Velvet was supposed to be one of the biggest trends for Fall & Winter 2016, but that was not the way it turned out. I saw a few velvet jackets, skirts, dresses, shoes, scarves, belts, coats and bags to wear for the holidays at the end of last year. There were even some velvet trousers, leggings and jeans in the casual department. But at best, velvet was a fringe trend.
The rarity of velvet at retail surprised me. I had expected to see a fair amount in July at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which kicks off the Fall shopping season. When that didn’t happen, I thought for sure it would be a mainstream trend by the end of November. That didn’t happen either, and I wondered why retailers were holding back on the trend.
My conclusion is that velvet is for the most part perceived as a very seasonal and dressy fabrication. It’s hard to launder, majorly lint-attracting, impractical in bad weather, and quite fussy. Retailers thought it too risky to supply in large quantities, and opted to give us an overdose of lace instead. They didn’t want to be stuck with racks of velvet attire that they’d have an even harder time selling after the holidays.
Traditional velvet does have all of those drawbacks, but this is 2017 and I believe that a more modern and current approach to the fabrication is in order. For example, there are machine washable polyester velvet blends. Velvet can be worn throughout the year as an accessory or as a pair of shoes (Summer velvet shoes DO exist, and why not wear them!) Velvet jackets can be remixed with denim and sneakers to amp down the dressy factor. Crushed velvet is durable, lightweight and the right colour masks lint and pet hair. Casual velvet jeans and trousers can be worn at any time of the year if the weather is right. I also think of velvet as a dandy and romantic fabric with a high longevity factor when it’s used in a Steampunk, Modern Retro or Avant-Garde item.
My feelings about velvet for my own style are moderate. I neither love it nor loathe it, but fully support you wearing it at any time of the year in your favourite wardrobe items, and in YOUR way. What’s your verdict on velvet?