How To Wear Velvet

Above: Designer Tom Ford demonstrates how to properly wear velvet
Above: Designer Tom Ford demonstrates how to properly wear velvet

We’ve witnessed it on the runway, in magazines, and more recently, at the 2014 Grammy Awards: velvet is rising through the waves of fashion. However, the idea of wearing velvet is one thing—for you newbies, even that is impressive—but the reality is completely different. It takes a little bit of work to isolate the ideal style. One must take careful notes of colour, silhouette and accessorizing. A four-step guide will be offered to help you achieve velvet status.

The Garment

How To Wear Velvet - The Garment

Above: Velvet blazer from H&M
Wearing head-to-toe velvet is a risky route—unless you’re George Costanza, of course. You, and the rest of the world, will probably be better off if you stick to isolating one piece in an ensemble to dedicate to velvet. The most aesthetically pleasing bet is selecting a blazer. The blazer offers velvet a substantial square footage but it’s not overwhelming. Plus, the structure of the blazer balances velvet’s sensibility.

Colour

How To Wear Velvet - The Colour

Above: Navy velvet blazer from Tom Ford’s ready-to-wear fall 2014 collection
Unlike the simple texture of a cotton shirt, velvet’s rich quality doesn’t agree with many different hues. When the colour is very light it can illuminate too much of the complexities in the velvet structure, drawing extra attention that is not needed. Moreover, velvet is best met with darker, deeper shades, like grey, navy and black.

The Style

How To Wear Velvet - The Style

Above: A model walks the runway at Richard James’ fall 2014 presentation
Styling a velvet blazer is the most important part of this story; it creates the context for velvet to flourish or flop. Because velvet is generally designed with a simple colourway, a velevet blazer looks exceptionally handsome with a printed button-up or sweater—for this season, try the floral motifs.

The Accessories

How To Wear Velvet - The Accessories

Above: An oversized scarf worn over a red velvet blazer
It’s best to keep accessories low-key when playing with the opulent fabric. When examining the details, be sure to maintain a degree of urbanity and youthfulness because velvet has the ability to age the wearer. Details like a slick baseball cap, an oversized scarf or an athletic-inspired watch are wise.

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Julie Rubinger

Julie Rubinger is a Toronto-based fashion writer. With a Masters in Communication and Design from Ryerson’s School of Fashion, Julie writes for publications like Canadian Living and The Genteel. Amongst her writing, Julie also continues to work as a wardrobe stylist for la closette. For further information about Julie and her fashion theory-obsessed life, go to julierubinger.com or follow her on Twitter at: @julesrubinger

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