One skirt that stands the test of time.

Black leather pencil skirt, Mesh top, Christian Louboutins

One look at this picture and I’m sure you can guess what skirt I’m talking about! The classic pencil skirt that has been seen to be worn effortlessly through different eras. It’s flattering, feminine and versatile. But can it be it timeless in leather?

Black leather pencil skirt, polka dot mesh top, christian louboutin shoes

Black leather pencil skirt with slit

Now there’s no guessing as to why I picked this skirt… because well, leather is my thing! But what I appreciate most about this leather skirt is that fact that such a simple style has been elevated by the fact that the added texture the leather provides, completely transforms this outfit. I also love how the skirt accentuates the body to give it a sexy and edgy look.

Now this look didn’t come easy! I had been looking for the perfect black leather pencil skirt, with a thigh split for quite some time! I finally found it on Revolve.com by a brand called TY-LR. This brand was originally under the ‘Australian Fashion Labels’ umbrella (along with Finders Keepers & Cameo), but unfortunately is no longer available. When I received the skirt, I was disappointed to find that it was more of a relaxed fit. I understood the look it created, but I knew what I wanted. And I also know that a more tailored, fitted look suits my body much better. I went to a reputable leather tailor and we spent weeks tweaking the skirt bit by bit until I was happy with the fit. I highly recommend you do this with your clothing. When it fits and feels better, you are more likely to get more wear out of it. And when it comes to leather, always ask that they are equipped to handle leather garments.

And unbeknown to me, my mum actually had the same skirt when she was 18. In fact, she still has it hanging in her wardrobe! I was quite amused that I had gone out and bought (and tailored) the same skirt! She has such fond memories of wearing this skirt, as it went with everything. She could wear it to numerous events and social outings and never tire of the look. It goes to show that investing in a wardrobe staple like this skirt, really pays off. She has told me that she would like to get it altered to she can wear it again. I rest my case.

Black leather pencil skirtBlack leather pencil skirt long brown hair

This polka dot mesh top by Serpant & the Swan makes me so happy! I love the long sleeves on it, which makes for successful layering. I have wanted to try this top for a while now, with nothing underneath it and throw on a jacket or vest or even a dress with a plunging neckline. The layering effect will look amazing! In fact the styling options are almost endless with this top. I also think polka dots are one of those ‘trend’ styles that never seem to really go out of fashion. What do you think?

Black blazer, mesh top, polka dots, Longines watch, long brown hairServant & the Swan mesh polka dot top, black blazer

In true Leather & Soie style, I added a black blazer with silk (soie) lapels and sleeves. This is a great example of wearing the same colour, but creating a really texturally interesting look. And the best part is, it’s so easy to achieve.

So this is one of my favourite go-to looks. The classic pencil skirt, heels, mesh top and a blazer. There is so much to love about all these individual pieces, but the fact that you can throw it altogether and look so tailored and put-together, makes the OCD-ness (made that word/acronym up) in me jump for joy! When you feel put together, you act put together. Fake it to you make I say!

With good basics hanging in your wardrobe you really can achieve countless different looks. And the classic pencil skirt in black leather has proven to me that it has stood the test of time and can now be added to that list.

Black blazer, black leather pencil skirt, Christian Louboutin orange shoes pumps, long wavy brown hair

Black mesh top, black leather pencil skirt

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a message or drop me an email at k.leatherandsoie@gmail.com. You can also check out my instagram feed  – @leatherandsoie for more inspiration.

 

What I’m wearing:

Skirt – TY-LR via http://www.revolve.com (brand no longer available)

Mesh top – http://www.serpantandtheswan.com

Shoes – Christian Louboutin http://www.christianlouboutin.com or http://www.davidjones.com.au

Earrings – http://www.oroton.com.au

 

K- Leather & Soie

Green with Envy

Green leather bomber, jeans, black ankle boots

The bomber jacket originated back to the days of World War 1; purely for its functional purpose, whereby it was utilised to protect the pilots from the elements. It went through many adaptations throughout the years to support the needs of the pilots, e.g. added fur lining, collars, leather straps, etc. But it wasn’t until the 80’s where it became more of a fashionable piece rather than a functional piece. You may remember two notable movies in which the jacket became popular – Steve McQueen in the The Hunter and Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones.  Nowadays, just about every celebrity has been seen in one. The classic silhouette and added ‘cool factor’ makes it the perfect addition to any wardrobe.

I have most definitely built up a good collection. But right now, I am in love with this green bomber jacket from Scanlan Theodore. I initially tried on the jacket in black, and as much as I loved it, I felt it needed that little bit extra. After some serious hunting, I finally find it in Paddington, Sydney. The good thing about this colour green is that it goes with most colours, suits a wide range of skin tones, and can be worn casually or dressed up.

