Lessons in Layering

If you were with me last fall and winter, you know I’m all about the layers! I tend to find a few key layering pieces and wear them all season long. Today, I’m going to walk you through the steps I take as I’m layering my looks in the cooler months.

My blank canvas usually starts with denim. Last winter, I worked in a more corporate environment so I wasn’t able to wear blue jeans to work. Enter, black skinny jeans. You can’t really tell if they’re black skinny pants, leggings, or jeans. And for whatever reason, black jeans look instantly more dressy than blue jeans. I will be living in these Old Navy Rockstar skinnies for the next few months. Consider yourself warned!

The next piece of my blank canvas is another versatile denim item… The chambray shirt. My chambray pieces are some of the most worn items in my wardrobe. They’re the easiest way to dress down a fancy piece, such as a sequin skirt or leather pants. And they also pair perfectly with black skinnies.

I’ve been pairing my chambray shirts and black skinnies with a pair of black ankle booties. They add a bit of height, are still comfortable enough to walk in, and make your legs look miles long when paired with black bottoms.

Next step, add a scarf. My go-t0 is usually some sort of neutral print. 99% of the time, this translates to a leopard print scarf. It’s just SO versatile!

From here, add a 3rd piece! I define a “3rd piece” as that “topper” type of piece that really completes your look.. A jacket, a blazer, or a vest.

Now if you want to go a step beyond, try layering a vest OVER a blazer. A vest over a denim jacket would be cute, too!

Start with:ย Old Navy Black Skinny Jeansย | J.Crew Chambray Shirt | Just Fab Booties
Then add… Leopard Scarf: H&M
Safari Jacket: Old Navy
Blazer: J.Crew
Quilted Vest: Banana Republic
Sunglasses: BCBG
Mini Satchel: J.Crew

This post is sponsored by Old Navy. Check out Old Navy’s latest fashion lineup in store or online at oldnavy.com.

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Leave a Comment


  1. 9.25.13
    Kimberly said:

    LOVE this post – totally bookmarking this for later when it gets super cold here…I always need new layering ideas and this casual look is perfect! ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. 9.25.13

    Cute! Perfect for the freezing outside but heat is blasting in the office.

    Rebecca {at} Preppy Panache

  3. 9.25.13
    Deauna said:

    Thanks for posting this. I always get stuck at that final layer and end up being too cold or too cold.

  4. 9.25.13

    Great outfit! โ˜บ Thanks for this post.

  5. 9.25.13
    stephanie said:

    I love layering and this post is soo helpful ๐Ÿ˜€
    xx Stephanie (www.stephaniesstyleblog.com)

  6. 9.25.13
    Vicki said:

    Love that vest! I saw it at BR but wasn’t sure exactly how to wear it. Great suggestions!

  7. 9.25.13

    I absolutely suck at layering. If too many pieces are added, I start feeling constricted. Plus, I’m totally fine freezing while walking to & from my car because it’s always warm inside. Thanks for sharing, though; I may give it a try!


  8. 9.25.13
    Julia said:

    I really love your vest – it’s so pretty and simply perfect!! I always wanted a vest (or jacket) like yours but unfortunately I never found one ๐Ÿ™

    xo, Julia (days full of glitter)

  9. 9.25.13
    Catherine said:

    There is nothing I love more than layers, especially this time of year up here in Boston! The vest and blazer is one of my favorite looks!



  10. 9.25.13
    Lauren said:

    These are such great tips! I love how your vest looks over a blazer!

  11. 9.25.13
    Heidi said:

    I love that leopard is a neutral! That just increases the options for pattern mixing and I love it.


  12. 9.25.13
    Sarah said:

    Love how you show the layering process.

    The Purse Snatcher

  13. 9.25.13
    Stacey said:

    I love this, I can’t wait to start layering up!

    Five Minute Styleย 

  14. 9.25.13

    I’m a big fan of layering when it comes to the Fall/Winter. For me, I like to add the more fitted layers underneath so it doesn’t create unnecessary bulk, but I have to agree, the leopard scarf is so versatile and such a staple.

