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What Is That, Velvet?

If relaxed, bohemian chic is on one end of the fasion spectrum this year, luxurious glamour is on the other. To implement this decadent trend, designers utilized fabrics like lace and furs- as well as rich, colorful velvets.

Nanette Lepore's gypsy-inspired Autumn/Winter 2010 Line

The soft yet heavy quality of velvet offers people the chance to play with proportions and create some extremely versatile looks. Cut in any variety of ways, lush velvet can be used in everything from old school blazers like this one from Urban Outfitters, to sweeping ball gowns like those over at Nanette Lepore. Many have also been incorporating the formal fabric into casual, every day wear with velvet leggings like these.

Blogger cocorosa in velvet leggings

Designers from Ralph Lauren to Giorgio Armani are finding ways to use velvet in their Fall and Winter 2010 collections, and, as all trends do, it's trickling down to the more affordable retailers. So don't worry if you want to try a little velvet in your life but don't want to shell out thousands for the tailored jackets over at Thakoon. It's easier than it may seem at first to start wearing velvet, a fabric most of us associate with theater curtains and Grandma's drapes. Accents like shoes, bags, and very nice headbands like this one are good starters.

For the more daring, go all out with large, attention-grabbing pieces. Prettily draped dresses like this one from Asos, $34, combine the luxe look of the sumptuous fabric with a relaxed ease, and these fun, floral-patterned pants are right on trend. Velvet can be accesorized one of two ways: go with the nature of the fabric and pile on sophisticated, gothic jewelry like rosaries, amber, and silver, or let the velvet do the talking and keep the rest understated with minimal styling. One thing is for sure: you don't have to worry about being warm this winter if you stock up on velvet. Granny would be proud.

Blogger Gemma of fade to black in a Forever 21 dress, $23

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