Leather Bound

Leather accents are popping up on everything – jackets, socks, navy blue sneakers… At first, I was nervous that we were about to go through another Madonna-esque, bondage phase in fashion, but thankfully we seem to be keeping it pretty tasteful and downplayed this time around. It definitely makes a boring t-shirt feel a lot more awesome and superhero-y.

Rihanna in November’s Vogue US. Photo by Annie Leibovitz.

Leather accents also me feel like any Instagram photos of me are going to look 300% cooler if I’m wearing even the smallest amount of leather (fake or real), and that’s as valuable as getting all of these cute leather-kissed pieces for free. Being that this is definietly the Trend Of The Moment, I wouldn’t spend more than $50 on something that a) won’t fall apart – at least not while it’s still a big trend, and b) you can still wear later, if you want. None of these picks are blindingly current, and we tried to find pieces that were a little bit timeless, too. Gotta maximize that dollar by maximizing your wardrobe!

Leather Sleeves

Maggy Ward Peplum Top, $39.99; Zara Faux Leather Sleeve Tee, $25.90;
Maggy Ward Leather Sleeve Tee, $49.99

Adding one of these tops to my wardrobe is the #1 on my to-do list right now. The design of this statement t-shirt is so basic that it will carry you through even future, bolder trends. I don’t see leather leaving the fashion market any time soon (sorry, vegans), and sleeves seem pretty safe, too (sorry, The Situation). Add it to anything from a pencil skirt to brightly colored skinny jeans to look cooler than you really are. All in all: it’s worth the money.

…Orrrr, you could go extra-extra-bold and make a statement with a longer-sleeved top, adorned with the same leather limbs, like this top (above) from Nicole Richie’s line for Macy’s Impulse ($59).

Leather Piping

Patterson J. Kincaid “Hawkins” Leather & Linen Tank, $45.90;
C. Luce Peplum Blouse, $46.50

A little contrasting piping is never a bad thing, in my book. It’s true that the contrast piping look can often come across a little… scuba-chic. Some dark leather over an off-white base looks just muted enough to not be flashy, and the tones make it more horse ranch than deep-sea diver.

That might be a little too basic for some people, though… People like me. I’m much more interested in the fabulous piping on this beautiful, open-weave sweater:

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Trouvé Faux Leather Piped Open Weave Sweater, $49.90

Saucy.

Leather Panels

Panels come in all shapes and sizes, allowing you to get as much (or as little) leather in the mix as you want.

Trouve Faux Leather Trim Tee, $38

A perfect top for the leather-skittish. This is another design that is so simple and basic (yet interesting) that it will last you years and years.

Speaking of the leather-skittish, if you’re a little gun-shy about launching into the trend that, done poorly, could leave you in more of a Biker Babe environment, fear not! There are lots of ways to sneak in a little glimpse of faux here and there without overdoing it, or feeling like your boss might suddenly get curious about your after-work activities…

Navy High-Waist Leather Panel Skirt from EXPRESS, $29.99;
ELLE Faux Leather Tweed Short, $30.80

The waistband is always a cute place to feature some kind of shocking details. A tucked in shirt is usually a pretty tidy look, so the addition of the leather will have you feeling all saucy, guaranteed.

Faux Leather Panel Tee from The Limited, $42.90;
Touch of Contrast Dress from Modcloth, $47.99

These are for those of you who are so primed and ready to be cloaked in leather that you might as well call yourself Broke-Ass Madonna. Big panels of leather or bold, contrasting structure is built into these versatile pieces. The t-shirt on the left is half statement, half neutral making it pretty much the wardrobe maverick. The dress is super sauce, and can be put with a cropped tuxedo jacket (or anything fitted) – I’d love to see it with a ballet sweater, myself!


What are your thoughts on leather details? Yay or nay?

  • Nice! I love the leather look! I especially love the shirts with accents of leather. I think the accents of leather in panels etc. is nice it gives a pop to a shirt, pants, etc. I would so rock it!

  • Louise

    I love it! I never thought it would be a trend I’d ever try because every time I’d seen anything in the shops it had always been either real leather (not for this vegetarian!) or just a bit… plasticy and wet-looking. But then a load of stuff turned up in the shops and it was actually nice. So now I own two pairs of (all fake) leather leggings (one with sequin panels, because I know how much you like those!), a pair of shorts in all (p)leather and two pairs with panels or accents. Love, love, love it!