 

Sass and Bide jeans, Scanlan Theodore green leather bomber jacket

Adelaide CBD vine leaves autumn

High waisted jeans, leopard print belt, green leather bomber jacketScanlan Theodore green leather bomber jacket, J.Crew leopard print belt, Sass and bide high waisted jeans, Sportsgirl cross earrings

I had a little fun putting this outfit together, as it is a bunch of classic pieces meshed up in one. The high rise jean and cross earrings adds a little more edge to a somewhat simple outfit.

High waisted jeans, black boots, leather jacket, Tom Ford SunglassesHigh waisted stretch Sass and Bide jeans

Of course, this jacket is in leather! But in all seriousness, the texture actually works really well with the silhouette as it adds a bit of rigidity to the shape. And as a result, it looks more tailored and refined. Historically the bomber jacket has been been manufactured in other materials such as nylon, cotton and polyester. These materials are great for adding that extra shine and casualness to the design.

Leather jacket, floral dress, tan suede heelsScanlan Theodore green leather bomber jacket

Because of the beautifully simple and tailored shape of the bomber jacket, it’s incredibly easy to style with other pieces – such as this floral dress from Seed. I’ve taken another classic piece, the wrap dress, and thrown over a leather bomber. Interestingly enough, it hasn’t made the look too edgy, but has allowed it to maintain its fresh, feminine vibe.

Seed Heritage floral wrap dress

lean pole 2

Every time I write about a classic wardrobe item, it forces me to really stay on track when making smart purchases in regards to my capsule wardrobe. Classic pieces don’t always have to be expensive, and in actual fact if you know your materials and brands, I’m certain you’ll find a good deal.

Scanlan Theodore green leather bomber jacket

Floral dress and leather jacket

Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to hear your experience with purchasing/owning a bomber jacket.

K- Leather & Soie

What I wore:

Green leather bomber – http://www.scanlantheodore.com.au

Jeans – http://www.sassandbide.com.au

Leopard print belt – J.Crew from http://www.netaporter.com

Black ankle boots – http://www.tonybianco.com.au

Cross earrings – http://www.sportsgirl.com.au

Floral wrap dress  – http://www.seedheritage.com.au

Tan suede heels – http://www.tonybianco.com.au

Sunglasses – http://www.tomford.com

One (A-line) skirt – two ways

  1. Biker chic

 

I often think about what items make up the perfect capsule wardrobe. And I like to look at silhouettes that are timeless, styles that suit most body shapes and go with so many different looks. I had a look at my wardrobe and realised I had half a dozen A-line shaped skirts; 4 of which are black. So it’s fair to say that this is a surefire staple item that can be worn with so many different pieces to create so many different looks.

I bought this knit a-line skirt from Witchery recently because I loved the added pleats. I have already found so many ways in which I can style this skirt. I have pictured two contrasting options today; edgy and feminine.

The reason the a-line silhouette is timeless is because it’s so flattering to most body types. It synchs in at the waist and flares out creating a beautiful feminine look. You can dress the skirt up with a pair of heels and a silk cami, or dress down with a pair of biker boots (seen in this pic) or sneakers. I opted to tuck my knits into the skirt in these two looks, but I have also worn it with looser t-shirts and sweaters, and it creates a whole new look altogether.

Zaliah leather jacket, Witchery A-line skirt, Tony Bianco biker bootsZaliah leather jacket, Witchery A-line skirt, Tony Bianco biker bootsWitchery metallic knitWitchery metallic knit

I bought this skirt from Witchery in the mid-year sales, and it has already made its way to the top of my packing list when travelling. The other positive is that it doesn’t need ironing! And I love anything that makes my life easier!

The metallic knit (also from Witchery) was another mid-year purchase. This was a no brainer. I don’t think you can ever have too many knits. They are perfect for layering in Winter, Autumn (Fall) and Spring. When possible, aim to get knits made out of cotton, wool, cashmere, or viscose. These materials will be a lot more comfortable against the skin, not to mention the extra protection it will provide from the elements. Coming from a person that is affected heavily by the cold, always try to buy quality knits.

Last but not least, my new biker boots! I also nabbed these up during the sales from Tony Bianco. I cannot believe how comfortable and warm they are! I like to experiment with styles, and this is not one that I generally go for. But I am really wanting to venture outside of my comfort zone and try new things…this is one of them! It brings a whole new element of comfort to my casual winter outfits, and I’m loving it! I already have ideas to wear them with my black leather pants…what do you think?

