First there was color blocking and now there’s fabric blocking? What is it and how do you wear it?
“Fabric blocking” is fashion-ese for having multiple fabrics in one outfit or even one item of clothing, often sectioned off by hard lines. Popularized this fall/winter 2013, most notably by Fendi, the look is modern and striking. You could almost call it color-blocking 2.0, as it often (but not always) uses different colors for each fabric.
If you love the newest thing, have bold taste, and love graphic, clean lines, this look is for you! Read on to get tips on how to fabric block the modern way, instead of looking like you are wearing granny’s patchwork quilt.
1. Pay Attention to Fit
Because this look is so modern and sleek, a good fit is essential. Make sure that all items you add to your outfit don’t pull or pucker. Also no sagging and bagging otherwise this look will fall flat making you look old and dated. When in doubt, see a tailor.
2. Don’t Overload on Color
While runway looks focusing on this trend did use some color (most notably cobalt blue, orange or bright pinks), it pays to remember a little bit goes a long way. Since the focus here is meant to be on the textures of many different fabrics, try to stick to 3 colors or less in your look. For example, the mink fur, cotton knit and leather sweater at Fendi was 2 shades of cream, allowing what could have been chaotic to be chic.
3. Focus on Feel
To make your outfit an obvious attempt at fabric blocking, stage your look around one piece that uses multiple fabrics.
For example, a jacket that incorporates various fabrics. If that’s too busy for you (or you can’t find such an item), simply pair pieces with very different-feeling fabrics together to create a color blocked outfit. Examples of materials you combine are: wool with silk, leather with cotton, suede with leather and so on. Also, so long as you keep the number of colors used in check, there’s no ceiling to how many fabrics you include!
4. Belt it!
An easy way to get the fabric blocked look is to add a belt to your outfit. This creates a visual break- the perfect way to clearly define the end of one fabric and the beginning of another. It also adds emphasis to the different textures playing together in your look, and adds a dose of polish.
5. Keep Accessories Sleek
By choosing neutral accessories with minimal details you create a look that is so modern it borders on futuristic- perfect for channeling the vibes Fendi sent down the runway this season. It also ensures that the look doesn’t become too overwhelming or costume-like.
So go ahead, buy a color fabric blocked item or experiment with pairing different fabrics to create an outfit with a fashion-forward look. Never has mixing it up been more on-point.
Guest Contributor Morgan Mullin