How to layer for a fall music festival

Shirts & Tops

When layering for a fall music festival, think about your own personal style. There’s no single right way of layering, so choose options that work for you.

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Keeping warm at music festivals in fall

Layering is a surefire way to look effortlessly stylish and be ready for any weather. Learning how to layer for a fall music festival lets you look great and stay warm.

Not only is layering fashionable, but it’s also great for those days when the temperature fluctuates between mild and chilly. You can easily slip the outer layer off while maintaining the rest of your look. If it sounds like too much effort, don’t worry — layering for a music festival is easier than you’d think.

Layering basics

The basics of layering are straightforward — layer various pieces of clothing over others, with the under layers usually at least partially visible. As a general rule, layering should be limited to the top half, with the exception of wearing dresses or skirts over pants and shorts over tights or leggings. 

Base layers

Your base layer will usually be a T-shirt or long sleeve T-shirt, though a light sweater is a good option for some outfits. For a fall music festival, you might want to opt for a band shirt, tie dye or something else with an alternative edge to it. Ultimately, be sure to choose a garment that you feel comfortable in. 

Nirvana One Sided Smile T-Shirt

Middle layers

Your next layer is your middle layer, which can vary, depending on your preferences. If you’re opting for a fairly traditional layering look, it might be a cardigan or an open flannel layered over a tee. However, it could also be a dress over a light roll neck sweater, a short sleeve T-shirt over a long sleeve T-shirt, a light blazer over a sweater or anything else you can come up with. When you’re layering more than three layers, then you’ll have two or more middle layers. 

Gildan Women's Heavy Cotton Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Outer layers

Your outer layer will usually be a coat or a jacket. The best option for you will depend on what the temperature is like where you are during fall. In some areas, a light denim jacket will suffice in fall, while in others, you’ll need a thick winter coat to stay warm. Leather and faux leather jackets are great for fall music festivals in many areas, because they’re warm but not too hot, and offer some protection against wind and light rain. Levi’s Women’s Faux Leather Belted Motorcycle Jacket looks great and is more affordable and environmentally conscious than a genuine leather jacket. 

Levi's Women's Faux Leather Belted Motorcycle Jacket

Fall music festival layering tips

With the basics down, you can think more about your personal aesthetic. There are numerous ways to layer clothing for a fall music festival so some of it will depend on what clothes you already have in your closet and your own style preferences.

Consider overalls

Overalls aren’t just for kids — in fact, they’re on trend right now. What’s great about overalls for layering is that you naturally wear a top underneath them. On warmer days or when you want to stick a few more layers on top, you can wear overalls over a short sleeve T-shirt or vest, or if it’s fairly cool out, wear overalls on top of a long sleeve T-shirt, sweater or roll neck top. Overalls with long pant legs are great for cooler fall days, but if autumn is warm where you are, you can also buy short overalls.

Levi's Women's Vintage Overalls

Wear dresses over pants

It’s frustrating when you have dresses that you love but can’t wear for most of the year due to the cold weather. Luckily, you can extend your dress-wearing season by layering dresses over pants. The most stylish approach with many dresses is to wear them over skinny jeans or tight leather-look pants, but you can opt for a tunic-style dress or other loose-fitting dress over wide leg pants to accentuate the flowy, bohemian look. If you don’t want to wear a dress over jeans or structured pants, you could wear one over a thick pair of leggings. Some leggings even come fleece-lined for extra warmth. 

90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Fleece Lined Leggings

Layer a hoodie under a jacket

Opt for a cool, casual look by layering a zippered hoodie underneath a leather or denim jacket, with the hood hanging down over the back of the jacket. Wear the hoodie open with a black vest or band T-shirt underneath to round off the effect. This is a great choice for anyone just starting to experiment with layering or who doesn’t want their layered look to seem
too complicated or fussy. 

Hanes Men's Full-Zip Eco-Smart Hoodie

Wrangler Authentics Women's Stretch Denim Jacket

Try sweaters over button downs

A classic layering move is to wear a sweater over a button down shirt with the collar of the shirt out over the neck of the sweater. This can look preppy, which is great if that’s what you want, but you can also style it in a more alternative way.  To do so, try leaving your shirt untucked so it hangs down below your sweater. Choose a grungy, chunky knit sweater and wear leather-look leggings or combat boots on your bottom half. 

Dr. Martens, Women’s 1460 Pascal 8-Eye Leather Boot

Put a shirt over a sweater

It’s more conventional to wear a shirt under a sweater, but you can also wear an open button down shirt over the top of a sweater to mix things up a bit. If you’re looking for a more contemporary way of layering sweaters and shirts, this is it. Plus, it’s a great way of showing off your shirt’s print if it’s too good to be wasted underneath a sweater, with only the collar and tails sticking out. 

Layer shirts and dresses over long sleeve T-shirts

It might be simple, but pulling on a t-shirt or dress over the top of a long sleeve T-shirt or a sweater is an effective way of layering. If you’ll be wearing another layer on top, such as a coat or cardigan, you need to choose your garments carefully so that the base layer is visible. In this case, opt for a V-neck T-shirt or camisole dress over the top of a standard long-sleeve t-shirt. Another option is a roll neck shirt underneath a crew neck dress or tee.

Amazon Essentials Women's 2-Pack V-Neck Classic-fit Short-Sleeve Tee Shirt

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