How to Make Fall Layers Interesting

In fall many people fall into a style rut. Katie from Sew Altered Style shares 6 ways she tries to add interest to fall layers as the weather turns cool.

With my kids going back to school and a cooler day here and there, it’s sinking in that summer is almost over and fall is on the way.  I’m always sad to see summer go.  Not only do I miss the warmth, long days, and fewer commitments, but I also find summer fashion sooooo much more interesting than fall and winter fashion.  In summer you have shorts, wide pants, crop tops, playsuits, dresses, floaty fabrics — the list goes on.

But in fall, the uniforms come out — jeans, knit top, long cardigan, boots, scarf.  Boom. Done.  If you’ve spent much time browsing through Pinterest, you will see literally hundreds of thousands of photos of this exact outfit.  Yawn.

I mean I get it.  As it gets chillier, layers are a must.  I’m lucky to live in a place where I often can wear shorts on Halloween, but for many, the sweaters come out long before that.  (As a kid in Iowa, all my Halloween costumes were designed to wear a winter coat underneath).  So with the necessity of layers, how can you keep your fall looks interesting?  I thought I’d share a few things I’m going to try to incorporate this fall to jazz up my look.

6 Ways to Add Interest to Fall Layers

    Play with dimensions

    I am among those who love that crop pants are back with a vengeance!  There are so many pants options available right now — traditional slim legs but also kick flare jeans, wide leg crops, floor-dusting palazzos, etc.

    The same holds true for layers.  I have my eye on the Somerfield Coat from Elbe Textiles.  The duster length feels like a nice change from the thigh-length cardigans I usually see.  And the fact that it’s drafted for wovens adds interest.  Crops are really in too, so in addition to the duster, I will incorporate some cropped sweaters and jackets as well.

      This goes for other parts of the wardrobe also!  The part of the “fall uniform” that I get most bored with is the boots.  All tall boots all the time.  I plan to switch up my shoe choices this fall and mix in shoes and boots of different heights and weights.

      Last year I really loved the taller ankle boots I was seeing as an alternative to tall boots or booties so I picked up a couple of pairs.  I’m still figuring out the best way to style them, and I’ll keep working on it this fall and winter.

      Use interesting color combinations

      I tend to be a strong neutrals girls, but I’m really going to try to incorporate some brighter colors into my wardrobe this fall.  I first started thinking about this post when I saw this photo on Pinterest.

        The weight and shape of the pieces are definitely fall, but the colors are so fun and saturated , and I love the contrast between the navy blue and bright orange.  This has convinced me that I need to add some orange pants to my fall wardrobe…

        Not only do bright and jewel tones add interest, but they look darn good on me if I do say so myself!

        Add texture

        One thing that is great about fall and winter fashion is that all the textured fabric comes out — velvet, corduroy, wool, boucle, leather, etc.  Those fabrics are often too hot for summer, but they’re great to add to fall outfits for a little variety.  I have a couple big pieces of stretch velvet in my stash and my daughter has asked me to make something for her this year.  I may have to add a velvet tank or two for me to list 🙂

          Ditch the jeans

          I admit, this is going to be hard for me because I looooooove jeans!  I love making them, I love wearing them and I love their versatility.  But I’ve really been drawn to all the wide leg and pull-on pants that have been popping up in the last couple of seasons.  One of my favorite ethical fashion bloggers, Andrea from Seasons + Salt rocks wide-leg elastic-waist pants all the time (see an example here) and I love how she puts her outfits together.

            One of Andrea’s recent outfits featuring these amazing wide leg pants.

            I recently picked up the Pants No. 1 pattern from 100 Acts of Sewing, and I really like my Blue Dot Patterns Coffeehouse pants.  I’m hoping to add a couple more pairs to the rotation.  Bonus that they are a really fast sew!

            Try a one-piece

              This will not be a stretch!  My undying love for jumpsuits is on record, and I’m hoping to add one or two more cool-weather jumpsuits to my fall rotation.  I had a RTW jumpsuit that I loved and wore all the time last year, but since I started lifting weights regularly it no longer comfortably fits my thighs :/  I’d love to make myself a replacement.

              My closet also has far more dresses than I routinely wear, so I’m hoping to force more of those into my rotation too.

              Wear unexpected layers

              I always love seeing unexpected layers.  During the Summer 10×10, Mac styled her Seamwork Astoria sweater over her True Bias Southport dress, and it was the most popular of all the 20 looks we shared during that week and a half (if you missed it, check it out here).  It was unexpected, but the pieces and proportions worked perfectly together.

                So I’m going to push myself to try more combos like that this fall.  Tops over dresses, shorts over tights, cardis under jumpers, etc.

                What are your favorite ways to spice up your fall wardrobe?

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