Have you ever thought about the first impressions you make?
On a first date, at a business meeting, or during any other kind of interpersonal exchange, your age, gender, ethnicity, posture, voice and numerous other features – varying depending on the observer – come together to produce a subjective, abstract and sometimes, unfortunately, unfair impression of you. This whole process happens as quickly as one tenth of a second, after which it becomes much more difficult to impress otherwise or fix anything that went wrong.
Yes, it seems unjust, but isn’t it better to know exactly what you’re dealing with? From the condition of your hair to the state of your shoes, each component of your image contributes to how you’re perceived each day.
So, how do you ensure you’re received warmly, rather than pointedly dismissed, by your more style savvy peers?
The answer is texture, gentlemen. Texture – whether the supple smoothness of a nappa leather jacket or the resinous effect of a sweatshirt’s painted shoulder – is what separates the men from the boys.
What Is Texture?
By definition, texture is the feel, appearance or consistency of a surface or substance. In fashion, it may come from a material’s natural appearance or the way it has been treated (woven, printed, covered, embossed, etc.) for a functional or aesthetic purpose.
A bit like a fine wine, the richer and more complex the texture, the greater the degree of attention you capture, whether that’s a double-take of appreciation from a passer-by or someone so intrigued they can’t help but cop a feel.
With this in mind, check out some of the best ways you can add eye-catching 3D interest to your warm-weather ensembles this season:
Just because the sun is splitting the rocks outside, it doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of knitted textures. Cable, ribbed and waffle knit jumpers and cardigans in season-appropriate gauges are well suited to summer wardrobes in need of some textural enrichment, and especially good for throwing on over the top of a vest or tee once the evening draws in.
As well as keeping your eye out for those designs in a finer gauge, you’ll also need to consider material. 100 per cent cotton, cotton-linen and cotton-silk blends are the breathable, lightweight fabrications that will allow you to harness knitwear’s distinctive texture for the warmer months of the year, without running the risk of overheating.
Like you would with your cold-weather knits, take some time to check that the jumper or cardigan you’re about to invest in is carefully crafted – i.e. tightly rather than loosely woven.
Other features that will help bring additional depth and character to your warm-weather knitwear include dip-dye or ombré effects, patterns/prints, as well as subtle marled or flecked detailing:
- He By Mango Textured Degrade Sweater
- He By Mango Ombre Cotton Sweater
- He By Mango Shawl-collar Textured Cardigan
- Vince Dip Dye Cable Knit Crewneck Sweater
- Allsaints Belfort Crew Jumper
- Allsaints Metz Crew Jumper
- He By Mango Flecked Cotton Linen-blend Sweater
- Reiss Blade Honeycomb Weave Jumper Light Grey
- River Island Blue Ribbed Long Sleeve Jumper
- Beams Plus Flecked Knitted Linen Cardigan
- Gant Rugger Marled Crue Cotton Sweater
- Club Monaco Ribbed Cotton And Linen-blend Shawl-collar Cardigan
Since there is not always the need for an outerwear layer during the high summer months, you’ll want to make sure that your jacket introduces texture to your look without adding unnecessary bulk.
For SS15, there is only one silhouette you should be considering: the bomber. Versatile and on-trend, consider picking up a seersucker, linen, or cotton-linen blend design; breathable and cool, these summer-ready fabrics are comfortable to wear even in the heat, enabling you to craft looks full of depth and texture throughout the season.
Alternatively, for something sportier, keep an eye out for nylon bombers – the fabric’s natural sheen will bring an interesting textural and visual element to your ensemble and works particularly well in streetwear-inspired looks.
For a more rugged workerwear feel, try something in luxurious suede or this season’s key fabric: denim. Ideal for slightly cooler spring/summer days, both materials are extremely tactile and will give a sense of weight to your ensemble.
All of these styles will adapt effortlessly to both casual and smart-casual aesthetics, whether you choose to dress yours up with slim-cut denim and an Oxford shirt for a night out or combine with relaxed jersey shorts and a marl cotton tee at the weekend.
- Asos Suede Bomber Jacket
- Topman Blue Linen Bomber Jacket
- Blue Collar Worker Bomber Jacket Denim
- He By Mango Grosgrain-trim Nylon Jacket
- He By Mango Cotton Linen-blend Jacket
- River Island Matt Nylon Bomber
- Gant Chambray Bomber Jacket
- Reiss Toulon Suede Bomber Jacket Grey
- Club Monaco Golden Bear Suede Bomber Jacket
- River Island Dark Red Nylon Zip Through Bomber Jacket
- Saturdays Surf Nyc Cotton Bomber Jacket
- River Island Blue Seersucker Textured Bomber Jacket
Just because temperatures are rising, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your sartorial standards. When it comes to dressing up this season, a lightweight textured blazer will make the perfect addition to your spring/summer wardrobe.
Unlined jackets in cotton, chambray and jersey are classic warm-weather options, with their unstructured silhouette producing a slightly crumpled appearance that adds another level of interest to any smart-casual look.
Alternatively, seersucker and 100 per cent linen styles are the definition of smart, summer dressing. Although many men tend to shy away from both materials due to the traits that give them their distinct appearance – seersucker’s puckering and linen’s predisposition to wrinkling/creasing – we say embrace these natural quirks, which will not only bring texture to your outfits, but also help produce refined, relaxed looks that are full of character.
Finally, if you’re after something that’s sure to stand out from the crowd, keep your eyes peeled for knitted and brocade jackets this season.
