Fashion The one item every man needs to style out...

The one item every man needs to style out the festive season

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It’s no surprise that men seem to rediscover velvet blazers at this time of the year. With party season in full swing and temperatures plummeting, a formal garment that also possesses in-built softness and warmth holds a delicious appeal. There’s a nonchalant elegance to a velvet jacket, whatever the silhouette or shade, and it’s a perennially interesting choice, even in its most conservative iterations.

“Velvet distinguishes itself from all other fabrics, it has a real sense of occasion,” says menswear influencer Edmond Kamara (otherwise known as @cutsforhim on Instagram) whose salmon-pink velvet jacket from Velsvoir, worn to celebrate his birthday, caught my eye when he posted a shot of it on Instagram earlier this week. “I have about four velvet jackets in different colours that I only wear for special events or during the festive period. It’s a garment that just speaks of luxury.”

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A post shared by Cuts For Him | Edmond Kamara (@cutsforhim)

I think the added appeal for a velvet jacket comes from the fact it’s not a particularly practical purchase. Unlike your workhorse jeans or everyday loafers, it’s a piece that can’t be worn in a variety of situations (you can’t slip it on for a meeting with your accountant if your suit’s at the cleaners).

Rather, it hangs in your wardrobe teasing you with the promise of pleasure, for it can onlybe worn on decadent nights out. It’s fun, it’s frivolous – and that’s also a signal to others. It’s my experience that, in a room of penguin suits, people inevitably gravitate towards the guy in the velvet jacket: it’s a marker that you’re a man who takes good times seriously.

The innate rakishness of a velvet jacket makes the buying of the item an indulgent experience in itself – especially this season, with more brands than ever offering versions for every personal style.

For those looking for a burst of colour, there’s a veritable rainbow out there for browsing right now: Marks & Spencer and Mr P at mrporter.com have soft pink models, New & Lingwood has a beautiful emerald green double-breasted option, Oliver Brown and Husbands Paris have plumped for 1970s-vibing burgundy, SuitSupply has a distinctly elegant number in navy, Charles Tyrwhitt has a natty rust peak lapel, and Slowear is offering a rather spectacular velvet blackwatch tartan.

Alternatively, Brunello Cucinelli has a louche all-black shawl-collar velvet dinner suit which will bring a touch of sprezzatura to the wardrobe of even the most monochromatically-minded man.

“Whatever colour or collar you go for, there are a few things I advise my clients to think about when they’re looking for a velvet jacket,” says Dav Sehra, founder of tailoring house Acre & Row. “As the fabric itself is already a statement, I prefer velvet jackets that have fabric buttons and lapels that coordinate with the colour of the jacket, instead of contrasting satin like a dinner jacket. I find that more elegant and contemporary.

“Also, opt for a more comfortable fit than a regular suit jacket – not only because the fabric can make you feel hot, but also because you’ll generally be wearing it to an indoor event where you’ll be eating, drinking or even dancing. A slightly more relaxed cut is useful.”

When you have settled on the right one, the beauty of a velvet blazer is that it’s superbly straightforward to style.

“Lean into the opulence in a laid-back way,” says stylist and writer Benedict Browne. “Black tuxedo trousers, black silk socks and opera pumps with a fine-gauge black cashmere rollneck or a bow-tie and silk evening shirt in a coordinating colour to the jacket itself. I think it works best when you mix up the textures.”

Or go for bold and just take your shirt off à la Timothée.

Find your colour

Pink

Classic pink, £99,Marks & Spencer; light pink, £425,Mr P

Green

Dark green, £795,New & Lingwood

Red

Vino red, £595,Oliver Brown

Burgundy

Burgundy, £1,029,Husbands Paris

Rust

Rust, £249.95,Charles Tyrwhitt

Black

Black, £4,300,Brunello Cucinelli

Navy

Navy, £399,Suitsupply; Tartan, £1,390,Slowear

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