Out of all the fabrics in all the world, velvet has got to be the most decadent. I don't know about you, but I tend to associate it with royal regalia, aristocratic smoking jackets, ornate furnishings and, of course, the extrovert gowns of the '80s (surely the most OTT decade of all?). Fittingly, it saw a comeback for 2018's party season, with throwback creations cropping up across the board—spangled, thigh-flashing numbers that were born to hit the dance floor after-dark. Not the most obvious daytime fabric of choice. However, if the sequin trend is anything to go by, the lines between "evening" and "daytime" are starting to blur.
You may have already stowed away that velvet dress or blazer for your next party, but as we're champions of the "wear-more-than-once" approach to fashion, I'm going to show you how to make these pieces work for the daytime. In the spirit of sustainability, I've decided to wear pieces I already own (alongside a few bits borrowed from colleagues); however, I have included similar pieces you can shop below. The more I experimented, the more I realised how perfect velvet is for adding that certain je ne sais quoi to an outfit: It can elevate simple separates in a way that few fabrics can. Scroll down to see and shop my velvet outfits.
Minidress With Tights and a White Roll-Neck
Style Notes: I found this blue velvet dress at a vintage pop-up for a bargainous £5, but I've never quite worked out how to wear it. To make it daytime-ready, I took my cues from Alexa Chung and toned-down the thigh-grazing hemline with a pair of black tights and masculine loafers. I also wanted to bring out the dress's '60s roots, so I layered it over a white roll-neck (also necessary for warmth) and added a couple pearl hair slides.
Style Notes: I've been slightly ambivalent about the headband trend that's suddenly spiked over the last few months. It's very Blair Waldorf/Joy aged 7, and I wasn't sure if that was a good thing. However, I decided to give it a go and borrowed a velvet band from a colleague. Surprisingly, I really liked it. If you're a little ambivalent about incorporating velvet into your wardrobe, a headband is an easy entry point. Styling-wise, I opted for an oversized blazer and leopard-print jeans to keep things from becoming too prim and proper.
Style Notes: The tailored blazer is probably my favourite way to style velvet for the daytime, as it offers the sort of weigh and richness to an outfit usually only found in designer buys or vintage clothing. I personally prefer blazers with a boxier fit (sometimes nipped-in silhouettes can look a little outdated), and this green number from Weekday packs plenty of chic smoking-jacket vibes. To make it daytime-appropriate, I decided to style the jacket with my failsafe Topshop kick-flare jeans and Ash's sturdy lace-up boots. However, I couldn't resist throwing in a little Austin Powers–inspired frivolity in the form of Oh Hey Girl's ruffled blouse.
Style Notes: A velvet suit is the ultimate personality piece, especially when rendered in a vibrant colourway. Slip into Style's Bodgar trouser suit may say "I mean business," but it's the pink accents that make this outfit sing.
Style Notes: This Zara suit caught our eye when it popped up on their website, and unsurprisingly, it soon appeared on the feeds of our favourite influencers. The leopard print allows for a more subtle (but no less impactful) velvet finish that helps it feel more modern.
Style Notes: Velvet accessories might seem like a reserve of the nighttime, but we reckon these H&M platforms would look fab with a midi dress or flared jeans. Take your cues from Penelope Goldstone and keep your toes warm with colour-match socks.