A lush velveteen dream
Long held to be the fabric of choice for goths, rockers and queens of the underworld thanks to 1990s cult classics such as The Crow and The Craft, my first brush with velvet came in the form of a red dress that my mother would put me in around the festive season, which may or may not have made me look like a giant cupcake.
However, despite this early ride on the velvet train, my real fascination started a little later when I happened upon a beautiful, blonde-haired, corset-wearing dame sashaying down a less glamorous section of Meadowhall Shopping Centre when I was about seven. Not only was she tall and elegant, but with her brown lipstick and coolness emanating from every pore, she was everything I wanted to be and more.
Of course, after years of being exploited for making anything from nylon velvet quilt covers to tea cosies, my textile bosom buddy and an integral part of my childhood disappeared completely: till now, that is.
You see, for the past two years, while my younger friends have been extolling the virtues of velvet because they are experiencing it for the first time with the current 90s aesthetic revival, the rest of us are looking on in vague, smug amusement while desperately trying to unearth that choker we passed on to a young cousin in 2003 when we finally gave up on ever wearing it again.
The thing is that with every internet search I make in an attempt to find a new velvet dress, I find myself more and more disappointed with the thinner, threadbare quality of the material and my own inability to forgive myself for not keeping that frock coat I bought from an outdoor market selling vintage clothes about 10 years ago.
So why the obsession? Well, first and foremost, curvier girls should know that a thick velvet dress will do wonders for one’s figure if the velvet is of good enough quality and the garment is well cut. If you buy a higher thread count, natural material, the dress or coat of your choice will heavily drape over your figure and cover all the problematic areas by simply skimming them instead of making you look like a giant Quality Street sweet that got stuck to the bottom of the box.
In addition to this, velvet is so luxurious-looking that you can get away with a simpler and more minimalist cut which in reality looks better on fuller figures.
What makes this fabric all the more magical is the fact that you can wear jewel tones without the worry of looking bigger than you are because good quality velvet usually comes in deeper toned hues which will make you look decidedly thinner.
Or maybe, I’m still trying to grow into that tall, willowy blonde I saw all those years ago…