How many velvet garments do you own? It’s a first-world, top-class question — as most clothes crafted from this rich, ruched material are incredibly, inexcusably formal. Velvet tuxedos and velvet bow ties are seldom seen off the red carpet — and save for the odd velvet collar, you’ve probably never introduced cotton’s posh tufted cousin into your everyday life.
But we’ve got good news. Velvet, in all its distinctively soft glory, has found its way to the real world. From sweatpants to sneakers, the fabric is increasingly being used in everyday, workaday wardrobe pieces — and we couldn’t be happier. So, if you’re looking to shake up your office wear for the New Year, and add some decadence to the new decade, here are the key velvety pieces to invest in.
A velvet shirt is a subtly smart addition to your wardrobe
Forget crisp cotton. It may have a place in your wardrobe at the height of summer, sitting softly alongside linens and seersucker shirts, but winter is a time for plush creature comforts. And it doesn’t come more comfortable than velvet. From the three velvet shirts we’ve picked out, A.P.C’s offering is probably the most casual; with horn-effect buttons and a slightly baggier, regular cut.
For a more office-appropriate look, Saturdays NYC has released a dark purple shirt — cut from a thin velvet that drapes loosely around your frame and boasting a handy chest pocket for pens. Or, if you’re searching for something that’ll work across your entire wardrobe, Y/Project is on hand with a point-collared, drop-shouldered and jet black offering.
A.P.C John Velvet Shirt
Saturdays NYC Perry Velvet Shirt
Y/Project Velvet Shirt
You have no idea how comfortable velvet trousers are
Once a straight-legged, strait-laced necessity, today’s trousers have walked far away from mundane. We’ve got all manner of cuts and designs to choose from, and materials ranging from denim to twill to corduroy. And now, velvet. You may scoff at the thought — even when you wear a velvet tuxedo, you tend to stick to woollen trousers — but these supple, soft threads will afford comfort to even the tightest-cut trousers.
Just look at Tod’s well-fitting formal trousers, left with unfinished hems so you can alter them as you see fit. Or Berluti’s similarly slim offerings; taking a dull grey colour and elevating it with a sheeny, shiny texture. Or, if you want to swing your style in the other direction, Needles have some top wide-leg Japanese-style trousers — with a diamond quilted stitch and embroidered butterfly logo.
Tod’s Black Velvet Trousers
Berluti Slim-leg Velvet Trousers
Needles Navy Embroidered Velvet Trousers
Shoes prove just how versatile velvet can be
We tend to think of velvet as a prissy, pristine fabric — a material that requires constant coddling and care to stop it getting marked or losing its lustre. But the truth is that velvet is much hardier than we give it credit for. And, to that end, we’d suggest investing in a pair of statement shoes for 2020; ones crafted from velvet.
Be they sneakers — such as these grosgrain-trimmed, plush olive pair of Chuck 70s from Converse — or casual slip-on espadrilles, like Anderson & Sheppard’s plush petrol velvet and jute shoes, the material is surprisingly versatile when it comes to creating kicks. Even your officewear can benefit; try out Crockett & Jones’ understated Plain Albert loafers with your three-piece for a cool, collected spin on suiting.
Converse Chuck 70 Velvet Sneakers
Anderson & Sheppard Velvet Espadrilles
Crockett & Jones Plain Albert Loafers
A velvet tie will add vintage style to your officewear
You’ve likely got a velvet bow tie stuffed into the pocket of a dinner jacket somewhere; a nicely coloured slice of neckwear you pull out for special occasions. But allow us to let you in on a secret — you can also buy normal neckties woven from velvet. And you must only look to Lanvin, and its plush navy blue option, to see how well the fabric translates to the style.
Of course, there are other options. This midnight velvet tie from Dancy’s is made in England, and its reflective, shiny surface makes it perfect for photographed events. Or, from Otaa, we’ve found a brown version that promises to add a vintage aesthetic to your daily workwear.
Lanvin Velvet Tie
Dancy’s Midnight Velvet Tie
Otaa Brown Velvet Necktie
Velvet is the only textured blazer that will always look good
Textured blazers get a bad rap. Geography teachers and university lecturers spring to mind when you think of shrugging on a corduroy or tweed jacket. But velvet? Velvet is a different matter entirely. As long as you don’t go too smart — we’re looking at you, contrast lapels — a velvet blazer can be paired with a casual shirt, and can be the ideal way to elevate an everyday outfit.
Stick to a restrained colour, such as this brown jacket from Turnbull & Asser, and you won’t go far wrong. Gieves & Hawkes also does a traditional navy option; one that will look as good with black tie as it will with a cashmere jumper and chinos. Or, for something that’ll work wonders with a chunky knit, go for Ted Baker’s Galway Velvet Blazer.
Ted Baker Galway Velvet Blazer
Gieves & Hawkes Velvet Jacket
Turnbull & Asser Brown Velvet Jacket
Of course, there’s always time to brush up on your formal velvet, too. These are the best statement dinner jacket for Christmas party season…