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9 Stunning Velvet Dress Styles

Velvet has a luxurious look and feel. It’s soft, it’s beautiful and it can be dyed in absolutely any color. This material creates beautiful dresses but wearing velvet can be tricky. When can you wear it? Which velvet dress styles should you wear? How will this luxurious material actually look on you?

Short velvet dress

What is Velvet?

Velvet is one of those fabrics that you know when you see it….or at least, when you touch it. This is a dense, fuzzy fabric that is incredibly soft to the touch. This material is great for holiday party dresses, winter wedding wear and just about anything else you’d like to wear it for.

History

The fabric dates to the 1300s. Velvet is so old, historians aren’t even sure where this fabric came from. However, it’s believed that East Asia may have been where it originated. Moving along the Silk Road, it spread to the rest of Asia and Europe. 

Making Velvet

The first velvet was made with silk, a material that was widely produced in China. Velvet was highly popular first in the Middle East and then became more popular in Europe during the Renaissance. 

Velvet was worn by royalty because it was handmade from silk and therefore, expensive. But when machine looms came along, it became much more affordable to produce velvet. 

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Velvet is made from a vertical yarn. Velveteen, which is similar, s made with a horizontal yarn. Many different materials can be used to make velvet. It takes a specific type of loom to weave velvet, because the end result must be so deep and soft. Velvet is woven from silk, cotton and synthetic materials, most commonly. Most of the velvet in the world is still made in China. 

Types of Velvet

There are several different types of velvet. Each one is made with different fabrics, or methods, to produce slightly different fabric weights and finishes. 

Hem of a green velvet dress

Chiffon

Chiffon velvet is nearly sheer and very lightweight. This is a good velvet for bridesmaid dresses.

Crushed

Crushed velvet is velvet with a special finish that has been pressed or twisted while wet. 

Embossed

Embossed velvet has specific designs or words embossed onto it. 

Hammered

Hammered velvet is pressed or crushed, which creates an incredibly soft finish. Because of the pretty look, this is another good choice for bridesmaid dress styles.

Lyons

Lyons velvet is denser than other types of fabric and has a stiff finish. 

Panne

Panne velvet is crushed but only in one direction. This creates a distinct look.

Ring

Ring velvet has a very fine, light texture.

Utrecht

Utrecht velvet is crimped. It has a distinct look and it was once popular but now it is seen mainly only n dresses and clothing times. 

Voided

Voided velvet is made with a pattern, where some sections have a pile and some do not. 

Types of Velvet Dress Styles

Many different types of dresses can be made out of velvet but there are some styles that are more commonly made from this material than others. Which ones are going to look the best on you? 

1. Baby doll

Aofur Women Bohemian Vintage Embroidered Velvet Spring Shift Mini Dress Long Sleeve Casual Tops Blouse (Large, Wine Red)

Baby doll dresses were just about made for velvet. These dresses are made with a wide skirt that drapes beautifully when it’s made in velvet. Baby doll dresses are short dresses tyles that have an empire waistline. That means the waistline is directly under the bustline, rather than at the waist. The hemline usually ends around mid-thigh.

2. Fit and flare

Leadingstar Women's Velvet A-Line Swing Skater Party Mini Dress Burgundy

Fit and flare dress styles fit and then they flare. That means they’re form-fitting around the bodice to hug the waist and bust. At the waist, the skirt flares out in a wide circle design. Fit and flare styles are typically short in length, at or above the knees. In velvet, the skirt of the fit and flare dress doesn’t flare up so much so instead, it hangs and drapes beautifully. Fit and flare dresses are made with a wide variety of neckline and sleeve styles. 

3. Mini

Verdusa Women's Deep V Neck Spaghetti Strap Wrap Asymmetrical Velvet Cami Dress Maroon XS

Mini dresses are made to be short. They sit around mid-thigh and they can have any style, from form-bitting bodycon designs to wide, loose styles. Mini dress styles usually work as casual or semi-formal wear. Mini dresses make great cocktail dress styles, especially in velvet. Mini dresses can be sleeveless, tank style or have any sleeve length, from short to long. 

