How to Wear: Velvet

Turban: Bershka, £7.99

No longer content simply to bask in its status as party season staple for the under-8, over-80 and so-hip-it-hurts demographics, this year, velvet is back with a vengeance. If you haven’t gone there since availability of vodka replaced availability of ice cream as the factor most likely to influence an RSVP, now is the time. And if you’re already a fully paid-up member of the velvet underground? Then it’s time to really go for it – this season, we’re talking top-to-toe, front-to-back, inside-out, shake-it-all-about velvet mania…

Combining sensuality with snuggle and sophistication with subversion in roughly equal measure, from feminine flounces to androgynous tailoring, full-length-and-fabulous to micro mini, all-covered-up to plunging-to-oblivion, there’s something to tempt pretty much every stylista’s palate… Style out the ’70s love-in in flares, or buck the trend that just won’t die with a nod to ’60s swing, ’80s extravagance or ’90s grunge (add a pair of chunky DM-style boots for a “just-threw-this-on” look to stir up some major style envy and keep you on your feet all night).

Trend Edit- Velvet Party Wear
Our Fashion Editor’s Best Buys: Slip Dress: Zara, £22.99; Suit: Topshop Unique, £320; Jacket: H&M, £39.99; Turtle Neck Maxi Dress: Pretty Little Thing, £20; Boots: ASOS, £38; Backpack: Urban Outfitters, £39; Jumpsuit: American Apparel, £64; Red Dress: Motel at Topshop, £45; Cami Top: H&M, £12.99; Flared Leggings: H&M, £12.99; Peplum Top: Zara, £29.99; Wide Leg Trousers: Zara, £59.99

Whether you opt for classic black or rich jewel tones, max out pre- and post-festivity style mileage by mixing up with knitwear and tailoring slip a white shirt under that tux for the office, a sweater over the slip dress for the pub and a roll neck under the jumpsuit for dinner with the in-laws

Not quite brave enough to go head-to-toe? Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise – a velvet boot, bag, blazer or headband can’t fail either to inject a little festivity into a failsafe party frock or to revive a tired working and weekend wardrobe on a paltry pre-Crimbo budget.

Velvet is for life, not just for Christmas.

Samantha Simmonds