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Five Ways to Add Texture and Layers to a Basic Outfit

Layers by Ella Bussa of Izzy Demers, Brady Pitcher, Aubrey Macintosh, Elizabeth Robinson and Charlize Wright / Styled by Emily Stable / Directed by Ella Lawver / Graphic Design by Lauren Fulk / Hair and Makeup by Dahlia Biesiada & Gelina Ly / Stylist Assist: Chevy Koski

By Marisa Fisher

When putting together an outfit, it can be easy to fall into the same routine every day. Instead of changing your whole outfit formula, adding layers and texture in various ways can bring new life to an old outfit.

For the purpose of layering a basic outfit can consist of anything from a white t-shirt, denim jeans, a long skirt, or any other “default outfit” you wear frequently. Using this base outfit will help you experiment and find multiple ways to add interest to an outfit you already wear often.

Mixing aesthetics and mixing textures go hand in hand. For example, satin next to leather creates a perfect combination of sweet and edgy that brands like Miu Miu have come to master. The same can be achieved by layering opposing textures in the same outfit.


Starting with the most basic layer of every outfit, the jacket. Adding an unexpected jacket to a basic outfit can help to add interest and keep you warm. Leather and fur jackets and coats can be used to off-set basic fabrics such as denim or cotton. Experimenting with different lengths of jackets can emphasize the texture to whatever extent you desire.


In warmer weather, vests can be used to add to a basic outfit. From puffer vests to denim or leather, adding an opposing texture can make a look stand out and add interest to opposing pieces. Vests can be thrown on over sweaters, button ups, and t-shirts making them just as versatile as a jacket is in cold weather.

Sheer Fabrics

Sheer fabrics can also be used layered over nearly any item of clothing. Sheer tulle skirts can be layered over shorts or sheer tops layered over bras or tank tops. Sheer gloves can be used as a great accessory for formal wear, or to give a vintage feel to your outfit.

Sheer fabrics can also be well accented by pleats, tucks, and plisse to emphasize the sheer garment as opposed to the garment underneath. Adding this texture to a sheer garment can make it stand out much more and can be a more subtle way to add texture to your outfits.


Loose knits can also be used in a similar way as sheer fabrics. Boleros and other cropped sweaters can be perfectly layered over a tank or tube top. Even dresses made of knit, or crochet can be layered over contrasting colored undergarments, like a bra and shorts, to make a statement. Knits can also be incorporated with accessories. Leg warmers and gloves can be added for warmth and texture.


With dresses and skirts, tights can be used to add textures and completely change the vibe of an outfit. For example, Sweater knit tights can add a soft and youthful look to an outfit, while fishnet tights can add edginess to a look. Even plain colorful sheer tights can be used to add visual interest to more monochrome dresses and skirts.

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