We’re officially into August, but, let’s be honest, fall fashion is top of mind right now. (How much do I want to go fall coat shopping in 80 degree weather?!) But it’s still blazing hot out there, so transitional summer-to-fall pieces are essential for right now. And yes, there are Alexa Chung-recommended short suits and Heidi Klum-approved matching sleeveless top and pants-sets, but how about a texture that’s major for fall, but totally doable for the tail end of summer, too. I’m talking about LEATHER.
Miley Cyrus likes leather in July.
Or there’s the less wallet-busting, PETA-friendly vegan, er, poly leather, which is synthetically-made, leather-like material. Designers like music fan Joseph Altuzarra are embracing the fabric for fall as the imitation texture is easier to manipulate into intricately sexy designs. Whichever your preference, the look is definitely worth consideration. And, as a special treat, we have CEO of a super-chic vegan leather label Bailey44, Ruthy Emsallem-Grode, to talk us through a couple of her favorite trend pieces. Let’s break down the essentials:
Bailey 44 Longfellow leather pant, €256, bailey44.com
Leather Pants: Definitely one to save for the cooler late summer nights, but smart to invest in a pair of these now before all the sizes run out in September. Ruthy’s favorite is a vegan-paneled style in black. Wear it now with a slubby graphic tank and wide-strap sandals or trendy sneakers. “In the fall, the Longfellow Pant can be worn with a white button down for a casual chic look,” Ruthy says. “Pair it with booties, statement flats, or make it edgy with some cutout combat boots.”
French Connection leather short, €297, asos.com
Leather Shorts: This versatile piece is a year-round favorite of mine. Right now, they’d instantly class up a slouchy statement t-shirt or tank or complete a rocker-chic outfit with a lace-y top or printed blouse. When the temps drop, throw on opaque tights in any color and wear with a boxy patterned knit layered over a button-down. So versatile and worth the investment.
Tibi leather crop top, €398, shopbop.com
A Bold Tank: Here’s a novel idea: leather in a bright color. A tank is the way to go—especially a breezier, boxier cut. You can wear it now with high-waisted summer pants or pleated a-line skirt. Come September, it’s the perfect layering piece to throw over a crisp buttondown shirt, turtleneck or maxi-dress. A color offers more outfit options than you think!
Bailey 44 Carpe Diem dress, €280, bailey44.com
A Leather Paneled Dress: A mixed texture frock gives the illusion of separates, but offers the ease of effortless dressing. Plus, the fabric skirting is light and flowy for the summer to wear with black strappy or out-there statement sandals—and you’re done. Plus, Ruthy has another idea for the look. “The Carpe Diem Dress can be styled to achieve a great office look for fall,” Ruthy recommends. “I would suggest layering the dress over a collared shirt, with booties and a blazer. If you are looking to possibly head out after a day at the office you can easily add statement heels for a dressed up feel. “
Thakoon Addition pleated leather mini skirt, €690, netaporter.com
A Pleated Mini-Skirt: The flirty whimsical nature of a box-pleated skirt offers the opportunity to veer from the go-to black for leather, too. Blue is a versatile hue that works well as a neutral for both seasons. Pair it with prints, coordinating solid colors, or a basic black or white, just change up the weight of the fabrics as the weather changes.