Is the velvet blazer the ultimate party staple for men?

Tom Ford, Armie Hammer and Ryan Gosling wearing velvet suits
The return of velvet: Tom Ford, Armie Hammer and Ryan Gosling

Gloriously tactile or naff and impractical? Two Telegraph staffers go head-to-head over the trickiest party trend…

Stephen Doig - For

Velvet suits are a difficult sell, coming with echoes of Austin Powers naffness combined with cringey cruise-ship-crooner connotations. 

I’m certainly a fan of velvet blazers – and velvet evening slippers, for that matter – but jacket and trousers all at once?  I wasn’t convinced until  I discovered this suit from British workwear specialist Oliver Spencer. 

First off, it’s not a jazzy tuxedo number, but comes across as more of a daytime ensemble, so it feels approachable and easier to wear. The shape is soft and relaxed – all  it needs is a T-shirt and boots, and the fawn colour is as autumnal as toffee apples. The textural vibe is pleasing in the chillier months, too.

Stephen wears velvet jacket, £439, and trousers, £249, both Oliver Spencer. Cotton T-shirt, £70, Sunspel. Leather boots, £255, Grenson. Robbie wears velvet blazer, £285, and cotton shirt, £85, both Reiss. Trousers and trainers, both Robbie’s own. Credit: Photography: Silvana Trevale. Hair: Nandi Kari at S Management Using Nars and Evo. Grooming: Rachael Thomas at S Management Using Glossier/John Nguyen

Robbie Hodges - Against

It’s party season, but I’m not the kind of guest who commits to one event per evening – I’m a millennial, after all. Nor would I commit to a suit. I’d love to swaddle myself in fuzz, but a velvet two-piece isn’t practical for a party-hopper like me and feels dated for my 24 years. 

My solution? Take a black-tie template – like this Reiss option, as seen on the Duke of Cambridge in green – but forget the formal elements (ie proper shirt and shoes), and ditch the matching trousers. This crimson number delivers enough Elton John energy that I can wear it with chinos and trainers. It’s a party up top, but the bottom’s all casual. Plus, it means I won’t be mistaken for my old man.

Five of the best to buy now...

Contrast-collar blazer £89, Marks & Spencer; Casual trousers £79, Massimo Alba at Yoox; Double-breasted jacket £225, The House of Bruar; Slim-fit blazer £55, Burton; Slim-fit trousers £50, Dobell

For more news, analysis and advice from The Telegraph's fashion team, click here to sign up to get our weekly newsletter, straight to your inbox every Friday.