Velvet for daywear. Like leopard print and Lurex, it’s an essential in the Casual Glamourpuss’ armoire. Looking for a non-black alternative to The Once in a Lifetime Tuxedo jacket for book-signing events (more details coming soon), the versatile velvet jacket has been top of my list for a while. And juxtaposed with denim, velvet adds a sprinkling of decadent luxury to an everyday outfit. I’ve tried on several styles – including the Theory blazer in New York last week, which I liked: available in magenta and a lovely bottle green colour and selling out fast. But first, I wanted to cop a feel of Frame’s stretch cotton velvet jacket – always like to assess the situation properly before making a purchase. Went in-store thinking coral pink, came out with charcoal grey. Timeless. There’s also a Frame leopard print style that I’d snaffle if My Purse was on Fire! But it’s not and I’d already bought a pair of sequinned hi-top Vans (see side bar; sadly only available in the US) and a tin of cinnamon Altoids. So that was my lot.

These photos were taken running around between meetings in New York and I’ve also worn the versatile velvet jacket to drinks and dinner. Plus, it would work a treat over a party dress or teamed with a maxi skirt and fancy flats. More dressed-up version coming soon.


Enjoyed all the comments on the Belle & Bay cashmere post and will look further into manufacturing in the UK when all the book stuff calms down. This outfit is definitely more casual than glamour so I hope I don’t look like I’m mucking out the horses!

My jacket was a bit of a blow-out, for less expensive, non-black velvet jackets try Boden, JigsawJ.Crew, Hobbs and Madewell.

Please note: affiliate links in this post may generate commission.

New York photos are by Denton Taylor.

27 thoughts on “The versatile velvet jacket

  1. As ever Alyson you look very good in this outfit. Lovely jacket which I checked out on the website. Coral one and leopard print look great. As it happens I tried on one of one two old but going strong velvet jackets this morning over a silk Chinese print dress. It’s black brocade velvet and still looks good. My other one is teal velvet, short and fitted. But versatile still. Last year I bought from Cos a black velvet top with high neck and elbow length sleeves. Good for this coming party season with the sparkling diamanté necklaces I have. So I’m shopping my wardrobe on this style this winter. Today’s Times features velvet and sequins and other glitter. So the countdown to getting more dressed up even with more casual daytime clothing begins.

  2. Just not any velvet will do. Ordered a dark green velvet jacket from Zara last year. Looked good, but wore it a few times and found the texture of the velvet was too slinky and slippery. The cuff couldn’t maintain a crease and the fabric crept up on the lining. Lesson learned. Off to a consignment shop this fall and hope to replace it with something made of better quality velvet.

    1. VAL – look for cotton velvet. It is much less slinky and better for blazers, especially when you want to dress it down. I’ve bought one this season (great minds think alike!) from Zadig & Voltaire, which I love.

  3. Hi Alyson

    Firstly – adore your new book!

    Please can you let me know the label for the top you are wearing under your jacket ( the navy and black with green flash).
    This looks very interesting and a great colour mix.

    Many thanks, Helen

    1. Hello Helen & Rebecca, the silk top underneath is a few years old (sorry!). It’s Cedric Charlier bought in the sale, I’ll let you know if I see something similar.

  4. Wow! Synchronicity! I’d just posted about wearing my wide-legged, velvet-jersey pants on a Friday night casual (dinner-and-a-movie_ date with my husband last week, dressing down the velvet by wearing it with my beat-up leather moto jacket, and I referenced/linked to you and your Casual Glamour. I’ve now added the link for this perfect post — I love this approach to getting more bang for our dress-up-clothes buck by taking them out to everyday activities rather than waiting for the right occasions.

  5. I have always loved velvet jackets and lived in them during the 70’s. (With a bunch of cherries brooch on the lapel!). I managed to pick up a bottle green ‘St Michael’ Made in the UK one in a charity shop and it is quite beautiful. (Gosh, it is a size 16 and fits perfectly – I am a 12. How sizing has changed). At the same time I bought a ‘St Michael’ Made in the UK paisley cotton velvet straight skirt in reds, greens, blues and browns which – when shortened a bit – looks completely like Etro!! I would love an f-off magenta velvet jacket but I think I will have to splash some real cash on that one!

  6. My gosh you look fantastic. That color is genius. And I LOVE it with the white sneaker. Like, don’t you dare mess with me but I will be perfectly pleasant and quite charming as long as you don’t try.

  7. I like the idea but as soon as I put a velvet jacket on I think: no. While I love velvet in theory, in practice I never wear it. I feel the exact opposite about suede, however.

  8. Read your book in one sitting yesterday. Enjoyed it immensely. Congrats. Intelligent, succinct and useful. Very tailored and fun too.
    Planning to purchase KNOW YOUR STYLE in bulk for Christmas/Birthday gifts going forward.

  9. I dug a black velvet jacket out of my loft which must be 10-15 years old….but it’s longer than the ones you’ve linked to (maybe mid-thigh), somewhat fitted, and just a bit too shoulder-paddy. Wondering if I can pull it off?

  10. Velvet takes on the best, deepest, muted, jewel-tone colors. They’re good for even a color phobe like me. And I think I just figured out my “style type,” casual glamourpuss…

  11. Hi Alyson, your beautiful velvet jacket got me thinking about luxury fabrics and how to style them. The other day I found a fabulous red and charcoal silk brocade coat (slim-fitting knee-length) in a charity shop for a song. It would work great as a party coat but I’m not really a dress-up sort of girl and am wondering how to give it a more casual look. It looks fantastic paired with black skinny jeans, black top and boots but I’m wondering about other ways to style it. (I probably should never have bought since it is well beyond my normal range but, what the the heck, one touch of that fabulous fabric and I was hooked.) Any suggestions that would help steer clear of mother-of-the-bride or sleepwalker-in-dressing-gown look would be really welcome! Thank you.

  12. You always remind me that dressing can/should be fun. I’m running to pull out that velvet jacket now. Not a trendy shape necessarily, but I bet I can make it work. Looking good as always. Isn’t Denton great? Hope you met Theresa as well. xoxo

  13. Got me thinking about new look for my leopard print Boden jacket that I love but still not sure I can pull of white plimsolls so need to look for a supporting smart cheap trainer to help me transition!

  14. Comment for Vicky G, find a decent dressmaker to modify your jacket if it still fits otherwise across shoulders bust. My favourite black brocade velvet jacket was revamped a few years ago when it looked too long in the body for the current silhouette of shorter fitted jackets. I had a few inches lopped off the bottom, everything else about it was fine then. Still love the fabric and enjoy wearing it as I did other night. Shoulder pads can be replaced for smaller ones if not removed altogether. Though a looser longer shape with squared shoulders has made a return this season: Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten. My other velvet jacket is in a stretch cotton velvet as described above. A bit more fitted than I would ideally like right now. But already in my wardrobe ready to wear gratis with accessories adjusted for now.

  15. Love the gray velvet. I am awaiting arrival of a navy velvet jacket that I also plan to wear with dressy black pants or with jeans. I too love that print top and will be on the hunt for something similar. Great post!

  16. I don’t have a velvet jacket but I have three vintage velvet bags from the Italian designer Roberta di Camerino. The bags are colorful and each has a unique print, specific to the work of di Camerino. I agree with the decadence of the juxtaposition of such a rich fabric against everyday staples like wool and denim. And for a casual glamorous look, I find velvet pairs well with satin for evenings out.

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