With the approach of colder days, shorter nights, and the holiday season, style a pretty velvet top for instant style. The fabric is both warm and sumptuous and reminiscent of holidays past. Who among us hasn’t styled velvet at the holidays?
This description from a Masterclass article sums it up nicely: The term “velvety” means soft, and it takes its meaning from its namesake fabric: velvet. The soft, smooth fabric epitomizes luxury, with its smooth nap and shiny appearance. Velvet has been a fixture of fashion design and home decor for years, and its high-end feel and appearance make it an ideal textile for elevated design.
The thinking that just wearing this fabric “elevates” the look is certainly true. You can add a velvet top to any bottom and instantly create a more dressed up look and feel.
The Origin of Velvet
Velvet fabrics throughout history have epitomized the “richer” class. The first velvets were made from silk and were incredibly expensive making them accessible only by the royal and noble classes. The material was first introduced in Baghdad, around 750 A.D., but over time it eventually spread to the Mediterranean and the fabric was distributed throughout Europe.
New loom technology lowered the cost of production during the Renaissance. During this period, Florence, Italy became the dominant velvet production center. When I picture the richness of the old Italian look, velvet certainly comes to mind, doesn’t it?
Types of Velvet
Velvet fabrics can be made with silk, cotton, and rayon, and other fibers, all producing slightly different textures. Here are just 7 types:
- Crushed. Crushed velvet is a look achieved by twisting the fabric while wet or by pressing the pile in different directions. The appearance is patterned and shiny, and the material has a unique texture.
- Panne. Panne velvet is a type of crushed velvet for which heavy pressure is applied to the material to push the pile in one direction. The same pattern can appear in knit fabrics like velour, which is usually made from polyester and is not true velvet.
- Embossed. Embossed velvet is a printed fabric created via a heat stamp, which is used to apply pressure to velvet, pushing down the piles to create a pattern. Embossed velvet is popular in upholstery velvet materials, which are used in home decor and design.
- Ciselé. This type of patterned velvet is created by cutting some looped threads and leaving others uncut.
- Plain. Plain velvet is usually a cotton velvet. It is heavy with very little stretch and doesn’t have the shine that velvet made from silk or synthetic fibers has.
- Stretch. Stretch velvet has spandex incorporated in the weave which makes the material more flexible and stretchy.
- Pile-on-pile.. This type of velvet has piles of varying lengths that create a pattern. Velvet upholstery fabric usually contains this type of velvet.
Sometimes we do see velour advertised as velvet, but as shown above, it is not a true velvet. How about velvety? That works.
So while velvet fabrics can be expensive, you can still get that sumptuous feel in less expensive versions. Read on, my friends…
The Velvet Tops
As I mentioned, these tops are very inexpensive. But that doesn’t mean they don’t make a statement!
Today I’m sharing two velvet tops in the traditional holiday colors of red and green. Of course, you don’t have to choose these shades to look festive for the holidays, but I wanted to show some holiday spirit!
While I’ve styled both with the tops untucked, you could also tuck them into a cute skirt! Like this jacquard skirt. It’s the ivory version of the skirt I styled in the post Holiday Style: Style a Flirty Jacquard Skirt. Talk about a cute look for the holidays!
The Red Top
The red top, in the elbow-sleeve style, is now under $35! It’s a simple style with a ballet neck in front leading to a deep V in the back.
This top actually feels like a “styled-up” tee-shirt! The bold red color is perfect for the holidays but can be worn well past that time. I can see it in a romantic Valentine’s Day look!
It’s styled here with ivory ankle pants to show how it pops against the white, but it would look super cute with jeans and a neck scarf!
In Deep Green
The second top is a deep forest green–another lovely color for the holidays! (Of course, it has already sold out in the green but is still available in a pretty rust shade top.)
Puff sleeves add an additional element that reflects current sleeve trends. Yay!
I styled it here with my black bootcut jeans but you could easily substitute black slacks or trousers for a dressier look. Or wear it with your favorite blue jeans!
Puff Sleeve Velvet Top (Size Small) (In Rust, Regular, Plus, and Petite Sizes) | Barely Bootcut Jeans (Regular/Petite) (Plus Size)| Black Watch Plaid Scarf | Vionic Wedge Booties (a great price at Amazon!)
The puff sleeve top is selling out fast, so here is a pretty green velvet top similar to the red one above.
The black watch plaid scarf makes it even more festive for the holidays! This inexpensive one makes a great gift, too!
For easy and instant holiday style, add a pretty top with your favorite pants. Add a little sparkle in your jewelry and a scarf for a festive look for the season.