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