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). Using different textures in fabrics will make a monochromatic or neutral outfit so much more interesting (it’s a tip from the interior design world!).
Fabrics have different textures.
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)
When thinking about wearing textures. The ones you choose will depend on:
- Your body shape
- Your personality
- Your natural level of texture – find out here how you can use your hair texture to determine the fabrics you choose
Some body shapes work better with the more fluid and smooth fabrics, the fine, buttery and soft textures (O, X, A, H and 8) as the fabrics don’t add any extra bulk. Others harmonise with the more crisp or hard fabrics (V and I).
Personality so heavily influences every aspect of our clothing choices, what we like and dislike, how our clothing makes us feel. Dramatic personality types will prefer smooth or furry textures (or even hard). Classics will prefer smooth and crisper ones. Relaxed personalities will enjoy soft, buttery and chunky textures. Creatives may like mixing textures. Elegants enjoy soft and smooth textures. Feminine personalities will like lace, velvet, soft and furry or fluffy textures.
It’s important to remember that the stiffer and more chunky or bulky the texture, the larger it will make you appear. The finer, smoother, softer textures will not add extra weight to your frame.
When you think about your favourite garments, how would you describe their textures? Have you noticed that you prefer some textures and dislike others?
Here are more posts to help you discover the right textures for you!
Finding the Right Texture and Sheen for your Skin (video)
How to Wear a Chunky Knit Sweater
How to Choose a Flattering Texture
7 Simple Ways to Add Texture to Your Outfits When You Suit Smooth Garments
What a wonderful post – thank you so much!
What’s been revealing for me is that while I am an 8, everywhere except my abs, high hip and bum area (these all more flabby/soft) is bony and v slim. I am 5ft8 tall. So anything fluidy actually hangs on me like on a clothes hanger and something stiffer with more structure creates more harmony.
I do like both smooth and crispy, but have quote a thing for lace too. Furry is not my thing.
Very interesting. I’m very tactile and definitely prefer soft, silky, fluid, and buttery fabrics. I love clothes that are as soft and silky as my cats however I’m not into fur (or faux fur) at all. I like lace as long as it’s not scratchy. I don’t like anything stiff or uncomfortable. Not sure what all this says about my personality but I have a very casual lifestyle so let’s just call me relaxed and natural.
Sounds like you’re very kinsethetic – a combination of relaxed and feminine
I like almost any sort of texture as long as its feel comfortable on the skin. Im very picky with wearing comfortable and refuse to wear something that itch or pulls (sensitive skin reaction to real wool for example. I cannot stand real wool socks. xD) But I also drawn to feminine texture like lace, chiffon and viscouse/rayon! 😛 So in texture, my personal style is more relaxed/feminine rather than classic.
Despite I’ve a V bodyshape but with low hips and long defined waist (feels like Im more of a low hip hourglass wth broad shoulders rather than athletic), I cannot stand crisp and very stiff or chunky fabric unless its for the harsh winters (my standards: I rather add bulk or having unflattering outfit than freezing!). For some reason, it feels like stiff cotton, denim shirt and flannel only emphasize my upper body so I dont feel comfortable in “crisp” fabrics (Collar shirts are one of my favorite garments, but they need to be more stretchy or has a slimming v-neck. I dont how many time I bought the classic white shirt but never wore it because it emphasized my shoulder. Even with blazers, I prefer jersey/viscouse knitted ones over the woven ones. With sleeveless dresses and buttom garments, I dont have this issue).
Btw. I often hear that you mentioned lace is considered being a formal fabric/texture, but its seems like alot of people associate it with lingerie and dont find it appropriate to more formal occasions to weddings. Some even find lace trimmed cami’s under v-neck “inappropriate” to work, because they associate it with lingerie (some even say woman is “insecure” or frumpy for wearing a cami, which is very strange because isnt flashing your cleavage to lets an interview more inappropriate than cover the “girls” up with a cami? 😐 Never understood their logic. Not all people want to spend money on two different wardrobes like because of an stupid neckline! I love layering so I dont see whats insecure about that matter….lol).
Whats your opinion about wearing lace to more formal even like weddings or corporate occasions like relaxed workplaces (not conservative formal) if one’s style is more feminine?
Sounds like you’re very kinaesthetic Lina! As far as lace goes, some people find it too lingerie inspired for work (most likely to be classic or relaxed) others like it (most likely to be feminine). It’s all about you personally and how you feel in some ways, understanding what lace communicates (very yin). A lace dress is a very evening formal piece of clothing. I have no issue with it. It comes down to taste, personality and preferences. A lace dress in the workplace would be a bit too much, but lace detail is fine.
I guess those I talked to has more of a relaxed or classic style. My style combine those styles with feminine details, so its tricky to dressed for the occasions. I like to gather opinions from other people before I deciding to wear something Im uncertain about. Like finding a balance between Femininity and Classic/Relaxed because I hate getting unwanted attention from people.
Im not a romantic person (lazy and calm slight tomboy behaviors who just likes to dress up for my own sake) which make it harder to making decisions on my own when it comes to my personal style. :/ Most prefer and also wear casual clothing like jeans where I live so I assume thats why I not always get taken seriously, by females around my age and male friends:” Why do you dress up so much? Wear jeans! Do you seek male attention or what?” Type of comments. ~_~ Strangely, older people seems to take me more seriously and appreciate when I dress up. :S
So yeah, wearing clothes based on what they communicate is a bit hard because of this. I def dont want sweats or jeans just because im more lazy than a romantic person nor want dress like a clone of someone else. 😛