How to Layer Clothes in the Summer

With summer fast approaching, layering can become more and more difficult in the balmy weather. Too much and you’re sweating through everything you own. Too little and you feel exposed. Finding the right balance with summer layers is important when wanting to dress comfortably and stylishly. This post contains some essential tips for both men and women when styling an outfit for summer weather.  

What works and what doesn’t

Fabric consideration is essential in the summer!

Linen is a great choice for the summertime, it’s light and airy and doesn’t cling to your body. I’d recommend linen as either a top or bottom but not both, when layered and worn against other fabrics it looks great, but together it can come off as drowning because of how loose it is (and it also has a tendency to crease very easily). Denim is ideal for a summer jacket but can feel constricting as a bottom. If denim feels too heavy, opt for Chambray as an alternative, it’s softer and friendlier to your body temperature in hot weather. Cotton drill is a standard choice for most summer outfits. Lightweight tees, shirts and trousers will feel comfortable on warmer days. Lightweight cotton is your friend in any occasion!

Additionally, mixing your fabrics is not just a winter style choice, and can work wonderfully when putting together outfits for warmer days. When combining different fabrics however, you’ll want to make sure that you avoid viscose and leather in summer! Neither of these fabrics will allow your body to breathe well enough in the heat.

Some fabrics to dress cautiously with are silk and wool. Lightweight wool like cashmere is a not just a winter fabric, single ply cashmere is light enough to wear in the summer weather as it is designed not to heat your body like other lambswool, but thicker plys can be risky. Silk can keep you very cool as well but any sign of sweat will show up more visibly than most fabrics, so stick to loose fitting garments in this fabric.



Sunny days call for open colours, white, cream, and light primary shades are ideal for the base layers in your outfit. Contrast this with a darker shade trouser/jean or jacket to bring attention to the softer colours in your look, and dress these colours accordingly to your skin tone too. I’ve put together a basic list of complimentary colours below:

Pale/Light – If you’re like me, and have fairly pale/light skin tone, you’re going to want to stick to more darker (but cooler) shades like Grey, Black, Green, Navy and Brown. Avoid Pastel and Bright/Neon colours as these will wash you out.

Warm/Olive/Medium – If your complexion is warmer, and has a natural yellow or green undertone to it you can quite comfortably wear any colour that isn’t either of those. I’d recommend going towards the extremes of the spectrum, for example if you’re choosing to wear something blue, you’ll want to wear a navy blue or a baby blue. The stark contrast will compliment your skin tone.

Dark – Similar to the above, those of you with dark skin tones can enjoy wearing almost any colour available, and the contrast against your skin is the most natural. Brown would be the only hue of colour to dress cautiously with as shades of the colour can look drowning against a darker complexion. Opt for a Jet Black or grey as an alternative if you fancy dressing dark.

Let me know your own tips for dressing for the summer in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date the journey!

My next Style post will be on Dressing To Your Body Shape.


This look:

A casual, buttoned down shirt over thin vest with contrasting colours.  An ideal way to keep light layering in your summer wardrobe. Paired with a breathable trouser,in a darker shade, an easy summer outfit that can transition comfortably from day to night. I chose to wear a pair of black Chelsea boots that cut off at the ankle to compliment the rolled up jean, however a pair of low top trainers or sandals are great options too!

  • Shirt, Topman
  • Vest, Tommy Hilfiger
  • Jeans, Levis
  • Boots, Peter Werth
  • Satchel, The Cambridge Satchel Company
  • Sunglasses, Hugo Boss