It’s funny when I read about layering and there are only a sweater and a coat or a blazer involved. For me, the concept of layering is a seemingly haphazard process of throwing a few disparate elements together which are easily removable (although may not not be quite as effortlessly put together) and do not look bulky, while keeping an eye on colour (two would be the most advisable, but I like to combine shades of varying intensity) and texture (the juxtaposition of fine and chunky adds depth, which will help the overall look).
Oversized coat (if belted, is even more nonchalant), ribbed knitted sweater and a shirt with big collar carelessly turned up. Or maybe a casual jacket under a more formal cashmere or wool coat. Vests, sleeveless blazers and blanket scarves are also key elements in a achieving a very creative aesthetic. The neckline is a great spot to play a little with the styling and where the layers are very visible: a button down shirt, but not buttoned up, or combining different collar types are ways to show off your imagination and personalise your outfit. For me, the basic rule is that the look must seem comfortable, while retaining a casual elegance.
photos: 1-Isabel Marant Fall 2014 ad campaign / 2-Gian Paolo Barbieri for Vogue Italia September 1976 / 3-Style.com, Chloe Fall 2010 / 4-Hilary Walsh for Glamour France September 2014 / 5-Benjamin Alexander Huseby for The Gentlewoman Fall-Winter 2013-2014