Looking good is about more than getting your colour combinations right – it’s also about using textured fabrics to create balanced ensembles. Here we run you through five popular textures and explain how to wear them with style.
Tactile, durable and versatile, tweed is the jacket to pair with trousers or jeans. It’s a texture that dresses up for the office, down for the weekend and looks great worn for meals out or drinks.
For work wear, pair your tweed jacket with a formal shirt and trousers, sticking with black Oxfords to cement the look.
Going out with friends? Swap your work trousers for well-cut jeans or chinos and put on a pair of brown brogues or suede lace-ups.
Wearing tweed at the weekend? A woolly jumper, cords and a pair of wellies and you’re ready to head for the country.
Soft and cool to the touch, linen is an excellent summer fabric for men. Made from flax, linen has a lower thread count than cotton cloth, which allows more air to pass through it, making it excellent warm weather wear. And because linen absorbs up to 30% more water than cotton it keeps you comfortable too.
Linen’s smooth texture means it works best with other, lighter fabrics. Choose neutral linen trousers to wear under a bright short-sleeve summer shirt. Mens fashion blogger Michael at Michael84 writes:
“I love linen jackets, they look really smart, and are a much lighter alternative to a blazer or suit jacket.”
Or go for a linen jacket worn over a t-shirt, twinned with contrasting chinos and boat shoes. Chilly evening breeze? Slip on a fine-gauge knitted top.
Super-soft cotton pile has a luxurious feel that’s perfect for smart casual occasions. A medium-weight fabric, it’s best suited for spring and autumn wear, though it’s fine for winter too.
Wear moleskin trousers with your tweed jacket for a contrasting texture that really works. Add black brogues or derbys for more formal occasions, brown for relaxing with friends.
Keep your look clean by wearing a plain white or pastel shirt under a patterned blazer. For plain blazers a country check shirt works well.
Men of all ages adore the comfortable, relaxed feel of corduroy. But this texture is more versatile than you might imagine. In fact, the guys over at FashionBeans say it’s:
“…one of the most underrated pieces of tailoring that a modern man can own, especially in the winter.”
The number of ridges per inch of cloth is called the ‘wale’. The higher the wale, the more fine and numerous the ridges. Needle cord is so smart it even makes a nice suit for semi-formal occasions like drinks and dinner parties.
Stick to a slim cut for a smart, snappy look, more generous for casual wear. And do feel free to mix and match textures, opting for chunky knit jumpers, tweed jackets and maybe even contrasting corduroy jacket and trousers – it’s pretty hard to overwhelm cord.
There’s more than a touch of luxury to the plush texture of velvet. And with good reason, says Oliver Franklin Wallis, commenting in GQ magazine:
“Velvet has that smoking jacket feel and a lot of people like it because it has a bit of a vintage look.”
Quite so. But to wear velvet, you must wear it well. A well cut velvet jacket looks great worn with either a contrasting coloured shirt or your standard crisp white shirt.
Thinking about wearing velvet trousers? The look you’re going for is sharp and sophisticated so you need to go for a cut that’s slim without going too skinny.
How do you wear your favourite textures? We’d love to hear your tips and fashion hints. Let us know via our Facebook page.