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How to Wear Velvet


Photo Credits: 1. Lookbook, 2. Elle, 3. Ralph Lauren Fall 2010 RTW

Velvet is a classic fabric that instantly gives off an air of elegance and can dress up even the simplest of outfits. However, velvet has also received a bad rap being that it is one of the trickiest fabrics to wear. It is often associated with little girls’ holiday dresses or stuffy older women, but in fact, college girls can rock velvet too!

Need some ideas and advice for looking stylish while wearing velvet? Read on for some tips and tricks, outfits and more:

Four Simple Tips & Tricks for Wearing Velvet

  • Although velvet is usually synonymous with special occasions, think beyond formal wear. Try and wear velvet in an everyday look to add a glam touch to any outfit.
  • That being said, velvet also works well with classic wardrobe staples. The best way to wear something you’re unfamiliar with is to pair it with non-trendy, classic pieces like opaque tights, denim and basic cotton shirts – try wearing these pieces with velvet items if you’re hesitant.
  • While classic black velvet pieces are always a safe bet, don’t be afraid to try bold colors. There are tons of velvet pieces out there in beautiful jewel tones like emerald green and royal blue that can make such a stylish impact.
  • Since velvet is a visually heavy fabric, pair it with more delicate fabrics for balance. I especially love how velvet looks with satin, silk and lace.

Three Ways to Wear Velvet

If you’re still stumped on how to incorporate this material into an everyday look, I created three outfits using different velvet pieces:

How to Wear a Velvet Blazer:

Velvet Blazer Outfit
Blazer, Blouse, Jeans, Flats, Earrings, Ring

For this outfit, I chose a classic velvet blazer and created an outfit that would be appropriate for class. Pair the blazer with a feminine silk blouse and some classic dark-wash jeans. Next, add a pop of color with some cute Mary Jane flats. Accessorize with some understated jewelry, like these stud earrings and owl-shaped ring.

How to Wear a Velvet Dress:

Velvet Dress Outfit
Dress, Necklace, Clutch, Boots, Tights

This is a fun way to wear velvet for a night out. Start off with a pretty velvet dress in a gorgeous purple hue and pair it with some sheer black tights. Add edgy heeled booties and a leopard clutch; these details will keep the ensemble interesting. Since the rest of the outfit is so wild, for jewelry, all you need is a simple drop necklace.

How to Wear a Velvet Skirt:

Velvet Skirt Outfit
Skirt, Top, Watch, Belt, Pumps

I absolutely love this skirt – from a distance, it looks like it could be a classic denim skirt, but upon closer inspection, it is actually made of a luxe velvet. Pair the skirt with a basic knit top with some unique shoulder embellishments. Add a wrap belt for textural contrast and some matching pumps. Finally, accessorize with a quirky snake-shaped watch.

Other Stylish Velvet Items

Of course, there are tons of other great velvet options out there, so here are some other fabulous velvet pieces I found online:

Velvet Clothing and Accessories
Top: 1, 2, 3, 4 Bottom: 5, 6, 7, 8

If you’re still iffy about rocking this fabric, try a velvet accessory such as a handbag, scarf or headband. Another way to ease into velvet is with velvet footwear, such as these adorable flats or elegant heels. Most patterned velvet items — like this tunic and skirt –mix velvet with another fabric. This is a fun way to incorporate velvet into your look, without covering yourself in the material. Finally, velvet shorts are an age-appropriate way to rock this fabric and can easily be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

What do you think?

Would you wear velvet? Do you already own some velvet pieces? How would you wear velvet? Be sure to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

Posted on on January 23, 2011 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , ,

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30 Responses to “How to Wear Velvet”

  1. 1
    January 23rd, 2011 at 11:41 am

    LOVING the velvet minidress! Velvet is surprisingly easy to wear during the colder seasons and really adds a great element of texture to any outfit. Both taking the Man Repeller route with a velvet bowtie or the boho route with a Winter Kate cardi can look fab. Great post!


  2. 2
    January 23rd, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Lovely pieces you’ve chosen there.

  3. 3
    January 23rd, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    This is my first time posting. I came across your site a couple of weeks ago and fell in love. I’m not in College, as a matter of fact four years out, but I don’t work in a “business” type setting, I’m a radio announcer, so the style around the workplace is a little more laid back. I’ve been struggling to find a site that would give me wardrobe inspiration that was age appropriate…quite frankly, I’m not worried about what Hannah Montana is wearing. Your site has been the perfect solution! I want to thank you so much and let you know you’re the #1 stop on my daily blog search. On to the topic at hand! Velvet is a fabric I’ve been seeing a lot lately, but I remember it adding bulk when I was a kid…I think the best way for me to start in this trend is by dipping my toe in…literally, shoes are probably my safe bet.

  4. 4
    January 23rd, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    This is great!! I usually stray away from velvet, because i feel like i can only pull it off in a old school type of way, which wouldn’t look right at all. But i’m LOVING the whole look of the woman in the 2nd picture with the mini skirt. I want to try now!

  5. 5
    January 23rd, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Great post! I was just wondering– how do you guys feel about velvet in the spring and summer months? Is it a fashion don’t? I don’t want to splurge on a piece (and everything is a splurge on my budget) and then not be able to wear it for 10 months….


