Wear Velvet For That Luxurious, Elegant Look

| Nov 13, 2017
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how to wear velvet

Velvet – The Fabric

Velvet is a classic fabric that instantly gives off an air of elegance and sophistication and can dress up even the simplest of outfits. It goes hand-in-hand with ‘70s fashion, but with all of the rich colors and luscious textures that are always abundant for the cold seasons, the trend has made a strong resurgence in the past season

When velvet fashion is worn right, it’s luscious and can be a total winning look for whatever occasion you’re wearing it for. Conversely, the opposite is true. 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, women of all ages are wearing it in the most successful ways possible

Velvet fashion has also been typically seen in eveningwear rather than daywear, but we have been seeing velvet as daywear pop up on various runways this year. So this isn’t just some trend that popped up on a whim; it’s been a long time coming, and we’re finally seeing just how beautiful it looks in a daily setting!

If you’re trying to figure out how to wear velvet because you want to try out the lush fabric in the next few months, you won’t want to be left out in the cold by missing the mark. Stick to some basic guidelines, and before you know it, people will be asking you how to wear velvet!

Use Rich Colors

Velvet fashion at its most sophisticated and elegant is in rich jewel hues. But that’s not to say you can’t find lighter tones that are chic as well, so do keep your options over.

If you’re ever in doubt, though, stick to the deeper shades, because more than likely they’re your best bet for a stunning velvet fashion moment! Black velvet is a classic go-to shade, but really don’t be afraid to play around in the jewel department, with deep blues and emerald greens, bold reds and luscious pinks!

Seek out the Smooth Velvet

It’s easy to find daywear pieces in crushed velvet, but be wary! It’s easy for even expensive designs to look cheap if the velvet is crinkled, so try to opt for smooth velvet that speaks to you. This is pretty easy to differentiate when looking at different velvet designs — the right fabric will look (and feel) absolutely amazing. Pairing together the jewel shades and smooth velvet is the perfect basis to begin your search.

Limit Your Pieces

There’s nothing more enticing than the thought of enveloping yourself in velvet when trying out the velvet trend. Don’t do it! This is perfectly fine with velvet blankets, but not in velvet fashion.

Stick to a piece or two, depending on the outfit, and don’t go past that! A velvet dress or a velvet two-piece suit is perfectly acceptable, but don’t add in velvet accessories or shoes on top of that, or you might come off as way too overzealous.

If the only velvet you’re wearing is in your shoes and accessories, stick to the footwear and one or two accessories (max!) to add some luxury to your looks. Any more than that and you’re already beginning to trivialize your whole look.

Restraint is one of the most important (albeit sometimes the hardest) aspects of trying out a new trend. If you’re just beginning to ease into this one, keep it to one statement velvet piece the first time around, then think about adding more if you really deem it necessary.

It Doesn’t Need To Be Formal

Suits and dresses are two of the most striking garment types that come up with the velvet trend, but velvet fashion really reaches into all aspects of fashion. By looking around, you can find things like velvet shorts and casual, oversized tops that you might expect to find in any other everyday fabric.

So the only thing you’ll be changing from these pieces (which are probably already favorite silhouettes in your wardrobe) is the fabric. You’ll even be swapping it out for a plush, cozy fabric that will be great for the winter months.

With the garments like velvet shorts, you could make fabulous edgy looks by pairing it with opaque tights or even fishnets, as is another trend for the season. If the velvet texture is subtle enough, playing with more textures to bring out the fabric is a fun way to get to know velvet or what does and doesn’t work with it.

Velvet is just an all-around fun fabric, and there are so many different ways you can wear it, so there’s no harm in having some fun and figuring out what looks the best for you!

The Fashion Lookbook – How To Wear Velvet

Our fashionista with that fabulous velvet look is Rita Doyle, also one of our Stylish Crossdressers on Sister House. Enjoy this collage of her velvet outfits.

Rita Doyle in velvet outfitsRita Doyle in velvet outfits

The Velvet Dress

You’ll find that velvet is just the thing you were missing from your mini dresses, especially in the wintertime! The velvet dress was seen at its most feminine on this year’s runways. The silhouettes ranges from sweet to edgy in numerous ways, showing just how versatile the smooth fabric can be.

You can go playful and short with dresses containing embellishments like velvet ruffles, or you can go luxurious and sleek with straightforward velvet making up the body of the dress. Either way, it adds so much depth and texture to your standard dresses that come in the same or similar designs.

Lastly, and most importantly, let the velvet dress be the star of your look. You don’t need to worry too much about accessorizing a velvet dress, because the fabric is a wow piece in itself.

Just toss on a pair of complementary shoes, grab a simple clutch, and maybe add on something like a scarf or a simple piece of jewelry to add a little something extra depending on the dress you’re sporting. For example, a daring velvet dress with a plunging neckline would be paired well with a simple necklace.

You might try styling a simple velvet mini dress with opaque tights and classic lace-up boots. Then you can have a bit of fun with accessories. If the dress is subtle enough, you might toss in a simple velvet piece. Otherwise, stick to other fabrics for a clutch and perhaps one other piece of jewelry you feel your look can’t survive without.

velvet dress outfit

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.

