I had plucked the maroon-red pencil skirt from the racks of a vintage shop in Portland that seldom had customers, save the stragglers like me who worked odd hours.
That day, I swung aside a row of hangers at Rock n’ Rose to find a trove of hot leather pieces. Pencil skirts and reworked vintage jackets. All for an absurdly affordable price. Why were these even still here?! Thrift store hunters hadn’t yet swooped in to snatch them up. And, feeling like I had just gleefully stumbled on the hiding person in a game of sardines, I bought my very first leather skirt that day. But it would take more than a year before I ever pulled it over my hips.
Wearing leather exudes a certain level of confidence. A little sass, and oozes of understated sensuality, like whispers from forbidden lovers under bed sheets. The material itself is a fabric of contrasts: sturdy enough to withstand harsh weather, yet soft enough to mold into luxury handbags and bomber jackets and naughty bustiers.
This season’s fashion designers have fortunately turned leather from bad-biker into sophisticated, modern garments that can be worn to the office without seeming dominatrix.
Farfetch released new arrivals this month in their online store, a batch of elegant leather pencil skirts, shoes, trousers, dresses, bags and tops. Black can be a stark contrast, especially black leather. Lighten the mood of your outfit with colors such as pure white, like this turquoise A-line Carven skirt, and burnt orange, like this 3.1 Phillip Lim skirt. You can always tone down the hard edge of leather by pairing it with a soft silk blouse or sweater.
Or, commit to all-black leather and loan some rock ‘n’ roll influence with accented studs, asymmetrical zippers along a revealing slit or a contemporary AllSaints biker jacket. Other subtle operations: Sneak a leather corset under a traditional blazer or hide stiletto leather booties in your office desk drawer until Friday happy hour. Once it’s quittin’ time — then bam, the wild child comes out. Too bold for you? Leather leggings or a fuller leather skirt will add oomph without garnering tsk-tsk looks from your coworkers.
The day I zipped up my red skirt and trotted out the door to work, I felt a new sense of assurance. Because I wasn’t wearing leather to seduce someone or to fit in at a rock concert. I was simply wearing leather to complement my body in the best possible way.
I wore it for me, yes I did, and I liked it.