Velvet and velour are having quite a moment

I approached this post with some degree of caution, as velvet and velour can skew really cheesy really easily. But they can also be quite elegant, and few things feel as good to wear. My main rule with these materials is to play it relatively straight: velvet in particular makes enough of a statement on its own, so you don’t want to get too tricky with it. This dress is  so feminine, but at the same time nicely streamlined.

A black blazer looks nice and rich.

If I still worked in an office, I’d be all over this dress.

This tee is the lightest, lightest lavender, and hangs so nicely.

A dress for throwing on when comfort is the priority. It’d look amazing with leather leggings.

Here’s pencil skirt with nice clean lines.

This tank worn with your most beaten-up jeans would be aces.

A blouse that’s ladylike without being prissy, which is nice.

Velvet on shoes can be disastrous, but if the color is good enough, as it is here, they can really add a lot to an outfit.

This blazer is just such a good green.

I like the dressed-up feel of these Tretorns.

The kind of tee that goes into high rotation as soon as it reaches your closet.

Grey velvet jeans are nicely sophisticated.

I adore this vest, and so wish I had the nerve to try and pull off a vest.

Just a very simple top that could easily be dressed up or down.

The choker collar here is really sexy.

And why not a velour hoodie?

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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Comments

44 Thoughts on Velvet and velour are having quite a moment
    Trish
    5 Oct 2017
    7:47am

    Oh, this post is a gateway drug for me – I adore velvet! I actually got that J. Crew tank in black and light pink in my fall shopping. The other night I rocked these new boots https://www.neimanmarcus.com/Joie-Saleema-Velvet-90mm-Bootie/prod201770497/p.prod?ecid=NMCS__GooglePLA&utm_medium=CSE&utm_source=NMCS__GooglePLA&utm_campaign=Joie

    Those tennis shoes are so cute, they might have to come home with me…..and that dress, fugetaboutit – already in my shopping bag.

    Question – do you feel like everyone wants to pet you when you wear velvet? My husband has an amazing dark brown velvet blazer (we have to be careful not to be the velvet twins when we go out!) and everyone is always stroking his jacket all night long. 🙂

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      Christina
      5 Oct 2017
      8:06am

      Ha! Yes, so much petting. I teach 5th and 6th graders and it’s a wee nightmare when I wear velvet. They all absentmindedly try to pet you all day long.

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        Dana D
        5 Oct 2017
        9:04am

        I love that you wear velvet in the classroom…

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        marjorie
        5 Oct 2017
        11:40am

        That’s so funny!

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        Tiffany
        5 Oct 2017
        4:52pm

        I teach 3rd & 4th and it’s the same – they play with my clothes and stroke me all the time 🙂 I have velvet jeans that are particularly popular …

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      Viajera
      5 Oct 2017
      11:45am

      Those are gorgeous boots, what a color!

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      Alexa
      5 Oct 2017
      7:35pm

      Those boots! That color! Swoon…

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    LisaR
    5 Oct 2017
    8:08am

    Love this post, especially the Maje dress!

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    c.w.
    5 Oct 2017
    8:21am

    The grey AG jeans. The black crushed velvet dress. The black blazer. The black velvet tank. WANT. WANT. WANT.

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    Stakra
    5 Oct 2017
    8:36am

    Kim – You nailed it with your into to the potential pitfalls of these fabrics. That being said, I bet many will find at least one piece in this post that would appeal to them. For me personally it’s in the more subtle but unexpected options – the AG jeans or the Mary Jane pumps (a bit more standout than a velvet ballet flat). Thanks for the inspiration!

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    Caroline
    5 Oct 2017
    9:00am

    Not in NYC anymore..sigh
    So did not realize vests were a thing again!
    Not that I can pull it off, but just out of curiosity how are people wearing them?

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      Mimi
      5 Oct 2017
      10:35am

      With vests, just think masculine. I wear them as a guy would, with a fitted shirt (or a Henley), then paired with anything from jeans to wide-leg pants – but never with a skirt. Extend the “borrowed from the boys” motif with oxfords or boots rather than girly shoes. I’ve never gone full Annie Hall and added a tie, but you could try that. Search “Ralph Lauren vests” in Pinterest and you’ll find some inspiration.

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    Kimberly
    5 Oct 2017
    9:08am

    That dress and boot combo is so Maid Marion from Robin Hood in the BEST way!

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    Dana D
    5 Oct 2017
    9:09am

    I’m excited to wear the Vince velvet tee I just ordered during the Shopbop sale…and I’m loving the velvet tanks I’m seeing.

    Wish I still had some of the velvet items I’ve cast off over the years.

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      Dana D
      5 Oct 2017
      9:11am

      oops, but wait…

      NO going back, no regrets, what’s done is done…I DO NOT wish I still had those items…

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      Sharona
      5 Oct 2017
      12:56pm

      I’m there with you on the but-I-got-rid-of-it bench.

      Am telling myself that 1993’s desperation (event tonight and nothing to wear, event may have been New Years Eve, I’ve never been great at planning) velvet tee would not look like this year’s models. I’m sure your stuff was nicer!

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    Jen
    5 Oct 2017
    9:13am

    When I saw the Vince hoodie and sweatpants I had a flashback to the Juicy Couture days of the early 2000s! Fortunately these are not pink and don’t have the brand name emblazoned across the rear. 😉

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    DeDe
    5 Oct 2017
    9:19am

    Velvet Tretorns what?!? I swore I’d never wear Tretorns again, but no way am I not getting these babies!

