Fashion in a Flash: Reflective

Posted on June 5, 2019 by Molly Hannelly

There's something about shine, whether it's the glare of a jewel or the glimmer of metal, that truly attracts our attention. Designers have captured that magnetism with reflective wear, a type of garment that's both stylish and functional. Whether it's stretchy fleece knits to more structured styles, reflective fabrics come in a variety of textures.  But what do you make with it, and where do you wear it? From athletic wear to athleisure, let's take a look at the hottest reflective styles, and how to implement them into your wardrobe.

Reflective Wear on the Runway

Reflective wear has been quite the trend, but some find it difficult to pull off. Is it too loud for regular wear? Can it be toned down? Do you even want to tone it down? Here, I'll go over the runway-ready looks designers have presented, and then show some simple ways to utilize reflective fabrics in your every day looks!

Balmain uses a stunning reflective fabric for a wrap romper that truly pops, while Custo Barcelona goes for a more relaxed look with joggers. Gucci's reflective pleather creates the perfect leisure suit, and Maryam Nassir Zadeh's tiered dress is sweet and shiny, the perfect pair!

Balmain | Spring 2019 Ready-to-Wear

Chainmail is an excellent way to achieve this luxe look. Velvet, especially metallic velvet, is also a great choice for Custo Barcelona's joggers, as the pile on velvet tends to shine!

  1. Neon Orange Cotton-Backed Reflective Fabric
  2. Royal Purple Reflective Fabric
  3. Pink Reflective Fabric


The easiest way to use reflective fabrics, especially when your first starting out, is with accessories! The classic scrunchie gets a 2019 style glow up when made of reflective fabrics, perfect for throwing your hair up for an early morning jog. Fendi's utility belt and crossbody bag would be ideal for heading out at night when made with reflective textiles, and Junya Watanabe's choker necklace with simple studs takes this classic punk look into club kid aesthetics.

Create a velour scrunchie for a subtle shine, or utilize metallic pleather for crossbody bags and utility belts!

  1. Blue Reflective Fabric
  2. Red Coral Reflective Fabric
  3. Red Color Reflective Fabric

Athleisure and Streetwear

Athleisure is everywhere. Whether you're rocking Yeezy's or wearing old sweats to the starbucks, athleisure looks have made look cute and being comfy a breeze! A perfect candidate for reflective fabrics, this Opening Ceremony anorak is very similar to Mood's Kerria Anorak! Unravel's peplum windbreaker would be the ideal statement piece in a colorful reflective knit, while Y-3's bodysuit would be a fun challenge to create a mesh-and-reflective look. Utilize sequins for a stunning athleisure look.

Athleisure styles look luxe in a variety of fabrics, especially knits and fleeces! Check out metallic mesh for creating paneling on a bodysuit, or even a subtly shining suede!

  1. Silver Color Reflective Fabric
  2. Black Color Reflective Fabric
  3. Neon Yellow Cotton-Backed Reflective Fabric


As a modern woman, I have modern morals. Always put the cart in the cart barn at the grocery store, tip 20% unless the service was truly bad, and stop for pedestrians attempting to cross the street. The third can be quite hard, especially when it comes to early morning joggers and late night runners. This is why reflective athleticwear should be a staple in every person's closet. Adam Selman's joggers and sports bra set would be amazing with reflective fabric as either a trim or the main textile, and a structured reflective fabric is ideal for Sportmax's funky windbreaker. The puffer jacket has been making the rounds in its own right, the perfect garment for a walk on an early fall morning, especially when made from a reflective fabric!

Metallic spandex is another excellent way to sport this style, especially for Adam Selman's set! Try out a Reflective Knit for a truly bright style, or even create a striking tee shirt from a sequined jersey!

  1. Black on Black Stretch Knit Reflective Fabric
  2. Silver on Black Fleece-Backed Reflective Fabric
  3. Silver Stretch Knit Reflective Fabric with White Backside

Piping and Trim

Reflective textiles are really good for adding a subtle pop to garments. When used for piping or trim, reflective fabric can bring a garment from drab to fab, just turn off the lights! Cienne's pants are absolutely stunning, and the piping would look stellar with reflective fabric. Givenchy's contrast lapel on this black blazer would be stunning as a reflective, a bright pop on such a dark garment. Tory Sport's windbreaker is quite funky, super future-esque, so I would love to see it recreated with the contrast seems made from reflective fabric, another ideal exercise garment.

Metallic Trim is an excellent way to add subtle color to any ensemble, or even a nice velvet trim! Use sequin trim for a more obvious shine.

  1. Magenta Reflective Fabric
  2. Silver Cotton-Backed Reflective Fabric
  3. White Cotton-Backed Reflective Fabric

How do you feel about the reflective trend? Upon reflection, I love it! Let me know what you think, and how you'll be using them, in the comments!

Fashion in a Flash: Reflective - Mood Sewciety
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