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Leather's Back On The Fashion Radar

Nov 5, 2007
Leather comes back on the fashion radar at least every other winter (except of course, at Stella McCartney who takes a political stance on such matters). This is vaguely baffling, considering the fact that it's a look that's almost impossible to pull off without looking like a washed-up rock star, but hey, thats fashion for you.

Actually, you can wear leather without evoking questions about whatever happened to Joan Jet and the Blackhearts anyway? If you wear it badged and padded, you can look like a Hell's Angel. Or at least a Hells Angel's girlfriend. Or you can wear it faded and patched, and look like a 1970s PhD student, but the 1970s PhD student look has never exactly been a key fashion trend, so it need not concern us. (note to trendsetters - there's a gap in the market for a look influenced by 1970's PHD students!)

There are leather coats in the shops, but they take you a little far into the rhelm of the call girl. Great if you like overweight businessmen trying to pick you up on street corners, not so clever if you're out on a walk with the kids!

You might want to consider the most fashionable leather look of the season, which is a cropped, casual, fitted zip-up jacket worn over a cocktail dress and thick tights, with ankle boots. However, it is kind of a young look and not easy to carry off if you are one of the aged 30plus Queens of Suburbia! at Nobody likes the mutton dressed as lamb look! Or should that be cow dressed as calf look?

Some women can, Chrissie Hynde could still wear this convincingly - but it is best approached with caution. It's a potential minefield, we all know somebody who seems magntically drawn to every fashion mine ever laid, just make sure it isn't you! My rule of thumb is: if you still feel this is the true you, go for it, but if you feel like a fraud in it, then you probably look like a fraud, too.

So how to wear leather this season? Despite the pitfalls, Its actually not that hard. The best starting point with leather is a skirt. Remember the fabric of any skirt has its own raunch-factor, which should be added to or subtracted from the hemline. Tweed for example, is passion killingly sensible and has a RF factor about 4 inches, so a mid thigh tweed is only as raunchy as a knee length normal skirt. Leather, on the other hand, has a RF of minus three inches, meaning anything shorter than mid-thigh is, in fact, positively obscene!

The good news? The leather revival does not extend to trousers. And for that we should all be grateful! It's an offical fact (probably on wikipedia) the only person in the history of the world, ever, who looked good in leather trousers is the late Micheal Hutchance of INXS.
About the Author
Mark Errington is Marketing Director at English fashion design house Queen Of Suburbia, specialising in ladies Fashion T-shirts. Further examples of his commentary on fashion, celebrity and trends can be found on their fashion blog.
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