How To Wear A Velvet Jacket
The tactile blazer to see you through the season – whether you’re heading out for dinner or to a festive soirée.
For eveningwear, you can’t go wrong with a tuxedo. It’s tailoring at its most sharp and elegant, and suits everybody. However, you may not be the sort of person who wants to be part of the whole “everybody” thing. And in that case, you should consider the velvet jacket. Beloved by iconoclasts from Mr Bryan Ferry to Mr Jarvis Cocker, it’s a piece that’s just as useful for adding a sense of romantic elegance to a black tie ensemble as it is for hinting at wanton, Byronic abandon in casual wear. If that sounds like it might be up your street, scroll down to discover three illustrations of the art of wearing a velvet jacket, featuring the choicest examples of the form currently available on MR PORTER.
The SOUPED-UP TUXEDO
This one is very easy. Swap your regular dinner jacket for a velvet jacket and you’ll go from being the smartest-seeming person in the room to the smartest person to be invited to the after party. Of course, restrictions apply if you’re going to keep it black tie – chiefly that you should stick to black and white in your jacket, shirt and bow tie. No one ever got turned away from anything for wearing a pair of loafers though – this tasselled pair from Burberry is slightly more relaxed than a pair of Oxfords and complements the jacket’s devil-may-care sense of fun nicely.
THE PARTY GEAR
A hallmark of the rock-inspired look pioneered by Mr Hedi Slimane at Dior Homme in the mid-2000s and, more recently, in his work for Saint Laurent, is the mixing of the super formal with the super casual. If you’re a fan of this particular sartorial idiom, then pairing a velvet jacket with jeans is absolutely fine – just make sure both are black and cut slim for a sharp, rangy silhouette. Here, we’ve finished off the outfit with a pair of Chelsea boots from Saint Laurent and a chain-piped cotton shirt from Givenchy, both of which add a sleek, but not too formal touch to the whole affair.
THE TAKE-ME-TO-DINNER LOOK
Burgundy is a colour that has become an increasingly popular choice for eveningwear in the past couple of years, presumably because it allows the wearer to make a statement without coming across as too gaudy. This burgundy jacket in particular has a louche mellow feel that makes it perfect for the romantically lit environs of a restaurant or members’ club (should you subscribe to one). For that intimate, indoors, semi-formal feel, we would recommend wearing it with black wool trousers and a black polo neck – with such a rich colour in the jacket you don't want to go overboard elsewhere. Adding a scarf and pocket square can be a nice way to soften the look further, projecting the appearance of a man utterly at ease with his surroundings.