Much like adding a pop of color, introducing texture to your look can be the difference between a that will suffice outfit to an I’ll be wearing this again kind of ensemble. “Textural outerwear is an opportunity to stand out from the sea of black coats that you so often see this time of year,” Alex Mill Creative Director and Designer Somsack Sikhounmoung tells TZR. “Texture is an opportunity to show a little personality.” Of course, all outerwear has some sort of texture, but coats in rich suede, shearling, and faux fur have a tactile quality to them help add depth to your outfit.
Nodding to a high-low sensibility that many dressers have adopted in the recent past, The Arrivals Co-founder and Creative Director Jeff Johnson has a theory as to why textural coats have shifted into the spotlight. “I believe people crave the simplicity of perfecting their daily uniform while still seeking statement pieces that can punctuate a look,” he says. Volume and texture are at the forefront of style right now, he adds, nodding to the number of slouchy, fuzzy, and voluminous options on the Fall/Winter 2021 runways. If you think about it, those things combined make for a really fun, interesting outerwear — what’s not to love?
Ahead, taking a cue from street style’s finest, discover five key textures to integrate into your outerwear wardrobe this fall and all the best places to shop the trend.
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Starting off with a perennial classic, the faux fur coat is an excellent entry point into the textural outerwear trend. If you’re looking for something that can be worn with both casual and dressier items in your closet, opt for a neutral-hued piece such as a camel coat. If you want to make more of a statement, consider a saturated color or splashy print.
PVC or patent leather, whichever modality of glossy texture you go for, it’s undeniably an easy way to stand out from the crowd thanks to it’s light-bending sheen. Even if it’s crafted in a classic black hue, it will still make your outfit more exciting than a traditional wool option since it will contrast with your cozier fall or winter layers.
A ‘teddy bear’ coat is typically a shearling or sherpa textured style in a brown hue that resembles a bear’s fur. “For me, sherpa looks great with something a bit more lived-in and casual, like a great pair of vintage jeans or washed chinos,” Sikhounmoung suggests. “Our work jacket is my favorite not only because of it’s tried-and-true body, but also because of the fun colors and mix of corduroy with the Sherpa,” he adds.
There are a few different types of shearling, each with its distinctive characteristics. “‘Pile’ is a term used to measure a shearlings' fur thickness, texture, and volume,” Johnson explains. “High-texture Toscana shearling is muppet-like,” there’s also shorter Merino shearling which Johnson and his team also craft with. Their KALA III jacket made of Toscana shearling offers “mega-texture while being warm enough for New York's deep winter days.”
If ever there were a texture more closely associated with a laid back attitude, it’s suede. The look feels nostalgic (probably because so many style icons of the ‘70s embraced the fabric) and gives any outfit the perfect touch of texture. Plus, because it’s been in favor for so long, you’re likely to find a strong vintage option if you prefer not to buy new leather goods.