- Topman Vito Blue Knit Blazer
- Gap Seersucker Blazer
- Gap Chambray Blazer
- River Island Grey Linen Floral Lined Slim Blazer
- He By Mango Linen Blazer
- Reiss Foster B Melange Linen Blazer Grey
- Jaeger Seersucker Modern Blazer
- Reiss Costa B Chambray Blazer Blue
- River Island Black Knitted Blazer Jacket
- Polo Ralph Lauren Blue Morgan Unstructured Cotton-seersucker Blazer
- Aspesi Blue Slim-fit Chambray Blazer
- Club Monaco Knitted Linen And Cotton-blend Blazer
Every style-conscious gent knows that accessories are essential during the warmer spring/summer months, when multiple layers are often a no-go. With this in mind, a high quality leather accent – whether in the form of a bag, belt, card holder or bracelet – can be just the thing you need to bring a welcome touch of texture to your stripped-back warm-weather ensembles.
When we picture leather, most of us will imagine a buttery smooth texture or something wrinkled and worn with a patina full of character after years of regular use. But there are so many other aspects to this natural material.
Take crocodile skin, also known as crocodile leather, for example. Hardly economical but inarguably luxurious, this type of leather is practically bursting with texture thanks to its undulating ridges and distinctive sheen – ideal for a wallet or folio if you have some serious cash to spare.
Of course, for those of us working with slightly more restrictive budgets, it’s not all bad news: modern tanners and brands are utilising embossing techniques that can give your leather accessories any look you want, from imitation reptile to flashy logos.
Subtler motifs, which have names like ‘saffiano’ or ‘straw grain’, are also widely available at both ends of the price spectrum, bringing depth to even the most simple of accessories, such as a classic leather holdall or your smartphone case.
Other finishes to consider include washed leather, offering a subtle effect that’s the antithesis to something like crocodile, and distressed leather, which is rugged and distinctly masculine.
And let’s not forget textural effects like woven and plaited leather, which work well not only for belts but also wallets and bracelets.
- Asos Smart Backpack In Black Leather With Crocodile Front Pocket
- Allsaints Orchard Holdall
- Reiss Patas Textured Leather Briefcase Dark Brown
- Reiss Huie Textured Leather Belt Tabacco
- Andersons Brown 3.5cm Woven-leather Belt
- He By Mango Leather Braided Belt
- Reiss Paul Textured Leather Fold Wallet Black
- Parabellum Courier Zip-around Leather Wallet
- Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Burnished Leather Cardholder
- Ted Baker Treebee Plaited Leather Band Bracelet
- Reiss Croc Leather File Holder
- Lotuff Full-grain Leather Ipad Mini Case
Although leather and canvas are of course distinctive textures in their own right, it’s worth experimenting with other fabrics and textural details once the hot weather hits.
Suede and nubuck Derbies, brogues and monk-straps – provided you choose opportune times to wear them – will introduce a welcome tactile element to any formal outfit thanks to their plush finishes. Just make sure you maintain this luxurious appearance by caring for them properly.
For a contemporary take on classic leather footwear, why not try basket-weave loafers or espadrilles? Or, if you want to bring some personality to a more traditional silhouette, consider a dark burnished toe on your brogues or Oxfords – the contrast looks superb and shows you are a man who pays attention to the finer details.
Other things to consider include patent or high shine finishes, two-tone (whether colour or fabric) styles, and designs incorporating contrast soles, which will add richness of colour to the overall texture of your outfit.
- Topman Hudson Pierre Burgundy Leather Tassel Loafers
- Ask The Missus Black Hole Lace Up Brown Nubuck Blue Sole
- He By Mango Contrast Sole Suede Blucher
- He By Mango Brogueing Leather Blucher
- Asos Brogue Shoes In Leather
- Topman Marne Loafer Black Leather Weaved Loafers
- Office Bow Weave Slip On Tan Hi Shine Leather
- Zara Braided Loafers
- Hammond & Co. By Patrick Grant Designer Natural Suede Oxford Brogues
- J.crew Kenton Suede Derby Shoes
- Reiss Shoot Suede Double Monk Strap Shoes Mid Brown
- Zara Brogued Leather Burnished Toe Bluchers
An essential spring/summer accessory, sunglasses offer an easy way to add additional texture to your everyday warm-weather looks.
Swapping classic metallic or plain black frames for tortoiseshell, horn, or any other multi-coloured style (think ombré and two-tone effects) is a good start. For something a little more out of the ordinary, look for matte effect frames, which are currently trending over conventional polished versions.
Alternatively, if you really want to stand out from the crowd and step your eyewear up a notch, opt for designs in unconventional fabrications like denim (Ray-Ban has released a special denim collection for SS15) or wood (Shwood and Finlay & Co. are specialists), both of which are guaranteed to become a talking point thanks to their unconventional appearance.
You could also choose to enrich texture through your choice of lenses – gradient, coloured and mirrored versions will add another layer of subtle detail to your overall aesthetic.
Just make sure that whatever pair you end up going for, you feel completely comfortable in them – they have the potential to become a signature of your look this season, and there’s nothing worse than a bad style statement sitting on your nose.
- Ray-ban Wayfarer Denim Sunglasses 0rb2140
- Shwood Belmont East Indian Rosewood Sunglasses
- Finlay & Co Beaumont Walnut Sunglasses
- L.g.r D-frame Acetate Sunglasses
- Cutler And Gross Metal Mirrored Aviator Sunglasses
- Saint Laurent D-frame Sunglasses
- Ray-ban Aviator Sunglasses 0rb3025
- Asos Wayfarer Sunglasses With Colour Fade Temples
- Fade Wayfarer Sunglasses In Matte Black
What are the qualities you look for in your materials? Which fabrics do you favour for their unique texture?
Share your thoughts below and add texture to this discussion.