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February 13, 2013

Sarah Stright-Hartley: Leather and lace a great combo — just don’t cross the line

NEW CASTLE — Leather and lace is one of those classic combinations that gets touted as a trend every season.

The juxtaposition of these two textures creates an interesting dynamic between hard and soft, girly and edgy. It is one of my all-time favorite combinations — I even wore a leather jacket with my wedding dress for my Aftershots session (see example to the right).

One thing to be cautious about when trying this combo is to be sure your outfit isn't leaning toward the vulgar side. Both leather and lace can potentially become a bit too risque when not combined in appropriate ways.

Over to the right I've put together two looks — one more professional, one more casual — that show a bit of the correct way to wear this “trend.”

In the first look, I went with a bit of a monochrome color way. Because of the shape of the dress, the lace still reads sexy without being over the top. The belt accentuates the waist, the tights add more cover (and warmth) and the shoes play off the color of the leather jacket.

Because this jacket is cream, it makes the whole outfit a bit more girly. Multi-strand pearls and a classic leather bag make this look ladylike and polished.

In the second look, I went with a more funky aesthetic. The pretty lace blouse is given an edge with leather pants. The zippers on the shoes and the funky jewelry contrasts the lace even more.

The jacket, in the silhouette of a blazer, is classic — but in a military green and with leather sleeves, it becomes cooler than a normal jacket.  Bonus points because the contrasting leather sleeve look has been huge for winter and appears to be carrying over into spring (in lighter weight fabrics).

What do you think of this combo? Is it one you've tried?  

(Have a fashion question? Email me at!)


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