Velvet is not a fabric that is easily pegged as versatile—after all, it can instantly conjure up visions of dandies dressed to the nines or Hugh Hefner’s go-to louche loungewear. But when it comes to holiday party season, a velvet blazer cashes in some serious ROI. That’s because, if you pick the right style, you’ll be able to wear it with everything from your favorite pair of jeans to your sharpest pair of tuxedo trousers—nailing nearly even the most obscure dress codes on your holiday party circuit.
If you could use more convincing, we’ve hunted down the best three styles on the shelves this season, and broken down the best ways to wear them. Now all you need to do is remember to bring that bottle of bubbly.
Dress Code: Festive Cocktail
We wouldn’t blame you for shying away from red velvet. But we promise this Kei blazer (shown above, $1,480, available at Canali boutiques) from Canali—a velvet version of the Italian brand’s best-selling style—won’t make you look like Mr. Claus. By toning down the burgundy jacket with a sober grey turtleneck, subtly checked wool trousers, and traditional derby shoes done in an unexpected toned-down royal blue, you create a sophisticated, elegant look that’s still of-the-moment.
Dress Code: Black Tie
Stand out in the best way at black-tie events with this Boglioli midnight-blue cotton-velvet tuxedo jacket ($1,300, available at Boglioli boutiques) that looks the part without being too “look at me!” Style it as you would your go-to tux: with a crisp Turnbull & Asser dress shirt and a classic grosgrain bow tie. Play up the jacket’s lush texture (which will look especially good under twinkling party lights) with a pair of smoking slippers in a similarly rich black velvet.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Choose a velvet in a more versatile color than black, and pair it with dark-wash denim for a more casual approach to the dressed up fabric. Here, a milk chocolate colorway loosens up Tom Ford’s classically sharp Shelton jacket ($3,440), allowing it to pair easily with Acne Studio’s straight-fit jeans. Punctuate the look with a pair of leather boots in a similarly rich brown, and throw on a cozy cashmere scarf to stay warm on any Christmas Day walks.