Keep cool in velvet

Black velvet vest with tassle.
Black velvet vest with tassle.PHOTO: BERSHKA
Crossbody bag.
Crossbody bag.PHOTO: TOPSHOP
Men’s blue diamond velvet loafers.
Men’s blue diamond velvet loafers.PHOTO: ASOS
Clutch with chain tassel detail.
Clutch with chain tassel detail.PHOTO: PULL AND BEAR
Purple Ivy heels.
Purple Ivy heels.

For a velvet look suitable for hot weather, go for accents

How can I pull off the velvet look in Singapore's hot weather?

Among the many fabrics out there, velvet is one that conjures up images of old-world elegance - think smoking jackets and bejewelled velvet slippers.

One of the key trends this autumn, the luxe fabric was given a modern update on the runways of designers such as Versace, Peter Pilotto and Alexander Wang, in the form of pant suits and party dresses.

However, the trend seems more suited for colder weather, given how thick it looks and feels.

So how does one wear it in sunny Singapore? Follow The Straits Times' tips below, as well as those from fashion stylist Shaun Chen, 25.

Velvet can be hard to maintain, so follow washing instructions on the label. When storing velvet items, stuff it with newspaper or tissue to help the item retain its shape. Creases that form will be difficult to remove.

For velvet shoes, spray them with a fabric protector that can be used on dry-clean material. You can also use a toothbrush to brush dirt off from the fabric.

Go for a velvet accent: It could get warm wearing velvet, so for starters, pick a velvet accessory instead, such as a velvet clutch or pair of shoes. One in a bright jewel tone, especially, will provide a nice textured pop of colour to an outfit.

Avoid wearing it from head to toe: Aside from feeling too hot, you could also look a little over the top and climate-inappropriate.

Style your velvet piece with other fabrics such as denim and cotton, or leather for a night out.

If you want to wear a velvet dress, pick a sleeveless and knee-length one to stay cool.

One outfit that many celebrities - men and women - are wearing now is the velvet blazer with a plain cotton shirt and jeans.

Go dark: Avoid velvet in vibrant colours if you are not used to the fabric. You run the risk of looking theatrical if you do not style it right as the fabric has an intense and reflective sheen. Opt instead for neutral shades such as charcoal and black, or a dark jewel tone.

Less is more: Do not over-accessorise as velvet is a rather dramatic looking fabric. Opt instead for one stand-out accessory if it complements your overall look.

1. Black velvet vest with tassle, $69.90, from Bershka

For a festival-cool look, wear a fringed velvet vest with a pair of shorts and a T-shirt.

2. Crossbody bag, $59.90, from Topshop

Add a touch of velvet to your outfit with this elegant bag that is perfect for a night out.

3. Men's blue diamond velvet loafers, $99.21, from

This rich blue and textured diamond patterned pair of loafers is a definite conversation starter.

4. Clutch with chain tassel detail, $35.90, from Pull And Bear

A practical and on-trend envelope-shaped clutch with magnetic button closure.

5. Purple Ivy heels, US$110.33 (S$158), from

Opt for a pair of strappy velvet heels if a full-on velvet look is too much for you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 07, 2016, with the headline 'Keep cool in velvet'. Print Edition | Subscribe