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    Wearing more than a shirt and jacket? Be creative, advise leading designers

    Don’t let the dreary weather get you down. As the temperature dips, up your style quotient, and turn to layering. “However, there is a difference between piling on clothes, and layering. The most important thing is to get the basics right,” insists designer Rakesh Thakore of Abraham& Thakore. And even as a pashmina shawl, a French coat or a woollen stole are some of the best options to keep you warm, experts believe that they are monotonous, and outdated. “Don’t wear more than three layers, and wear the thinnest one closest to the skin. Pick skinny trousers or jeans, or leggings as bottoms for when you’re layering; they slim you down,” he adds.

    Keep the coat on
    Styled coats over pants, waist coats over kurtas for men and even women, along with a linen scarf are some of Anita Dongre’s tips. “It is best to incorporate a mix of colours and textures when styling a layered look,” says the Mumbai designer, adding, “You can pair a statement dress with a subtly printed jacket and finish it off with an elegant scarf.”

    Colour blocking is another simple yet effective way to highlight an outfit. You can team a structured jacket, a contrasting bag and a printed stole for a fusion look. “Black and white is a staple combination. For an important lunch meeting, throw a solid coloured jacket on. The key is to combine overtly dressy elements with casual pieces,” Dongre adds.

    Try Normcore
    According to designer Sounak Sen of House of Three, the biggest trend this season is Normcore (normal and hardcore). “It is a unisex anti -fashion trend that is characterised by unpretentious clothing and deliberately wanting to be average,” he explains. The look features dusters, palazzo pants, basic jerseys in tees and tunics combined with leggings jeans or jersey skirts. “Throw on a duster or a sweatshirt or an oversized boyfriend shirt, layered with a waistcoat on top. Pair it with a head scarf or a woollen oversized skull cap, muffler and casual sneakers,” Sen suggests.

    Ethnic touch
    The must-haves in your closet to take the layered look to the next level include, “capelets, tunics, coats, jackets and jumpsuits. One must experiment. You can try teaming up three pieces to get a different look,” says designer Anand Kabra. For the ethnic look, try dhoti pants with peplum tops, he suggests. A poncho is a great addition to one’s outfit when it comes to layering, according to Aneeth Arora of péro. “This winter, khadi wool or even pashmina are favourite fabrics, and these ponchos can be easily worn over tops, with jeans, and boots. For something dressy, a masculine woollen jacket with some zardozi embroidery, over a Benarasi sari could be nice look,” she says.

    Easy style
    If extreme layering is not your cup of tea, stick to basics, insists Thakore, adding, “Keep it simple; try the T-shirt or a classic office blouse over which you can add an unbuttoned shirt and a cardigan, vest or blazer as the third layer. A scarf will complete the look.”

    Anita Dongre prêt range of jackets, capes and bandis start at Rs.5,000. Details: anitadongre.com
    Abraham&Thakore stoles start at Rs.2,000 and jackets at Rs.9,000. At The Collonnade, The Leela Palace. Details: 41329316
    Péro by Aneeth Arora coats and jackets start at Rs.5,000. Details: strandofsilk.com
    Anand Kabra’s collection starts at Rs.6,000. At Collage, Wood Street. Details: 25566818
    Couture jackets at House of Three begin at Rs.15,000. At Jeevan Bhima Nagar. Details: 9886212837

    — Nandini Kumar

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