Basics For A Bargain: Leather Has Never Looked Better, Inspired By Mandy Moore, Sandra Bullock, Heidi Klum, & More!


Leather really had never looked better! Each summer I’m surprised to see many looks worn by celebrities with leather, as well as dresses that have recently hit the runway. Of course, most of these runway looks are for the upcoming fall / resort seasons, but playing the game of fashion always means that you’re looking ahead with your wardrobe. For example, here we have leather dresses that offer texture, femininity, elegance, & modernism from Barbara Bui Pre-Fall 2013, Alice + Olivia Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, Tibi Pre-Fall 2013, & 10 Crosby by Derek Lam Pre-Fall 2013.

Alice + Olivia, Tibi, Barbara Bui, 10 Crosby by Derek Lam.This also makes me think of recent red carpet appearances by some of my favorite celebrities who’ve worn leather dresses, including Naomi Watts in a leather dress by Alexander McQueen with jewelry by Jennifer Meyer at the Los Angeles premiere of Ray Donovan. Also, my girl crush, Mandy Moore, attended a Helmut Newton event in a leather LBD with gold jewelry & sexy ankle-strap heels. Byzantium actress Gemma Arterton showed off her shape in a curve-hugging letaher dress with 3/4 sleeves, black pointy toe pumps, & a metallic clutch at the film’s screening in London. Scandal star Kerry Washington walks the red carpet at an ABC event in a red Marc by Marc Jacobs leather sheath dress with black & gold accessories, including House of Lavande studs.

Naomi Watts, Mandy Moore, Gemma Arterton, & Kerry Washington.Shopping for leather, or faux leather in this case, dresses is tricky sometimes b/c you always want to make sure that it fits you properly & doesn’t require an abundance of care or cleaning. I found these chic options that are both timeless & edgy to mix & match with accessories like pointy toe pumps, platform sandals, a metallic clutch, or drop earrings. First, I selected the BB Dakota Kira perforated dress ($68.00) from ShopBop, which definitely plays up the lasercut trend with playful peek-a-boo holes. Also, I found the Sanctuary Clothing faux leather shift dress ($55.65) from Dillard’s. It’s especailly flattering with strategic colorblocked panels.

leather dressesMy third pick is from Forever 21, the studded faux leather dress ($27.80) is the most affordable, & also offers plenty of styling possibilities with a boyfriend blazer, cropped bolero, metallic belt, or suede knee boots. For a change of color, the Anne Klein faux leather dress ($42.99) from 6PM brings a gritty edge to any office look, especially if paired with strappy sandals or printed pumps.

When it comes to leather, we’ve also seen a great deal of separates, especially in the form of skirts & leggings, which always cause a stir on the runway. The mixture of the tough material in sophisticated silhouettes makes for a memorable show, especially with skirts of varying lengths for a date night, the office, or an instant update to other basics. I found trendy leather separates in collections from SUNO Resort 2014, L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, Altuzarra Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, & Michael Kors Pre-Fall 2013.

Suno, L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani, Altuzarra, & Michael Kors.Celebrities continue to once again mirror the runways when on the street or red carpet with leather pieces to accent this look. Sandra Bullock heated up the premiere of The Heat in an affordable leather pencil skirt from ASOS with a button-down blouse & strappy leather sandals. Rashida Jones was all smiles in a striped top with a cobalt blue leather mini skirt, which she accessorized with a statement pendant, colorful clutch, & towering platform sandals. Project Runway judge / supermodel Heidi Klum looks every bit the style icon in a head-to-toe midnight blue look, including a zippered pencil skirt, blouse, pumps, & snakeskin bag. Lastly, the always effortless Zoe Saldana attends a Chime for Change event in a Gucci floral blouse with leather leggings, jewlery by Repossi, & strappy sandals.

