ith the passage of Thanksgiving, we enter what is commonly called 'the holidays,' and with these holidays come an expected level of celebration. From St. Nicholas' Day to Hanukkah to Christmas to Kwanzaa to New Year's Eve, the month of December is filled with occasions to celebrate. A FashionMR would do well to have something on hand for these occasions, something special. We humbly suggest an investment in velvet.
Velvet has been woven since medieval times. The fabric originated in Kashmir, where it was then transferred through the Arab world to the merchants of Venice, and thenceforth made its way through the nations of Europe. Originally, its special weaving process made it expensive to manufacture, ensuring it an association with wealth and nobility. Even if velvet had been easy to obtain, its luxurious feel and sheen would grant it a special place among fabrics. Its fibers are tightly woven to create a dense bunch of raised texture, known as pile. This gives velvet its smooth softness to the touch, while the fabric catches the light in such a way that it shimmers, like the feathers of a hummingbird.
Because velvet is so luxurious, it is best employed in small doses, and then for special occasions. Fortunately, the holiday season is one long sequence of special occasions, so if you wish to wear velvet, this is the time for it. We would recommend you begin with a sport coat, the most natural use of velvet in contemporary dressing. Black is the traditional color, though you will also find jackets in blue, red, green, and sometimes even white. Regardless of the color, the sport coat should be paired with some simple neutral bottoms; gray wool pants or even gray jeans both work well. The shirt, by contrast, should be daring. You are already standing out in the crowd by wearing velvet- no sense in hiding. We suggest a bright color and a bold pattern for your shirt, perhaps something in red or pink, or orange if you can find it. A tie is optional, but if you choose to wear one, we recommend a bow tie. It will suggest a tuxedo, combining with the velvet to raise the formality of your entire ensemble. Of course, if you choose to wear an actual velvet tuxedo, be prepared for even more attention.