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‘Sandwiching’ is the latest tasteful styling hack to whip up your wardrobe

Style sandwiching is the hottest new styling trend, as shown on Michelle Yeoh and Leandra Medine Cohen
Style sandwiching is the hottest new styling trend, as shown on Michelle Yeoh and Leandra Medine Cohen

If fashion isn’t your bread and butter, this dressing hack can freshen up your style.

The sandwich dressing method — which involves layering or color blocking — is an easy styling trick to make your outfits look polished with little effort, and fashionistas can’t get enough.

The tried and true method of sandwiching is to use pops of color strategically, matching your blouse’s hue to your shoes or other accessories, while your pants or coat are a different color. For instance, pairing a red top with cherry trainers as the so-called bread, then a pair of deep blue denim as the meat of the outfit.

But writer Leandra Medine Cohen — the brains behind legendary fashion blog Man Repeller — prefers a “shirt sandwich;” in other words, layering two tops like a turtleneck and a knit with a “third shirt,” such as a blazer, overtop, she told Marie Claire.

Taylor Swift has used the color-blocking method of sandwiching to style her outfits, pairing a black long sleeve with tall black boots and breaking up the dark hue with a different color skirt. GC Images
Taylor Swift has used the color-blocking method of sandwiching to style her outfits, pairing a black long sleeve with tall black boots and breaking up the dark hue with a different color skirt. GC Images

Writing for her newsletter Cereal Aisle, the professional dresser was inspired by Victoria Beckham’s pre-fall 2024 lookbook and found her style “momentum” in the multitudes of layers while experimenting with textures, fabrics and silhouettes — a difficult feat in colder months when a bulky winter coat often shrouds fabulous garments. Not only is sandwiching shirts fun, then, but it also keeps the wearer cozy.

“[A shirt sandwich] adds an interesting element of texture to the looks — you’re playing with cotton, silk, various kinds of wool, sometimes leather, and softer knits,” she told Marie Claire. “It feels empowering, in a way, to push yourself to combine several of these materials and come out having nailed it.”

Cohen’s new take on sandwiching involves layering multiple tops. Leandra Medine Cohen/Instagram
Cohen’s new take on sandwiching involves layering multiple tops. Leandra Medine Cohen/Instagram

Some of Cohen’s clever combinations include pulling a red knit over a blue oxford and pairing it with a denim jacket, or layering a chambray button-up over a green turtleneck with a cream fisherman’s crewneck on top.

Employing the aesthetically pleasing rule of threes, Cohen’s carefully concocted ensembles, of which she shared plenty on her Substack, satiated her hunger for dressing well — all she needed was a palette cleanser.

Jenny Walton, an artist and style savant in her own right, told Marie Claire that sandwiching garments may take “a little bit more thinking” at first, but once mastered, the recipe for dressing makes it “so much easier.”

“The real benefit [of a shirt sandwich] is that this type of layering allows you to adjust your outfit throughout the day depending on the weather or your schedule,” she added.

The method can also be employed with pops of color. Michelle Yeoh matched her yellow blouse to her shoes and bag. WireImage
The method can also be employed with pops of color. Michelle Yeoh matched her yellow blouse to her shoes and bag. WireImage

But sandwiching shirts doesn’t mean you neglect the bottom half of the ensemble, warned Cohen. There, perhaps, is where the other avenue of style sandwiching comes into play.

“What you wear on the bottom matters,” she said. “I tend to style my sandwiches with pants or mid-length skirts because you want the weight to be equal across the top and bottom.”

If we’re taking orders from Cohen’s closet, we’ll take a No. 6, please.