I adore clothing, shoes and accessories with interesting textures because they add aesthetic appeal and depth to an ensemble. Textures generate charm because they create contrast (the same way bold colours can do so). A monochromatic outfit looks infinitely better when the items are texture-rich.

A recent Nordstrom catalog did a brilliant job of summarizing ways in which you can add texture to your Autumn and Winter wardrobe. Here’s the lowdown (their categories, my words):

  1. A feminine blouse with ruffles creates a strong contrast against wools and tweeds. If ruffles aren’t your thing, try blouses in iridescent fabrications, lace, jacquards or satin.
  2. Booties with patent, mock croc, sueded or distressed leather trims do wonders to enhance an outfit.
  3. Coats made of mottled tweeds or abstract jacquards stand out. So do coats with leather trims and fabrics with sheen and luster.
  4. Cheeky pencil skirts with kick-pleats, cascading waterfall ruffles and front ruching details look three-dimensional. Purchase them in interesting fabrics and you’ve taken texture to the top.
  5. Trousers in menswear fabrics like checks and tweeds are retro and scream Autumn.
  6. Soft knit sweater dresses are luscious against stiff, structured woven sateen trenches. Add sueded boots and you’re in business.
  7. Cropped jackets in leather, tartan, velvet and boiled wool look particularly good against stiff jeans.
  8. Hosiery is the easiest way to add texture to a skirt or frock ensemble. Think delicate florals, geometric shapes, antique lace, crocodile patterns or micro fishnets.
  9. Simpler embossed or quilted satchels are a nice change to plain leather handbags with excessive hardware. I love cracked patent, but rice-paper pleather is just as fab.
  10. Statement jewelry like cuffs with oversized stones, antique brooches or vintage glass rings are alternative ways of adding decorative texture to your look.

For some reason Nordies have left scarves off their list. I’m adding them in because they can add a super contrasting texture to an outfit. I personally like something soft and silky with leather or pleather jackets.

I love outfits with interesting textures. It’s my preferred way of dressing because I’m a sucker for nice fabric. One of my personal wardrobe rules is that if I’m going to buy an item in a neutral colour, it has to be textured. It prevents me from getting bored with the item and gives rise to neutral ensembles with loads of sass.

Tweed and Patent with Denim Shine with Denim
Ruffles with Wool
Satin with Leather

Mixing and matching textures to create a contrast: (1) tweed and patent with denim, (2) shine with denim, (3) satin with leather and (4) ruffles with wool.