Fashion & Beauty

Trendlet: The Velvet Touch

October 18, 2016

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IN THE LATE 1960s, I was living in Rome and encouraged by my mother and her offer of $$, I made the bold decision to have a suit made for me — in black velvet. The tailor was located right off the swank Via Veneto. This was a time when you could do that sort of thing and still manage to afford school tuition or rent.  The hip-length jacket with notched collar was double-breasted and my initials were embroidered in the silk, harlequin lining. The skirt was appropriately short — about an inch or two above my knees. Never before had I felt so fashionably cool. The next time I had a relationship with velvet was when I purchased a pair of Armani high-waisted, slightly baggy pants at one of Neiman Marcus’s big sales. I still have the pants and hide the too-tight waist by wearing a long silk shirt on top.

But now that velvet (along with brocade, fur and lace and bejeweled everything) has made a comeback — at least on fall runways of Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney, Armani and Valentino — I’m inclined to embrace it again, if cautiously. Too much of a good thing can wind up looking not so good or in the case of velvet, a little costumey. Think the Tudor, the Medici and the Borgia women swanning around in their cold castles swathed in velvet from head to toe.

The season’s favorite fabric is particularly well-suited for holiday wear. A great-fitting velvet jacket can be paired with a pleated skirt for a fancy dinner party or to dress up a pair of jeans for a casual Sunday night soiree. Want instant glam and opulence? Choose velvet accessories — bordeaux pumps, lace-up flats and skinny scarves.

See runway examples and our market picks in the photos above.

— Janet Kelly
Janet Kelly is the editor of MyLittleBird. She last wrote about skirts with swish



4 thoughts on “Trendlet: The Velvet Touch

  1. Amelia says:

    How can i buy the blue embroidered velvet coat? I’ve been searching everywhere! Its either out of stock or the links disappeared!

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Hi, Amelia,
      That’s a great coat. But it was a runway piece for Ralph Lauren’s fall 2016 collection. Those sorts of items are just produced for the runway and in 2016, at least, were not available for sale to the general public. If I recall, you might be able to duplicate the look with one of the kimonos I recently saw on the Anthropologie site.

  2. Gabriela Sosa says:

    How can I buy this?

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Is there something specific you’re referring to?

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