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A Simple Guide to Layering in K-Fashion

A Simple Guide to Layering in K-Fashion

Layering, as its name implies, is a dressing style that makes use of layers.

Different fashion clothing items can be layered over each other to create a variety of looks.

But what exactly is it about layering that makes it so popular, and why do people choose to layer their outfits?

Of course, there are practical reasons for layering. This is why you can often see layered outfits during fall and winter. 

korean winter fashion

Layers are often seen in fall and winter fashion / Image: Instagram

But is layering possible in Singapore? The answer is: yes, absolutely!

Other than for keeping warm, there are also aesthetic reasons for adding layers to your outfit.

By having more layers, you will be able to mix different colours and materials to add depth to the outfit. Layers also allow for higher customisation, as you can change the look completely just by swapping one item.

nct kpop idol outfit

Lucas (L) and Winwin (R) of WayV rocking layers on their recent episode of Happy Camp / Image: Twitter

By making use of layers, Lucas and Winwin are able to have a cohesive look (white + denim) while each rocking their own unique outfits!

Heavy denim jackets and multiple thick layers may not be practical in Singapore, but there are still plenty of ways to add layers to your outfit in hot weather.

Layering with lightweight jackets

Contrary to popular belief, jackets can be worn even when it’s hot outside!

The key is to look for jackets that are made of lightweight and breathable material, such as cotton and linen.

Sports jackets are also an option—not only are they designed to keep you cool, the popularity of athleisure means that you can rock them outside of sports as well.

korean fashion jacket blazer

Pull off smart casual with a thin blazer in the summer / Image: We Heart It

Thin, non-tailored blazers are great for layering in the summer, as the structured shoulder of the blazer allows it to hang loosely when worn and allows for air circulation to keep you cool.

korean fashion near&dear jacket blazer

Near & Dear Dorothy Summer Jacket, retailing at sgd219 at StyleupK

sports jacket

Throw on a sports jacket for an athleisure look / Image: Pinterest

Oversized sports jackets are also great for their loose fit. And since they were made to be worn during workouts, the material of sports jackets are usually quite breathable.

twice jungyeon adlv jacket

ADLV Retro Track Jacket Black (as seen on Jeongyeon of Twice), retailing at sgd185 at StyleupK

Layering with outershirts

Jackets may be too warm for most people, which makes a lightweight outershirt a great alternative. Look for button up shirts made of cotton or other breathable material and you’ll be able to add a layer to your outfit without adding too much heat. Not only do they look good, an outershirt can help protect your arms from the sun as well.

kfashion outershirt

Wear an outershirt loosely for a casual vibe / Image: Pinterest

near&dear blue outershirt

Near & Dear Women Semi Overfit Shirt in Sky Blue, retailing at sgd129 at StyleupK

kfashion checkered shirt

Get creative and turn your button up into an off-shoulder top / Image: Pinterest

A plain button up shirt can make a big difference to your outfit. Despite the long sleeves, a button up shirt with an oversized fit has a loose and airy feel, giving you even more of a summer vibe.

The oversized fit will also make it easier to roll the sleeves up, helping you to stay cool and beat the heat while still looking stylish!

Layering with T-shirts

Layering doesn’t always mean long sleeves—t-shirts can be used in layering as well! This is especially popular in Korea, where t-shirts are often worn as an inner layer under sleeveless tops and dresses.

Sleeveless tops and dresses are often more “dressy”, and styling them with a t-shirt helps to add a more casual vibe to the outfit.

mint checkered dress

A plain white t-shirt looks good under a patterned dress / Image: Pinterest

Even a simple white t-shirt can make a big difference! This is also a useful trick for when a top or dress is a little bit too low-cut for your comfort—slip on a t-shirt underneath and you won’t have to worry about exposing too much.

near&dear checkered blouse top

Near & Dear Buttoned V Neck Strap Top in Orange, retailing at sgd99 at StyleupK

blouse with overalls

Oversized shirts can be worn as a base layer as well / Image: Pinterest

Pinafore-style dresses are also a great option, as they are often designed to be worn specifically with a shirt underneath.

This style is reminiscent of school uniforms—which is a popular look in K-fashion—and will give you a youthful vibe!

romantic crown dress

Romantic Crown Thick Strap Square Neck Dress in Light Blue Denim, retailing at sgd119 at StyleupK

Layering with vests

Vests are a great way to add layers to your outfit, especially if you’re a fan of the preppy aesthetic.

