How to Layer Tops

Rebecca from The Space Between My Peers had this Reader Question which she was having difficulty answering and asked if I could help, so here goes:
I was wondering whether you’d do a post of layering length of jackets/cardigans over tops. I was thinking about how to combine short/regular/long cover-ups over short/regular/tunic length tops. This is tricky for me especially when I plan to leave the cover-up layer unbuttoned …

Layering tops can be a bit of an art form, but here are some guidelines.

If you’re wearing a tunic top, don’t overdo the volume by wearing a longer cardi or jacket, instead go for a shorter shrug, otherwise you’ll end up looking bulky, go for something like this outfit from Spiegel.

Alternatively, if your top is more fitted you can choose a longer looser cardigan to go over the top. For example this outfit from Spiegel.

Whether or not it should be longer or shorter than your top is based on whether you have a short or long waist.

Long waists can take longer layers underneath slightly shorter layers. Like this top and jacket from Spiegel.

Short waisted gals need the outer layer to be longer than the inner layer, as they don’t want to draw attention to their lack of waist. The only time that a short waisted woman can get away with a shorter jacket over a longer top is when the trousers and top colour blend, so no extra horizontal line is created near the waist, as in this outfit from Spiegel.

Comments

  1. workthatwardrobe says:

    Just discovered your blog via Karen at A Certain Age.
    Any advice for a vertically challenged (5ft 0.5 in), busty (34D) mum with short legs and big thighs!

  2. Emily Kate says:

    What about short-waisted women with a small, defined waist?

    *confused* : )

  3. IMogen, Isn’t it right that our “long” shirts should not hit past our hip bones? I am 5’5″, normal proportions I think. If the shirts hit at the top thigh, I feel way too long in the body and feel as if I am cutting off my leg length! PS You have to check out Workthatwardrobe’s blog..

  4. Starlight* says:

    Thanks for answering my question, that was very helpful !

  5. Could you do a post on what to wear over short tops, and also what to wear over medium leanght tops ? Pretty please with butter on it´s tail !

  6. Imogen Lamport says:

    Emily Kate – you can define your waist with a thin belt (a thick one will make your torso look very short), and draw attention to it this way, but the belt needs to go over a top that ends at your hips. Keep your jacket/cardi a similar length to your top or slightly longer if you have longer legs and don’t have issues with your thighs.

  7. Imogen Lamport says:

    Karen, you are right about the length of your top – your hip bone is the best place for it to end – check out this post http://insideoutstyle.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-to-make-your-hips-look-smaller.html to see the evidence!

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