As we move into the winter season it only seems fitting to return to our trusted sartorial favourite – leather. The luxurious fabric was seen all over the AW22 catwalks – not just in the typical biker jackets and trousers – but worked into everything from soft tailored shirts to cocktail dresses, ‘70’s inspired button-through skirts to gothic trenches. Scroll on to shop our edit…
Leather can be tricky to wear, or so you may think. In recent years the once-thought tough, grungy fabric has taken on a softer appeal, making its way into more fluid pieces like dresses and full A-line skirts, even pretty frill-detailed blouses. Just look to the brands that flirt with a romantic aesthetic of the late ‘60’s/early ‘70’s such as Chloé, Sézane and Claudie Pierlot (it’s no coincidence these are all pretty, feminine Parisian labels) and you’ll find plenty of wearable, more subtle offerings.
Case in point, Chloé’s butter-soft Nappa skirt in its rich rusty tone oozes luxury appeal. Paired with a pretty frill-neck blouse and slouchy knee-high boots it’s giving grown-up leather for the office vibes.
Speaking of blouses, Claudie Pierlot’s Ruffle Collar Leather Shirt is a riff on a denim classic – wear it with high-waisted jeans, point-toe ankle boots and a herringbone blazer for a look that sits somewhere between traditional and cool.
French label Sézane offers a masterclass in how to do leather without a tough luxe edge. Pair this sweet puff-sleeve, boxy jacket with vintage-inspired denim flares and a pretty blouse.
This season leather has had an injection of colour, too. There’s Barbiecore pink at REMAIN by Birger Christensen in the form of a statement oversized bomber, tomato tones at Whistles and milky hues at the likes of M&S and Nanshuka.
On the other end of the spectrum leather will always represent its rock n roll roots, and if this look speaks to you, there are plenty of purist leather pieces to invest in this season. AllSaint’s Mika Shift Dress is a cooler approach to cocktail dressing – just add polka dot tights and suede ankle boots, while The Frankie Shop’s Hane Croc-Effect Bomber will add ‘80’s appeal to skinny jeans and a white shirt.
Naturally, given the premium quality of leather, it does come with a heftier price tag so approach higher-end pieces like you would with tailoring or denim. Does the shape suit me? How will this slip in with the rest of my wardrobe? And, most importantly, do I love it?
The high street, however, has some exceptional leather pieces that don’t come with eye-watering costs. Look to H&M for trousers, especially their Premium range, M&S for shirts and blazers – size up for a more fashion-forward fit- and Zara’s for trend-led pieces like this season’s charming ‘60’s-inspired Ruffled Shift Dress. And if shopping leather isn’t for you but you’re into the look, faux leather pieces have come a long way since the 00’s pleather legging.
Marcela London has nailed the oversized tailoring trend and we’ve fallen hard for their butter-soft creamy blazer. Pair with everything from black cigarette pants and loafers to sporty joggers and heels for a high-low evening look.
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