Trend Tuesday: How To Wear Leather At Work If You’re Not A Dominatrix (Part 2)

Well, Labor Day has come and gone – and while we may want to pack away our whites, I’d hold off at least a little longer. If you haven’t noticed, black and white contrast is HUGE this fall. This fall has a total punk feel, we have contrast, lots of buckles, tons of chains.

Don’t believe me? Here are some examples from this past Fashion Week (PS – can’t wait for Thursday!):

Versace.

Versace.

Chanel.

Chanel.

Edun.

Edun.

While punk has been slowly creeping back into the fashion realm for a while, I think this year’s Met Ball theme helped seal the deal – after all, it allowed for half of the red carpet to be dressed in looks that just went down the runway a couple months prior. Instant advertisement. This is also why the fall lines typically show off a few ball gowns, too – for the Oscars.

I have loved the punk look for quite sometime. While I don’t have enough edge to pull off an entire ensemble, I really love some major pieces. Combat boots: gimme. Skinny black jeans: done. Leather jacket: YES PLEASE. Black nail polish: favorite manicure. Flannel: Can’t get enough. When worn separately, these pieces give me the edge I’m looking for in my dressing. Dress me in an entire J. Crew outfit, dark nails and buckled boots, and I’m all set. And that’s why I’ll never be considered an actual prep.

When it comes to the punk theme, leather (and more importantly, vegan leather) has a major hold over fall fashion. It’s been holding on for MONTHS. I mean, I already donned a leather top in  April. So, I know what you’re thinking: I’ve already DONE the whole leather thing. The difference? We’re getting a lot more punk and using vegan leather as the fabric, but instead focusing on the cut of the season: the skater skirt.

These skirts started big this past summer, but for fall we’re seeing a lot of heavier versions – think leather, wool and dark colors. Some celebs have been seen rocking these pieces over the last few months:

Rihanna.

Rihanna.

Miranda Cosgrove.

Miranda Cosgrove.

Ashley Tisdale.

Ashley Tisdale.

I decided to do some digging, looking for the perfect skirt that’d fit my short stature. I first ordered one online, only to have it arrive and go down to my knees – too long. For this look, it needs to be short – but not TOO short. So instead, I went to my favorite store for trends on the cheap: Forever 21. By buying a size up, I was able to get close to the exact length I was looking for (and definitely not break my budget).

Forever 21 Rock n' Roll Skater Skirt.

Forever 21 Rock n’ Roll Skater Skirt.

Coming in at $17.80, this is WAY under budget. It hits above the knee, which is crucial for not looking too stumpy. Additionally, it’s a great piece to try out before you invest in a style like this.

When I set out to do this trend, I knew it’d be difficult for one reason: pulling it off at work. Wearing a short, leather skirt can be kind of, well, slutty. It’s awesome for going out, even for running around on the weekends, but work? Eh, that’s pushing it.

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T-Shirt: J. Crew. Blazer: LC by Lauren Conrad (similar). Booties: Steve Madden (old). Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs. Sunglasses: Givenchy. Earrings: C. Wonder. Necklace: Bing Bang (old).

It’s a tough balancing act, mixing leather and professionalism. This is when you get all business on top. I decided to keep with my usual T-shirt and blazer combo, but I still wanted to have a bit of fun with the outfit and chose my floral blazer – another trend this year. It’s also a good idea to keep your shoes a bit more modest. That means no open toes and no super high heels. I decided on one of my favorite pairs of booties – and at 3″ tall, they’re on the shorter side of my collection. Also, note the low cut top – see? Skinny ankles! Well, as skinny as mine will get, anyway.

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Luckily, the rest of my look is always pretty low maintenance – hair down, eye makeup and my trusty Marc by Marc Jacobs crossbody bag. I seriously can’t get enough of this bag, and I know I should probably start looking for a new one, but the metallic goes. with. everything. I REGRET NOTHING. The skirt is still a little on the short side, and not something I would recommend if you’re on the tall side or your office is very strict about the dress code.

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Overall, I’d give this look a 6 to pull off. While I think I did an alright job by toning down the rest of the ensemble, you wouldn’t be able to get away with a skirt like this in many office settings. Even though a number of trend reports are touting the leather skirt as an office must-have, I bet there are a lot of human resources departments that disagree. But hey, we’re young, let’s have some fun.

So as we enter fall fashion, what are you most excited to rock this season? Are you going to be sporting the skater skirt? What do you think of the leather version? I start school on Thursday (kill me), so we’ll be back to our typical work/school/errands/out schedule – get excited! Nothing says fall like school time :(