There was a time when a velvet suit would only be appropriate for a British lord.

Thankfully, that time is long gone.

Today, any man can wear a velvet suit and look like royalty, but he can also wear it in a way that seems to break all the rules.

Velvet generally gives off a romantic aura, making standard suits seem unique. Yet, it might seem like a challenge to incorporate velvet into your wardrobe.

But once you unlock velvet’s styling secrets, you’ll wonder why you ever hesitated.

How to Properly Wear a Velvet Suit

Velvet is a luxury fabric, so it’s far from your average suit. So when you wear velvet, there’s no denying that you will stand out in the crowd.

what is and how to wear a velvet suit

Velvet may feel intimidating and showy at first, but it’s easier to style than you think. You can go big and bold when wearing velvet, playing up the intensity of the fabric.

But, on the other hand, you can keep your velvet suit subtle and classy. It’s all up to you.

Consider the Event

Fashion-wise, a velvet suit is for those dress code occasions when you want to make a bold contribution.

But, unfortunately, it isn’t appropriate in your everyday wardrobe, and in most cases, not for work, either.

Wearing velvet turns a standard suit into something extra. You’ll find velvet present mostly at black-tie events, but it can also be found in more casual social settings.

Black-tie dress code attire

Also, think about when your event takes place. Velvet feels like a natural fit for nighttime but would feel glaringly out of place in the daylight.

It’s also such a warm fabric that you should confine your velvet wearing to fall and winter.

Suit Cut

It should sit close to your body to achieve the best effect with your velvet suit. Look for a slim-fit cut that will accentuate the line of your silhouette.

slim fit suits explained

You want to create one smooth, sleek line from top to bottom. If your velvet suit is too loose, that can generate a velvet overload.

Even with a slim-fit suit, you need to ensure that it fits you the way a suit should.

slim fit dress pants with suit

This means that the suit’s shoulders should not end past your shoulder bone, and the sleeves should not extend past the base of your palm.

Also, look for a velvet suit jacket with some shape in the torso, narrowing at the waist.

Proper Pants for a Velvet Jacket

Pay close attention to how your pants are cut. They should match your suit jacket and be slim fit, as well.

For example, a flat-front, slim-fit pair of dress pants are very flattering with the plushness of the suit jacket.

what are flat front suit pants

You don’t need to stick with a full velvet suit. Instead, you can mix and match the velvet suit jacket with many other pants, from black dress pants to wool trousers, to casual jeans or chinos.

You can even play around with different color combinations, too.

Velvet Suit Outfit Ideas for Formal Settings

Velvet can rise to the challenge of any festive occasion. That’s because it can be either ultra-formal or understated and classy. Either way, it’s head-turning.

When opting for a velvet suit, remember that the suit is the centerpiece, the main attraction. Keep every other aspect of your wardrobe simple. Bold accessories feel too busy when paired with such distinct fabric.

Black Velvet Tuxedo with Dress Shirt & Bow Tie

When you incorporate velvet, you can achieve a traditional tuxedo look with a splash of swag.

Don’t dabble with color, however. Keep your ensemble black and white, and you will be the most formal you can be.

how to wear black velvet suit jacket formally

Keep every other aspect of your outfit formal, too. For example, wear a high-quality white dress shirt under your velvet suit jacket.

Don’t forget to include a bow tie. If your formal jacket has satin piping and lapels, you can wear a black satin bow tie; otherwise, black velvet would work best.

black velvet tuxedo jacket with dress shirt and bow tie

Finally, you can add either patent leather or full-grain dress shoes; Oxfords are the preferable style choice, but derby shoes are acceptable.

Midnight Blue Velvet Jacket

Change the pace of things ever so slightly with a midnight blue velvet jacket. It’s the second most formal color, incredibly close to black.

how to wear midnight blue velvet suit jacket formally

The rest of your outfit must be neutral if you want to retain formality. So pair your midnight blue velvet jacket with black dress pants and a crisp white button-up dress shirt.

The question of a bow tie is up to you, but remember that you’ll lose formality points if you skip it. When you include it, it must be black.

midnight blue tuxedo jacket with black pants, white shirt, and black bow tie

This contemporary twist on the dinner jacket typically features peak or shawl lapels. You may find a midnight blue velvet jacket with notch lapels, but in that case, it’s likely a less formal blazer.

Red Velvet Jacket

Don’t shy away from red. The best shades of red for a velvet jacket are dark, such as burgundy or maroon.

how to wear maroon red velvet suit jacket formally

These shades are rich and deep, making them classy and not showy or crass as a bright red would feel.

