Monthly Archives: March 2012

How to wear a leather jacket

Everyday leather is definitely Cher’s domain, and if anyone could pull it off, one needn’t look further than her. However, there are many ways to wear leather and still look very feminine and day-time appropriate, and one way is by using leather articles of clothing in feminine cuts.

A belted jacket like the one above is always flattering. For one, the belt adds more definition to the waist; it also makes the outfit look more pulled together, giving the wearer an element of self-control and self-possession (I’m not talking out of my rear end right now; I really do believe this). In terms of shape, this is all fine and dandy and flattering, but the real clincher here is the ruffle detail. The ruffles help temper the rebel aesthetic of the leather jacket, adding a soft, womanly touch to an otherwise bad-to-the-bone biker rough leather jacket. They make the jacket more romantic!

Another way to bring leather into the everyday is by finding a piece that is a blend of leather and another material. This jacket, for example, is a combination of leather and silk. One won’t find a more femme fatale combination, for sure.

I also really love the back of the jacket, with its leather shoulder overlay. It reminds me of a supervillainess’s cape! I also love the origami folds that run down the center of the back. Naturally, anything that runs vertically tends to create a more slimming and streamlined effect.

As you can see, I really do love it when dark and sexy materials take on a more feminine and romantic appearance, but there are those who believe simplicity in shape is the best approach, and prefer to add woman power to their outfit by using more feminine accessories. The whole leather and lace thing has been done time and time again, and it is, indeed, very fun. It is easy, however, for it to look a little too mismatched. I’ll be experimenting with that more in the future. However, if you want to try something new, try mixing in florals with your leather, try mixing in rhinestones, and bling, and a dainty accessory. There’s less of a chance that such a combination will look awkward, and it’ll still be exciting, subdued in an elegant and dangerously mysterious kind of way (like the Mata Hari), and it’s easy.

This 12-point star-shaped ring is one of my favorites. I bought it at a local boutique a couple of years ago, and I’ve worn it on many an occasion since. There’s something about geometric shapes with a healthy dusting of bling that represents such a delightful coupling of masculinity and femininity, of yin and yang, of rigidity and control and of magic and adventure! This could explain why I love all things Art Deco and Erte’. Symmetry + beading = love.

I also love the oversized, multi-tiered fake pearl and rhinestone cocktail ring I bought in Boston in December at Ann Taylor. It looks like two tiers of cupcakes arranged around a beautiful white chocolate fountain. It looks sweet but with an element of careful precision.

And, of course, the bag: quilted, navy, with a chain and leather woven strap, it’s definitely a “relic” of the 80s. I happen to like pairing navy and black; two darks do make a right, people. In this lighting, you may not able to tell that this is navy, but trust me, it is. Something to note: if you’re going to do navy and black, make sure that the difference in color is discernible. At least in person.

If I had a choice, I’d be in head-to-toe leather at least four times a week. I’ve been told by some of my friends that I can look pretty intimidating, and sometimes, even a little too much like a Dominatrix. The fact is this: leather is warm, it’s chic, and you can’t go wrong with black on black on black if you want to look independent and vampy. Plus, if you’re a cat burglar, it may also help you blend into the night. I do, however, agree that breaking up such color uniformity with glittery girly details is a good way to infuse any outfit with a little bit of fun. I happen to really loveĀ rings over gloves for this reason. It looks very “old world” and elegantly smug, and it does just the trick for those who’d like to look like a million bucks without spending that much (together, my rings cost no more than $25, and they look vintage, even though they’re not!). Lastly, I mentioned mixing florals with your leather.

I usually find art prints on clothing to be pretty tacky, but a William Morris print is perfect for a scarf because there are few artists in the world whose work can be transferred to a different medium without losing their romantic sensibility, and he is certainly one of them. The rebelliousness of leather + an orgy of brilliant flowers, and you’ve got yourself an outfit that says, “I am an independent woman. I have my proclivities. I am the boss, I will bend you to my every will, and you will like it. But despite all that, I am not afraid to open up my heart to you, and I’m not afraid to fall in love.” I like it when outfits tell stories, even if the only member of the audience is the wearer him/herself.

I have two of the same scarf. Both were given to me by my father on two separate Christmases; this one is a silk crepe de chine and the other is a more fluid silk. I happen to prefer this one, because it’s got a more gauzy texture, which appears delicate; however, don’t be fooled! This material is some strong shit. I also prefer this one because of its rougher, purposefully frayed edges. That’s how I used to be, too, so it’s especially fitting!

In recent years, I’ve come to learn that it’s not necessary to flaunt one’s combination of naughty and nice through really obvious means like leather and lace. Sometimes the combination can take the form of a more cerebral one!

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