After already extolling the virtues of both velvet coats and velvet trousers, a piece on velvet dresses was inevitable. Their biggest fans will claim that there’s no Christmas without them. While this is not strictly true, a velvet dress is quite possibly The Ultimate Christmas Dress. It deserves our respect.
Velvet dresses represent the general sumptuousness of the festive period. Gluttony in a cotton dress might feel improper – especially if the dress in question was white – but in a velvet dress it’s almost glamorous. What could be more decadent than having a flute of champagne in one hand and a mince pie in the other while dressed in a fabric that’s as nice to touch as it is to look at? Not much! Well, actually, it would be more decadent to be doing so either at Claridge’s or in the proximity of a chaise lounge. In times like these, however, at home in the proximity of your sofa will have to do.
Like many things, velvet dresses can be short and they can be long. Some are even so long that we’d be tempted to call them ‘gowns’. The short ones are best for freedom of movement; the long ones are probably better for formal occasions – not that you’ll be attending many of those this month. And even if you do, they may well be comparatively lacklustre when held over Zoom. On a more positive note, this means that there’s no real need to be tied to dress codes. If you fancy sitting upon your velvet sofa in a velvet gown, do it – no one’s stopping you. In fact, they’re perhaps too stressed about an ongoing global pandemic and Christmas to care. Although if the velvet gown you were lounging in was by 16Arlington, they might begin to.