Over the past few months, I have been giving you these helpful tools in choosing the right clothing. I have shared things like my Four Styling Formulas, color theory, how to choose the best prints, and how to work with neutrals in your closet. I held off with this next tool until the holiday season because it has to do with shiny fabrics, and people love shiny things during the holidays. Before you run out and buy your next satiny top, you will want to read this.

In all my past posts with these tools, I have spoken about how it’s all about what you wear being supportive of your face because, basically, most people want to be remembered for who they are, not what they wear. The whole idea is that you want to draw attention to your face and the best way to do that is by your clothing mimicking your facial features and characteristics. When it comes to the amount of texture or shine you wear, the same strategy also applies, but for more than just being memorable, choosing the wrong fabrics can actually emphasize wrinkles and make you look older.

Better than Botox: How fabrics can make you look more Youthful

It requires no real explanation to help you understand the difference between a textured fabric and a shiny one. Comparing a nubby bouclé to a satiny, shiny fabric, the distinctions are obvious. What isn’t obvious is the effects these fabrics can have on skin tone. In order to create a balance between what you wear and your facial characteristics and to also minimize the aging process, you need to look in the mirror. The two components you want to look at are the texture of your hair and the texture of your skin. The more texture you have in both these features, the more texture you can wear.

More importantly, shiny fabrics can emphasize wrinkles and aging in people with fine lines and wrinkles not just because the contrast of shiny fabric in juxtaposition to the face emphasizes wrinkles, the reflective qualities of these shiny fabrics also reflect light on the face which can highlight wrinkles or other textures in the skin.

Examples of Different Skin and Hair Textures

Example #1

shiny fabrics

This woman has fine lines and wrinkles and her hair texture is smooth.

Example #2

shiny fabrics

This woman has textured hair and smooth skin.

Example #3

This slightly mature woman has very textured hair and somewhat textured skin.

Example #4

This woman has smooth hair and skin.

How to choose the right texture and shine in your fabrics

Based on the facial characteristics of each woman, I am going to show you the right amount of shine and texture each woman would look best wear.

High Texture

shiny fabrics

The defining characteristic of this woman is her highly textured hair. This means that she can successfully pull off highly textured fabrics that will also benefit her mature skin tone. She can easily carry the level of texture in this bouclé coat from Kenneth Cole without being overpowered. In addition to this, I selected more fabrics with a matte finish over shine which would be too reflective and unbalanced for her skin and hair. I styled this grey turtleneck sweater from Vero Moda with a pair of navy pants from J. Crew and finished the look with navy booties from Aquatalia and a crossbody bag from Tory Burch.

Textured and Smooth Combination

shiny fabrics

This next woman has equally textured hair as the woman previously but much smoother, more youthful skin. Her options increase in terms of shiny or textured fabrics. The outfit strikes an equal balance of shine and texture to match her hair and skin. I styled this blazer from L’Agence with a shiny top from Lafayette 148 and straight leg jeans from Everlane. I finished the look with a pair of heeled loafers from Jeffrey Campbell and a quilted bag from Mango.

Smooth Hair and Skin

shiny fabrics

For a woman with skin and hair these smooth, shiny fabrics work really well. Overly textured fabrics could potentially be too overpowering for someone with features like this. I styled this satiny Vince blouse with a pair of pleated black pants, burgundy block heel pumps, an abstract printed clutch from Brahmin, and statement earrings from Alexis Bittar.

Textured and Smooth Combination

This mature woman has visible wrinkles but very smooth hair. While I wouldn’t put her in shiny fabrics in order to avoid emphasizing her wrinkles with reflective fabrics, I’d also avoid putting her in overly textured fabrics either. This is why I selected fabrics with matte finishes. If she were to wear texture, I’d choose fabrics that have minimal texture and not heavy bouclés. I styled this Eileen Fisher cardigan with a pair of easy camel pants from Vince and a grey short sleeve sweater from Rag & Bone and finished the look with cognac flats from Aquatalia, a necklace by Pono, and a bag from FRAME.

Key Takeaways when Choosing Texture and Shine in Fabrics

  • Remember, tips like this are to be used to make informed choices, not to create unrealistic restrictions. If you’re someone who can’t wear shine well but love a shiny top, try pairing it with texture near the face to create balance.
  • Avoiding shiny fabric isn’t just a solution for minimizing wrinkles. It works for any texturing of the skin you might have, like acne scarring.
  • People change their hair all the time. Some will wear their hair curly one day and straight the next. Because hair can be so changeable and skin not, If you are looking to use fabrics to minimize the appearance of aging, look to your skin texture first and hair second.
  • If you are someone with skin texture but love shiny fabrics, consider shiny fabrics that have textured detailing like ruching.
  • It’s not just satin fabrics that have shine. Be careful with shiny velvets that aren’t matte metallic fabrics or any fabrication that cast a shine near the face,

Any more questions? Let me know in the comments below.