StyleJonathan Cavaliere

How to Pull Off Reverse Layering

StyleJonathan Cavaliere
How to Pull Off Reverse Layering

Unless you’ve literally been living under a rock for the majority of your adult life, you’re likely familiar with the age-old concept of layering; wearing one or more garments of clothing over another, in varying lengths, fabrics, textures, or colours.

This weather-defying technique has been used for centuries, as a means to transition from one time or place to another, with respect to changes in temperature. The conventions of layering have advised us to do so in order of garment lengths; the base layer being shortest, with each subsequent outer-layer increasing in length. However, recent trends have inverted these rules; enter, reverse laying.


Reverse layering - the antithesis - of traditional layering, is the idea of wearing garments of varying lengths, in order from longest to shortest.  If executed properly, this relatively new trend can add dimension and intrigue to your look, and can be adapted using common wardrobe staples that may already be present in your closet. Here are some tips to get you started:

Use neutral tones to maximize versatility

While a darker tones of burgundy or forest green offer some versatility, they fall short compared to the spectrum available with monochromatic alternatives. When first attempting this advanced layering technique, start with a pallet of varying shades of gray, black, white, and navy.


Order your garments, from long-to-short

As mentioned, your layers should be longest at the base, with each subsequent layer being 3-6 inches shorter than the next. Your second or third layer can have equal lengths, but should contrast in tone or colour, to add more dimension to the look. The major exception to this rule, can be applied when wearing an overcoat, which should always be the longest layer in your look.

Buy versatile wardrobe staples

While reverse layering is making it big on the runway, and even on urban city streets, this trend isn’t likely to fly at your typical 9-5 office job. When curating your look, consider the versatility for each piece, and how you might integrate it into daily wear. The trend of reverse layering sees no signs of slowing- from luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Supreme, to homegrown designers like Kollar and Vitaly, there are plenty of price points and styles to choose from. Although difficult to pull off, we’re confident that these tips should give you the right information required to nail your look.

Words by Anthony O'Dell 

Photography by Sean Pollock