If you lived through the 2000s, you probably have a complicated relationship with velvet. Perhaps your associations with the fabric are tarnished by memories of bedazzled tracksuits with pithy slogans printed on the ass. Or maybe you remember velvet more as an accent, a detail on a lapel, or a pair of handcuffs (wink wink). So if you’re reading this with any biases related to velor and velor, its premium sibling, we’ve got some big news: Under natural law, velor and all of its variations are back and better than ever.
What exactly is velvet? Good question. Unlike flat fabrics like twill and canvas, velor and velor are pile fabrics, materials woven in such a way that the threads are lifted from the surface, giving them a distinct three-dimensional feel. (If that texture reminds you of a terrycloth towel, a particularly plush rug, or a sturdy pair of ropes, you’ve got the right idea.) Pile fabrics include some of the most decadent textiles, so it’s no wonder many of them were once the exclusive domain of actual royalty like kings and queens – and wannabe royalty like Paris Hilton and your eccentric uncle who insists he’s a duke.
What’s behind the furry fabric craze right now? In the early 2010s, the rise of streetwear helped elevate sweatshirts and hoodies to the forefront of the fashion agenda, putting more comfortable fabrics in the spotlight. Then came the tracksuits (…again). In the second half of the 2010s, brands like Needles and Kapital put the silhouette back on the global map with the help of kings of modern menswear like A$AP Rocky. But now the velvet goes even further away from the bangs in the foreground. It’s no longer reserved for red carpet events, and it’s long since transcended its tacky origins (although, let’s not forget, garish is fine).
And why not? It’s sultry and elegant, it’s sleazy and luxurious, it’s sporty and comfortable in equal measure. Perhaps it was this dichotomy that sparked the comeback of velvet in the first place: it proved that the fabric had some serious range. And as we head into darker months, we could use another cozy feather in our quiver beyond the usual wools and cashmeres. So, to prove the point, we’ve rounded up a list of luscious and impossibly decadent velvet joints to help you unwind like a gift all fall long.
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