Contrast Via Texture

A silver lining to the shorter days and colder temperatures of fall and winter is that it’s a lot more fun to dress well during these seasons. Spring and summer, with their heat and its limitations mean most men (and thankfully women) are looking to wear as little as they can get away with. But once the mercury starts dropping we have a lot more clothing we need to be putting on.

With those extra layers comes the necessity of more variety. It’s easy to put on a pair of white pants and a blue shirt in the summer and call it good, but more layers means more variety and color isn’t always the best way to do that. It would look ridiculous to have color contrast in every piece of clothing you wear during the fall and winter so a great way to get some visual contrast is through texture.

Take a look at this gentleman.

different textures in menswear

There are a lot of different textures going on here – tweed jacket, wool pants, leather bag, suede shoes, knit tie, silk square. But the ensemble itself is congruent because texture is a much more subtle form of contrast. This is especially helpful to you men of a muted complexion who can be overwhelmed by having too much color contrast. Now, those of us who have moderate or stark contrasts are still going to want more contrast through colors or patterns, but we can take advantage of the texture contrast as well.

Learning to rely on texture is where you really start to set yourself apart as a well-dressed man. While most people won’t consciously think, “That guy looks so good because he mixed all those different textures so well.” they will see you and realize you’re a step above even the other men in their lives who’ve ever had a conversation with a tailor.

The key to mixing textures well is to have everything rooted in traditional men’s style. This man would look ridiculous if his blazer was silk and his pocket square were leather, along with wool shoes, and a knitted bag. Stick with the tried-and-true applications of each texture and then mix and match as you want with different items.

PS. Follow me on Twitter for updates and insights.