Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Balancing Fabrics/Close Ups of Men in Suits

After two posts discussing the virtues of balance as a style term, by now I hope you’re getting the gist of it. You know, mixing the highs and lows of a style aspect. If you still can't nail it, just buy a Snuggie and never leave the house, 'cause buddy chances are you've got bigger problems than I can help you with. 

We’ve already discussed formality and pattern, so now we’ll move to fabricFabric is basically the type of cloth you're wearing. There are many kinds of fabrics to choose from, each offering a different look and feel. Oddly enough though, these many variants are (supposedly) comprised of five fabric types- cotton, linen, silk, wool, and worsted.

Cotton and linen are fabrics. Knit is a type of weave. Picture from Bloomberg

Silk- apparently what Santa's pajamas are made of



Generally your fabric choice is influenced by the climate. Heavier fabrics fare better in the winter to keep you warm, while lighter, more breathable fabrics are optimal for the summer. Clearly.

Nevertheless, you can add some visual interest to your outfit by playing with various fabrics. The balancing idea here is to play something smooth (like a silk tie) against something textured (like a tweed vest or flannel suit). If you're not up for getting too technical, just go with your instinct of the piece's feel. This really isn't that complicated.

Fabric is an easier style aspect to play around with because of its subtlety. Most people wear cotton shirts, wool suits, and silk ties, so the masses have set the bar pretty low. Play around with some stuff, and don't be afraid to branch out and experiment with different fabrics next time you're in a store. Check out these looks below (I've tried to make them big so you can notice the difference in fabrics between the shirt, tie, suit, and pocket square):




Source- plus the pocket square and shirt tie together nicely in the light and dark blues

Source- this is a more standard ensemble

Source- this outfit is heavy on textured fabrics

This list gives simple definitions for the many types of fabrics and cloths that are out there. Your best chance at fully understanding different types of fabrics is to get out there and play around with them. This rule does not apply to women.

Thanks for reading, and hope the pictures serve as good inspiration,



  1. Very nice article and very cool informative topic. Everyone could learn sth from you and your discount fabric article. Life is simple if you are a simple person.So do you think so?

  2. Thank you. No I do not think I am a simple person. Who is?