Leather hasn’t always been price-friendly or easy to pull off, but since its comeback in recent years, we are enjoying it as an integral wardrobe piece. So, for the autumn/winter 2014 leather trend, look beyond the biker jacket and consider leather skirts, trousers and dresses too.
Forget about ‘faux’ leather or ‘pleather’ and go for the real thing; it will look, feel and fit better and last a lifetime. The softer the leather the better; butter-soft leather feels sumptuous on and works much better against our natural curves. If you’re concerned about the price, don’t be, you can find the real thing in all price brackets.
If you haven’t invested in anything leather other than a jacket before, then we recommend you try on a few pieces and consider what you feel is mostly ‘you’ and what flatters your shape best. Here are a few tips on what to look for in your leather pieces:
The A-line skirt and the pencil skirt are good staples and you can dress them up or down. You will need to work out which style works best with your body shape. If you invest in a really good one, it will last you forever. For the pencil skirt, go for the softest leather you can find so it will feel less restrictive. As with all skirts and dresses, make sure they are lined and you get the right length – an inch or two below the knee is the safest buy. A full skirt can look fabulous, but you really need to be medium to tall in height to carry it off. The weight and volume of a leather circle skirt will add volume to your shape so take care.
The skirt shape applies to dress shapes too. For dresses, the shift is the most practical. There are straight shifts for straight figures or cuts that nip in at the waist for curvier figures. You can layer underneath with lightweight jerseys so they will see you from late summer right through winter. If you don’t feel confident enough to wear too much leather, you might find the wool and leather combinations easier to pull off. Again, if you invest in a good piece, it will last forever.
Leather trousers are not for the faint-hearted – you need to have the figure and the personality for these – be realistic! As with skirts and dresses, you want to make sure they are lined. If you are in any doubt, just picture the scene from Friends with Ross sweltering in his leather trousers. He finally rushes to peel them off in the bathroom only to find it impossible to get them back on!
Without a doubt, this season everyone wants a leather biker jacket. They are great for late summer and autumn and even nights out in winter when you don’t want to wear a big coat. They can look funky or smart and are a great way to give an edge to your outfit. You can go true biker with lots of zips and detail, or keep it plain and classic. You need to think about detail, cut, neckline and length. If you are bigger in the bust then avoid lapels and too many zips and pockets. The straight, box shapes are best suited to straighter figures. Curvier figures need a soft leather that nips in a bit at the waist. Some styles will sit on the hips, others will fit lower on the hips, so work out which is the most flattering length for you – you don’t want it to sit on the widest part of your middle. Whether it’s to the side or in the middle, decide if you are better with a statement zip or a hidden one. Ideally, curvy ladies should choose a hidden zip.
Whilst you will find most leather this season is black, don’t be afraid to try other shades. There is navy, which suits all colourings, and tan which will flatter both Light and Soft colourings. Burgundy works for Cools and Deeps. Warm colourings can make the most of the brown shades. Clears can wear Navy and Black and add contrast if necessary. If black isn’t the most flattering shade for you, just make sure you team it with a strong colour in your palette to create a real WOW outfit.