Women over 50 mixing textures

How To Mix Textures In Clothing For Spring

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As a knitter, I appreciate textures like you wouldn’t believe. This is one reason I wanted to talk about how to mix textures in clothing.

Quote of the day: “It’s important to know when to stop taking feedback to heart. There’s more reward in taking a risk than in listening to naysayers who don’t understand the mission.” Misty Copeland

I remember one woman saying that you shouldn’t wear a silky top with a pair of cotton pants. And I was perplexed about why she thought this way. And she was a quilter, no less.

Yet we have many fashion “rules” that don’t make sense when we sit down and analyze them.

So let’s start with thinking about how to mix textures in clothing. It’s easy in the winter because layering is key.

Yet spring is also a great layering season because the temperatures can vary from morning to evening so much that you need to be able to remove items and put them back on.

Baby Steps for How to Mix Textures in Clothing

Texture in clothing is talking about the surface of the material.

Many times it’s 3-dimensional and thus how the material feels in your fingers. Yet it can also refer to the shine or effect that your eyes notice.

Here are a couple of examples of clothing that I would consider to have texture compared to a smooth cotton t-shirt.

  • Leather
  • Silk
  • Lace or Crochet
  • Velvet
  • Tweed
  • Sequins

And the list goes on.

Now when you’re talking about how to mix textures in clothing, you want to make sure that you have a variety of smooth vs bumpy items, or matte vs shiny items.

The easiest way to start is to have one piece be untextured (like that cotton t-shirt I was referring to) and then pair it with one of the materials in the list above. Then you only have one textural item.

Insider tip: I would not consider jeans and a t-shirt to be a huge mix of textures, because they are both very smooth materials.

The other easy way to incorporate textures when you aren’t sure about them is to cover up the biggest textural item with something smooth. So you are still wearing it, but it’s not as obvious and in your face (for example how Lesley covered her crochet top with her cotton shacket below).

You can find a wide variety of articles that include textured materials and see how we paired them in the past.

Woman over 50 with how to mix textures in clothing

Jodie-Layering 2 Different Textured Cardigans

I thought this was a fun way to showcase how to mix textures in clothing by layering 2 different kinds of cardigans.

The red cardigan is smooth while the multicolored cardigan has oodles of texture with those cables at the bottom.

That short-sleeved cardigan? I knitted that years ago.

Insider tip: Stop thinking that a cardigan has to be the outermost layer. Zipping it up can make it look like a top. Or if it tends to gape open, think about wearing it backward like I’ve done.

The other aspect of this outfit that I’d like to discuss is the colors.

News alert! Colors are not seasonal. You can wear any color any time of year. While this multicolor sweater could remind you of the color of leaves in fall, it can be worn now or any season.

There are other details in my look I’d love to point out.

  • A bling pin on the rim of the beanie cap (it’s the shape of Arizona)
  • I’m wearing pearls with distressed jeans (BTW, distressing adds texture to an outfit)
  • My booties have texture on them so they aren’t boring.
  • Even my purse, while it’s smooth leather, has a 3-D flower to give it interest.
  • The red cardigan is a hoodie which gives the look a more casual and youthful feel.

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Mesh cardigan over textured top

Charlotte: Leather and Mesh

Seeing my mother wearing these leather pants always makes me feel so proud of her. Being in her 80s doesn’t mean you have to be frumpy or only wear the “appropriate” things.

Recently when we went shopping together, she questioned whether a pair of boots was appropriate and my response was “This is not the time for appropriateness. You did that years ago. Now is the time to be bold.”

I realize not everyone agrees, but I hope I inspire a few of you to branch out and have fun with your style.

Insider tip: When you wear what the younger kids wear, you seem more relatable to them. It’s an easy way to start bridging the generation gap. That doesn’t mean you have to wear everything they do in the way they wear them, but it’s a nod to them that you can relate.

Even though black and white aren’t Charlotte’s best colors near her face, the “hipness” of the outfit is the focus.

Plus I love that she added a bright pink purse to the mix.

Including how to mix textures in clothing for spring looks

Lesley: How to Mix Textures in Clothing with Cords and Crochet

For Lesley’s outfit of mixing textures, she told me “I blend textures on a normal basis but don’t make a conscious effort to do so.”

I think that’s the hallmark of a true fashionista because, after color, texture is a big part of your outfit.

Insider tip: Humans are visual animals. Our brain automatically categorizes what we see in the first couple of seconds. That’s why wearing visually appealing outfits (not bland and boring) can be advantageous.

Lesley’s column of color under the shacket may be all one color, but it’s made up of interesting textures. The crochet top and the corduroy pants create interest.

Let me point out a couple of modern details:

  • Lesley cuffed her jeans. This is an easy trick and something we all should start doing. Ankles are a good thing, so don’t be put off showing them.
  • The sling bag is worn across her shoulder. Another very “hip” bag and way to wear it. I know many of us poo-pooed it when it first started, but seriously, try it. You can find them inexpensively as I’ve shown in the widget below.
  • It’s hard to see, but Lesley even hung a scarf from her sling bag. It may not be the center of attention, but it’s a fun way to make it less teenagerish and add your own personality to it.

Options for how to mix textures in clothing for spring

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How to mix textures in clothing

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

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