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    Heather
    5 Oct 2017
    9:22am

    I think I wore too much velvet in the 90s… admittedly much of it was from Pier 1, but I think it has put me off for life.

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    Valleyoftheshoes
    5 Oct 2017
    9:57am

    Those AG jeans in dark grey are calling my name.

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    marjorie
    5 Oct 2017
    11:42am

    I’m wearing a dark purple velvet wrap dress from Eloquii for my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah in three weeks! Just praying it won’t still be 80 degrees in NYC (sigh).

    (This, if you’re curious: https://www.eloquii.com/twist-front-velvet-wrap-dress/1245332.html?cgid=velvet&dwvar_1245332_colorCode=50&start=7)

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      Viajera
      5 Oct 2017
      11:48am

      I like it – I too hope for you that it will be nice fall weather. I am so loving this time of year. I am in Southern Cali and I think we are past the worst part of the heat. Though, we won’t know for sure until end of November.

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      Christine
      5 Oct 2017
      11:16pm

      Pretty! Mazel tov!

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      mlinky
      6 Oct 2017
      11:33am

      Gorgeous! Funny, my brother wore a velvet suit for his Bar Mitzvah.

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      Laurie
      9 Oct 2017
      1:47pm

      Gorgeous dress! Mazel tov!

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    Viajera
    5 Oct 2017
    11:53am

    Ensconced in velvet *and* a puffy shirt??!!!! I say… yessss!

    I like the blazers, the Maje, the tanks and vest, and the shoes.

    I like happy colors too. But I also see no shame in a velour anything… even a hoodie suit … dangit I still like them. They’re comfortable and I think they look nice. So you-all should probably ignore me. I have a hot pink cash hoodie that I’ve never worn… maybe this will be the year…

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    Julie
    5 Oct 2017
    3:10pm

    I thought I had exhausted my fondness for velvet after all the velvet bodysuits and crushed velvet babydolls of the 90’s, but that office dress is to die for!

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    Julia
    5 Oct 2017
    3:54pm

    OK, I feel like I need to be educated — why are velvet shoes often disastrous? Also i would LOVE it of anyone would weigh in on this dress I’m considering. I would guess it’s way too frou frou for all of you ladies, but my style is retro, with enough embellishments to stop just short of drag queen. I would shorten this to tea length… https://www.rebeccataylor.com/jewel-paisley-velvet-midi-dress/717981D577.html?dwvar_717981D577_color=PLUMCO&cgid=dresses-and-jumpsuits#start=1 Let me know what you all think!!! Thanks

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      S.
      5 Oct 2017
      5:27pm

      I love it!

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      Alexa
      5 Oct 2017
      7:34pm

      Not too frou for me! And I agree it should be tea length.

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        Julia
        5 Oct 2017
        8:04pm

        Thanks to both of you!

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          Mimi
          6 Oct 2017
          10:35am

          That’s a fabulous dress. I’m older than most of the GOACA group, but still slim and fit. I find that as one ages, the challenge is to cover the body parts that have lost their youthful beauty without looking matronly. The elbow length sleeves, long length and the way the dress skims, rather than hides the body are ideal and the neckline is pretty, but the slit at the front keep it from being too covered up. I’d shorten it to tea length too. I don’t think it’s frou frou at all, but it is retro, in the best way. Great find! Enjoy it.

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      marjorie
      5 Oct 2017
      8:40pm

      ALSO love it!

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      Sarah K
      6 Oct 2017
      8:11am

      Inclement weather spells disaster for delicate velvet shoes. I’m in Oregon and even our suede window is quite limited by the rain. Weather proofing does help. Love the dress. Very pet-able!

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        KimFrance
        6 Oct 2017
        8:56am

        Sarah, what is a suede window?

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          Kimbersam
          6 Oct 2017
          9:05am

          Not Sarah, but it is “the window of opportunity in which one can wear suede without it being destroyed by the wet weather.”

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          Stakra
          6 Oct 2017
          9:10am

          I live in the Pacific Northwest too. I believe she is referring to our weather and the rain the comes rolling in late fall through spring.

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            KimFrance
            6 Oct 2017
            10:32am

            Yes, this makes perfect sense. Thank you. Literal me was thinking of an actual suede window.

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          suz
          6 Oct 2017
          8:24pm

          Just the coolest band name.
          *Suede Window – called it

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            Mamavalveeta03
            12 Oct 2017
            12:55am

            Lol! 🙂

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      Kathleen
      9 Oct 2017
      4:17pm

      Gorgeous! I say go for it, and wouldn’t describe it as frou-frou.

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    Tiffany
    5 Oct 2017
    4:53pm

    I absolutely LOVE velvet and I’m so glad it’s having a moment again. I had a gorgeous dark blue velvet vest in the 90s … So tempting to go there again.

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    suz
    5 Oct 2017
    5:32pm

    Love velvet! Especially a good blazer. Those I hang onto regardless of in-ness or temperature (I live in LA)

    Gotta say, Madewell is definitely channeling Eileen Fisher with that boxy velvet t-top.

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    Reader
    5 Oct 2017
    8:15pm

    I love velvet. This was a nice array of garments featuring it.

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