Transitional Layers – What To Wear And How To Style

As any self-aware British person knows summer certainly isn’t going to last forever. Every year we stay longing for those brief periods of glorious sunshine where we can don our favourite t-shirt and shorts combo and enjoy the great outdoors. Unfortunately, it always seems like it’s over as soon as it starts, and before we know it we’re back into the familiar realms of Autumn. However, there is a silver lining, Autumn presents some of the finest opportunities when it comes to menswear, and with AW20 collections in sight we take a look at transitional layers and how to wear them.

Overshirts –

In the past few years, the overshirt has exploded onto the men’s fashion scene as an accessible and stylish addition to almost every man’s wardrobe. Often rugged and utilitarian in appearance, overshirts are surprisingly easy to work into an abundance of outfits and seemingly bridge the gap between seasons and occasion alike. Overshirts come in a variety of colours and styles, so its simple to find something that’s going to work for you. 

There are a few different ways to wear an Overshirt, unbuttoned or unzipped over a t-shirt, or buttoned/zipped up like a coat. If you’re going for the first option we recommend wearing a contrasting T-shirt underneath to add depth and matching options into your look. Combine with a smart pair of chinos and a matching trainer for a simple but eyecatching outfit.

Sweats – 

A mainstay of any modern man’s wardrobe, the sweatshirt first originated in the 1920s in Alabama. Football players at the University of Alabama had grown tiresome with the uncomfortable wool jerseys worn by players as they were itchy and prone to shrinking after washing. So instead one of the player’s fathers developed a comfy alternative that was used to absorb sweat and pass it on to the garment to keep you cool, hence the name. Nowadays sweatshirts come in a variety of different styles, fittings and of course colours but all have a similar application.

Styling a sweatshirt is pretty simple, just make sure you get the fit right. Having a sweatshirt skin-tight isn’t a flattering look even if you look like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, instead opt for a more casual form-fitting style with room for movement. In terms of length and unless you’re wearing a cropped style, always aim for the sweat to sit slightly below hips, anything higher will appear to fit too short. For styling solid toned sweatshirts try wearing a white T-shirt underneath with a neat slim fitted neckline to layer the look and add contrast. For bolder patterned or logoed sweats, we recommend trying to keep your underlayer matching to the colour of the sweat to avoid things looking too busy. Pair either of these with a pair of selvedge denim and if you’ve gone for more neutral tones a pair of boots can really bring the look together. If your sweat is bright and colourful we’d recommend going for a pair of trainers instead.


Perfect for year-round wear the hoody is often seen as a piece for casual occasions but given the right styling, it does present opportunities to dress it up slightly.

Not unlike the sweatshirt, it’s important to get the fitting of the hoodie right. Too big and it will look like you’re ready to take a long-haul flight, too small and it will look like you’re wearing a straight jacket. To get the ideal fit it’s perfect to good to know your measurements, but if you don’t just aim for a relaxed style that fits well all-round without being too baggy. With the length aim for the bottom to sit just below your hips. One easy way to create a cleaner look with a hoodie is by tying the drawstrings into a bow, this makes the hood more sleek and creates a tapering effect. Pair this with a quality set of selvedge denim with a turned-up cuff, a pair of sleek trainers and your choice of accessories for a well put-together look.

Lightweight jackets – 

With a bit more protection than the average overshirt, the lightweight jacket provides a weather-friendly alternative as well as an abundance of different styles, colours and wearing options.

As there’s no universal shape to a lightweight jacket it isn’t quite possible to give a recommended fitting for all of them so instead its best to trust your instinct and make sure things aren’t too tight around your key areas (shoulders, chest, waist). Lengths can also vary drastically between styles, for example, a lightweight mack is going to have a lot longer length than your average bomber jacket, so just keep that in mind when you’re shopping.

Lightweight jackets present a multitude of pairing options to create an eye-catching look. Going for a bold jacket colour? Offset this with darker tones for the rest of the outfit to allow your statement piece to shine. For darker jackets, you can either go dark as well to create a form-fitted silhouette or add shades of lighter colours to again draw focus back to the piece. As far as the bottom half of the outfit goes, you can complete the look with a pair of slim-fit chinos or selvedge denim and a pair outfit appropriate footwear.

Words by J.Strong