Dress with Texture

In a world where pattern and fit get all the credit, it’s easy to forget texture’s power to elevate the sartorial lexicon. Like the right choice of words, texture transforms simple to minimalist, subtle to nuanced. Master it, and the tactile connotations are endless. “Go ahead, touch it,” for instance.

Cheeky bugger. But it works. Here are five ways to incorporate texture into your outfit this spring so that she’ll barely be able to keep her hands off you.

This spring’s biggest blazer

Make a jacquard blazer your smoothest statement piece this spring. Jacquard textiles undergo a special weaving process that makes for a fine, dense fabric sporting any number of irresistibly touchable raised patterns, from brocade to paisley. You can wear one like your basic go-to topper with any shirt, but as a rule of thumb, mix more solid fabrics with soft ones. We suggest pairing jacquard with a relaxed cotton tee for added textural contrast.

Up the ante on formalwear

A kitten-soft cashmere tie is like an invitation hanging around your neck. The luxe knit beats silk and even lambswool out for warmth to give your formalwear a sophisticated punch of texture. Patterns like bold stripes or playful polka dots supply a visual reference to the necktie’s texture (plus a roguish wink) peeking out from under your suit jacket—think of it as the stylish guy’s version of bedroom eyes.

The modern knit made for layering

Your chunky sweater doesn’t have to take its cues from Hemingway, least of all that it must stand alone. A hearty shawl collar cardigan woven with a denser, more modern cross hatch pattern is perfect for layering—the key is variety. Pitch it over a sturdy Japanese denim shirt finished with a wool tie, or turn up the collar and show off your style from underneath a sports coat. You can even achieve a top-bottom balance with a pair of smooth, ridiculously soft moleskin trousers, a cold weather must-have in their own right.

A lesson in leather

Suede shoes typically come in a full spectrum of colours, making them spring staple that’ll also add a splash of smooth texture where you’d least expect it (but where she’d look first). Bridging the gap between formal and casual, suede gives you a chance to experiment with mixing leather grains, since matching your belt to your shoes is on the out. A tonal accessory in, say, woven or pebbled leather will provide a dose of the variety you need.

Laid-back basics

Loungewear is creeping its way into men’s daily rotation thanks to slimmer silhouettes and choice fabrics. That’s because a heritage-made sweatshirt is a comfy, classic style that’s as soft against your skin as it is soft on her eyes. Create a high-low matchup by pairing your fitted basic of choice with a rugged investment piece, such as a seasonable leather jacket.

Nicholas Mizera is a lover of menswear, craft beer and lifestyle mags. Some know him as The Gentleman Journalist.

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