Think velvet is boring and unflattering? Think again. Velvet has shed its Eighties connotations and now plush velvet is considered a key trend to see you through party season and beyond.
Why? Much like silk, there’s something about this tactile fabric that feels luxurious – it tends to be slightly on the heavy side and looks far more expensive than it really is. Plus, it’s warm, which is always a selling point when shopping for party wear.
We’ve been firm fans for some time now and need very little convincing to slip into something of the velvet variety. And we’re not the only ones. On the catwalk, Emilia Wickstead, Rejina Pyo and Victoria Beckham championed the fabric with velvet separates, tempting us to reconsider the textile: we saw belted pink blazers with matching wide-leg trousers, high-neck dresses topped with embellished lace, and kimono-style wrap dresses.
Off the catwalks, the luxe fabric has worked its way into the wardrobes of some of the best street-stylers around, such as Lucy Williams, Camille Charrière and Leandra Medine, which has done little to dull the hype.
The best thing about velvet? Although the look lends itself to glitzy evening events, it’s actually incredibly versatile. From midi-skirts worn with boots and fine cashmere knits, to jewel-tone blazers over T-shirts with ankle-grazing jeans, or, for the brave, a two-piece suit worn with trainers – there’s no shortage of styles to choose from that can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.
Style-wise, there are no set rules. Black will forever be a chic (and safe) option but with plenty of festive parties filling up the calendar, we’ve turned our attention to the standout separates set to upgrade your party wardrobe.
The only downside? Beware – velvet marks easily, so be sure to keep your stylish separates spill-free to get the look right.
From a subtle nod to the trend to standout velvet suiting, here are five simple ways to wear the trend.
Go for a bow
Take your cue from the catwalk and top your party outfit with a simple black velvet hair bow. Try Jennifer Behr’s elegant option and simply clip on-and-go, or pop to your local haberdashery and create your own – equally chic and the perfect entry point to the trend.
Jennifer Behr hair clip, £133, farfetch.com
Experiment with colour
Don’t be afraid to try colour: mustard tones, emerald green, pastel hues or top-to-toe tonal velvet – choosing something punchy is a surefire way to stand out from a sea of LBDs. Our top pick? Rejina Pyo’s powder pink velvet pieces have dominated our Instagram feeds lately and the Alina dress has finally dropped at Net-a-Porter, just in time for Christmas.
Rejina Pyo Alina dress, £725, net-a-porter.com
Go head-to-toe with a statement suit
When the traditional party dress just won’t do, why not try a two-piece instead? Zara has your bottle green wide-leg suit covered. Simply style with gold heels, a silky camisole underneath and a pair of super-sized earrings to complete your look.
Green velvet blazer, £95.99, and trousers, £69.99, both zara.com
The do-it-all dress
Bag the perfect wrap-style velvet dress and the rest is easy. Layer over jeans and a tee and finish with satin heels and gold earrings for cocktails, or wear solo with sky-high heels on NYE – this will be the hardest working piece in your wardrobe.
Attico velvet dress, £827, mytheresa.com
Pick up a party pouch
Pouch-style handbags have surpassed the clutch in popularity this year, and Mango has the perfect embellished velvet iteration to elevate even the simplest of party looks with ease.
Velvet beaded pouch, £49.99, mango.com
Images: Rex Features