Is there anything better than an amazing leather jacket? Absolutely not. Not only are they chic AF, they just make you feel so cool.
I searched for a leather jacket for years before I found mine at All Saints. It's a heavier, fall-weight leather, with lots of useful pockets, and not too much hardware. I love it so much, and it fits me so perfectly that it's become an indispensable piece in my wardrobe.
But a lot of people ask me how, exactly, to WEAR a leather jacket. After all, if you're going to spend THAT much money on something, you'd better have a plan for how to rock it. Plus, it's easy to think of leather jackets as something too casual or overly costume-y. Not so, my friends: you can wear a leather jacket with literally anything. And I am about to prove it.
My sartorial challenge: wear my leather jacket for seven days, and style it differently each day. I had to show how to wear it to work, to a formal event, and casually — the finer fashion details were up to me.
Here's how to wear a leather jacket in seven different, beautiful ways.
Monday: WWII Flying Ace goes to business school
Sometimes you have high-level meetings, and you don't want to go the boring route of a tailored blazer paired with a conservative dress. A leather jacket with fancy collar worn overtop an otherwise unremarkable business-casual dress says, "I'm awesome and very stylish, but I also take my work seriously." Which is basically the goal.
I made my jacket more HR-friendly with the addition of a faux-fur collar, which not only looks very ~*business bitch*~ but also makes me feel like the Top Gun I so clearly am inside. Definite winning outfit, even though I don't dress like this very often anymore.
Tuesday: PEAK ALLE
If you know me IRL, you know that I wear this outfit almost every day of my life. The leather jacket both works with the casual vibe of my oversized flannel and cut off jeans, YET ALSO makes it look a lot fancier than it actually is. I always want it to look like I've tried, even if I really haven't.
Speaking of trying, let's go to a close-up of my shirt, because I want to show you guys the best way in history to elevate your business-punk fashion game:
Step one: Button your shirt all the way to the throat.
Step two: Pin a brooch over the top button. This is half of the North Star set, which I am really into ($42, Bauble Bar).
Step three: PROFIT with your fashion skills.
Wednesday: "We are the weirdos, mister."
If you want to terrify strangers, I highly recommend dressing like a powerful teenage witch. The key here is to keep your layers differentiated: your sweater should be a little longer than the hem of your jacket, and your scarf — which is worn for fashion's sake, and not to keep you warm in any way — is longer than both, Aerosmith style. I like to keep at least 4" of leg showing between my skirt and my socks so that nobody can confuse them with tights. I HATE tights.
These over-the-knee socks ($13, Uniqlo) are basically miracles for your legs: they keep you warm, and stay up all day without cutting into your thighs and creating a weird pudge situation. My lipstick is NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu ($26, Sephora) and is my favorite forever and ever, amen.
Thursday: Fuzzy Wuzzy was a vest.
The greatest lie the devil ever told was that you're limited to wearing vests UNDER jackets. Not so! Take a fluffy vest and throw it on top of your leather jacket for instant eccentric-cool. Because this is, as Tim Gunn would say, A Lot Of Look, I kept the rest of the outfit very simple: a black chunky sweater, coated jeans that make my legs look amazing, and my favorite black and white print heels.
I got this vest when I was in college, and at $175, it was — at the time — one of the most expensive things I'd ever bought. It is now nearly 10 years old, and is STILL one of the things in my wardrobe that I wear the most. Only spend money on things that you love, guys. The most expensive stuff you buy is the cheap shit that you only wear once.
But I'm not knocking cheap shit. My shoes are Atelier by Nicole Miller, and I got them at DSW for $70. My high waisted jeans are from Madewell (O SHIT THEY ON SALE, $99, Madewell) and I love them. Shout-out to other tall girls who are super into this cropped jean trend because it means you can just buy normal length pants and be like "I'm in style, deal with it."
Friday: Formal realness
Yes, Virginia — leather jackets ARE fancy enough to wear with a black tie-level gown. It's the perfect way to take an otherwise very formal look and give it a much-needed dose of unstuffy coolness. The secret here is pulling off the Fashion Girl Drape: stand up very straight, push your shoulders back, and drape your jacket over them. That way your arms remain free, but you stay warm — and look impossibly stylish and cool.
This dress, which is by an Australian label called Nicholas, is the lowest cut thing I own. It requires a lot of boob tape to wrangle my bony sternum, but it is WORTH IT. All of my earthly possessions are in this small Delfonics zip pouch ($22, Urban Outfitters), which is the perfect size to use instead of a boring-ass clutch.
Saturday: Minerva McGonagall models Dior's New Look
A cashmere sweater, pearls, and a full skirt? Boring, right? Helllllll no. Throw on a leather jacket, killer heels, and sunglasses, and suddenly you're the coolest professor at Hogwarts. Make sure your sweater is really fitted — we're talking Jayne Mansfield-level fitted — and your skirt sits right at the narrowest part of your waist for the full effect.
I am about to break your hearts, everyone, because this skirt was from H&M about eight years ago, and is no longer available. It is warm enough to wear in the winter and has incredibly deep, perfect pockets. I will never, ever let it go. I added neon pink sparkly lipstick for a little touch of Rizzo; my chosen shade is Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Sexer ($21, Sephora).
Sunday: Live Long and Wear Sweatpants
There is literally NOTHING that makes a T-shirt, hoodie, and sweatpants look more pulled together than a leather jacket. I challenge you to find anything that does. Styling-wise, keep the hoodie relatively fitted so that it doesn't add bulk under your jacket, and make sure that the sleeves and hem are long enough so that the hoodie is recognizable as a separate layer (rather than a solid, pajama-like blob).
Now, I don't often wear sweatpants, but when I do, I wear them with cobalt blue heels. The rare touch of color adds some additional fanciness, and hopefully distracts from the fact that I need to wash my hair. The sweatpants were a Christmas present from my Mum, and they're not cropped so much as they are just not long enough for me — but I'm making them work. And as for my T-shirt? Let's take a closer look:
LLAP stands for "Live Long And Prosper," and if I have to explain what that means in the era of Zachary Quinto as Sexy Spock, I have failed at my sacred nerd duty. Get your own, and join me in remembering Leonard Nimoy. I have been — and always shall be — your friend. ($26, Shop LLAP).
(Thanks to Lindsey Smith, who took the majority of these photos while I bossed him around and fell over in the streets of Greenpoint.)
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She hosts two shows weekly on the Revelist Snapchat: Monday Motivation (every Monday morning) and The Week in Hot Men (every Friday afternoon).