Let me tell you the story of how I fell in love with a pair leather shorts. I originally purchased them from Free People for a tiny little actress on a pilot I was doing. It turns out that I had read the size tag as “zero” when it was really an “8.”
I put them on in the wardrobe room as a joke one day, and one of our costumers said, “Hey, those are kind of cute on you.”
I don’t need much more encouragement than that to wear something weird, so the leather shorts came home with me. I put them on for a dinner date with one of my girlfriends and instantly fell in love. I almost haven’t taken them off since.
This is how I garnered the courage to wear the leather shorts out of the house in the beginning: I texted the above picture to the friend I was meeting and asked, "Will you still sit next to me at dinner if I am wearing leather shorts and a Slayer T-shirt?" She laughed, positive I was joking. When I arrived at the restaurant, she looked me right in the eye and said, "Very Tom Cruise in "Rock of Ages".
I didn’t come to the realization that these shorts were technically fake leather until I researched to see if they were still available for this post, and saw that they were listed as "vegan."
They look pretty realistic, but are actually made of pleather. They totally fooled me! I can already hear your cries of "swamp ass" and other lovely descriptive terms in reaction to the idea of wearing hot leather shorts in the summer. I hear you -- it’s completely counterintuitive.
The key to making a pair of leather anything work in the dead of summer is a sense of casualness. I love a pair of leather shorts when they are styled with a simple T-shirt, a pair of Converse and a chunky, sparkly necklace to add some fanciness back in to the mix. You can also wear platforms or ankle boots. Spindly heels or strappy sandals somehow cheapen the look. You need a shoe that has some heft to it to make such an inherently ridiculous item as pair of leather shorts look polished yet somehow totally rock & roll.
Here are some examples styled from my own closet:
Have a peek at these celebs & style bloggers successfully pulling off the summer leather shorts look I'm preaching if you don't believe me:
It helps to save them for when the sun goes down. I can’t imagine wearing leather shorts in the middle of the day, unless you are on a sitcom about your own life and want to get heatstroke so you can flirt with the cute doctor at the ER. But they are perfect for wearing to a casual dinner, movies in the park, or a bar. The trick is to wear them a little loose, not skin tight. I got mine a size up from what I would normally buy.
I love wearing mine with rock T-shirts. I have been paying through the nose for them on eBay and at specialty second hand stores, but I was in JC Penney over the weekend buying my dad some socks when I stumbled across their insane collection of $10 rock tees! I love the way a rock tee looks with black leather shorts, so I of course bought both of these:
Chop the sleeves off and the neck out of these for instant sex appeal. I am so over the baby doll tee with its form-fitting silhouette. Boyfriend tees are where it’s at right now.
I also really am digging these 80's vibe Wildfox Couture tees. They remind me so much of those Wham! "Choose Life" T-shirts that made a comeback a few years ago. Trends never die, they just hibernate.
Some sparkly jewels are the other part of making this look work: I say pick one giant, eye-catching, whimsical piece and let it do all the work for you. The more sparkly the better. Think of yourself as a member of Judas Priest, but bejeweled instead of spiked.
This reminds me of how much I miss the great LA cover band Nudist Priest, a Judas Priest cover band that played in the nude. Read that last sentence again. They broke up in 2007 and I still think about them at least once a month. The moral of this story is to wear some sparkly jewelry with your leather, hot stuff!
Would you wear leather shorts in the summer? Or have I completely lost my mind? And don't you sort of miss Nudist Priest too, now that you know about them?
Alison (@IveyAlison if you exclusively like to read tweets about helicopters)