Leather grows up: How to wear it this season

Soft, sophisticated, and chic styles demonstrate how leather has matured

From left to right: Trousers, €210, Topshop Boutique; shirt, €210, Topshop Boutique; Leather blazer, €350, Arket; faux leather shirt dress, €220, Kitri Studio.

From left to right: Trousers, €210, Topshop Boutique; shirt, €210, Topshop Boutique; Leather blazer, €350, Arket; faux leather shirt dress, €220, Kitri Studio.

 

From statement collars to colour-pop suiting, we saw a myriad of fashion trends on the streetstyle scene during “fashion month” this year. But from all the fresh looks that the show attendees favoured, one stood out: leather.

Although, this wasn’t just your basic biker jacket, leather in every form was one of the most represented fabrics among industry’s most stylish. High-street store Zara, no stranger to cult buys, crafted a blazer in black faux leather that immediately sold out.

Show-goers also adopted a rainbow of shades, from mint to cream, for a renewed, and decidedly springy take on the slick fabric.

Leather coat, €339, dress, €49.95, Zara.
Leather coat, €339, dress, €49.95, Zara.

The reliance on leather, no doubt was highly influenced by the spring catwalks that reinvented the textured fabric into buttery, lightweight, delights. Everything from shirts to shorts, wrap dresses to jumpsuits, got the leather overhaul.

Forget vampy, I’m-with-the-band connotations, this season leather has gone ladylike, and you don’t have to be under the age of 30 to give it a whirl. It’s all about soft, sophisticated silhouettes, in any shade that suits, and they’re more corporate than rock concert.

Not as stiff as it used to be, but still with enough structure, the fresh leather iterations are completely malleable. Everything from T-shirts to knits, jeans to midi skirts are revamped by the simple addition of leather.

A guest, wearing a black leather blazer, yellow midi skirt, black mules and Celine bag, is seen outside Lanvin, during Paris Fashion Week 2020. Photograph: Claudio Lavenia/Getty
A guest, wearing a black leather blazer, yellow midi skirt, black mules and Celine bag, is seen outside Lanvin, during Paris Fashion Week 2020. Photograph: Claudio Lavenia/Getty

For styling notes, take your lead from the streetstyle set. Mix your textures, try a soft and supple leather piece with wool, cashmere, silk or denim. An oversized leather shirt looks great with a pair of vintage blue-wash jeans, while a crew-neck cashmere knit and leather skirt combination is ideal for chiller spring days. 

Remember to keep skirts to a chic midi length while A-line silhouettes will skim, not cling. Avoid spray-on leather trousers; straight-leg or wider are far more contemporary. Try Topshop, & Other Stories, and Arket for the former, as well as other upmarket leather pieces that look far more spendy.

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