Texture Top Tips: Why Variety is the Key to a Successful Outfit
The key to a good outfit is contrast. By sticking too closely to what you’re used to, you’ll miss opportunities for exceptional clothing combinations and risk looking bland. To make sure your wardrobe always looks intentional and less like a uniform, you need to make sure you’re properly utilising textures.
To help you get to grips with the importance of combining textures and understanding what options are available, we’ve created a guide to show you how minimal changes to your wardrobe can produce maximum impact.
Why is texture important
If your entire outfit is made up of the same texture, your clothing will look flat and dull. Sure, you’ll look minimal and clean, which is great for workwear— but it’s not something you want to creep into the rest of your wardrobe.
Adding different textures to an outfit is an effortless way to make it look more interesting. Experimenting with colours and patterns can create the same effect, but there is a limit: you wouldn’t wear an outfit where each garment was a different, loud hue. It’s difficult, on the other hand, to overuse texture.
Texture is particularly useful for men who are afraid to dress adventurously in fear of standing out or looking ‘jazzy’. With the right textures, you can give a monochrome outfit multiple layers without needing to wear something you’re uncomfortable in.
What textures are there to choose from?
Grey Check Tailored Tweed Blazer — £145.00
Tweed is a versatile material that offers a great range of options. With dozens of heritage patterns and colour options, this premium fabric affords options aplenty.
Tweed is a durable and hard-wearing material, so it’s not something you’d likely wear to a black-tie event. It’s far from shabby, though; tweed is a sophisticated choice both as a full suit or in isolation as a jacket or waistcoat. It can easily smarten up a casual outfit.
Navy Linen Tailored Trousers — £49.00
A summer favourite, linen is the go-to material for warm-weather weddings. Softer and lighter than a traditional wool suit, linen is breathable enough to be worn in the sunshine without overheating.
Unsurprisingly, linen suits are most commonly found in spring and summer shades such as bright pastels. Darker colours like navy are increasingly common, though, giving you plenty of options.
Whether this is a matching suit, a pair of contrasting linen trousers or a bright summer shirt, the smooth texture of linen makes it ideal for pairing with other, lighter fabrics.
Navy 511™ Slim Corduroy Jeans — £59.00
An often overlooked fabric, corduroy is more versatile than its mixed reputation may lead you to believe. As well as being a comfortable and reliable article of casual wear, you can even incorporate it into smarter outfits.
Remember to be smart when choosing; always wear tailored corduroy to ensure you don’t fall into the dreaded ‘geography teacher’ category. Opting for a higher ‘whale’ — the number of ridges per inch of cloth — will also result in a more well-put-together finish.
Tailored Navy Suede Blazer — £89.00
Durable yet soft to the touch, suede is a multifaceted material that is a year-round winner. Whether it’s adding an effortlessly cool bomber jacket to your favourite casual looks or taking an evening outfit to the next level with a suede blazer, there should always be a place for this crowd-pleasing texture.
Look after it and suede will last a lifetime. This is especially useful as suede is available in almost any colour. Simply choose a stylish shade that never goes out of style, like tan or navy, and you’ll always have an adaptable wardrobe staple.
Burgundy Brocade Slim Fit Blazer — £75.00
Not something you’ll find in your everyday wardrobe, brocade is the perfect way to stand out from the crowd at those special events. Although popular with blazers to create a faux smoking jacket, brocade can be found on trousers, coats and more.
As elegant as it may be, brocade is a bold choice and one that not everyone will be comfortable diving headfirst into. Dip your toes in with this texture with a waistcoat or a tie, that way you can see how confident you feel before investing in a more striking piece of clothing.
Tailored Blue Velvet Blazer — £65.00
Speaking of sophisticated fabrics, velvet is another eye-catching texture that is sure to turn heads. Unlike brocade, however, velvet has made somewhat of a crossover into more casual outfits.
Adding a velvet jacket to a less formal ensemble is more accepted today than it has ever been. It definitely leans more towards smart than casual, but velvet is still a fantastic way to up your game the next time you head out for drinks. If the brighter reds and blues commonly associated with velvet feel a little too daring, a black jacket is a more easily accessible option that still looks the business.
For many of us, stepping out of our comfort zone and trying something we’re not used to can feel daunting. If this sounds relatable, there’s no need to worry. Rather than buying a full suit made from an unfamiliar fabric, there are plenty of ways to add splashes of texture to your wardrobe.
Here are some easy ways to help you get comfortable mixing and matching different materials, all the while giving your outfits more definition.
McClean Tan Leather and Suede Mix Brogues — £235.00
Though they may not seem overly adventurous at first, a pair of brogues allow you to add some much-needed texture to an outfit otherwise confined to a single fabric.
Businesswear is a perfect example of when you need to stay reserved in your choice of clothing. Rather than defaulting to a pair of plain Oxfords, choosing brogues provides subtle texture through the shoe’s perforated detailing. You can even add another level of texture by choosing a pair that features a suede or tweed vamp — just make sure they don’t clash with your suit; less is more!
Mustard Knitted Tie — £8.00
Probably not your first choice for a summer event, knitted ties are a fantastic way to accessorize in colder months. Whether wool, silk or cotton, knitted ties add visual interest to a suit and are suitable for many occasions.
Smarten up a casual outfit without looking out of place, or combine it with a smart piece of knitwear for a flawless winter ensemble.
Brown ‘Rose’ Suede Lace Up Shoe — £39.00
The beauty of suede is that it comes in all kinds of shapes and shades, making it a great option in almost any situation. From deep earthy tones to light creams and greys, you’ll always have an option if you're set on suede.
A classic pair of tan desert boots are a timeless way to drastically elevate a casual outfit, or if you’re attending a more formal event, a navy pair of suede dress shoes are a more conservative way to add noticeable texture without stealing the show.
Silk pocket square
Gold and Blue Floral Pocket Square — £5.00
Simple, sensible, sensational: a pocket square is perhaps the easiest way to experiment with textures and when done right, will always be a showstopper.
Granted, a silk pocket square isn’t suitable for just any outfit — you’re going to get some funny looks if you try tucking one into a flannel shirt pocket. However, pocket squares offer the perfect splash of contrast in both texture and design. For those who don’t like straying too far out of their comfort zone, this is the most risk-free way to exalt your look.
Reinvent your wardrobe
Now that you know the importance of texture — as well as how to add it to your wardrobe — it’s time to upgrade your style. We have a huge range of clothing available featuring all the above textures and much more. Shop our full range of men’s clothing to experiment with the possibilities or head over to our style inspiration hub for more expert fashion advice.