Sexy Velvet Holiday Looks for Every Body Type

How to work the season's most touchable trend.
- Erin Donnelly, BettyConfidential.com

With all due respect to Rudolph, the reindeer sweater has got to go. This holiday season, swap kitschy for knockout with a luxe, oh so touchable velvet piece. Because of its formal aesthetic, this winter classic adds an elegant touch to any holiday gathering.We'd love to steal Emma Watson's blue number! Accessorize with your favorite baubles, a glass of eggnog, and some mistletoe-you'll need it!

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Petite

Remember those cutesy velvet gowns your mom made your 6-year-old self wear when she hauled you off to Sears Portrait Studio? Yeah, we're looking to avoid that. Because of their size, petites tend to look childish and princessy in certain velvet pieces. To combat that, opt for sleeker, edgier looks-think a leg-highlighting body-con dress paired with a leather jacket as opposed to a puffy prom dress knockoff. Gossip Girl's Dreama Walker paired leather with a short black velvet dress.As usual, look for garments with lower necklines and short skirts so as to "open up" and elongate the body, and consider monochromatic looks. And don't forget the heels!

Available in black or blue, this sexy number leaves little to the imagination-but that's why God invented Spanx, right? Complete the rock goddess look with a biker jacket (or this season's cropped shearling aviator), matching tights, and studded heels. Sparkle & Fade crushed velvet body-con dress ($49, urbanoutfitters.com)

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Give your girly party dress a touch of boyish finesse with this sleek, perfectly fitted blazer. Available in five colors. J.Crew petite velvet schoolboy blazer ($118, jcrew.com)

Go gothic in this bewitching, lace-backed minidress. Alice + Olivia open-back velvet dress ($242, shopbop.com)

Curvy

Velvet is one of those rare textures that doesn't add too much bulk. The trick is finding cuts that highlight your figure best. Tunics are forgiving, while cinched-waist dresses create that enviable hourglass shape. Kim Kardashian's tight-waisted dress shows off her assets. Avoid anything too voluminous or oversized, and only attempt velvet bottoms-even if they're in a subtle black-if you're okay with them drawing attention to your lower half.

Show off your cleavage while camouflaging a large bottom half in this sassy, straight-out-of-the-Roaring-'20s draped dress, which comes in red or gray. Pair with black tights and matching heels to elongate the legs. ASOS Curve twisted velvet dress ($62.06, asos.com)

Whether you wear it with cigarette pants or a pencil skirt, this gorgeous blouse is perfect for the holiday party circuit. The belted waist is slimming, while the ruffles add a feminine touch without too much volume. Lauren by Ralph Lauren Sadira ruffled tunic ($136.89, macys.com)

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Boasting three-quarter sleeves and a smoky charcoal gray hue, this velvet tunic is the ultimate in effortless chic-just add black leggings and heels and go! Adrienne Vittadini long velvet tunic ($358, neimanmarcus.com)

Tall

Make the most of your tall figure by trying fashions that would overwhelm shorter body types. For example, a velvet pencil skirt or trousers can look terrific on a woman with the legs to carry it off, while a sweeping, oversized tunic or cardigan poses no challenge like Iman's outfit. If you're going the dress route, avoid overly girly features which, in velvet, can look too youthful and borderline ridiculous on a tall body. Think streamlined, fitted, and knee-length. If you can see Michelle Obama wearing it, you're on the right track.

A long frame can easily pull off this sophisticated knee-length dress, which features a modest scoop neck and romantic ribbon belt. Just add low kitten heels and this season's beloved Bardot beehive. Tahari by Arthur S. Levine burnout velvet dress ($138, nordstrom.com)

Your basic LBD will be transformed by the addition of this knee-sweeping cardigan. Very art deco and made for a tall body. Winter Kate by Nicole Richie Jasmine velvet cardy ($350, singer22.com)

For a less conventional holiday look, rock these black velvet pants with a lace blouse or silk top. Bonus: You can totally get away with flats. Ann Taylor tall signature velvet trousers ($98, anntaylor.com)

Average

There are few limitations as far as velvet goes, though you'll want to avoid overdosing on the trend. If you're not going for a dress, ideally one that hits just above the knee like Emma Watson's, then opt for just one velvet separate-no head-to-toe looks, please. A slouchy velvet blazer worn with a camisole and slim-cut pants is a fab alternative to the generic cardigan, while velvet jeans (yes, really!) can be glammed up with heels and a silky blouse.

Va va va voom! Add a skirt-either a sleek pencil or twirl-happy circle skirt-to maximize the Sophia Loren appeal of this sheer-paneled velvet top. Free People Division velvet burnout top ($108, Bloomingdales.com)

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Get your "Dynasty" on in this puffy-shouldered cocktail dress. This flirty number calls for sky-high heels and a fun Audrey-esque up-do. Nasty Gal velvet puff dress ($68, shopnastygal.com)

Warning: This ultra-sexy gray backless halter-neck dress might land you on Santa's Naughty List. So worth it, though. Nightcap Clothing crushed velvet dress ($216, saksfifthavenue.com)

Erin Donnelly is a London-based fashion writer for sites such as StyleList and Refinery 29.

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