Leather (even of the faux variety) — whether in the form of a sassy pair of trousers, a biker jacket or a killer pair of pumps — is standard fare, as far as your closet is concerned. It’s classic. But patent leather, on the other hand — well, let’s just say that it’s a whole other story. The high-shine finish is somewhat intimidating, and it might even call to mind platform Spice Girl-style OTK boots and a whole slew of cringe-worthy accoutrements. Hard swerve, girl. But the latest crop of patent pieces are chic rather than scary, and lend themselves to endless Instababe-approved looks that are guaranteed to take your street style game to the next level. Not convinced? The key to pulling it off is to choose separates that stray on the side of sophisticated — like a tried-and-true trench or a timeless A-line skirt a la below — and to even them out with slightly more traditional pieces. This week’s Style Resolutions will show you how it’s done, taking you through three effortless looks that strike the ultimate balance of elegance and edge.
HOW TO WEAR PATENT LEATHER AT WORK
Defy dress code? You wouldn’t dare. Keep sartorial violations at bay while letting your inner It girl run wild by test driving this polished patent skirt at the office. Opt for a pretty check print blouse in lieu of the standard button-down to deliver on-the-job elegance that feels anything but stuffy. Round out the look with a modern pendant choker and menswear-inspired bluchers that practically scream boss on a mission. Morning commute got you down? Toss on this bright wrap topper before you head out the door to send the midweek blahs packin’ for good.
Warehouse Patent Leather Pelmet Skirt ($123) + Zara Checked Frilled Top ($40), Mango Belt Wool Coat ($230), Zara Leather Bluchers With Ring Pull Tab ($119), COS Wire Choker With Pendants ($35), Sam Edelman Maddy Leather Shoulder Bag ($268), CLUSE La Boheme Mesh Watch ($114)
HOW TO WEAR PATENT LEATHER FOR A NIGHT OUT
Your dance moves might not earn you a spot on Broadway, but your after-dark getup is sure to score you some serious style points. Balance out the high-shine aesthetic of your skirt with a soft and slightly shimmery velvet tank that exudes uptown-meets-downtown appeal. Go big on the accessories front to solidify your status as queen of the night, jazzing up your ensemble with glitter-flecked slingbacks, a sculptural clutch and geometric drop earrings. And just in case you’re in need of a little more It factor, this gorgeous green jacket will check all the boxes.
Warehouse Patent Leather Pelmet Skirt ($123) + Mango Velvet Top ($50), Shellys London Chester Glitter Heel ($159), Natalie Waldman Triangle Drop Earrings ($150), Jacquemus “le Haricot” Clutch ($145), Topshop Faux Fur Coat ($150)
HOW TO WEAR PATENT LEATHER FOR THE WEEKEND
Take a much-needed break from joggers and jeans, and elevate your weekend style uniform with a sleek patent skirt. Rock it with a faux-fur-trimmed sweatshirt and embroidered boots, then sit back and collect all the double taps. Be it croissants and coffee with your crew or a pop-up concert at an industrial loft, consider this cool-girl getup your new go-to. Team it with a longline bomber that combats frigid fall temps like whoa, an embellished veiled beanie and a velvet belt bag for extra style cred.
Warehouse Patent Leather Pelmet Skirt ($123) + Zara Multicolored Faux Fur Sweatshirt ($50), Ash Flora Boots ($225), H&M Long Bomber Jacket ($60), Herschel Supply Co. Fifteen Velvet Belt Bag ($50), Panacea Smoky Stone Cutout Cuff ($32), Helene Berman Genuine Fox Fur Pompom Hat ($180)
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