Power OOTD: Leather Chic for the Office

How to rock one of fall's hottest trends without breaking dress code

Actress Kerry Washington is seen in professional chic in fall's hottest trend, leather. (Image: File)

It is not secret that leather is a hot fall trend that is quickly becoming a staple. I am also the first to admit it’s nowhere to be found in the dress-for-success playbook, but a little leather never hurt anybody. So, how do you wear the stylish trend without getting a call from HR to ruin fashion fun?

Kat Griffin, founder of Corporette, told The Grindstone: “Leather can be tricky in a professional setting— it’s one of those things where more senior women, who have built a bank of credibility, can get away with it much more than younger women who are still proving themselves. Leather details are fine across all ages, I think (elbow patches, trim, etc). Leather jackets are fine for everyone as outerwear, and a leather jacket that looks like a blazer (not a motorcycle jacket) can be fine for women who have that bank of credibility. Leather skirts — which are very popular right now—are trickier, but might be acceptable, on casual days, with dark hose or tights. Leather pants should probably not be attempted by anyone for the office.”

The key to rocking this popular trend in the workplace is keeping in mind your silhouette and texture choices along with how you pair the fashion pieces. While corporate head hunters do admit the sight of leather is risky behavior that can look cheap, I believe there is a little room for the fashion trend with smart ensemble selections.

Sophisticated silhouettes like peplum tops or polished pencil skirts are a great start. Opt for soft and supple leathers as oppressed to more stiff choices which look more casual and edgy thus being inappropriate for the office. Really embrace your fall color palette when choosing fall leather pieces and look for deep tones like olive, mustard, and merlots are a great switch up from the traditional black selections. This is a trend that I find worth the splurge when you shop for them in the high-end designer category.

Designer leather pieces are a great investment because you can pair it with so many looks outside of the workplace that you are sure to wear it over and over again. It’s time to muster up some fashion courage and get inspired with these fall looks.

Shea Zephir (@sheazephir) a bonafide Renaissance woman who balances diverse careers as a journalist, makeup artist and dancer. Whether she is compiling a story, doling out a makeup look, or crafting choreography, Shea always encourages the celebration of the black community, inspires self-examination, and promotes the positive portrayal of black women in entertainment. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fashion and marketing from the Art Institute of Philadelphia and is a graduate of The Makeup Designory in New York, with a concentration in Beauty Artistry.

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