NOW we're firmly in the run-up to Christmas, it's no surprise that searches for velvet dresses have sky-rocketed.
The subtle but sexy material is an easy way to elevate a simple cut into a standout evening piece that is a must for dinners, drinks and Christmas parties alike.
Velvet can come in a number of different styles so whether you're after an evening gown or a mini dress for drinks with the girls, you can't go wrong.
Fancy getting your hands on one for yourself but not sure where to start? These are the best ones to buy this party season.
1. Black Velvet Studded Midi Dress
- Black Velvet Studded Midi Dress, £65 from River Island – buy here
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This midi from River Island, wears a subtle polka dot excellently well and when paired with puff sleeves and a high round neck, creates a beautiful and comfortable outfit for any occasion.
2. Monsoon Rachel Velvet Midi Dress
- Monsoon Rachel Velvet Midi Dress, £85 from John Lewis – buy here
The combination of fuchsia and velvet makes this dress from Monsoon super wearable even though it's a bright colour.
The square neckline is particularly flattering on bigger busts, and a high waistline gives the impression of longer legs.
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A high slit in the loose skirt makes walking easy – no waddling necessary – and it's sure to be a standout wherever you wear it.
3. Reiss Tatiana Velvet Cut-Out Shoulder Dress
- Reiss Tatiana Velvet Cut-Out Shoulder Dress, £148 from John Lewis – buy here
In true Reiss style, this dress is the epitome of elegance. A more interesting take on a standard bodycon dress, the geometric cut out highlights the femininity of the collarbone.
Full length sleeves elongate the arms while the high neck addsregality.
We love the deep burgundy colour as an alternative to black, and despite being pretty spenny at nearly £150, it's a dress that you can rely on again and again.
4. Extro & Vert Bandeau Mini Dress
- Extro & Vert Bandeau Mini Dress, £38 from Asos – buy here
If you want something easy to slip on before heading for a night out then this mini dress from Extro & Vert needs to be in your wardrobe.
A brand that focusses on helping to create a capsule collection, this dress fits the bill.
For less than £40, this crushed velvet bandeau dress doesn't need much – just a bag, jacket and earrings to be club ready.
5. Thought Jamesina Velvet Dress
- Thought Jamesina Velvet Dress, £110 from John Lewis – buy here
A dropped hemline is a difficult style to get right but when it's done properly it's the last word in relaxed fashion.
This teal midi dress, does the trend really well, using thick material for structure and slightly puffed sleeves to create shape.
Don't go overboard with the jewellery and let the dress speak for itself.
6. Black Velvet Cut Out Strappy Midi Dress
- Black Velvet Cut Out Strappy Midi Dress, £15.59 (was £25.99) from New Look – buy here
Don't really like making too much of a fuss? Then this strappy dress could be for you.
With a little peek-a-boo cut out which gives the impression of a high waisted skirt and crop top, the sleek black velvet material looks elegant.
Plus, it's currently available for just over £15 which is a real bargain.
7. Velvet Ruched Front Midi Dress
- Velvet Ruched Front Midi Dress, £52 from Next – buy here
Bodycon dresses can sometimes feel quite daunting to wear, but the ruching on this olive green dress makes it a little more comfortable.
The v-neck is tasteful, and the elasticated waist accentuates an hourglass figure.
Longer sleeves are especially good in colder weather, negating the dilemma of jacket or no jacket.
8. Closet London Tie Waist Velvet Mini Dress
- Closet London Tie Waist Velvet Mini Dress, £65 from Asos – buy here
A modern cut elevates this mini dress, especially if you have a smaller bust. The high neck counteracts the higher hemline, by elongating and shaping.
Maroon crushed velvet is elegant and chic, adding a twist to traditional black.
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