For decades, leather has been the go-to material for coats, shoes, and belts. Its luxe appeal and durability can't be beat, and certainly not with anything man-made or designer-contrived (though of course designers have come up with a variety of treatments to make the staple more interesting). Whether it's dyed, embossed, or made to shine like a new penny, it tends to remain steadfastly in outerwear and accessories territory. Not quite so, nowadays.
Leather has entered into an entirely new realm that includes every possible piece in your wardrobe. From tops and skirts to dresses and pants, this sumptuous material is function mixed with fashion, ideal for cool weather. Quality leather, or even faux pieces, will mold to the shape of your body, provide warmth and add texture to whatever you pair it with. Take a cue from these choice runway looks and add leather in unexpected ways for the mark of a true style star.
Michael Kors called to mind rustic-chic with his buffalo print pieces for Fall 2012. He also added a modern touch by pairing "outdoor girl" pieces with edgy touches like this leather tank. How can you recreate something similar? Try a simple leather top paired with your slouchy boyfriend jeans. Outdoor meets indoor — to perfection.
Oxblood is the color this year, this season. Why not try it out in a leather pencil skirt? Bring back power dressing to the office in a way that will have the board sitting up and taking notice.
Peter Som image: IMAXtree
It's loud, it's proud, it's leather, and it's bright red. What's not to love? Throw a blazer over this for day, and then wear it out at night right after work.
Reed Krakoff image: IMAXtree
Can't get enough of menswear? We can't either. The shearling-lined bomber jacket is an American classic. Wear it with a girly dress underneath for contrast and feel like you've just stepped off an MGM soundstage circa 1945.
Rodarte image: IMAXtree
The Future Is Now
Simple, chic, and totally futuristic. For girls who like to live on the edge of fashion, something that incorporates clean lines and austerity can be just the thing. So Matrix. So right now.
Rodarte image: IMAXtree
You should absolutely be playing with shape this season. After all, pretty much every designer has already done it for you so all you have to do is don their creations. Why not do it with leather? Peplum: check. Black leather: check.
Calvin Klein image: IMAXtree
Tory Burch is known for her preppy upscale looks. But this season she added an edge with these skinny leather pants, in an unexpected blue color, no less. The skinny pant silhouette is still very in, whether you choose basic black or brown — or go for something true blue.
Back to her ladylike ways, Tory Burch showed a variety of gloves. So feminine, so sexy. You can go for the full-on elbow length variety or wrist length, try it in a sexy color or basic black.
No, we're not throwing another red look at you, suggesting you wear red. You get it. What we want you to pay attention to here is the idea of a completely leather number. Leather accents are all over the place, a strip here, a square there. If you can swing it a leather dress, here's the way to this season's leather-loving heart.
Derek Lam image: IMAXtree