What to Wear: Layers

Why We Love Layers

By Kim Mitchell of Michelle Tiek Photography & Design

The layered look has taken the fashion world by storm and can provide photographers with fabulous looks for portraits by adding loads of dimension.  Over the past few years, layers have become a hot trend as consumers tried to find ways to extend their current wardrobes into the fall and winter seasons without over extending their bank accounts in a struggling economy.  Layers are not only cost affective, but they are also a great way to add personality to an outfit by combining colors, textures and patterns.

The girls in the photo above provide a great example of how layers can bring cohesiveness to a photo.  The girl on the left has on a thin white tee with a shorter vest on top of it and she goes a step further by adding a scarf and necklace.  The girl in the middle has less layering, but provides punch with her dress that has animal print on the top with a tulle skirt and black boots are added for an unexpected twist.  On the right, we have a feminine looking skirt combined with a military, army green crop jacket and a purple scarf.  There are so many different textures, patterns and styles in this photo and they are set off by the urban background and shopping cart.  This photo tells a great story!

Layers don’t have to be complicated.  In the photo above, a red long sleeved button down provides a punch of color.  A sweatshirt layered over this and a coordinating tie bring the entire look together and make this photo more interesting than it would have been with just the red shirt.

Layers can help coordinate multiple family members for fantastic portraits.  The cousins in the above photo used vests, hats and ties to fill out the color palette and add dimension.  The boy in the middle adds extra color with double polo shirts in blue and orange and brings pop with a bright green hat.  Notice that the boy on the left has a plaid vest and a striped tie.  Layers aren’t just about color and texture, but about pattern as well.  Don’t be afraid to mix and match!

Above is another great example of how layers help coordinate this family photo.  The color palette is simple: gray and black.  The dimension is added with the mom’s jacket and necklace and with the girl’s vest, patterned skirt and tall boots.   Different shades of gray in the boy’s sweater add the pop and draw your eye.

The two photos above are great examples of layering.  The photo on the left combines the rugged outdoors with color and style. The client’s plaid shirt and brown boots provide contrast to the white snow.  The look is softened by adding a yellow sweater with a great brown belt.

Texture is played up in the photo on the right.  Here the client layers a floral shirt with a furry vest and tall boots over jeans making a simple but eye catching statement!

Layers help tell the story in the above photo and really make the client stand out against this grungy background.  Don’t forget that accessories are also important layers as you can see in the photos below.  Shoes, boots, hats, headbands, vests, jackets, ties, scarves and necklaces can all add that extra pizzazz to your portraits.

As you can see, layers help make your portraits fabulous, so let’s get layering!!

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