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It happens every summer: warmer weather hits and we get the itch for draped tops and dresses in beachy-glam getups. But when temps start to drop (or, ahem, you live in the cooler climes of San Francisco), those barely-there sandals alone aren’t going to cut it.
Thankfully, there is an art to layering draped pieces for fall without looking like, well, a drapery. Here are some tips to bulk-free bundling to keep that Grecian-goddess effect intact.
1. Keep the rest of the outfit simple and sleek. Your draped top or dress is your standout piece. It will do the outfit leg work if you let it. Instead of adding competing colors or shapes, I chose to keep the rest of the ensemble minimal with black leggings and a black jacket.
2. Artful layering is all about proportion. Truth be told, this top is a few sizes bigger than I normally wear. But it drapes so beautifully, it works anyway. (Helmut Lang, you’ve done it again.) If it were just a couple inches longer, I’d throw on some tights and wear it as a dress. But since it’s not, leggings are the next best thing to keep the outfit looking tailored instead of overly slouchy. And since the top is so long and flowy, it makes sense to pair it with a sleek cropped coat to keep the outfit looking balanced.
3. Cut it close to the body. It’s okay to get a little crazy, (not that you need anyone’s permission). Go ahead and mix a drapey top with drapey skirt for example, if the mood should strike. But one word of caution – try to add some cinching at the waist, pieces that are cut close to the body or just let a little skin show to keep the volume under control. Even when you add layers, the idea is to highlight the figure, not hide it.
4. Mix textures. I think we can all agree – when it comes to draped pieces, the flowiness is the best part. The good news is, you can check that aspect of the outfit off the list. Now the key is to add interest in fabrics by mixing things up. Think leather (or faux leather) and nubby knits. Just bear in mind if there’s a lot of texture-mixing going on, it’s best to stick to a simple color palette (I love an all-neutral ensemble) to keep the look harmonious.
Photos by Natalie