How to use texture in an outfit to create visual interest

After I posted "How to dress like a French woman", a friend asked me to talk more about "texture" in an outfit.  Texture is really about combining different materials to provide contrast and balance.   It's about paying attention to the fabric content (cotton, leather, silk) and to how an item feels.  It's about balancing the hard and the soft.  Texture can even just be combining prints and pattern and details to create a visual depth to your outfit.

Here are some examples - 

This is one of the first streetstyle photographs I ever took, and it is still one of my favorites.  The girl on the left is the quintessential cool girl.  Her top is perfectly draped and her jeans have the best relaxed fit.  Each piece - the hat, the arm bracelet, the gray lace up shoes, and even the cane - lends visual depth to the look.  And the girl on the right has a totally different (more colorful) vibe.  She is layered with a t-shirt, scarf, and graphic jacket.  These girls look just as good from the back -  

This next outfit is full of texture - 

Her lace top could stand alone, but it feels very balanced with the casual (more structured) olive shorts and leather sandals (with metal accents) and soft leather bag (with a lot of buckles). Each piece has its own details but blends with the others.

This girl is wearing an orange silk dress which has an interesting shoulder detail but is fairly soft overall.  This brightness of this dress could easily be "too much", but she balanced it with a very structured black bag and pointy toe flats.  The leather in the bag and the silk in the dress create an elegant depth to this outfit.

This girl's outfit is full of more casual texture. She put on a structured (but soft) jacket over a flowy striped top with a little gathered detail.  She is wearing a very simple necklace with more detailed flip flops.  Her red leather change purse adds a pop of color. The straight-leg dark denim jeans keep the outfit elegant but casual.  It looks like she didn't think about her outfit too much but just threw all of here favorite things on. 

Wide-legged flowy pants can feel comfortable and chic at the same time.  I probably wouldn't wear them with this tank top in real life (this photo was taken during NY Fashion Week), but the pink glasses do add an element of modern fun to the classic floral print.  A more structured top would give textural balance to the outfit.

Over the next few days, we'll look at different pieces that can elevate your outfit with texture and visual interest.  In the mean time, if you want something with visual interest, browse the limited edition items in my SHOP...or view my "research" on this topic in Pinterest.