Fall Layering Tips For Men: 5 Simple Steps to Seasonal Style

August 14, 2023

Autumn might seem like a distant destination, but it’s never too early to plan your wardrobe for the next season. That’s why we’re getting ahead of the curve to share our top fall layering tips for men.

We’ll walk you through the five simple steps to help you master men’s fall layering no matter the occasion. Take a break from the summer heat and come along for the ride.

Step #1. Pick Your Men’s Fall Layering Color Scheme

Let’s take it back to the basics. One of the foundational building blocks of successful outfit building is picking a color scheme.

Why? Because narrowing in on a specific range of tones or shades helps your ensembles to look and feel intentional. You don’t have to worry about clashing or looking sloppy.

If you’re new to styling yourself, we recommend grounding your clothes in core colors.

Core colors include black, gray, white, and navy blue. We call these core colors because they are your essentials. They go with everything and anything. No matter what field you work in or what size you are, you can pull off any of these colors.

For example, picture a black suede jacket over a simple grey tee and dark blue denim.

Want to channel a leveled-up look?

Lean into monochrome. It sounds more intimidating than it is. All you have to do is pick one color and then wear it from head to toe.

Keep it simple, like a grey blazer and suit pants. Or a black sweater and black chinos.

On the other hand, you can add variety by wearing the same color in different shades and tints or through textures and prints. Test out a subtle window-pane plaid, for example. Or a lightly heathered T-shirt.

Master this step, and you’ll know how to dress like a casually cool CEO in no time.

Step #2. Go Light to Dark

Men's Fall Layering Tip Model Dressed From Light To Dark

Once you’ve picked out your color scheme, opt for lighter pieces on top and darker ones on bottom.

We suggest doing this for men’s fall layering for a few reasons.

1. It adds variety to your outfit. You want your clothes to tell a story. Adding a shift in darkness and lightness adds interest to your outfit and keeps you from looking too “one-note.”

2. It puts the attention on your face. A darker tone near your face might make you seem more severe, or it could distract from what you’re saying. A lighter color lets your face be the star of the show. This is especially important to keep in mind for meetings, online or in-person.

3. It just looks good. Seriously, something about darker colors on bottom and lighter on the top feels more sophisticated than the inverse. Visually, the inverse feels top-heavy and less natural.

For example, try an oatmeal-toned long-sleeve polo on top and a pair of dark grey joggers on bottom. Or a basic white tee tucked into navy blue trousers.

Step #3. Focus on the Basics for Men’s Fall Layering

Now that we’ve figured out a color story for men’s fall layering let’s talk about the actual clothing items.

One of the most common complaints we hear from our clients is that they don’t know what to wear. They have a closet full of clothes but no complete outfits (or any they like).

This happens when you don’t have the right pieces in your wardrobe.

Maybe you tend to buy things on impulse. Or you’re holding on to dated clothes that no longer suit you or your current lifestyle.

Or perhaps (like many of our male clients) shopping isn’t you’re thing. You buy the first thing you see just to get it over with.

To avoid this, you need to know what’s in your closet and go shopping with a clear strategy and list.

When making that list, we recommend thinking about layering basics. Think:
– Classic, plain tees you can wear under anything
– Long-sleeved shirts (button-downs and knits)
– Lightweight or medium weight sweaters (Cardigans and pullovers)
– Light jackets

With just a few key items, you’ll have a functional, versatile wardrobe. (Just don’t forget to play by our Hierarchy of Color for maximum mixing and matching.)

Step #4. Keep the Layers Light

Did you notice a keyword in our list of layering basics?


This is the MVP of fall layering 101. Light layers keep you from getting sweaty and uncomfortable.

Remember, we’re dressing for autumn, not winter yet. This time of year is transitional. The weather changes daily more than in other seasons, so you want to prepare for anything.

For example, you might be comfortable in a thick pullover sweater and corduroy while walking the chilly streets of Manhattan. But next thing you know, you pop into your office, where they’re already blasting the heat, and you’re sweating.

Reach for medium to lightweight thickness for sweaters and jackets. To maintain the perfect temperature, you can also seek natural, breathable fabrics like cotton, cashmere, or merino wool.

Step #5. Complete Your Men’s Fall Layering Look With a Statement Piece

Ready for the cherry on top of your style sundae? Step 5 of men’s fall layering is to seal the deal with a statement piece.

After all, clothing doesn’t have to just get you from point A to point B. It’s an opportunity to show off who you are and invite other people to your personal brand.

If you’re a guy that wants to go bold, use your statement piece to play with bolder colors and prints. You can’t go wrong if you pair it back to core colors.

Prefer a more “effortless” vibe? Skip the statement colors and lean into textures. Like a sleek leather jacket or a cable knit sweater.

No matter which route you take, remember:
Pick one piece to be the star of the show, and keep the rest of your outfit simple.

Want a pro to help you prep for fall layering style? Apply for Next Level Wardrobe’s men’s executive image consulting or styling services. Whether in-person or virtual, our excerpts will take your style to new heights and change your shopping habits for good.

About the Author - Cassandra Sethi
About the Author - Cassandra Sethi

Personal Stylist & Image Consultant

Cassandra Sethi is a Personal Stylist and Founder of Next Level Wardrobe, a luxury Personal Styling and Shopping Service that helps successful professionals of all ages and sizes. After working in the fashion industry for over 25 years, she used her expert knowledge to create a proprietary styling system called ‘The Next Level Wardrobe Style System' which guarantees clients more outfits with less items in their closet. NLW has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Tamron Hall Show, NY Mag, Huffington Post and more.

*Disclosure: Next Level Wardrobe only recommends products that we’d suggest to our clients or personally wear ourselves. All opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Next Level Wardrobe may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here.

Complimentary Guide NLW

3 Professional Pieces for a Timeless Closet

Download Our Complimentary Guide

Cassandra Next Level Wardrobe Bio Picture

Cassandra Sethi

is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. She is the Founder of Next Level Wardrobe and 'The NLW Style System' that guarantees clients more outfits with less items.

Related posts

Ready for a shortcut to great style?