Talk of texture has become almost inescapable this season, and rightly so considering how important it is in building a great look with character.
But with the English countryside and its harsh ruggedness providing inspiration across the fashion spectrum, the slightly more sophisticated, cosmopolitan fabrics have been somewhat left in the wilderness.
Velvet in particular has been big this season but has very much played second fiddle to the season’s juggernauts of tweed, wool and corduroy.
Ben Jones originally touched on the importance and origin of the velvet trend in his excellent run down of all the key textures you should know for this season.
With velvet making a mute comeback, is the velvet blazer ready to once again be labelled an essential? Most definitely, unless of course you can’t bear to touch it!
The Velvet Blazer Lookbook
The lookbook above demonstrates the versatility that the velvet blazer holds. The dandyish elements are obviously very present and can be accentuated through the use of a cravat/Ascot and further tailoring.
Alternatively, the blazer can create a rock ‘n’ roll inspired casual look with the use of a t-shirt and trainers combo. And let’s not forget how easily a velvet tuxedo can set you apart from the rest of the penguin-suited crowd at any formal event.
Current Velvet Blazer Picks
High Street Inspiration: TOPMAN – Smart Redefined
TOPMAN have recently rolled out their ‘smart redefined’ campaign, described as:
“Sharp style comes to the fore this season. The key is to cut an elegant silhouette with slim tailoring and a hint of dandyism to keep the look fresh and modern. Work all the way through, from sleek outerwear to the stylish cravat and bootlace bowties with three piece suits and velvet blazers in between”.
Putting this into the context of a velvet blazer, it really does it justice as an alternative in the tailoring game. It teaches its emphasis and its ability to create a sleek outfit, standing head and shoulders above a standard suited look.
How to Wear: Casual
Look One: Velvet & Denim
Marrying jeans with a blazer has been described as a fashion cliché, but clichés only exist because they are correct. A velvet blazer with a well-fitting pair of slim jeans creates a solid contrast of textures; looks relaxed but not sloppy, and creates the desired slim line silhouette; the shawl collar on this blazer is right on trend too.
A plain t-shirt underneath keeps the look all-age appropriate and a patterned hanky in the breast pocket adds that sartorial edge. Footwear-wise you could opt for a pair of brogues to ebb on the smarter side or some classic black converse for a youthful finish.
Look Two: Chambray & Chinos
Every man should own at least one chambray shirt. It is, after all, the quintessential off-duty and weekend button up. For this look, sit the shirt next to a pair of chinos – another definitive essential – and layer a neutral coloured velvet blazer over the top.
A plaited belt sticks with the off duty theme and as far as footwear is concerned, a pair of brogue boots or hiking boots offer two different avenues – both of which are worth exploring.
How to Wear: Smart
Look Three: Party Season
Wow everyone this Christmas party season with a continental, flamboyant look.
A burgundy jacket layered over a roll-neck jumper brings about flair and elegance in abundance. A pair of off-white trousers anchors both the black and burgundy velvet and these dress loafers go great with the running theme of flamboyance.
A navy silk pocket square compliments the blazer and works well with the shoes. Finish off the outfit with aplomb by adding a boutonnière to your lapel button hole.
Look Four: The Office
As the economy looks set to stay in the dumps, ensure you look indispensable this autumn/winter by donning a velvet blazer with your work attire.
Sticking with the key burgundy and black colour combination, layer your blazer over a white shirt, black fine knit V-neck and a burgundy bow tie. Slim fit grey trousers and classic black shoes keep it office-appropriate.
A black silk pocket square wouldn’t go amiss either – keep the fold nice and simple with a square or point.
If the idea of a bow tie is a little daunting or ambiguous, for acceptable office-wear change the look up slightly by losing the dicky and jumper – replace them with a contrast collar and tie.
A light blue and white collar shirt is a great variant on the standard shirt, whilst a navy tie and matching pocket square would complement both the red hues in the jacket and the blue tones in the shirt.
Look Five: The Tuxedo
Give velvet a try at any black tie event and blow the rest of the penguin-suited gents out of the water (or off the ice).
Double-breasted is the ultimate power look this season and doing it in velvet is a definite winner. Wear with standard tuxedo attire – dress shirt, trousers, bow tie, and patent shoes for a sterling black tie look.
The velvet blazer is just as versatile as a standard equivalent, meaning it shouldn’t be confined to the party season or the boardroom but should be let out to play on the weekends and on nights out too.
Whether it’s for a day in the office, a black tie event or the festive party season, the velvet blazer should always be given due consideration. It looks just as good when worn with the full sartorial effort as with a pair of jeans.
So I want to know…
- Have I convinced you to put down your tweed in favour of some cosmopolitan velvet? If not for a little while at least!
- What cuts and colours will you be grabbing yours in? Or can you not stand the feel of the fabric?
- How will you be wearing your velvet? Or are you just a velveteen rabbit at heart?
Let us know in the comments below!