Not sure how to wear velvet? Think it’s too glitzy for you? Think again, because this suave and swanky fabric is too good to keep under lock and key. But looking good in velvet means wearing it right. Here’s how to look super sharp in this luxurious fabric.
Choose real velvet
Velvet only looks classy if it’s good quality. Avoid velvet made from synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon that look cheap and don’t wear well.
Real velvet, woven from silk or cotton, is the only choice for gents with style. It oozes quality and authenticity and, as long as you look after it, has a timeless quality that will look great for years.
How to wear a velvet jacket
Velvet looks best when you choose one smart, tailored piece to wear with contrasting fabrics. Opt for a velvet jacket, or perhaps a matching jacket and waistcoat set, to complement your formal dress trousers.
“Casual velvet? Yes, sir,” says Benjamin Fitzgerald at Dmarge. For less formal wear he says a velvet jacket makes a great alternative to a leather jacket: “Velvet blazers play a melodic rock ballad without all that metal and unnecessary zip detail.”
For a dressed down look, pair your jacket with a plain t-shirt, simple silk scarf, dark trousers and a pair of Chelsea boots.
Grey Fox Blog’s David also thinks casual velvet works well. He suggests wearing your velvet jacket with a denim shirt for a shabby chic outfit that still oozes style. For more formal wear, he suggests teaming velvet with a roll neck sweater for a jazzy, shirtless look.
Can you wear velvet trousers?
The golden rule for wearing velvet trousers is to go for a slim, straight-leg cut. “A skinny fit is too glam rock, and anything wider and looser than slim is probably god-awful,” writes Cillian O’Connor at Fashion Beans. He goes on to say that unless you want to look like David Bowie, experimenting with oversize fits and different proportions is a no-no.
Alive Mag’s Justin Whaley agrees with the idea that velvet trousers should be slim fit. He says that when you’re wearing this fabric you want a “modern fit,” slim enough that there’s just a bit of ankle showing, but not as tight as skinny jeans.
Colour-wise, black velvet will always be the classic choice, but it’s worth considering other colours too. The best bet is to keep them dark and plain; Cillian at Fashion Beans suggests shades of byzantium purple, navy blue or even bottle green.
If you’re not ready to go for a velvet jacket or trousers, consider some well chosen velvet accessories instead. A stylish velvet bow tie or pocket square is a great way to liven up a smart jacket or coat.
Talking of outerwear, the Fashion Editors at Esquire magazine say that a touch of velvet on a coat elevates it to something very special indeed: “An overcoat is [just] an overcoat, unless it has a black velvet collar, in which case it’s a Chesterfield. The velvet adds flair.”
Velvet collared coats were first made popular by the 6th Earl of Chesterfield in the 1840s, but the look is still on point now, adding a suave touch of James Bond elegance.
How to accessorise with velvet
The velvet bow tie might have been part of the fashion horror show that was the 1970s, but it’s a different animal now. They’ve come on leaps and bounds, and are more wearable than ever. The Urban Gent agrees, urging that: “If you have any black tie events coming up, you should try wearing a velvet bow-tie.”
A pocket square also works well as a first foray into velvet. As Michael at Michael 84 remarks, a tie and pocket square “add a little bit of elegance or colour which could set you apart from everyone else.” Paired with a plain black jacket for evening wear, it will give your look a very sophisticated lift.
How to wear velvet shoes
Anyone for a pair of velvet loafers or slippers? Belgian Dandy admits you’ll either love or hate velvet shoes, but adds that their beauty lies in the fact that they can be combined with anything from faded jeans through to a double-breasted suit, and still look suave.
It’s worth noting that velvet shoes need regular brushing to keep the nap clean and smart and they don’t take too well to rain. But, teamed with a velvet jacket or trousers, they look louche in the most appealing sort of way!
Top tips for wearing velvet
- Make sure your velvet is made from cotton or silk, and avoid synthetic velvets that use polyester or nylon.
- Dress velvet up with a crisp shirt or a roll-neck sweater for a distinguished look.
- Wear velvet casually with a denim shirt and Chelsea boots.
- If you choose to wear a full velvet suit, straight cut trousers are best.
- Velvet accessories are a great way to add a luxe feel to your look if you’re not ready for a full velvet jacket.
- To keep velvet looking elegant, make sure you brush it regularly, avoid folding it and try to avoid getting it wet.
Have you successfully incorporated velvet into your wardrobe? We’d love to hear your styling tips, so do get in touch via our Facebook page.