Velour comes from the French word for velvet, and like velvet, it’s made through a weaving process that loops threads together to form a “pile,” or a textured surface. The main difference between velour and velvet is the material it’s made from. Velour is made from cotton, while velvet usually comes from silk or nylon. It started to come into prominence in the late 1960s and early ‘70s.
In recent years, velour's been associated with sporty tracksuits and one particularly regrettable moment in the late '90s when they were associated with every other aspiring reality TV star. But velour’s true heyday was in the 1970s, which was a really experimental time for menswear in particular. Rebelling against the conservative uniform of the 1960s, subcultures like disco, punk, and hip-hop wore the fabric in a variety of ways. Of course there were the requisite tracksuits, but some of the most interesting pieces were velour versions of classic sportswear staples like polo shirts, crew neck tops, and mock neck sweaters.
Thanks to its cotton origins, velour pieces were able to balance being breathable while looking much more interesting than flat cotton clothes. Patterns and stripes in particular looked a lot better in the material. Our Velour Stripe Polo Pullover pays homage to that particular era.
We wanted to get the balance between the perfect vintage store find with enough of a modern sensibility to it. That’s why we made ours with a cotton-polyester blend and added ribbing at the cuffs, waistband, and collar, which we also gave a more modern shape. These little details give it more of a substantial silhouette and fit than what you’d usually find at a thrift store.