How to Layer in the Summertime

Kastle Waserman
by Kastle Waserman

Layering can add so much interest to an outfit. You can play with colors, textures and print mix. It’s one of the reasons I love the fall season so much – all those yummy fall colors piled on when a chill hits the air. But what about summer when the temperature soars, and you want to wear as little as possible to stay cool and dry? You can still layer, but strategically, and with light pieces. Here are some ideas for how to layer in the summertime.

Loose-fitting clothes to stay cool

For summer clothes, you want a loose fit. That way, air can circulate around your body and keep you cool. Anything clingy is going to feel hot and sticky and show your sweat. For this outfit, I reached for a swimsuit cover-up hoodie to wear as a loose tunic. Poolside wear is great for layering because most of it is loose and flowy. Throw it on over a tank and some capri pants and you’ve got a fun outfit that will keep you cool. Don’t forget about scarves around your hair too, which can add another layer of interest.

Throw a mesh top over any outfit

A mesh or crochet top is an easy way to layer and stay cool. It adds some texture without the weight of material, and you can get a peek of what you have on underneath. For example, I layered this vintage, fringed mesh top over a vintage dress then belted it to give it some shape. It created a sultry evening look that will stay cool on hot summer nights.

Vests add a light layer

A vest is a great way to layer over a t-shirt, tank top or dress. Go for a boxy menswear-style fit rather than a slim-tailored vest. Vests come in all kinds of colors and prints to add interest without the weight of an extra layer. Leave them unbuttoned to let air circulate around your body to stay cool. And don’t forget a neckerchief to add one more lightweight opportunity for color or print mixing.

Use accessories to layer

Jewelry, belts, scarves and hats are a great way to layer without adding more clothing. Layer on long necklaces of different lengths and put on a wide belt with a print, texture or color. Then, load up on bangle bracelets and top it off with a hat. You’ll have a layered summer look with no extra clothing.

Now that you know how to layer in the summertime, what outfits will you create?

Check out more of my looks on the Stiletto City blog and my Instagram page.

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation