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All about leather

Styles

More versatile than fur, hipper than cashmere, cheaper than diamonds: leather is the fairest of them all, coming in a huge variety of finishes, styles and colors.

It doesn't wrinkle much, so it's the perfect travel partner. It breathes so it is a seasonless topper, but it is durable and wind-resistant at the same time, according to the Leather Apparel Association.

But above all, leather is cool. Always.

This season leather makes a grand entrance in everything from short shorts to long coats. It's going embossed to look like exotic crocodile and glazed for a cool retro look.

In lipstick red or metallic gold, pants, jackets, tops, handbags and shoes are all sharing the material of choice -- leather.

Classic leather styles

-Bomber jacket
-Fur trims
-Knee length skirt
-Jeans
-Blazers
-Trench jackets
-Black and brown
-Motorcross looks
-Miniskirts

The jacket
With all of these choices, the one thing every closet needs (man, woman or even child) is a great leather jacket.

This timeless piece will always look great, so when making the investment go for something that will look as fresh three years from now as it does today (hint: if money's an object, skip the fads and go for classic)  

Essentially there are a few classic silhouettes to choose from.

The biker jacket: If tough chic is your thing and your wardrobe has lots of well-worn blue jeans, then a biker jacket is perfect for you. It fits sleek and comes to the waist with lots of sturdy hardware.

The trench: This style is usually hip length or longer and has a self belt that wraps at the waist, accompanied by either a button or zip closure. This style is flattering on almost everyone.

The 3/4 length (car) coat: Very urban for him and her, this silhouette flatters larger and taller fashionistas (a bit overwhelming to see a petite frame swathed in so much leather). The ideal length to cover up heavy upper body and thighs, this style hits at the top of the leg.

The blazer: This classic style looks very now worn as sportswear instead of just outerwear (in other words, don't take it off indoors -- it's part of the ensemble!) Look for timeless features like a one-button closure, moderately wide lapels, slim to medium shoulders and a color that you won't cringe this time next year.

Budget
Target sells styles for about $100; designer styles can go well into the thousands.

If you don't plan on wearing the leather item everyday, or if you want to splurge on a trendier piece, you can still find plenty of leather sportswear pieces in the $150-300 range. Look for holiday sales to stock up on pieces that you'll always love, like a great skirt, jacket or pants.

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