater that will work extra hard to keep me warm? Not interesting enough. Maybe a bold vintage blouse that also has some ruffles to work with a potential frill theme the turtleneck began? Perfect. This top that definitely came straight from the '80s was my go-to in the summer and fall when wanting to wear vintage Levi's, but it got lost in my closet once temps dropped because the color seems to closely resemble parts of a summer sunset, something that we won't see again until at least June. I decided to bring it back into winter, because a) why the hell not and b) we love a pop of color to brighten our dull winter days! Speaking of Levi's, I brought those in to add a third piece, but new ones of a lighter wash and a longer inseam (aka me not cutting my jeans too short, as always) to change things up.

Not one but two items with ruffles made me feel fancier than usual, so I continued this trend by donning my pair of red ankle boots to complete the look. Something about this style felt v put-together. Much needed when my style (and potentially life?) is falling apart. Back in high school, I went to layering when I was stressed or felt out of control (no, really) to feel like something was going the way I wanted it to. Layering is hard! It requires a certain kind of confidence you can't get from only two items of clothing. So I dare you to go into your next layering endeavor with the same assertion as Veronica below:

But change "lick" to "layer," obviously.

Photos shot by Maddie.

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