I know you’re scared; I’m scared too. But just because velvet is trying to be this fall’s “it” fabric doesn’t mean we can’t make the best of it.
I don’t know about you, but my biggest fear is that I’ll look like I’m really moody, I’ll look like I’ve forgotten my top-hat at home, and/or I’ll look like I’m wearing drapes. Not a good look for me–actually, the drapes-as-clothes-look doesn’t really work for anyone, unless you’re a one of the Sound of Music children, or else Scarlet O’Hara. So, while I understand W’s argument that velvet is the perfect way to add richness, drama, and romance to your wardrobe, I think to be on the safe side I’ll be careful about how I wear this luxe fabric. If you’re cautious about velvet too, here’s one thing to keep in mind: the more velvet being used, the simpler the shape should be. That should be a good rule to keep us both from looking over the top.
If you like the idea of a little bit of velvet going a long way, look for pieces of clothing that use velvet as a trim. Case in point: this T by Alexander Wang velvet trim pencil skirt, $99 at Nordstroms. The touch of velvet at the waist is subtle, and I love the gently twisted hem of the skirt–it’s flirtiness prevents the velvet from being moody.
If you want more velvet in your skirt, check out this Savant skirt from I Don’t Like Mondays, $196 (60% off, originally $495):
The dark teal velvet in the skirt has a caviar beaded detail that camoflagues the velvet in a way. This detail, along with the great pleating of the skirt, gives the velvet a lightness that this material doesn’t usually have. It looks like a patterned fabric, and loses it’s heavy moodiness while still retaining a hint of richness.
A velvet purse can be a great way to get a lot of mileage out of the velvet trend because it’s a piece you can use with lots of different outfits. I like this crossbody version from Nine West, $69. The smaller size of the purse and the ladylike bow makes this piece a great fit for velvet.
Along the same lines, a jacket is another way to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to investing in a trend–find one that’s versatile so you can throw it on for different occasions and you’ll get a lot of wear out of it. JCrew has several velvet blazers. I prefer this one, with its feminine details and soft color, to the more masculine “School Boy” blazers in black or brown.
For $168, it’s not cheap. But, if you’re going to buy one new jacket this fall, you could get a lot of wear out of this one–in early fall it’d keep you warm in crisp fall weather, then throughout the season this blazer could finish a look for the office, or, it could add some polish to a casual weekend outfit. JCrew calls it “buttery” and I have to say, that’s a good word to use.
If you’re looking for a velvet shoe, I wouldn’t even kid yourself and try to keep a velvet boot clean. Instead, go for velvet slippers you know you’ll be wearing inside (hopefully!) so you have a chance to keep them in good shape. If you like the feminine feel of velvet, Kate Spade doesn’t disappoint with these “Jaylee” flats, $250:
I like the constellations of sparkles in the velvet. But, if you think they’re a little too precious (not to mention expensive), try these simple House of Harlow “Baron” velvet ballet flats in forest green, $148:
If you do get your velvet shoes dirty, here are a few cleaning tips:
Use a dry, soft, unused toothbrush. Don’t scrub hard, just brush any dirt or stained area repeatedly.
If that’s not enough to clean the shoe, mix a teeny tiny amount of mild facial soap with some water until you create suds. Scoop some of the suds onto your toothbrush and gently wipe them on the stained area. Do not get the shoe wet–only use suds–then, blot the shoe dry with a clean cloth. Let the shoe dry for 20 minutes. If the stain remains, repeat.