Velvet is versatile beyond the holidays
By JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
Published: Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, 8:57 p.m.
Velvet's richness exudes luxury.
“There's something about its feel and color that make you feel royal,” says Suzanne Mauro, a stylist accredited by the Association of Image Consultants international and producer of “Style Everyday with Suz” on PCTV. “Velvet is often an overlooked fabric, but the fall runways were all about it.”
Women think of velvet as traditional for the holiday season, says Marissa Rubin, senior market editor for People Style Watch.
“It just looks dressier, and it elevates your look for black-tie events,” Rubin says. “You just feel more dressed up when you wear velvet. “It's no longer solely for evening wear. Velvet, or its less-expensive cotton version — velveteen — can be dressed down by choosing separates, such as velveteen jeans that can be worn in the daytime.”
Velvet is a staple wardrobe item, fashion experts say.
What's new this season is that the fabric is available in separates, such as a cropped skinny jean, blazer or pencil skirt, in addition to the primary dress silhouette. Branch out from standard black, and reach for colors such as jewel tones, Rubin says. She likes rich-chocolate brown, navy, burgundy, purple and eggplant. Take the look up another notch by wearing velvet in a print or pattern.
Velvet has carried over into accessories, from footwear to scarves to clutches. A velvet strappy heel or cap-toe pump is a nice way to step into the trend. A woman can never go wrong with a velvet clutch, Rubin says. Mixing textures with velvet is a fun way to wear this fabric. Try pairing a lace, silk or floral top with velvet trousers.
Pair an edgy graphic T-shirt with velvet pants or a velvet smoking jacket with a pair of jeans and heels for an evening out, Mauro says. She suggests a velvet jacket paired with a matching pair of velvet shorts and tights, along with some chunky jewelry to give it a contemporary look.
“A velvet accessory like a headband, purse or legging gives added plush for this festive season,” Mauro says. “Velvet is not always about evening wear. Try a velvet pantsuit for day in a burnished copper or deep wine. Pair it with a simple white shirt. It is crisp, clean and tremendously stylish for the office.”
Whowhatwear.com says to wear the velvet trouser with a chunky knit for a cozy downtown ensemble. A tailored noir blazer adds soft sophistication to a floral matching suit. Temper a romantic maxi skirt with tomboy standbys like a denim jacket and hoodie.
Even eyeglasses can be made of velvet.
“That is why it was fun to put into eyewear,” says Julie Allinson, chief executive officer for Eyebobs, which carries several options. “It's a genuinely new idea. Velvet is seasonal, and worn when it's cooler, so you never get sick of it. You put it on and on again with the same zeal.”
Allinson says a royal blue or red hue helps add a blast of color to your velvet wardrobe.
“Velvet is a plush, luxurious fabric that lends itself well to rich, opulent colors — perfect for holiday festivities,” says Alison Callaway, Zappos.com trend and styling manager.
Velvet has its practical side, too. It's functional for warmth during winter, because it's a material with some weight to it.
“Traditionally, wearing velvet is reserved for the dressiest of occasions,” Callaway says. “But this season, the focus is on textured finishes and formal fabrications for everyday wear — creating a relaxed glamour.”
While you will still see formal dresses and tailored jackets made of silky velvets, the excitement is in seeing it used in unexpected ways for day and evening, Callaway says.
“Velvet is now being printed, embossed, burned out and quilted to add additional dimension,” Callaway says. “Color moves just beyond black and red to rich wine shades as well as metallic sheens, matte brights and rich blues.”
Try pairing a classic black turtleneck with a colored- velvet jean and black flat. It creates an effortlessly chic look that's dressed up enough for a night out on the town, Callaway says.
“If you are slightly hesitant to wear velvet, try throwing on a velvet casual bomber or denim jacket over a shirt and pair of slacks,” Callaway says. “This makes for a great focal point to a daytime look. Not ready to commit to wearing velvet, but just want to try it out in a small way? Try throwing on a colorful velvet scarf or a great pair of velvet flats to add in some rich texture.”
Velvet is festive and warm, and you can dress up any outfit for a holiday party with minimal accessories, says Becky Jones, product development, Born Footwear.
“It's classic and timeless,” Jones says.
What is chic is seeing all the jewel tones, says Lindsay Huggins, senior fashion market editor for Self magazine.
“Those colors give velvet a little extra bit of sophistication,” Huggins says. “It is worth spending a little more on a velvet piece, because it is something that doesn't go out of style.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7889.
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