Sandra Bullock, Rashida Jones, Heidi Klum, & Zoe Saldana.As for wearing leather bottoms, you have a chic choice of skirts or leggings. Of course, there are shorts out there, as well as cropped trousers, but here I’m focusing on recreating skirts & leggings as seen by the celebrities above. This starts with the Rhyme Los Angeles perforated vegan leather skirt ($46.99) from Piperlime, which not only serves the environment, but also offers an upgrade to your professional office look. Also, for a pop of color, I love the Glamorous PU patent faux leather mini skirt ($42.43) in wine from ASOS, which adds a futuristic vibe to any button-down shirt, studded tank, or scoop neck pullover.

leather separatesFor a flirtier look, BonTon‘s Blu Pepper lasercut faux leather skirt ($47.20) will instantly make a silk blouse & fishnets look like you’ve just stepped off the runways of Paris. Lastly, these faux leather zip leggings ($13.80) from Forever 21 are perfect for pairing with a printed tunic top, knit oversized sweater, & sequin mini dress.

Would you wear leather this summer? Which is your favorite leather look? Do you experiment with leather in different colors? This isn’t the first time I’ve featured leather looks on Style Darling, so if you’d like to read more to catch all the trends, check out previous posts including inspiration from Jessica Chastain & Lucy Hale, red carpet looks from Julianne Hough & Zoe Kravitz, & leather pant looks on Gwyneth Paltrow & Fergie! For more posts from Basics for a Bargain, check out little white dresses as seen on Jennifer Lopez & Angelina Jolie, luxury leopard & metallic flip flops, floral favorites on Dianna Agron & Selena Gomez, striped maxi skirts from Vince Camuto & BCBG Max Azria, & peplum looks inspired by Amy Adams & Cate Blanchett! Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Dresses On Sale @HauteLook For Under $30!


I’ve been keeping my eye on HauteLook for quite some time now, but since Fashion Week, I’ve been bombarded with the urge to share galleries from the catwalk in Runway Rundown.  However, it’s been a while since I’ve spotted a great deal for Quickie Darling Deal & Steal that I just had to write about, especially since the barrage of fall favorites which have been trending all over the place.  I’ve recently started a new job where the dress code calls for business casual, but all of my years in a professional office hasn’t afforded me a business casual wardrobe. I’m trying to find ways to blend both worlds, but I always recommend dressing for the job you want, instead of the job you have.

I love mixing up my summer dresses with heavier knits & mixing feminine tights with suede booties.  It’s no secret that I’m all about the dresses, which is why my jaw dropped when I found these amazing deals @HauteLook for under $30.00. These 7 dresses scream summer fun, but with a few fabulous tweaks, these bargains can transform your fall look while at work, hitting up a bistro for lunch, or if you’re going on a date.

The Blu Pepper scoop neck sequin front dress ($27.00) in gold is currently 50% off & would look rich & flirty if paired with tights in a jewel tone & cut-out shooties. The sleeveless v-neck lace dress ($27.00) in navy is also available in ivory, but can look extra luxurious if paired with a sequin jacket or bolero, or can even be made work appropriate when worn with opaque tights, an embellished cardigan, & ballet flats.  The studded neckline dress ($22.00) is in an adorable orange, which begs for regal neutrals in your accessories like a patent leather belt, slouchy boots, & stacked bangles with beads.

The cutout back short sleeve print dress ($22.00) is a date-friendly frock that can be coordinated with other belts in your arsenal, encouraging its wearer to alternate complimenting hues for emphasis.  Also, trading in a corset-like belt will add some edge to the pretty pattern on the dress.  The pleated colorblock dress ($22.00) is the ideal canvas for any time of the year.  Colorblocking is one of the biggest trends & can work with multiple textures like embossed croc for a belt, argyle tights, & suede lace-up knee boots.  Reveal your feminine side with an ivory lace jacket & some drop earrings.

Don’t be fooled by the season since you can still get away with maxi dresses for the cooler days! Take advantage of these prints in order to reinvent your basics, especially with the sleeveless waist tie print maxi dress ($22.00) if worn with a bomber jacket & flat boots.  The spaghetti strap print maxi dress ($28.00) in olive will work with a tuxedo jacket & strappy platforms, as well as over a turtleneck with knee boots. Just look to boho chicqueen Nicole Richie for endless ways to make a maxi dress look chic.

Be sure to sign up with HauteLook to receive news on events & sales, & check out their Facebook page to see all the newest merchandise to add to your already stylish wardrobe for every season! Happy Styling!