Texture is one of the pieces of the Style Puzzle (body shape is one piece too, yet so much is written about body shape, people think it’s the whole puzzle, instead of just being a small element of the whole).
Textured fabrics can be anything from lace to cable knits, devore velvet to quilted fabrics.What is best to do is match your level of texture, in your hair and skin, to texture in fabrics.
Texture in Fabric
There are many sorts of textures:
- Smooth (no texture) silk, cotton/elastane
- Chunky (bulky and 3D texture), cable knit wool, acrylic, polar fleece
- Fine (some texture, but the feeling is more flat than 3D or raised), ribbed cotton, some knits, cashmere, wool and tweeds
- Furry (soft and fluffy), fur, angora,
- Jacquard (a pattern embossed into a fabric)
- Hard (smooth and stiff), some leather. bengaline, taffeta, organza, some stiffer denim
- Crisp (smooth and sharp), some cottons
- Soft (fluid), satin, chiffon, velvet
- Buttery (some very soft leather)
- Sheer (and how to wear them here)
Tips on Choosing Textures
- So someone with straight smooth hair and fine smooth skin will look best in flat or fabrics that match their personal texture.
- Someone with curly hair will look best in textured garments like boucle or a velvet devore, which has a curved appearance.
- Got more controlled but curly or wavy and shiny hair? Then sequins are perfect for you!
- Someone with short spiky hair will look best in a tweed or some other sort of straight texture.
Does this make sense?
The controled curl of the model’s hair here works really well with the texture created in the garment by the floral motifs and folds of fabric on this top. Yet the fabric is still smooth which reflects her smooth skin, and the smoothness of her curl.
Wavy or smooth, choose your texture as it relates to your hair!
Further reading about Texture
How You Can Use Your Hair Texture to Determine the Fabrics You Choose
7 Simple Ways to Add Texture to Your Outfits When You Suit Smooth Garments
I wonder if that is why I have never favored ruffles, at least not since the early 80s. lol
This is a great post – akin to “The Triumph of Individual Style ” book.
So many things to remember when getting dressed!
Now I finally understand why smooth fabrics make my waves look simply messy !
This is fascinating! I’ve never herad this at all. Thank you!
Rebecca: both the texture of fabric plus your personality come into account when we look at things like ruffles. (that’s for another post).
Mossback meadow: I spent a few days training with Carla Mathis who wrote The Triumph of Individual Style – she is amazing and one the greatest image consultants ever (plus a beautiful person on the inside to boot). Yes I learned a lot from her – and everytime I read that book I get some new insight from it. Thanks for stopping by my blog to share your thoughts.
Starlight: see, now you know to go for some more texture in your fabrics and your appearance will be more harmonious.
Nic: thanks for stopping by and commenting. It’s good to start thinking a bit more broadly about these issues (than you’ll ever see on a 1 hour TV show). I look forward to hearing more comments.
Imogen, I like both photos of the redhead–The one with less ruffles makes me concentrate more on her FACE though. On the jacket with ruffles photo, I am just looking at the great jacket!
Please, Imogen. There are two pictures in this post
which don’t open. Is it on my computer only,
or else, would you please correct them?
They are pics No. 2 and 3.
The only picture i can see is the controlled curl woman, the rest are broken. Still a useful post!
Thanks for letting me know C – I’ve updated the picture!
Really interesting and accurate article, thank you Imogen.
I recently bought a rose pink woollen coat a kind of tweed- original vintage from the 60s with lots of quirky details.
As a petite it’s too long but the colour and style suit me. What probably doesn’t suit is the texture of the fabric! I can’t wear it unless I wear it with a smooth / soft? scarf next to my face or it could be too that I needed some more colour contrast -my scarf is a burgundy scarf made of velvet roses.
Hi Imogen, I think this is a really interesting post & I’ve noticed that some of my clothing choices are moving towards more texture as I age. However I think your suggestion that chunky knits are best for slim people needs a caveat ( this may be covered in another post, I’m still working thru them). I’m a UK size 8/10, most people would call that slim. I’m also fairly petite (5’3”) & a short waist hourglass. I find a chunky knit adds pounds & that other knits work better. So much so that after knitting an Aran style jumper during lockdown I pulled it back to knit up a very different pattern!
Yes chunky knits will add visual weight to every body!