The vest can be worn over a t-shirt instead of a long-sleeved shirt if you want to stay a little bit cooler. Wearing a vest over a top and a bottom adds more layers, but a vest can also be layered over a dress.

vest over tshirt

Vests are perfect for a preppy look / Image: Pinterest

aqo teddy bear vest

AQO Studiospace Teddy Bear Pattern Knit Vest in Ivory, retailing at sgd72 at StyleupK

romantic crown vest

Romantic Crown Woman Knit Vest in Oatmeal, retailing at sgd75 at StyleupK

However, if preppy is not your style, that doesn’t mean vests are not for you! Cargo vests are also relatively popular as part of the hypebeast style.

hypebeast vest style

Cargo vests are more suited for the hypebeast style / Image: Pinterest

Faux layers

You don’t always have to wear multiple items to achieve the layered look. Sometimes, just the illusion of layers is enough.

For example, there are some clothing items that are designed to look like they have multiple layers despite only being a single piece. 

layered shirt

Faux layers are great for achieving the layered look with minimal effort / Image: Pinterest

near&dear floral dress

Near & Dear Daisy Checkered Midi Dress Blue, retailing at sgd149 at StyleupK

The Near & Dress is designed to look like a matching two-piece set, giving it a layered look, despite being a one-piece dress.

And because the aesthetic function of layers is to add depth to an outfit, the same effect can also be achieved without making use of actual layers.

Colour blocking and mixing prints is a great way to make your outfit look “layered” without actually having to pile on multiple layers of clothes.

quietist color block jacket

Quietist Corduroy Color Block Shirt Jacket Red, retailing at sgd110 at StyleupK

Clothes with ruffles can also give the illusion of layers, as the ruffles add a bit of textural difference to the outfit, the same way an extra layer would (but on a smaller scale, of course).

korean ruffled blouse

Ruffles can act as a mini layer too / Image: Pinterest

near&dear floral blouse top

Near & Dear Floral V Neck Blouse in Purple, retailing at sgd125 at StyleupK

Layering with hoodies

hoodie yellow

Wear an oversized shirt under your hoodie for a layered look / Image: Pinterest

Hoodies don’t always have to be worn the traditional way—in fact, they can add a layer to your outfit without being worn at all!

Tying it around your waist is a simple but classic way to rock this look. This look is especially good if you’re wearing a loose-fitting dress, as the tied hoodie will help to give you some waist definition.

You can also drape the hoodie over your shoulders for a more preppy look. And for something more unconventional, try tying the hoodie diagonally across your chest.

hoodie over shirt

Tying a sweater diagonally across your front makes it more eye catching / Image: Pinterest

This style is great if you’ll be spending time in a cold, air-conditioned place, but don’t want to carry a bag that’s big enough to fit a large hoodie.

For the best results, pick a hoodie that has a print on its back, so that it will be visible when tied around your body.

cpgn time hoodie

CPGN Studio Time Travel Embroidery Oversized Hoodie, retailing at sgd75 at StyleupK

Layering with accessories

Similar to colour blocking and mixing prints, making use of accessories is another great way to add “layers” to your outfit. Some accessories that you can layer with are jewellery and bags.


choker necklace

Chokers work best as a base when layering necklaces / Image: Pinterest

When it comes to layering necklaces, length is a good guideline for newbies. Layering a longer necklace over a shorter one is both minimalistic and elegant.

necklace gold

Less isn’t always more when it comes to layering jewellery / Image: Pinterest

But matching necklaces of different length is not a hard and fast rule either.

Layering veterans with a good eye for pieces that will go together are able to layer multiple necklaces and still manage to pull it off without looking messy!

korean tarot necklace wingbling

Wingbling Korea Tarot Collection Necklace, retailing at sgd55 at StyleupK

Simple gold jewellery such as Wingbling Korea’s Tarot Collection necklaces are especially great for layering!

Korean Bags

Because crossbody bags are worn across the torso, they act as an additional layer on top of the clothes. Bags with pockets especially will help to give you a more “layered” look.

crossbody bag korean

Bags that are carried against the body act as an extra layer / Image: Pinterest

veteze hipsack

Veteze Studio Heart Logo Hipsack in Black, retailing at sgd69.90 at StyleupK

Traditional layering is also possible with bags. A small crossbody bag for your phone and other essentials can be paired with a larger bag, like a tote, for the rest of your belongings.

alice martha canna bag

Alice Martha Canna Bag in Black, retailing at sgd69 at StyleupK

The sleek and elegant design of the Alice Martha Canna Bag makes it easy to pair with a smaller handbag.

Have you found your k-fashion layering style?

Layering adds depth and dimension to an outfit by allowing people to mix and match different colours and materials. This also allows people to make the most of the clothes in their closet, as a single clothing item to be worn in different styles of outfits.

Other than traditional layering, there are also other ways to achieve a “layered” effect without having to pile on the layers, making this style relevant even in hot weather.

Shop for the latest Korean fashion tops  at StyleupK and do some outfit layering today! StyleupK is an online korean fashion platform that sells 100% authentic clothing and ships worldwide. 

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