As we prepare to retire our straw summer totes and raffia bags, one of the things keeping my spirits high is the velvet bag trend that’s poised to take over for fall. The luxe texture has been beloved and embraced as a year-round favorite for some time, but the soft, decadent piece reads innately fall. Velvet is versatile (especially as a handbag) and can be styled with everything from jeans and a T-shirt to a formal gown. "A good velvet bag can dress anything up," says Caroline Maquire, fashion director for Shopbop. "I’d wear it during the day with a great pair of denim, a graphic tee, and my favorite slides. Or, for an evening look, swap the graphic tee for a flowy dress over your denim."
When it came to the pre-fall and fall collections from some of the hard-hitting fashion houses around the world, velvet bags definitely reigned supreme. Fendi, Gucci, and Prada all featured gorgeous selections ready to inspire your every look this season, from chain-strap shoulder bags to top-handle lady bags and everything in between. What’s more, brands like Staud, Dries van Noten, and more have debuted styles that draw inspiration from everything ranging from 1920s cinched wristlets to bucket bags.
Just like summer has its quintessential vibrant palette of electric pinks, purples, blues, fall has its own rich hues that feel perfectly seasonal, particularly when seen on a luxe accessory. "I love that we’re seeing velvet pieces in bold jewel tones this season" says Maguire. "The fabric and colors are so versatile."
Stylist Rachael Wang shares the general consensus over the trend, telling TZR, “I love a tiny velvet pouch paired with skin-tight jeans, a silky camisole tucked in, and strappy sandals for night.” By day, Wang says, “It’s nice to pair a more oversized bag in a lighter color with a similarly colored dress or pencil skirt and blouse.”
"One of the aspects of velvet that I love most is its ability to give any look, day or night, that extra je ne sais quoi," Wang says. “I love the texture and implied sensuality of velvet.” Her style of choice? “My favorite silhouette is a drawstring velvet pouch.”
As for Maguire, she has her eye on the latest offerings from The Volon. "I love the luxe velvet with color blocking and feather accents," she says. "The juxtaposition of velvet with leather is the perfect balance for the season."
To help you get on board the velvet train, here are 16 styles for every budget.