We Asked an Expert Designer How to Layer This Fall

Designer Eiichiro Homma shares advice for successfully transitioning from summer to fall.

expert designer

Japanese designer Eiichiro Homma built his career walking the line between style and function. He worked for 18 years at Goldwin, a Japanese sportswear label that included brands like The North Face and Helly Hanson. And in 2003, he founded Nanamica, a clothing brand that fused elements of performance with wardrobe staples.

Well over a decade before brands stateside began pushing traditional garments made with technical fabrics, Homma defined the category with his own label and The North Face Purple Label. “Since we are not Olympic athletes nor Everest climbers, we don’t need gears for competition,” Homma told us in 2018. “We thought if we combined classic-looking clothing and the latest technology of functionality, we could create the best gears for our life.”

To learn how these gears work for fall, we asked Homma how to best approach layering this season.

How to Layer in Fall

Coordinate your colors with the season.

“Obviously when it becomes fall, we need outerwear. Hence, we are able to enjoy the coordination of layering. On the other side, the beginning of fall is often still quite warm due to global warming these days. There is a certain difference of colors in between summer and fall even if some fall garments are still lightweight. This means if you change your dressing into fall colors earlier than others, you will showcase you are conscious of change in seasons.”

Don't get stuck in the past.

“For this fall season, I would like to recommend reviewing all your basic items. Over the last three years, fits have become bigger despite a smaller fit being popular for over a 10-year period. Should seasonal outwear be new for you, that fit, too, should be on-trend.”

Invest in garments that work together.

“In terms of fashion, this season we intended to focus on typical outdoor sports styles. So fleece items are key this season as are inner down items, which has been very popular over the years. In terms of function, the fundamentals of functional outdoor gear are a ‘three-layer wearing system’ which comprises of outerwear for wind and rain protection, a mid-layer for maintaining your body temperature and underwear for moisture perspiration. In the early fall, we often feel a big difference in temperature from first thing in the morning to later in the daytime. By choosing the right combination of each layer, you will have a comfortable set for fall.”

Consider a brand's intention.

“In the past, I felt there was no brand that successfully merged fashion with function. Since Nanamica’s launch back in 2003, we have seen many brands that focus on both factors. However, you must distinguish between a brand that understands the logic of functionality and a brand which pick functional details as design elements.”

Find your own path.

“My personal tip is ‘small differences make a clear impact.’ Of course, it is easy to make a difference by wearing a trendy item, big brand logos and decorative items. But I enjoy when people showcase their character by combining everyday common items in their own way.”


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