  6. 6
    January 23rd, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Velvet blazers are BRILLIANT. I have a brown one that I love, and makes me think of english riding attire. I like wearing it with skinny jeans, riding boots and a funky scarf.

  7. 7
    January 23rd, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Every time I think of velvet, I think of Amy Denver from Tony Morrison’s Beloved. Oh, Lu, I’m gonna go to Boston and get me some of the softest velvet.

    That aside, I love this trend. I hope it’s here to stay.

  8. 8
    January 23rd, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I love the first one I picked up a black velvet blazer so I guess having some more ideas on how to wear it is always handy

  9. 9
    January 23rd, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    LOVE the velvet-the skirt from Forever 21 with the velvety textured roses is adorable! I adore the look however it will be short lived as spring is just around the corner!

  10. 10
    January 23rd, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    I’m a bit apprehensive of velvet but I love al the looks! Absolutely gorgeous.

  11. 11
    January 23rd, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    You’ve picked out some lovely pieces, but I don’t think I could ever wear ANYTHING velvet. For some reason I can’t stand the feel of it – I literally cringe when I touch it. I don’t know why this is – all I know is that it will NEVER be on my body, lol.

  12. 12
    January 23rd, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Velvet can be transitioned into spring/summer…it’s unexpected but I know that readers here at CF have the confidence to pull it off and be fierce!

  13. 13
    January 23rd, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I think my favourites were the first and second outfits, I loved the more edgy look with the dress. I’m still hesitant to try velvet, however, because I’d be afraid of investing money in a piece that might lose favour over the next few seasons. Do you think velvet will become a popular staple again or just a passing phase?

    And yes, I guess I still have some bad memories of the dresses I used to wear to Christmas parties growing up!

    Great ideas though. Maybe I’ll end up trying a scarf or some flats :)

  14. 14
    January 23rd, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I planned to pick up a velvet minidress this year, but with spring around the corner, I think I’ll wait until next season to try the trend. However, I did manage to get a pair of purple velvet flats that I absolutely adore! I think it’s a fun trend and I love the outfits you’ve put together!

  15. 15
    January 23rd, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I always hated velvet when I was younger because I didn’t like how it felt. But I think I could totally rock the patterned skirt, because it’s not completely velvet.

  16. 16
    January 23rd, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Wow, I love the idea of wearing velvet! My friend wore a pair of velvet leggings for a night on the town this weekend–it looked awesome, they were interesting like liquid leggings but looked so classic at the same time! I have a velvet dress my mom gave me from the 80’s that I’m obsessed with too

  17. 17
    January 23rd, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Omg! I have been wanting to purchase velvet but I’ve not been able to find any whole item in my countryside county. I’m so happy you posted this! I’m very big on period-looking pieces and velvet is awesome for giving that vibe :D

    For those not sure about velvet, why not try something w velvet accents? I recently purchased a cardigan from A&F (got it on sale for $25) that had this cute, velvet ribbon bows decorating the pockets:

    I’m thinking once the velvet trend is over or I feel like giving the cardigan a more classic look, I’ll just clip them off.

    I’m also thinking this (backwards) would be a great DYI for those of you who want to try it out without spending a lot. You could just use and ols cardigan, some velvet ribbon and a bit of sewing :D

  18. 18
    January 23rd, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    *an old

  19. 19
    January 24th, 2011 at 4:23 am

    I love all the looks- especially the one with the velvet blazer!! Great post.

  20. 20
    January 24th, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I agree, this is a historically tough style to pull off. I like the Elle picture you posted at the top – that one seems so effortless. I think I’d have to see most of your ideas actually ON a person to judge if I like them or not, though the dress outfit was simple yet fun.

    P.S. Some of your links just go to the homepages of the items (like the Jigsaw skirt). Try posting the link directly to the item. Thanks.

  21. 21
    January 24th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Lizzy – If a link goes directly to the homepage, that usually means the item is sold out. We do these posts a little ahead of time, so unfortunately some items will sell out in the times between when we create the outfits and when the post gets published. Not much we can do about this, unfortunately! The links will work again if the item becomes available again.

  22. 22
    January 24th, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Oops! Sorry about the links Lizzy– when I’m copying links for the items from the internet, it will sometimes redirect to the homepage instead of directly to the product and I miss it. I went back and found the product link for the Jigsaw skirt– it’s here if you’re interested.

  23. 23
    January 24th, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    got a pair super soft and perfect velvet pants (from Banana Republic) just before Christmas but haven’t figured out what/how to wear them, love this post will definitely try it out soon. I love velvet.

  24. 24
    January 26th, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Thanks! I just ordered one. This will help out with all the unpredictable weather we get these

  25. 25
    January 27th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Ahhh thank you for this!! I got a gorgeous red velvet dress for Christmas which I wore on Christmas day and loved but I was a bit worried it looked too dressy for day time. I really want to style it for class now!!

    Charlotte xxx

  26. 26
    May 8th, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Velvet has a lovely sheen and a plush feel to it, making it a highly luxurious and sophisticated textile perfect for bringing in warmth in colder seasons.

  27. 27
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Thank you for this great post about velvet, such a versatile fabric!

  28. 28
    September 6th, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post.
    Many thanks for providing these details.

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