Since Sandy and Danny sashayed onto our screens, leather jackets slung over shoulders and cigarettes in mouths, we've been hooked on the hardy material. From Top Gun's Kelly McGillis to Posh and Becks' iconic all-leather look (although we wouldn't recommend that one), it's been front and centre in some iconic fashion moments over the years. Often synonymous with youth, sex appeal and a rock n' roll persona, it can be an intimidating material to venture into for the first time.
But, with a plethora of choice, cuts and silhouettes to choose from, leather has come into its own and opened up multiple options for women of all shapes, sizes and ages. Similarly to leopard print, sequins and faux fur, leather has got a bad rep over the years but has now cemented itself as an official style staple. So, it's here to stay. With the right styling and an open mind, you can find a new place for leather in your wardrobe this season.
1. Team the rough with the smooth
One of the best ways to dip a sartorial toe into the world of leather is to contrast. Pairing an eye-catching material like leather with a complimentary texture such as chiffon, silk or wool is a great way to offset an otherwise intimidating fabric. Think, leather pencil skirt with a chiffon blouse, leather trousers with a chunky knit or a leather jacket worn with silk wide-leg trousers. Not only does a softer fabric pare down the leather, it also makes it look more grown-up and put-together.
2. Smarten up with tailoring
There's a common misconception that leather is for teens sporting beaten up leather jackets a la the Grease cast, but it's a trend that can be worn by all ages. Smarten leather up by opting for a blazer or buttery soft trench coat for a more formal look. Worn with tailored cigarette trousers or straight leg jeans can instantly transform your outfit.
3. Brave leather trousers, but not as you know it
The thought of them may conjour up visions of Ross from Friends, frantically pouring talc and lotion onto his legs in an effort to slide his leather trousers on, but they've come a long way. While leather leggings are reserved for the brave, straight leg versions are a much friendlier and modern way to wear the trend. Paired with a white shirt and kitten heel mules, they exude an air of Audrey Hepburn about them. Still not convinced? Try a pair of leather culottes instead for a flattering alternative that can be worn with heels and a knit for dinner, or plimsolls and a Breton tee for the daytime.
4. The new leather jacket
The T-birds, Madonna and Debbie Harry wore them with aplomb but if a traditional leather jacket isn't for you, take it down a notch or two and go for a leather shacket instead. We know, the name is less than tempting, but this seasons hottest trend is here to stay and is versatile enough to wear in multiple ways. Half shirt, half jacket, the shacket can be worn alone, over jeans and ankle boots or layered over a knitted jumper dress.
5. Think about the colour
Whether it's real leather, PU or faux, it's a timeless material that will only get better with age, therefore ensure it stands the test of time by choosing your item of choice in a neutral shade. Brown, black, grey, beige, camel or even a khaki green will pair nicely with a variety of other shades and make sure it looks modern and mature, however you wear it.
Article by Jessica Harris
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