  15. 9.25.13
    kendall said:

    love layers! & love a leopard scarf as a neutral! x

    dipped in yellow

  16. 9.25.13
    Lisa said:

    Love this…thanks! I need a quilted vest and tweed blazer and this is a great way to style them!


  17. 9.25.13
    Helen said:

    Great post! I like these styling posts!

  18. 9.25.13
    Chelsea said:

    This post is great Jessica! I definitely need help with my layering skills and I love how you mixed everything.

    Chelsea & The City

    Don’t forget to enter my 2 year blogiversary giveaway for a chance to win a Baublebar Pave Links bracelet & sweet hanger necklace!

  19. 9.25.13
    dana said:

    Seriously love this look! Never thought about layering a vest over a blazer – definitely a great way to dress down a blazer! Can’t wait to try this look!

    xx Dana
    Pink Champagne Problems

  20. 9.25.13
    Olivia said:

    This outfit is the definition of fall layering! I love the vest over the blazer, and adding a leopard scarf pulls it all together!

  21. 9.25.13
    christin said:

    the best layering tutorial there ever was!

  22. 9.25.13

    ohh love the vest over the blazer!

  23. 9.25.13

    Love the variety of ways you styled this look — I’ve been eyeing numerous pairs of the Old Navy skinnies, they’re such a perfect fit and price point!

  24. 9.25.13
    Alyssa said:

    This is so greatโ€“I love the different ways you layered up. I really need to get my hands on a vest for fall. They’re so versatile!

  25. 9.25.13
    Lisa said:

    Love the play by play of layers!! They all look great! ๐Ÿ™‚


  26. 9.25.13

    Lesson learned! This look is so fab, layering is such a magical thing to do!

    Cee. โ™ฅ
    Code Overdressed

  27. 9.25.13
    Samantha said:

    Black skinny jeans, cute booties and my leopard Michael Kors scarf are my go-to layering pieces for the colder months too! Neutral is key. Great layering combos!


  28. 9.25.13
    Sofia said:

    Beautiful fall look on you.



  29. 9.25.13

    Cute looks – the one with the vest is my fave. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. 9.25.13

    Great post! I never really thought of using my chambray as a layering piece, but now that you show how to do it it’s like, wow why didn’t I think of that? I’m going to try wearing my chambray with a navy puffer vest that I haven’t worn nearly enough-thanks for the inspiration!

  31. 9.25.13
    terri said:


  32. 9.25.13
    Carrie said:

    Great idea for a post! I can always use some new layering ideas! Trying to find the right balance when it’s hot in the office and freezing outside is always a challenge for me.

  33. 9.25.13
    Shira said:

    I love how you did this post! So so clear and adorable!


  34. 9.25.13
    Shannon said:

    Layering made easy. J love it! You look so put together.


  35. 9.25.13
    Kodi said:

    Cute post idea! Great tips for layering.
    grey et al

  36. 9.25.13
    Julie said:

    This is a great post! Simple and so cute!

  37. 9.25.13
    Jami said:

    This looks amazing and warm!

  38. 9.25.13
    Carly said:
  39. 9.25.13
    smash said:

    Love a black pant & black bootie combo. xo

  40. 9.26.13
    AJ said:

    Great, quick layering lesson! Love the layers you chose, I would totally wear that outfit!


  41. 9.26.13
    Danielle said:

    You have that layering down to a science, lady! Love it! Notable faves are the ON Safari Jacket and the Banana quilted vest! Loving olive green right now. Also, I own the Rockstar Jeans in 8 washes and 3 colors. They are my GO TO jean! Fit like a dream!


  42. 9.26.13

    This is such a great post. I love how you did the step-by-step layering and showed the various options for one basic outfit. Very practical!

    On the Daily Express

  43. 9.30.13
    Gabby O said:

    Loved seeing the transformation of different 3rd pieces added to the basic look and seeing how it can change the feel of the outfit. I’m a leopard girl too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  44. 10.6.13

    loving this post…my favorite is the last picture with all the layers – I am always freezing so the more the merrier ๐Ÿ™‚



  45. 10.30.13

    These are such great outfit ideas! I definitely want to add a new pair of blank ankle booties into my wardrobe… ASAP.

    And I’ve never thought of wearing a vest OVER a jacket/button-up. Thanks so much for sharing!

    – J