8 Key Basic Layering Pieces Every Man Should Own

Whether you prefer a clean and classic look or an adventurous street style, layering is an essential part of looking good during the Fall / Winter season.

The key to layering is to start with a base and work up from it.

Whether your first layer is an elongated t-shirt or a fisherman’s sweater, you’re going to add warmth as you go.

You can always take a layer off if you get too hot, but you can’t always put another layer on if you get too cold. Stay on top of your game and on top of the weather with this guide to staying stylish in the cold.

The Hoodie

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Hoodies can range from solid colors to crazy patterns and both work just as well depending on your personal style. Hoodies without an elastic waistband are much easier to layer with. As an outer layer, wear one over an elongated t-shirt to bring out the streetwear crowd.

Throw one on under a bomber, an overcoat, a denim jacket, or pretty much any piece of outerwear and you have already started an interesting outfit.

For the minimalist men’s style, a solid gray hoodie goes a long way. Neutral colors are neutral for a reason: they go with anything.

$: Champion Reverse Weave Hoodie

The Sweater

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V-neck, crewneck, fisherman, cable-knit, wool, mélange, turtle-neck. Whatever your preferred style, a sweater is a perfect base or middle layer.

Think of sweaters with the same mindset as hoodies, but remember that they can be dressed up easier with the addition of a collared shirt.

$: Men’s Slim V-neck Sweater

The Flannel

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Flannels make a great outer layer.

Thrown over a t-shirt or long sleeve shirt, they offer a bit of extra warmth while adding a twist to an otherwise plain outfit. Even when the temperature drops, you don’t have to abandon your flannel. If you’re like me, you might find yourself wearing a flannel over a hoodie. Sizing up on the flannel allows for more room to fit a hoodie under without making it being too bulky.

If you prefer more of a traditional Americana-esque look, a flannel underneath of a denim jacket (sherpa-lined if it’s really cold out) might be more up your alley.

$: Legendary Bucktails Buck Camp Flannel

The Denim Jacket

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These are for everyone and can fit into any personal style. Many fast-fashion places, such as H&M and Forever 21 offer denim jackets, but the most well-known denim jacket is the Levi’s trucker.

While this article is mostly for the Fall/Winter season, denim jackets can be used all year long. When it’s not too cold out, they can be worn as an outer layer on their own. Layered over a flannel, they can be worn with a rugged style. Distressed and patched, they can be found by the combat boots in the closet of punk rockers from the 1970’s to today.

$: Levi’s Trucker Denim Jacket

The Bomber

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Mil-surp is in. Bombers can be found throughout history on icons of the time from Maverick and Goose in the 80s to Kanye West in the present. Whether you want a slim-fitting or bulky jacket, there is a bomber out there for you.

Stick to olive or black and it’s hard to go wrong with a bomber.

$: Rothco Ma-1 Flight Jacket

The Overcoat

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Perfect for the cold, overcoats can be worn with a myriad of styles. Wool overcoats are an excellent choice and offer plenty of warmth while looking great. They can be dressed up or down and can give the wearer an aura of swagger or sophistication. Black and

Black and gray are versatile colors for overcoats and tan has been a popular choice recently. In the streetwear style of Kanye West or A$AP Rocky, they can be worn over a hoodie and paired with jeans. For a less casual look, wear an overcoat on top of a sweater and OCBD and pair it with wool trousers. Either way, it’s worn, an overcoat is a statement piece that offers both warmth and style.

$: APTRO Men’s Wool Overcoat

The Windbreaker

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For when it’s not just cold out, but wet, too. Having a weather-ready outer shell is important and is extremely useful in keeping you (and your clothes) dry. Sometimes cotton just won’t cut it. Outer shells are where you want to look to more weather-resistant fabrics. Rain and snow repelling fabrics can be a life-saver this time of year. Gore-tex jackets are a sure sign of weather protection.

Worn over insulating base layers, like a sweater, they will keep you dry when nothing else is. Insulating layers are especially of note here because most windbreakers are going to be relatively thin. It’s possible, however, to find some that are down-filled and offer extra warmth.

$: The North Face Men’s Resolve Jacket

The Biker Jacket

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Leather biker jackets won’t add too much warmth, but they look great. From rockstar to rapper, biker jackets are a recent fashion icon. The slim cut of a biker jacket goes perfectly over a t-shirt with skinny jeans for when you want to feel like you’re about to step on stage.

$: Men’s Vintage Collar Leather Jacket