Fall is my favorite season, in no small part because it contains several delightful holidays, including my birthday.

It's also a season of many wonderful outdoor activities, such as football games and apple-picking, which are fun to take part in because the temperature is ideal.

However, in order to enjoy fall to its fullest, you must be proficient in layering. The weather is often warm during the day and much cooler at night, and you'll be in the same outfit the whole time. Plus, you may not need a true jacket, but just some more coverage than a single shirt. I love to run around for the entire season wearing a sweater or blazer, collared shirt, tee and boots.

You may be wondering why this seems like such a simple fashion skill, yet you haven't been able to achieved it. The fact is, layering is not as easy as one might think. It's not just a matter of putting on a short-sleeved T-shirt over a long-sleeved T-shirt, middle school gym class style. There's a little more effort and finesse involved.

First, it requires some advance planning while you're shopping. For example, it is impossible to create the perfectly layered look if your clothes are all the same weight and size. Wearing three cable knit sweaters on top of each other would be pretty toasty, not to mention unflattering. You need some very thin tees or collared shirts, some sweaters, some blazers and some light jackets. For best results, also choose different shapes and volumes.

Once you have the pieces in your wardrobe, it's just a matter of figuring out what works best together. As an important note, you will typically be layering shirts and other things that go on the top half of your body, though the bottom half of your outfit is also an instrumental part of your success.

Here's a list of my favorite layered looks.

1. School sweater with chambray shirt, skinny jeans or cigarette pants with loafers or flats on bottom.

This is layering at its most basic. The look is classic back-to-school and incredibly chic. I picked a chambray shirt because it will match every sweater in your closet and is an ideal layering piece. Even a white collared shirt, I think, can be too choir concert and isn't great with black or the off-white we see for fall. Choose a fairly fitted but stretchy sweater and let the shirttails hang out underneath. You go with skinny bottoms since this look adds volume to your torso.

2. Puffy vest with either a long-sleeved tee or sweater layered above a miniskirt.

By miniskirt, I mean one that's a little shorter than knee-length since you're getting all your coverage from the top of the outfit. Something like herringbone or tweed works well. Top it off with a long-sleeved tee or sweater, depending on the weather, and then a puffy vest. I love this as part of an outfit, instead of worn as outerwear. Take the look from J.Crew -- the quilted vest isn't crazy puffy, so it's easily wearable as an indoor piece but keeps you warm like a jacket.

3. Tee layered under a button-down cardigan topped off with a long-sleeved blazer with flared jeans and heels on bottom.

This look is super chic and perfect for a casual workplace. The only thing to watch out for is that you don't want your cardigan extending too far below the hem of your jacket.

4. Two collared shirts on top a pencil skirt with heels or ankle boots.

Few people think of layering two collared shirts together, so that makes for an unexpected twist. They can even be neutral, with the color in the outfit coming from a pencil skirt in a rich fall hue. This works best if the sleeves on either shirt are loose enough that you have some options when rolling them up, and rolling up the sleeves is not a step to be forgotten in any collared shirt situation.


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(E-mail Kristyn Schiavone at kristyn@simplestyleguide.com, or follow her on Twitter at @KKSchiavone.)