5 Velvet Dresses That Won’t Make You Look Outdated

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Velvet isn’t always a popular choice when it comes to clothing because it tends to look or actually be too heavy and warm — two characteristics that often collide with the image of light and flowy feminine clothing. Also, velvet has been associated mostly with royalty and religious icons, which gives it an outdated stigma.

Luckily, some designers refused to go down without a fight (and they seem to have won their battles, too).

1. The Mesh Body-Con Dress

Alpa of A Parisian in AmericaAlpa of A Parisian in America

Who would have thought that velvet could be used as a body-con dress? With a little bit of mesh or tulle, velvet is transformed into a chic and up-to-date body-con dress that’s perfect for semiformal events for both day and night.

Shop her look:

Velvet Manolo Blahnik Dolce GabbanaVelvet Primrose Embellished Velvet and Tulle Dress, $360 / Manolo Blahnik Stiletto Pumps, $595

2. The Peplum Dress

Jennifer of Art in Our BloodJennifer of Art in Our Blood

Peplum may seem like the ultimate no-no design for velvet because of its distinctive and typically flouncy ruffles around the waist. Thanks to some designers, velvet has been experimented on to create the perfect waist ruffles that don’t sag down.

Shop her look:

Alice Olivia GucciAlice + Olivia Red-Rose-Print Stretch Cotton Velvet Jule Cap-Sleeve Peplum Dress, $209.30 (before: $495) / Black Calzature Suede Patent Detail Ankle Booties, $910 (before: $995)

3. The Skater Dress

Jenn of Jenn Plays GuitarJenn of Jenn Plays Guitar

Just as it was hard to imagine velvet ruffles, it was even harder to imagine a full skirt made from such a heavy-looking fabric. Design geniuses were able to device a way to create a skater dress without having awkward bunches at the seams, with an actual full skirt that lives up to its name.

Shop her look:

BG Impression Topshop BCBGMaxazria 3 1 Phillip LimBG Impression Black & Red Cocktail Corduroy Pleated Dress, $17.56 / Topshop Allied Desert Boots, £62 / BCBGMaxAzria Bowler Hat, $58 / 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Leather Backpack, £617

4. The Embellished Dress

Carla of The Fashion Through My EyesCarla of The Fashion Through My Eyes

Using simple silhouettes when creating velvet dresses, such as a body-con or a shift dress, a creation is made even more modern by putting embellishments using jewels, fringes, and embroidery. Gold, bronze, and silver put the finishing touches on dresses made for modern royalty.

Shop her look:

Modekungen Sergio Rossi J CrewModekungen Velvet Dress, €68.05 / Sergio Rossi Suede/Patent Pointed-Toe Slingbacks, £465 / J. Crew Tortoise Clutch, $148

5. The Lace Inset Dress

Maria of ParadoxMaria of Paradox

It seems that lace and velvet would be an unlikely pair, but not if you design it this way. This chic formal dress uses a lace inset to create a sexy yet romantic design at the back. This full dress makes use of a contrast between the warm velvet and the cool lace — perfect for evening garden weddings.

Shop her look:

Motel TopshopMotel Tabby Lace Back Maxi Dress in Deep Aqua Velvet, £29 / Topshop Likewise Metal Heels, £65

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