Velvet has come a long way from the days when it was reserved for figure-skating competitions and ‘90s teen movie stars. Going in to 2017, it’s one of the biggest trends out there—just in time for the rush of parties and family get-togethers that tend to pile up this time of year.
While velvet doesn’t need to be reserved for the holidays (see: the recent spate of celebrities rocking theirs in the middle of August), this is undoubtedly the easiest season to pull it off. With more occasions than ever to break out the festive cocktail attire, it’s the perfect excuse to add a slinky velvet slip, cold-shoulder midi, or flutter-sleeve wrap dress to your collection. Not only does the plush fabric have the advantage of being actually warm—a rarity in party clothes—it’s also more forgiving than silk or sequins, and feels like being wrapped in your coziest blanket. (Seriously: don’t be alarmed if you want to pet yourself all night … just maybe don’t be too conspicuous about it.)
Below, shop 21 velvet dresses starting at just $30.