4. Pencil

GownTown Women's Velvet Retro 1950s Style Sleeveless Slim Party Pencil Dress Dark Green

Pencil dresses are made with a narrow-fitting skirt that squeezes the hips and thighs all the way down to the knees. These dresses make good office wear because of the conservative skirt length. Because the skirt is also form-fitting, you don’t have to sacrifice sexiness or style just to be work-ready. Velvet pencil dresses also work very well as semi-formal attire. The bodice of these dresses can be styled in a number of ways, with many different necklines and sleeve types. 

5. Sheath

Laughido Sleeveless Cami Cowl Neck Dresses Women's Bodycon Velvet Ruched Short Cocktail Dress (Black, Large

Sheath dresses are form-fitting all over. These are bodycon dresses that hug every curve of the body. These dresses are shorter in length, usually at knee length or higher. Sheath dresses are made with many different necklines and types of sleeves, though sleeveless styles with high necklines are common for sheath dresses. A sheath dress works well for the office, for date night and for casual and semi-formal events of all types. This is a great all-around dress that can be professional or sexy, depending on how it’s styled. In velvet, sheath dresses look elegant and beautiful for any occasion. In darker shades, such as black velvet, this dress is perfect for almost any occasion.

6. Skater

R.Vivimos Women's Crushed Velvet Spaghetti Straps Sexy V Neck Club Party Pleated Swing Skater Dress (Large, Pink)

Skater dresses are short mini dress styles with hemlines that reach about mid-thigh. These dresses have flaring circle skirts and they’re made with a form-fitting bodice that hugs the waist and the bust. Skater dresses are made with all different sleeve lengths and necklines, though scoop necklines with tank-style sleeves or long sleeves are very common. In velvet, skater dresses make great casual or semi-formal wear. They hang beautifully thanks to the somewhat heavy fabric weight. 

7. Slip

SOLY HUX Women's Spaghetti Strap Lace Trim Velvet Slip Dress Sleepwear Nightgowns Navy Blue M

Slip dress styles are mini dress designs that are made to look like a slip that is worn under the dress. Often, these dresses are made in satin, silk or some other lightweight material. However, slip dresses are also made in lightweight velvet material. These dresses are short and usually have spaghetti straps with low-cut necklines. In velvet, slip dresses hang beautifully and cling to the curves of the body in a fitted, but not tight, design. Slip dresses are not tight and they are not loose. They’re made to just skim over the body in a simple, elegant design. These dresses are great for casual and semi-formal wear, particularly as party dresses and cocktail dresses. A black velvet dress will look great at just about any evening event.

8. T shirt

shopatniche Velvet Shift Short Sleeve Womens Solid Burgundy Dress by Necessary Objects (Burgundy, Small)

T-shirt dresses are casual, short dresses that are made to look like oversized T-shirts. They are made with short sleeves and loose styles, with no definition, and short hemlines. These dresses are still a casual style even in velvet, but the velvet odes give T shirt dresses a distinct look. 

9. Wrap

FENSACE Red Velvet Cocktail Dress Date Night Valentines Dress for Women Long Sleeve Bodycon Dress(Wine Red,Medium)

Wrap dresses are one of the most popular types of dresses because they are flattering for all body types. These dresses literally do wrap around your body, crisscrossing in the front. this creates a perfect fit every single time because the dress wraps around you and conforms to you. Wrap dresses are fitted around the upper body and the skirt is slightly looser. In velvet, wrap dresses are somewhat clingy on the curves. Wrap dresses can be long or short. In velvet, wrap dresses are beautiful formal and semi-formal styles. Wrap dresses can be worn to work or they can be styled as casual wear. This makes them perfect all-occasion dresses. Long wrap dresses can be worn to prom or any other type of formal event.

FAQs

Still have burning questions about velvet? This material isn’t exactly easy to wear or to maintain, so it makes sense if you’re still full of curiosity. Learn the best ways to style velvet dress, how to wear them well and when to wear them to show off your style. Get the answers to all the most common questions about velvet and get to know what you need to know about wearing this fabric.

Are velvet dresses in style?

