The Fine Art of Layering for Winter... and How to Have Fun With Colour

Summer clothes are gorgeous. You can wear just one thin layer, go all floaty, stay cool and stuff your woollies, cardis, jackets and coats into the back of your wardrobe, forgetting them for a few lovely, heady summer months. But plenty of people much prefer autumn and winter gear, with all those fun opportunities colder weather brings to layer outfits creatively, play with colour and mix 'n' match different textures.

Hippy fashion fun for autumn - Playing with layering, colour and texture

We're having the most wonderful Indian Summer right now, but while things are predicted to stay warm until December, it won't last forever. Which is why we're looking at layering cool weather clothing to perfection, and having creative fun with colours and textures while you're at it.

Layering to create stunning, original hippy clothing-inspired outfits

There's a lot of talk about layering. The subject raises its head more or less every autumn. But how do you get it right, avoiding ending up the size and shape of a bus or like a human remnant from a fabric store sale?

Layering is about being warm as well as looking stylish. So it makes sense to start with thin layers and work upwards. Adding one of our colourful granddad shirts on top of a thick woolly jumper won't look right. But wear a fitted, short sleeved cotton top over a long-sleeved one, in a contrasting or toning colour, and you stay shapely rather than looking lumpy and strange. 

As far as the bare-bones basics go, we don't mind admitting it's very hard to beat Primark's stretchy cotton tops, which usually  contain Elastane to keep their shape. They're madly cheap, come in a choice of gorgeous colours, are perfect for layering without spending a bomb and last for ages. Invest in a handful of them and you're ready to take our fab hippy clothing store by storm.

Sometimes it's a shame to wear a chunky winter coat when you love your outfit and want to show it off. If you add enough layers you'll be warm enough to go out and about without a coat, in all your gypsy-style elegance.   



Here are some handy ideas to help you get the layering thing right

  1. Wear a summery pencil skirt as a slip under a flowing hippy skirt the same length or longer. 
  2. Throw a skirt over colourful, patterned or plain black leggings, and add a pair of knee-length striped socks... or two.
  3. Add a long sleeved shirt over a combination of a long and short-sleeved cotton tops.
  4. wrap a gorgeous hippy scarf around your waist as a cummerbund.
  5. Use our mega-value, pretty, cobwebby shrugs to add layered warmth to evening and indoor outfits.
  6. Wear more than one shirt or blouse, one buttoned up and the other unbuttoned over the top, or a short sleeve shirt over a long sleeved one.
  7. Wear a fine-knit V neck woolly over a thin roll neck or polo neck, adding a shirt and then a knitted cardi or zippable hoodie on top.
  8. Put a long sleeved cotton top or two under one of our lovely hippy dresses. Add a vintage men's waistcoat, unbuttoned, and finish off with a chunky vintage or charity shop tweed jacket.
  9. Wear two pencil skirts at once, a shorter patterned one over a longer plain one, and cinch them tight at the waist with a flattering wide leather belt.
  10. Wind a thin, slinky scarf around your hair and add a funky hat on top.

Being confident with colour

Colour can be scary, which is why so many people end up playing safe with basic black. If you're too farty to let rip and make like a rainbow, here's some inspiration:  

  • Pick your favourite three colours and stick to them. When you restrict your choice it's so much easier to handle than buying every colour on the planet and not knowing what goes with what.
  • Pick just one favourite colour and wear it with black. When you buy different versions of the same colour, for example different shades / tones and paler / darker versions, it's more or less impossible to make a hash of your colour scheme.
  • Find a colour wheel online. Colour wheels are the perfect way to establish scientifically what goes with what, and what clashes.
  • There's no such thing as good taste, just taste. If, like me, you adore strange colour combinations like red, pink and orange, or purple, green and mauve, forget what anyone else might say or think and go your own sweet way. Who cares what other people think?
  • Buy a piece of clothing you love because the colour combination makes you feel happy. Then base your clothes purchases on the same colours. 
  • Find a colour matching service and see what shades and tones suit your skin and hair colour best. It's as good a way as any to inform your sartorial choices, and it prevents you making hideous mistakes. If I wear yellow or pale green, for example, I look like a dead person... which is well worth bearing in mind when I hit the shops.
  • If you'd love to go the whole hog and wear every colour of the rainbow at once, there's no law against it. Enjoy!

Having a ball with texture and pattern

A lot of our unique hippy clothing focuses on texture, especially the hand-embroidered, torn fabric, beaded and applique items. And many of the luscious things we sell are patterned to perfection. Some of our customers like to use an elaborately decorated dress, top or shirt as the highlight of an outfit, keeping the rest plain. Others love to layer contrasting, toning and even clashing textures and patterns in true hippy style, with wonderfully creative, often eye-popping results. 

There's no law against mixing and matching. Sometimes catwalk fashion dictates it, other times it's a big high street no-no. But fashion is meant to be fun, and if you have the confidence to be a bit different, anything goes. Jut ask Dawn O'Porter, whose revolutionary vintage fashion TV show This Old Thing has been thrilling the nation recently.

On the other hand, it's easy for us to say. We're in Brighton, where it's more unusual not to see a man in a dress in Churchill Square shopping centre than it is to see several at once. Our city is renowned for its individuality, and every day you see amazing people wearing completely off-the-wall outfits, whether it's bare bums in leather cowboy chaps down Kemptown way or fantasy hats worn by shoppers in the famous Lanes and North Laine areas, both stuffed to the brim with independent shops like ours.

What's the worst that can happen if you let it all hang out, trust your own taste and make a hippy fashion splash? You might get a few snide comments... but it's worth it for the sheer joy you'll get from being the real you. 

Layering, colour and texture combined

We've taken a quick look at the art of cold weather layering, and how it allows you to wear colour with confidence and mix textures like a person possessed. Get to grips with all three and you'll have more fun with fashion than ever before. Our shop is the perfect place to track down unusual, unique and very beautiful hippy clothes, perfect for taking your sartorial life to the next stage and seriously good value for money.   

Any questions?

Just leave a comment and we'll come back with an answer. Its always a pleasure to help people get the most out of dressing up!