Fall Clothes Layering Tips & Ideas

When cooler weather rolls in and the leaves begin to change colors, we have one thing on our minds: sweater weather. Autumn fashion is all about comfort and coziness, and we can’t think of a better way to embrace the spirit of fall than by rocking the layered clothing style.

We have rounded up our must-have layering pieces to help you transition from summer to fall. Keep reading for our favorite autumn outfit ideas, plus tips for how to layer clothes the right way. 

Start with the Basics

The key to successful layering is actually quite simple: start with the right core pieces, then work your way up by adding sweaters, vests, jackets, or other autumn accessories as needed. Since fall weather can be finicky, it’s a smart idea to wear a base layer you will feel comfortable and confident in even if you have to remove your outer layers.

A solid-colored henley is a versatile staple that everyone should have in their autumn wardrobe, ideally in a neutral color like tan, gray, black, or white. Style this henley with anything from jeans to leggings to a maxi skirt, and layer on a patterned scarf, vest, cardigan, or coat as needed for the weather. 

Tan Henley Button Top

Incorporate Summer Staples

Don’t put away those warm weather tops and dresses just yet! They can actually serve as the perfect base layering clothes as you transition from summer to autumn. For instance, this sleeveless houndstooth kimono would look amazing layered over a simple t-shirt dress, and is an easy way to make your outfit fall appropriate without adding too much warmth.

Similarly, a simple t-shirt, tank top, or cami is the perfect starting point for layering beneath a denim jacket, wrap, or poncho. Crop tops and bodysuits are also ideal for creating a flattering fit beneath bulkier top layers. This is one of our top layering clothes fashion tips!

Houndstooth Sleeveless Kimono

Keep Cozy with Cardigans

Cardigans are a quintessential fall clothing item that add instant coziness and style to any look. For those early autumn days that are still warm with just a hint of chilliness, layer a long lightweight cardigan over a tank and a pair of jeans or shorts. 

A thicker cardigan is the perfect transition piece when the temperatures have dropped, but it’s still not quite cold enough for a heavier coat. Opt for a long hemline that falls somewhere between the mid-thigh and mid-shin for an elegant, flattering fit. Style with ankle booties to create a chic and timeless autumn look.

Long Pocket Red Cardigan

Experiment with Lengths

Instead of keeping all your layers the same length (which can add unwanted bulk), try choosing pieces with different lengths and silhouettes. For example, layer this gorgeous buffalo check poncho (it has pockets!) over a t-shirt dress or a turtleneck tucked into jeans.

When styling a shorter denim jacket like this one, pair with skinny jeans and avoid wearing base layers that will hang beneath the jacket's hemline. This will keep your outfit looking polished and chic. 

Plaid Cape for Fall

Double Up for Warmth

On those late autumn days that are just on the cusp of winter, double layers are a must. But there’s no need to sacrifice style for comfort. Choose your layers strategically and look for opportunities to play with different textures, materials, and silhouettes. This can add a lot of visual appeal and style to your outfit. 

A quarter-zip or y-neck pullover makes a great layering piece, since a bit of your base layer will peek through at the neckline. If one of your layers is patterned, be sure to keep the other layer solid — or if you’re up for pattern mixing, make sure the second print isn’t too loud.

Y-Neck Pullover for Women

Utilize Vests

There is perhaps no more versatile piece for layering than a good vest. Pair it with a cozy turtleneck, long-sleeve tee, thick sweater, t-shirt dress, button-down dress, or nearly anything else. This sherpa vest is oh-so warm and comfortable. How amazing would it look with a black turtleneck, dark wash jeans, and booties?

A classic puffer vest is a must-have for autumn, and a great way to give your ensemble a polished final look. 

White Puffer Vest for Women

If you’ve ever wondered how to do layering clothes for autumn the right way, we hope these styling tips and outfit ideas have answered your questions! Which pieces are you loving the most for this season?

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