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The Art of Layering

Wrap up warm with Thomas Pink autumn-winter essentials – and master the art of getting your layers just right


Embracing Thomas Pink's distinctive approach to layering, former elite cycling champion David Millar demonstrates the art of combining style and functionality

Winter is coming, and there’s finally a chill in the air following an unseasonably hot start to October. So, now that the shorts and sandals are finally resigned to the attic for at least the next six months, attention turns to new-season essentials: namely cosy knits, accessories and comfy layers.

Indeed, there really is a knack to getting layers just right: too few and you risk shivering in the office, too many and you feel like an overpacked Sherpa. Never fear, Thomas Pink is here with some foolproof lessons in layering:

Combine light and heavy knits

Don’t be tricked into thinking that the best way to stay warm is to pile on as many chunky layers as humanly possible. This will just result in a bulky silhouette and overheating. Instead, mix and match different textures and density. Try a roll-neck sweater under our unlined modern mac. You could even keep your favourite summer shirt out of storage and wear it with a V-neck sweater and coat on colder days. Layers tend to come with an unwritten rule of three (i.e. no more than this). A wool scarf is also a winter must-have, and on mild days it can be simply thrown on over a smart-casual shirt to keep out the chill.

Focus on fabrics

Lightweight summer fabrics always give way to warming autumn-winter materials: cashmere, wool, faux fur and suede. The trick is to get the balance just right and look to more under-the-radar fabrics with insulating properties, such as our winter linen, flannel and brushed cotton. These perform as great base layers that you can build on.

Thomas Pink's Stone Unlined Modern Mac


The gilet is your best friend

This is a pretty to-the-point tip, but one of the most versatile and reliable pieces of clothing to see you through the cold months is a gilet. What was once the preserve of posh Eton types has finally earned its “cool credentials” according to a recent write-up in GQ magazine. Our 100 per cent Australian merino wool gilet, as well as the new padded version, provide ample heat without being too bulky. You can slip it on over your favourite shirt to wear on its own – à la Succession’s Tom Wambsgans – or underneath a blazer or coat when temperatures dip.

Charcoal Grey Tailored Smart Casual Brushed Herringbone Shirt


Knitwear as formal wear

Layering up is all well and good on a Sunday stroll, when you can bundle up in your comfiest layers and spend the afternoon in the pub, but what about during the working week or if you have to attend an important meeting? Well, make sure you invest in good quality 100 per cent cotton shirts that are temperature regulating. Or why not put a spin on formal dressing by pairing a roll-neck sweater with a blazer? After all, if it’s good enough for Stormzy on the red carpet then it’s good enough for your 2:30pm presentation.

Navy Knitted Merino Wool Zipper Gilet


Play with colour and pattern

Layers aren’t just practical, they can also be stylish. The general rule is to keep lighter colours close to the body, and darker colours for the outer layers. But you don’t have to stick rigidly to this rule. Plaid and check shirts are synonymous with autumn and look great worn under a quarter zip sweater or gilet paired with a lightweight jacket. Wear the jacket open so you can see all three layers simultaneously. You could keep the look tonal – a Pantone colour chart of blues – starting with a light blue shirt with a navy jumper and jacket, or break things up with a pop of colour to keep things fresh and modern.

Mens Oatmeal Merino Wool Crew Neck Sweater