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This won’t be the most timely blog I’ve posted since one look at the weekend weather suggests we’ll be back outside the pub sipping aperol spritz in our sunnies by Sunday. However, it’s good to be prepared and since you may be clearing through last year’s winter clothes right about now, there is one thing you should be holding onto – and it’ll seem far too heavy in this muggy weather but stay with me – VELVET.
The days of velvet being only for sofas and Christmas day are long gone. By all means sit on a velvet sofa wearing velvet on Christmas day (preferably not in the same colour) but this season you should view velvet as you would cashmere or silk; you can get it for a snip in H&M and M&S and it looks fabulous dressed down with denim on any day of the week therefore it can be taken out of the ‘special occasion only’ drawer. Oh but try not to spill anything down it because like the afore-mentioned cashmere and silk you really don’t want to be washing it too often.
There is a wealth of velvet on offer currently and unlike the old days when your choice was limited to a stuffy blazer or a stiff looking pair of black trousers, now the high street has you covered from head to toe. Don’t fancy your back view encased in stretched velvet (thoughts of that sofa again…)? Opt for a pair of gorgeous boots, almost every brand is doing them and they’re ridiculously priced. If a velvet skirt makes you think of school birthday parties in the early ’80s (I insisted my mum made me one in royal blue) then go for a dress with a more daring neckline for a sexier take on velvet – you don’t have to look like Princess Anne, really you don’t.
The other thing about this autumn’s version of velvet is the colour. Yes, a bottle green or a midnight blue is lovely for a trouser suit in the evening but consider a mustard velvet (if mustard is a colour that suits you) or a teal because a pair of shoes or a camisole in these shades will be a real scene stealer and will bring a simple suit or dress bang up to date.
There’s no getting away from velvet jackets but if you do invest in one I guarantee you’ll get your money’s worth. Wear it like Romee Strijd (above) dressed down with a t-shirt or nip it in at the waist with an obi belt or embellished sash for a more glam night time look. Such is the luxurious texture of velvet that jewels sit beautifully on it, wrap yourself in a jacket a size too big, secure it with a leather belt and just add something sparkling at the neck or on the lapel – no layer underneath even needed.
Ultimately though, a touch of velvet in your outfit is a great way of looking like you’ve made more effort than you in fact have. I walked past the John Rocha jacket in Debenhams this week and all I could think was how much time it would save me when getting ready to go out in the evening – throw over a floaty dress or a pair of jeans and a white shirt and you’re good to go. Velvet shoes and boots will have the same effect. And is it me, or do even the £19.60 Dorothy Perkins boots looks quite expensive?
So once this mini Indian summer is over, fold your t-shirts and shorts away once and for all and consider velvet. If you’re still not convinced then start with a trainer piece such as a choker or a bag or a pair of flats like the oh so cute Boden flats above. You never know you may love velvet so much that by Christmas you’ll be doing the school run in these over the knee boots…