The Velvet Skirt

velvet skirt outfit

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.

The Velvet Blazer

Suiting made in the plush fabric may sound a bit odd, but it can make for some killer blazers! Add to the sophistication by pairing a velvet blazer with a silk top; you’ll have two luscious fabrics next to each other for a totally rich and luxurious look.

Velvet fashion is also applicable to other outerwear. Coats are a great way to go if you don’t want to feel stuck in the fabric throughout your day, and it’s even one of the most striking and luxurious iterations of velvet. It’s easy, because you can wear it over any style of outfit without worrying about overpowering anything.

Try a velvet coat or blazer paired with your everyday suits when you’re going into work — it can really make your day get a little bit more comfortable!

velvet jacket outfit

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

Velvet Accessories

velvet accessories

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.

velvet handbag

One of the best velvet fashion accessories you’ll be able to find, though, is a handbag. Many top designers and fashion retailers have recently released a handbag design or two, so you’ll be able to find your dream bag in no time if you browse around your favorite shopping outlets.

It’s a super easy way to add in some luxurious velvet to your looks, and you’ll find just how easily velvet can transfer from day to night. Plus, who couldn’t use a few new handbags in their wardrobe?

Velvet Shoes & Boots


velvet_shoesVelvet boots are falls statement shoe. Keep the rest of your outfit neutral or even monochrome so that your shoes do all the talking. Take style inspiration from Gigi Hadid who was seen out and about in a head to toe denim look with red velvet boots to add a pop of color. If you’re bored of leather or satin stilettos then good news, velvet stilettos are having a moment this fall. Brands such as Jason Wu and Philip Lim have brought out velvet shoes that we are in love with.

  • Our favourite way to wear velvet boots is with casual jeans, a vintage style tee and an oversized jacket for a rock princess look
  • For a casual evening look co-ordinate black leather pants with a black tee or silk vest and top your look off with blue velvet boots
  • For a sultry evening look wear strappy velvet sling backs with a thigh high slit dress and complete with a little metallic clutch
  • Wear bright velvet knee high boots with skinny jeans and a black crop top or bodysuit for a sultry evening outfit

 Pairing With other Styles

Velvet fashion can be hard to pair with other styles if you don’t know what to look for. In this case, juxtaposition is a striking way to go.

Try pairing a jewel-toned velvet dress or miniskirt combo with a khaki jacket, for instance. The color will work to counteract the rich texture and add in some edge in a utilitarian way — it’s the perfect way to pull off a sassy and sweet theme in one outfit. A similar way to offset the femininity of velvet would be to pair it with a leather jacket for a look with a harder edge.

You’ll find that pairing a girly velvet fashion garment with a harder or neutral jacket will make your velvet more versatile in your everyday life. This doesn’t need to be a difficult trend, as long as you know just how to wear velvet!

Here’s a perfect example of adding elegance to a casual style in this photo of Susan B from the blog Femme d’un Certain Age.  Starting with jeans and a silk flowery shirt, we add the deep blue velvety jacket, a long strand of pearls, leopard bag and some Gucci  metallic loafers.

stylecaster velvet

Also check out Stylecaster for the 75 hottest ways to wear velvet this winter. For that casual look, pair velvet with sneakers, chunky jewelry, or contrasting colorful accessories. For a dressier vibe, glitz it up with sparkly jewelry, heels, and a statement bag. Bonus: It’s also super cozy and you won’t want to take it off at the end of the night.

Visit Tasi’s blog, The Fashionable TG Woman, for more great fashion articles.

Resources for this article:  Fashionisers     Just the Design     Gurl.com 

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Category: Style, Transgender Fashion


About the Author ()

Tasi was a transgender, married, lifelong crossdresser. She passed away in late 2018. She’s the founder of the Ladies of the Blue Ridge transgender group in Roanoke VA, a prolific writer, commentator and blogger including fashion articles for Tri-Ess, TG Reporter, Repartee, and Pretty T-Girls magazine. Tasi currently resides in Merida, (Yucatan) Mexico. Her new website, Sister House and her blog, the Fashionable TG Woman are dedicated to fashion and style for the transgendered woman. Tasi’s book, "Top Ten Fashion Mistakes By Crossdressers and How To Fix Them" is available on Amazon or on her site free to subscribers.

Comments (2)

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  1. Linda Jensen Linda Jensen says:

    Tasia, I so much love this article. First I have a big weakness for velvet and velour. just two weeks ago I picked up an Ivanka Trump dress in velvet. Where? At Ross Dress for Less marked down from $29.95 to $21.95. I guess the serious shoppers knew to stay away because the velvet would crush but so far it is holding up well in my closet. I need just the right place to wear it.
    Second I love that you had a real TG person to model in your article. She’s gorgeous, too.

    • tasidevil tasidevil says:

      Thanks Linda. Rita is a dear friend and I adore her. Would you believe she is 85 and a real clothes horse. She can wear anything and look good. I have a single long red velvet skirt in my wardrobe and love it. And I’m going to wear it despite living in the tropics

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