Hands up, who has a leather jacket? If you answer yes, whatever you do, do not throw it away. If you answered no, now is the perfect time to make this all important investment. Leather is simply a trend that will not remove itself from society. So much so, it really cannot be called a trend any longer, it is a staple piece which should form part of every capsule wardrobe. Black, brown, dark berry shades, whatever your preference, this season is all about the longevity and versatility of leather. Catwalk trends vary – from full length leather coats at Michael Kors and Alberta Ferretti, to trousers by Yves Saint Laurent, dresses from Fendi, to the all-out bizarre and showstopping looks by Gareth Pugh and Rick Owens (look up these designers on the net to see the full shows ). The high street collections are safer, but are impressive interpretations of the hottest designer looks. A word of warning though, leather needs some TLC so when investing in a piece, take the time to maintain the fabric by cleaning it and checking for damage.
The easiest piece to add to your new season wardrobe is definitely the jacket. I have several, from an Armani blazer style jacket to my favourite biker jacket from All Saints which is now in its seventh year. Despite being hard wearing, leather does tarnish, I find, so I keep mine in dust covers just to keep any damp or, even worse, moths away. This season’s styles are numerous; short jackets, either smart and fitted or more edgy, are all-round cuts to suit everything in your wardrobe. I really like wearing biker jackets over floral dresses to balance a very girly look with something with a little attitude. An easy way to wear a leather jacket is to just introduce some detail, such as sleeves on a trench coat, sew some leather elbow pads onto a coat, or look for something with leather lapels and collars (trench with leather detail from Simply Be ).
Trousers require, perhaps, a little more bravery. I am a big fan of leather trousers once they fit and do not sag around the knees and ankles. My favourite look is matching these with a chunky jumper to mix and match the textures. This can also work as a casual or a dressy outfit. An alternative to the leather trouser is ‘wet look’ jeans and leggings which brands like River Island, boohoo.com , and H&M are all stocking this season (trousers, from a selection at Laredoute ).
I recently wore a leather top on a press trip in London and despite my reservations at first, I have come to love the piece. Wearing this over some dark denim jeans and a blazer is a smart, but trendy, look and is easy to wear at this transitional stage we are at with the seasons. Without being too graphic, leather is a ‘hot’ fabric and so wearing on a warm day is not advisable (she says from experience ). There are plenty appearing on the shop floors at Oasis, Topshop, Warehouse, and Zara over the coming months.
And if you are ready to dare, then get yourself into a leather dress. Anything above the knee can look very flattering as leather is a structured fabric which can add a lovely shape. Take a look at some of the catwalk shows on sites such as style.com to give you some ideas as to how to wear this look (leather skirt look from Kaliko ).