Velvet, like all materials, goes in and lots of style. While many dress styles are timeless, certain dress materials are not. So is velvet in style or has the velvet trend ended? Because it’s such a rich and lustrous material, luxurious velvet will always be a good choice for formal wear of all kinds. It’s a stunning fabric in winter and fall. If you’re unsure, you can always turn to Instagram and other social media sites to see what the well-dressed celebrities are wearing. This will give you an idea of which materials and style are hot right now, whenever “right now” happens to be. Whenever you need a velvet outfit idea, social media

Can you wear a velvet dress in summer?

Velvet naturally lends itself to winter and fall wear but in summer, this fabric can look a little out of place if you don’t wear and style it properly. Lightweight velvet dresses in short styles, such as baby doll dresses, can be absolutely adorable during cooler spring days. Scanty slip dresses work on summer evenings. If you’re determined to wear velvet, there are lots of ways to do it and be in fashion. Just remember that because this is a heavier, somewhat hotter fabric than other types of material, you’ll want to wear less of it. Stick to shorter dresses, flowing styles, low-cut and sleeveless looks if you’re going to wear velvet dresses in warmer weather. 

Can velvet dresses be altered?

It is possible to sew velvet but this fabric can be hard to work with. Velvet has a lot of stretch to it compared to other fabrics so you have to be careful when sewing it so you don’t create stretched out or puckered areas. Velvet can also be a sort of slippery fabric, which means it will shift out of position. Velvet dresses can be altered but it takes extra time and care to do so. 

Can you wear a velvet dress during the day?

Velvet is associated with high fashion, with luxury and fine clothing, but that doesn’t mean you have to save it for the nighttime. You can wear velvet to work, to daytime parties, when you’re out running errands and any time you like. Velvet has become everyday wear now in every color shade, though it can still be luxurious and elegant when you style it for formal wear. You can still don a pretty velvet gown as bride dresses or formal looks, but velvet can be casual, too.

Can you machine wash a velvet dress?

Velvet is famously difficult to keep clean. The deep pile causes stuff to stick to the material, which can be a real nightmare situation. Most velvet fabric should be dry cleaned. However, velvet made from polyester and crushed velvet can be machine-washed. Use cold water and wash it on the gentle cycle. You should also put velvet items in a mesh bag before you wash it. 

To dry velvet, lay it out flat and allow it to air dry rather than using the dryer. 

Use a clothing brush on velvet to keep it looking fresh and remove surface dirt from the pile. this will help you maintain the pretty look of your velvet between washes. You can also steam velvet fabric to freshen it up. If you haven’t got a steamer, hang your velvet dress up in the bathroom while you take a shower. 

Can you wear a velvet dress to work?

Velvet dresses are appropriate for work as long as you choose the right dress style. You want to wear something more conservative, which means it needs to be at least knee length. Also, don’t choose a low-cut dress. You can wear a dress that fits your body and even one that is sleeves, but you want to wear it with a jacket. A blazer or a cropped silk jacket will look great with a velvet dress. Don’t pair a velvet dress with a velvet blazer.

How do you style velvet?

There are lots of different ways you can style velvet dresses. If you’re going to wear other layers, such as a jacket or a shirt on top of the dress, be sure to choose a different fabric. You do’t want o match velvelt to velevet. Try a leather jacket, a silk blouse or even a tweed or wool blazer. 

Velvet dresses look great with leather or suede boots and high heels of all types, too. Try black leather ankle boots for a cool vibe. You can even pair a velvet dress with combat boots for an edgy, hip look. Velvet dresses also look great with metal jewelry. The metal makes for a nice contrast against the material. 

What fabric goes well with velvet?

Many types of fabric go well with velvet. Leather, satin and silk all look great when paired with velvet. Denim can also look good with casual velvet looks. 

Sources:

FMag – How to Style Crushed Velvet Dress in 13 Gorgeous Outfits

Harper’s Bazaar – Why Don’t You Buy…a Throwback Velvet Dress?

Leaf.tv – What Time of Year Is It Appropriate to Wear Velvet?

Seamwork – A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing Velvet

SewPort – What is Velvet Fabric: Properties, How its Made and Where

Town & Country – How to Clean Anything Velvet