When it comes to accessories, there are a few tried-and-true styles that you can always count on to give basics and statement pieces alike that little bit of extra oomph — hoop earrings, It bags and trend-right steppers (velvet shoes for the win!), just to name a few. They’re versatile, classic and, well, safe. And then, of course, there are those accoutrements that fall into an entirely different category. They make a statement on their own, and best believe that when you toss ’em on, everyone will be watching. This season’s most unexpected add-on, the leather harness belt, falls into this second category. Its innate edginess and tough-girl vibe certainly aren’t for the conservative or faint of heart, but it’s most definitely a trend you should test drive. As avant-garde as they might be, they’re surprisingly versatile, adding unprecedented panache to both sophisticated sweater dresses and bohemian blouses. Here, we’re introducing you to three effortless and approachable ways to rock the trend any day of the week.
HOW TO WEAR A HARNESS BELT FOR WORK
Be it a romantic dinner with bae or the unveiling of a buzz-worthy exhibit at a local gallery, a haute harness is the accessory you want to take along for the ride. But if the tough-girl edge is too much for your slightly traditional sense of style at the office, tone down its don’t-mess aesthetic with a flirty A-line dress and platform clogs with undeniable throwback flair. The combination comes off as punchy and playful as opposed to S&M. Round out the look with a chic pair of socks and a suede biker jacket.
Zana Bayne Leather Braces and Harness ($145), Zara Mini Dress With Print ($70), Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn Kendall Platform Heel ($160), Out from Under Basic Trouser Sock 3 Pack ($14) + Madewell Suede Motorcycle Jacket ($450)
HOW TO WEAR A HARNESS BELT FOR A NIGHT OUT
For an off-duty ensemble that can kick it day or night, look to elegant blouses and elevated accessories, like this show-stopping harness, to take your look into street-style territory. Inject an element of girlboss cool into a Victorian-inspired top by layering a halter harness on top and tucking into a pair of embroidered boyfriend jeans (the only way to do denim in 2016). Build on your basics with velvet heels and wow-worthy drop earrings that will make the transition from errand-running to after-hours schmoozing totally effortless.
HOW TO WEAR A HARNESS BELT ON THE WEEKEND
If the first two ensembles didn’t capture your attention, this third one certainly will. It doesn’t get much more foolproof than a sweater dress and chic ankle boots, but when you sub in a harness for the expected statement waist belt, the wear-anywhere outfit formula takes on a whole new life. Rack up a few extra style points by rocking a statement cuff over your sleeve and carrying along your off-duty essentials (lipstick, phone and an emergency snack or two) in a textured patchwork clutch. When the temps take a dip, throw a shearling coat into the mix for a bit of extra style cred.
Zana Bayne Leather Braces and Harness ($145), Wilfred Fantine Dress ($125), Zara High Heel Mountain Ankle Boots ($70), Iris and Ink Carla Shearling Clutch ($285) + Mango Faceted Crystal Bracelet ($20)
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