Texture-001Textures play an important role in one’s wardrobe. It defines where your outfit lies in the spectrum of formality in addition to colors and patterns. The general rule is that when the texture is smooth it is formal or dressy. When the texture is rough it is casual or rugged. It is also worth noting that light also plays a part in this. Materials that are smoother tend to be shinier and that adds to the formality as well. Let me illustrate by giving a few examples.

When I’m at the office I like to wear a sport coat in a cotton piqué weave. The piqué weave looks rough therefore it tones down the formality of the look when paired with a pair of smart wool trousers. I like to round out the look with a silk knit tie. Again a silk knit tie looks rough and further tones down the look as compared to wearing a smooth weave silk tie. The entire look is office-appropriate without looking too formal nor fashionable.

I use the same sport coat with jeans too. It works well together as their similar rough texture compliments each other. The sport coat smartens up the entire look without looking too formal as opposed to wearing a jacket separately that is actually part of a suit. This is where many men get it wrong – wearing a formal suit jacket with jeans doesn’t look right. When the textures are too different it may create an interesting, contrasting look but most of the time doesn’t end up right.

Footwear has a huge impact when it comes to formality. Although they occupy a small space in terms of what one sees it can set the tone of the whole look. The smoothness of calfskin makes it appropriate for formal occasions. On the casual side is suede. You will frequently see the most stylish men use this to great effect such as wearing suede shoes with a formal suit. The suede shoes tone down the formality and give an aura of relaxed elegance.

These are but a few examples of how texture plays a role in one’s wardrobe. Use your knowledge of textures along with colors and patterns to dress better and look appropriate for the occasion.

Shirt by Massimo Dutti. Silk knit tie by Rubinacci. Bespoke trousers. Double monk straps by Carmina. Watch by Orient.