Want to know a secret that will help you achieve that effortless put-together look?
Working with textures is a way of putting together an outfit that can really make people take notice but in a very subtle way. It’s not as loud or obvious as wearing bright colours or bold prints. But while it may be a little more understated, it definitely doesn’t lack impact when done right.
I started thinking about textures when considering different ways of styling a single outfit (maybe another post) and also making yourself look that ever so elusive ‘polished’ or ‘effortless’ and what goes into that. Balancing different textures is a subtle look, and therefore one that often gets overlooked amidst colour blocking and clashing prints.
For the fans of a minimal aesthetic it’s really part of your style 101, or at least should be. For others, it’s a great way to keep an outfit interesting.
What is it?
Well, as it sounds, it’s simply wearing clothes with different textures.
But, let me break it down a little further and give you some more guidance.
Clothes come in different cuts and silhouettes, but they also come in different fabrics and each fabric has its own texture. Just think about how a fabric like wool feels compared to a fabric like silk. The different way a fabric is treated can also have an impact on its texture. So, mixing different fabrics is a simple way of playing with textures.
You also have different types of the same fabric each with their very own unique feel. Wool is a great example. The term ‘wool’ is pretty generic as there are so many different types you can get, each with their own unique texture. Think about how merino wool is compared to something like angora. Each has their very own distinct texture.
If you think about cotton you often think of the basic t-shirt. But the way it’s used can also give a smooth or rougher feel.
Design & Construction
The way the garment has been constructed or the design of an item can give it texture.
Sometimes textures are used as a design feature and one of my favourite stores COS are great at doing this. They’ll create sweaters using cotton that have ribbed banding or padding that not only gives the garment a textured feel, it also makes it stand out from a design perspective.
This is a contrast to a plain cotton sweater. However, you may have to pay more for items that use textures as a design feature, but it’s definitely worth it if you want a subtle way of making your clothes stand out.
How to do it?
Working with textures isn’t as complicated as say clashing prints. It’s a pretty simple concept – the next time you’re picking an outfit try picking items that each have their own unique texture. You could even challenge yourself – every day this week try wearing an outfit featuring at least three different textures.
There are a few things you can do to make it even more impactful.
01 | All the same colour – wearing an outfit in one colour but using quite diverse textures is a great way to make it more interesting. This technique is perfect for those of you who have wardrobes predominantly featuring black. The bigger the contrast between the textures the better!
02 | Different shades – this is a bit of a play on the one above and works best with any colour other than black. Simply wear the same colour in different shades and textures. Again, this creates quite a bold look and is an easy way to make a head-to-toe outfit in one colour look way more interesting.
03 | Contrasting – this is another play on colour and textures. This time simply wear contrasting colours with each piece using different textures.
Aside from the above, if you’re wanting to practice working with textures think about sticking to one fabric and seeing how you can make statements or create features by simply wearing textured clothes.
This isn’t something a lot of people give much thought to. But starting to consider textures as a feature of an outfit will give you another opportunity to be creative and express yourself in different ways.
Tell me your favourite way of using textures in your outfits?
photos: Zlata Alekhno Luca Laurence Tamar Waskey