Also, your velvet jacket should have a black satin shawl collar for formality, which will help with the overall tone.

A deep red velvet jacket is less formal than its darker counterparts but is also more unique. Unfortunately, it can be more challenging to pull off successfully, too.

maroon red velvet tuxedo with shirt and bow tie

Although if you keep the rest of your outfit simple and subdued, you will look regal with a hint of your daring personality peeking through.

Bright Velvet Jackets

You don’t need to feel doomed to a life of dark colors when you wear velvet suits. There are plenty of opportunities to branch out into bolder and brighter colors.

Velvet jackets in majestic purple or lush green can make a stunning impression in the correct setting.

wearing a bright purple velvet jacket formally

However, a shocking color palette is a significant statement when wearing velvet, so use color wisely; ensure the environment is appropriate first.

Even if the party atmosphere is loose and anything goes, you don’t want to overdo your style.

The rest of your wardrobe should remain neutral. Don’t try to embellish your bold velvet color; you will likely look gaudy.

Casual Velvet Suit Outfit Ideas

If velvet suits have caught your fancy, you don’t need to wait around for a black-tie event to try one out.

Instead, you can bring the class and style to your next social engagement. You provide your own formality and elegance if you wear a velvet blazer.

Here are some outfit ideas for incorporating more velvet into your life.

Velvet Jacket & Dress Shirt

Here’s a terrific option for a semi-formal outfit with spunk. Wear a solid dress shirt to keep it looking smart.

Feel free to experiment with a colored button-up shirt. However, white makes a beautiful canvas to help make your velvet jacket stand out.

blue velvet suit jacket and white dress shirt

Wear dress pants and leather dress shoes for a more dressed-up look. On the other hand, though, you can go for a more casual option with no tie.

Your velvet jacket should have plain notch lapels; avoid satin facings because they would look out of place in a casual setting.

Velvet Jacket & Patterned Shirt

A patterned dress shirt will make your outfit less dressy; it’s the perfect way to set a fun and festive vibe.

You can get funky with bright, bold prints or stay understated with small, subtle patterns.

different ways to wear velvet jackets with patterned shirts

The size and color of your patterned shirt will create a distinctive and unique style.

Prints give you a wide variety of options with which to play. You can dabble in checkered prints, polka dots, paisley, or floral.

Velvet Suit Jacket with a Crew Neck

This is the ideal way to combine hi-brow elegance with super casual breeziness to create an outfit that equals unparalleled style.

To achieve this look, wear a t-shirt that is in excellent shape and fits you well. It doesn’t need to be form-fitting; in fact, it’s best if it’s slightly loose.

In addition, you can play with color options and wear a contrasting shirt and velvet jacket, or wear a t-shirt in a slightly lighter shade than your jacket.

A nice pair of trousers work well, but so do jeans or chinos. It all depends on how effortless you want to look.

Velvet Suit Jacket with a Roll Neck

A roll neck is a garment that people gravitate to when the weather is cold; velvet jackets are another such item.

midnight blue velvet suit jacket with black roll neck

When you pair them together, you can successfully create a feeling of warmth when people merely look at you.

Keep your roll neck dark. It’s a neckline that’s somber and conservative. You don’t want to fight against that, so a darker color feels more natural.

Pick a roll neck in a natural fiber like wool or cashmere. You also would do best with a tight weave fabric to create a more cohesive appearance.

burgundy velvet suit jacket with charcoal grey turtleneck

You look more polished when your fabrics fit together.

Velvet Suit Jacket & Jeans

You can create a stunning contrast when you match velvet and denim. The denim fabric’s roughness makes the velvet jacket’s plush softness stand out.

The formal feeling of the velvet jacket elevates your standard jeans, rather than the jacket being dragged down by the jeans.

burgundy/dark red velvet jacket and dark grey jeans

Dark blue jeans look fantastic with any color of velvet. Black jeans also work in most instances but would create a different effect.

You can finish the outfit with dress shoes or a pair of black Chelsea boots, a crisp button-down shirt, or a fitted t-shirt.

Alexander Stoicoff

Author: Alexander Stoicoff

Hi, I’m Alex, and I’ve studied and specialized in styling in Rome. Through my writing, I want to help men dress well and learn the purpose and significance of suits and other formal attire. My final goal is to make men more confident in their wardrobe choice and life in general.