Chalk it up to my New York life or my living in Williamsburg or my hipster-ish college influence, but despite my super-feminine tendencies, I have a lust for leather that creeps up in a ton of my blog posts. There's something about that hint of leather that adds a certain je ne sais quoi to so many looks. So from a leather-accent-aficionado (totally just made that up), here's my tips for injecting a little leather into your life.
- Add leather to a super-feminine look. This is my favorite way to play with leather, toning down a girly look with a leather jacket or vest. My favorite leather jackets have a buttery texture (even if they're faux) and I'm a sucker for details, especially a belt. A cropped leather jacket, like mine from Nasty Gal worn with my neon yellow Asos dress is great for keeping great proportions for petites like myself (5'2" / 157cm).
- All in the details. My favorite pieces, and the ones I'm willing to shell out some money for, have a little something. A lot of the time for me, it's a hint of leather. One of my favorite examples is this Kate Hudson for Ann Taylor LBD that has faux leather epaulets (aka shoulder details) and a faux leather waistband. Same goes for my Comptoir des Cotonniers Coat with leather inserts on the back. These little details can really add a lot to the overall look and feel of an outfit.
- Ode to accessories. Great leather accessories can totally transform a look. Be it shoes, bags or belts, great leather pieces can elevate, add edge or chic-ify an outfit. I have a total weak spot for Italian crafted leather shoes, especially from J. Crew, and they generally go on sale eventually (I have Google alerts set up!) Investing in a few great leather pieces is totally worth it. My beloved Marc Jacobs leather tote, for example, was not cheap but I wear it almost every single day so the cost-per-wear is very low at this point.
- Not black leather. When dipping your toe into leather looks, don't be afraid to try some colored leather. My little red faux leather bag from Express is often the perfect pop of color against darker looks and my Cole Haan turquoise pumps, I could write them a love song. Leather doesn't always have to mean dark and edgy, I mean have you taken a look at Kate Spade's incredible array of candy-colored leather treats? I highly recommend it.
- Beyond the jacket. When I think about leather, my mind immediately jumps to my mini-army of black leather jackets (the proof is in the post) but there are so many other leather pieces beyond jackets & accessories to try out. For me, I adore my faux leather pleated skirt from Urban Outfitters. Sometimes I dress it up, like with my 'Pardonez-moi' sweater and red heels and sometimes I do all-the-way-edgy like I did with my Drums band-tee & burgundy booties. I've also been dying to try out a leather sheath dress and a leather pencil skirt, preferably a buttery cognac colored stunner like this one I've been eyeing from Ann Taylor.
- Wear it with a Smile. Okay, so this is my tip for any outfit, any day, all day but especially when wearing leather, I love to smile. Leather can sometimes be intimidating, but for me it's not a coat of armor or a too-cool-girls-only club jacket, it's a fun textile to add texture to a multitude of looks. So, to keep leather from looking too edgy (but to each their own), I always recommend a big grin.