Offbeat Basic: Leather Camisole

Typically, between my daily store-memorization routines and sociocultural analysis (read: street style & runway shows on my Macbook while eating peanut butter from the jar), I can usually pinpoint where trends originate – be it a specific designer, or a specific street style photograph or celebrity wearing a certain piece of clothing or accessory. Often times, it’s simple to tell where a trend came from because it’s shoved down our throats over and over through magazines, commercials, internet ads and, well, blogs like mine.

So when I start seeing a specific garment popping up at every single store, and have no idea where it came from – that’s exciting. I like it when trends arise that aren’t instantly cult-like and adhesive. It feels more genuine, and a little less aggressive (which we could all benefit from).

Such was the case when I began to see leather camisoles and leather tanks in all of my favorite shopping spots.

Ecru Leather CamisoleSource: Ecru

I’ve seen some leather tank tops before, but these are elegant and sophisticated, with narrow straps and a loose, swingy shape. 

First thing’s first: anytime you see the word “leather” on this website – unless the planets have aligned for some kind of ridiculous sale – I mean faux leather. I certainly don’t have “new leather object” money – do you? If so, I encourage you to try faux leather because it’s made of fewer animals and will save you money. Vintage leather – that’s another story… But I’ll leave my soapbox-style commentary for Tumblr.

VEDA F/W 2014 Lyell Leather Camisole

Source: VEDA

So far, I’ve been able to trace back this sudden surge of leather camisoles to Tibi, and a bit of credit to T by Alexander Wang. Each have their own similar-but-different variation of this boxy luxury top. Each have colorful variations – Tibi in dark teal and Alexander Wang in a poppy red.

These are starting to emerge in price ranges that you and I are more accustomed to… like maybe under $50. Fortunately, some old standbys – Nasty Gal, Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack – come through with some super affordable options.

Nasty Gal Faux Leather cami

Midnight Oil Cami, $38 at Nasty Gal

ASTR Faux Leather Cami

ASTR Faux Leather Cami in Black at Nordstrom, reg. $50 now $24.98; in Orange at Nordstrom Rack, reg. $50 now $14.96

It’s so hard to find photos of people who have styled a leather camisole… for being so desirable, there aren’t many in the hands of stylish ladies! I’d love to see how people style this beyond “wear it as a top,” you know? Maybe it’d be fun to put a super-fuzzy sweater over the top, for textural contrast? Or many wear it with something lace?

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It’s such an edgy basic,  yet it can be dressed up or down with some clever pairings. It can be modest, or it can be… well, a leather camisole which conjures images that are the opposite of modest…

How would you style a leather camisole?

  • Meg

    I’m buying one of these for sure!!! I LOVE the look of leather, and the tank is such a good yet less “bad ass” way to wear it. Maybe over a lace maxi skirt?

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  • BLouMae

    I love these leather tops! what about some leather pants? While I was shopping online I came across a consignment shop with a crazy amount of pants/jeans options all designer brands for less! Lorenas WORTH is my new favorite place to shop!!

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