First, let me clarify, wherever I mention leather in this post I actually mean faux leather. With the beautiful quality of faux leather now available, I see no reason to buy real leather. Of course, this isn’t true if your purpose is to keep warm. However, leather for me is purely about fashion and I won’t pretend otherwise. I guess this comes from growing up in cities where wearing leather (fake or real) for warmth was not required due to the mild winters. So wearing leather clothes was always seen as cool and exotic. Once I moved to London, I started buying a lot of (faux) leather clothes. So, all in all, faux leather was good enough for my purpose and I just don’t have the heart to buy leather anymore.
Leather clothing instantly ups the interest factor in an outfit. Try this – leather trousers and a tee instead of other basic trousers or jeans and tee. The effort involved maybe the same but if you are wearing leather trousers its instantly a chicer outfit.
(Once I started writing this post, I went through the number of leather items I have purchased and it became slightly embarrassing. I might have become the crazy leather lady.)
Item 1: Jackets
Yes, I am a little annoyed to have started collecting leather jackets already. I have been in London for just a little more than a year. But the first leather jacket I fell in love with and bought was just so cool and different from the ones I saw around. It was also surprisingly warm and perfect for my first fall in London. This has pretty much been my go-to jacket for the last year or so and its absolutely perfect for me since I wear so much black clothing.
I always suggest having a non-black leather jacket to wear when a black one is too harsh – especially in the daytime. Also, because a non-black leather jacket is still a little unexpected. The others colours I like are maroon or oxblood and dark green. Although, leather jackets in pastels are not my cup of tea (actually, coffee) there are a number of options for colours. Baby blues and pinks, mint and beige have been quite popular although with winter coming I would not recommend buying anything too expensive in such colours. For me, the grey one I got was just right, not too dark and not too light.
My sister (and co-blogger, of course) also bought me a faux leather jacket from Vero Moda. I think she got tired of hearing me talking about wanting one. This jacket is perfect for a slightly formal setting like a dinner to a nice restaurant and even casual Fridays at the office. I prefer to wear it with trousers and not dresses or skirts because it fall till the hip.
Unfortunately, the leather jacket obsession didn’t end there. I still wanted a cropped biker jacket to wear with dresses and skirts so got one from Forever 21 on the cheap. You will be seeing a lot of this on the blog – at least till the winter gets me.
Item 2: Pants
My first idea of leather pants was of this lady I saw, at a hotel as a kid. I have no recollection when and where and have no idea who she was. She was wearing the perfect leather pants with a white button-down shirt (I forget if it was silk or cotton). To me, as a kid who had never thought of the possibility of leather clothing, that was the coolest outfit ever. I have wanted to wear leather pants since.
I looked around for leather pants for quite a bit but was never able to find something in my size. I finally ended up buying a pair from H&M which were really great for winter.
Item 3: Leggings
Faux leather leggings was the only leather item I wore in Bombay – one of my essentials. I bought one from Mango and recently got one from Vero Moda – and I am going to keep replacing them when they run out. These are super comfortable, with a thin cotton shirt or tunic, even in the hot, muggy Mumbai weather and are definitely more interesting than wearing gym leggings.
In London I wear them with a thin cotton shirt as well – layered with a jumper and coat, of course! This is from a photo I took last winter near Piccadilly Circus and this is how I wore leather leggings for my Summer Wardrobe Challenge. Satarupa also recently wore this with a white tunic/ shirt and I loved her outfit.
These leggings are available almost everywhere now, in grey, olive green and my new favourite colour, maroon or oxblood. I also liked Bidisha’s leggings mixed in with the lace patterns.
Item 4: Skirt
At one point of time, leather mini skirts were the only option for leather skirts. Now the stores are flooded with leather skirts in different patterns – A-line mini skirts, pencil skirts, pleated mini skirts, and midi vintage look skirts. If you saw my last Shopping Bag post, you will see I took my first step into leather skirt territory by getting one with a faux leather laser cut pattern from ASOS.
Recently when the sister and co-blogger packed up her bags for a trip to London, she also got me a skirt I had lying around in my wardrobe and forgotten about so almost new! Its a black A-line mini skirt with some leaf prints on it and I can’t wait to wear it this winter!
However, the skirts I have my eye on now are the leather pencil skirts which look so polished and classic. The leather makes them interesting enough to wear out and the shape makes it polished enough for office. Other than the mini skirts which have stood the test of time, I think the leather pencil skirt will also be wearable for some years although I would be wary of stocking up on the pleated and vintage look skirts in leather.
Item 5: Shorts
Although leather shorts would be the perfect for Bombay, I don’t think I ever thought of wearing leather shorts till I saw (and bought) these ones from H&M.
I have been wearing these constantly with tights – definitely the dressiest outfit involving shorts!
Bonus items: Dresses and tees
There is no reason as to why you shouldn’t explore the idea of a leather dress or tee just because its not in my shopping bag (yet). I do own a leather dress (which will be making its appearance soon enough when winter gets in) but this was an item I bought a long time back and now don’t even remember from where. However, the shift leather dresses I see around nowadays are just perfect – casual and interesting at the same time. When it comes to leather, I am not in favour of very fitted and ‘body con’ dresses since leather as a material itself makes quite a statement. I like the shift and tee shirt styles. Similarly, for leather tees, I like the boxy shapes.
This Stradivarius is my dream leather dress. Note: The ASOS dress is real lather.
Now about the leather tees. The one I have has lace and leather and is far from basic. But the boxy ones which you could throw on just like any other tee are the ones I appreciate. The unexpected colour of this top is just perfect winter cool.
How much leather clothing do you wear and own? Did I miss out your favourite leather item?