Photo: Showbit

When it comes to Singapore’s punishing heat, layering might seem like a distant dream, only possible when we’re vacationing at cooler spots. But we dare say it isn’t too difficult a thing to accomplish here — if you choose your separates right. Here are some ways you can nail the layering technique while keeping cool. 


Opt for lightweight fabrics

With the right fabrics, layering will be a walk in the park in steamy Singapore. Think of materials like cotton, rayon or linen — anything that’s lightweight or flowy works. Over here, we’ve chosen to layer a rayon shirt over a striped cotton t-shirt and a pair of cotton chinos. The shirt will keep you warm in the cold office — you can always remove it and drape it over your shoulder during lunch. Complete the casual look with a pair of sneakers that will keep your soles comfortable.

Get the look:

Rayon blouse by Uniqlo, S$29.90

Striped cotton t-shirt by Kule, US$88 (S$121)

Wide-leg cotton chino trousers by Muji, S$59

Suede, leather and mesh sneakers by Adidas Originals, £85 (S$152), via Net-a-Porter

Croc-effect leather tote by Nanushka, £370 (S$661), via Net-a-Porter

Gold plated earrings by Alighieri, £165 (S$295), via Net-a-Porter


Choose the right blazer

A structured blazer is always perfect when you want to sharpen up your look. However, avoid those that are too rigid, meaning materials like wool, corduroy and flannel are a big no no. Thick and dense, they’d be unbearable in the heat. Go for a number that’s made out of polyester to keep yourself cool. Here, we’ve paired a polyester blazer with a ruffled dress to give a spiffy edge to a feminine vibe. Finish the look with a pair of comfortable flats and a pair of statement earrings.

Get the look:

Printed flowy dress by Zara, S$119

Double-breasted polyester blazer by Topshop, S$116

Tote bag by Charles & Keith, S$85.90

Embellished velvet loafers by Gucci, S$1,520, via Mytheresa

Gold-plated resin earring by 1064 Studio, £145 (S$259), via Net-a-Porter



Go bare

We’re referring to your arms, silly! Go with garments like a short sleeve shirt or spaghetti slip dress and don a sleeveless vest or cropped jacket on top of that for a more professional look. Here, we’ve paired a swanky black vest-suit with a printed short-sleeve blouse. For a touch of colour, wear vibrant earrings or play with your shoes, like this pair of red heels that will give you extra height.

Get the look:

Vest by Zara, S$69.90

Flared pants by Zara, S$45.90

Gingham cotton cropped top by Madewell, £80 (S$143), via Net-a-Porter

Patent strappy heels by Topshop, S$116

Leather hoop earrings by COS, US$35 (S$48)

Leather crossbody bag by Saint Laurent, US$2,390 (S$3,302), via Ssense


Tie your outerwear around your waist

An easy way to layer in humid weather is to focus on textures. One trick that we often abuse: Tying your outerwear around your waist to create a pleated, peplum effect. We’ve chosen a chic biker jacket that you can wrap around a maxi dress. Go for a sleeveless number so that you can layer a cotton short sleeve shirt underneath for maximum effect. Sling a cheerful yellow bag over your shoulder to complete the look.

Get the look:

Python print biker jacket by Zara, S$119

Cotton poplin shirt by Rosetta Getty, £465 (S$831), via Net-a-Porter

Maxi dress by H&M, S$109

Leather shoulder bag by COS, US$115 (S$159)

Gold-tone leaf motif drop earrings by Topshop, S$36.90

Pointed mules by Charles & Keith, S$56.90


Accessories over apparel

Go all out and have fun with your accessories, but don’t go overboard. The general rule of thumb is to limit the layering to one type of accessory. If you’re putting on a few necklaces, keep the rest of your adornments simple. A thin belt and a pair of mismatched hoops will do the trick. Keep your fingers and wrists bare to balance out the overall image.

Get the look:

Layered necklaces by Roxanne Assoulin, £330 (S$590), via Net-a-Porter

Python printed belt by Topshop, S$26.90

Mismatched hoop earrings by Alighieri, S$341, via Farfetch

Billowy rayon shirt by Zara, S$99.90

Pleated check skirt by Zara, S$99.90

Suede mules by By Far, £330 (S$590), via Net-a-Porter

Crossbody bag by Charles & Keith, S$69.90