 

 

2. Feminine & Flirty

 

What I love about this skirt is the versatility. I really wanted to wear my new Saba top with this skirt as I had visions of me twirling around and feeling ultra feminine! I love when an outfit you drum up in your head actually comes to fruition!

Zaliah leather jacket, Witchery A-line skirt, Jo Mercer bootsSaba flared sleeve knit, Witchery A-line skirt, Jo Mercer skirtOroton bag, Jo Mercer shoesSaba flared sleeve tops, Oroton bagsSaba flared sleeve knit ribbed

I also bought this top during the mid-year sales. I know myself well…and I know that in Winter, I like to go for items that are comfortable, warm and and easy to style. I knew the added flared sleeve would compliment this look perfectly. It adds an extra layer of complexity to the outfit, without really having to put any extra effort in. Win!

As for the shoes…I’ve had these for a few years now. Joanne Mercer has brought them out each year since. In fact, I think they are on sale right now! They can be worn folded down (pictured) or zipped up to completely change the look of the shoe. I often pack these boots into my suitcase when travelling for work so I have the option of wearing them with my corporate outfits and then transforming them in the evening for dinner meetings.

And last but most definitely not least, I always throw on my favourite leather jacket from Zaliah as it is so soft and subtle. It moulds to any outfit, making it the perfect addition to my two looks in todays post. You’ll see this jacket regularly on me, as I struggle to think of any reasons to wear any other jacket! My favourite feature is the quilting on the shoulder.

Zaliah leather jacket

As you can see, I am a big of fan of quality staples that are versatile. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article or any other articles that I have written. I am constantly trying to improve my view on the perfect wardrobe, as well as ways to encourage more women to feel confident within themselves. Drop me a line on k.leatherandsoie@gmail.com

What I wore:

First look

Black A-line skirt: http://www.witchery.com.au

Metallic knit top: http://www.witchery.com

Biker boots: http://www.tonybianco.com.au

Leather jacket: http://www.zaliah.com

Second look

Rust knit: http://www.saba.com.au

Black A-line skirt: http://www.witchery.com.au

Boots: http://www.jomercer.com.au

Leather jacket: http://www.zaliah.com

Bag: http://www.oroton.com

 

What to look for when buying an investment piece.

Leather and silk

I started this blog for a number of different reasons. But what I am most passionate about, is how fashion can make you feel. Just for a minute…Think about how you feel when you put your favourite pair of jeans on. What is it that makes you love them so much? Is it the fit? Is it the material composition (i.e stretch ratio)? Or is it that they have the perfect silhouette that fits perfectly to your body? When I am looking at investment pieces, I really hone down on the emotional cues that make that piece so special.

I’ve compiled a few things to look for when considering an investment piece, and then further on down the page I have broken it down to a few examples that I have bought over the years.

 

An investment piece should encompass the following traits:

  • demonstrate superb craftsmanship
  • made of quality materials
  • have a classic silhouette/style
  • feature year on year on the fashion circuit (in some way or another)
  • suit you and your lifestyle

 

Jay Godfrey Silk flared black sleeve top

Leather pants

I think it’s fairly obvious by now that I love leather pieces! I always try to invest in leather pieces that will be on-trend for years to come, which comes down to the silhouette. The leather pants I am wearing in this post, from Viktoria & Woods, have a classic look, and are so easy to style. In my opinion, leather pants are one of the best style investments you can make due to the versatility. When looking for leather pants, it’s important to go for a style that suits YOU. I like to go for pants that have a higher waist, a good amount of stretch and land just above the ankles. But I also am eyeing off a great pair from J Brand that have the 5 pocket look, which give a slightly edgier (yet feminine) look.

Leather pants – http://www.viktoriaandwoods.com.au

Jay Godfrey top, Viktoria & Wood leather pants, Alexandre Birman shoes

Silk (soie) blouse

When I started working full time and therefore making more money, I started to take more notice of the quality of the materials I was wearing. I started to appreciate that silk is an amazing material that allows the body to breathe. Once I experienced the difference between spending a little more money on a real silk blouse versus a polyester one;  I never turned back! It’s worth reading the tags next time you’re in store or shopping online (will be under the materials tab) and seeing for yourself what the clothes are made of.  Some brands will charge a fortune for a top that looks amazing, but it’s made from polyester. And in my experience, unless it’s a one season purchase, always go for good quality materials. Not only will it last longer, but you will feel better in it.

Aside from the practical and economical stance, silk shirts will always be on trend. This one is that extra special since it has an on-trend flared sleeve. But because this trend is so flattering for so many different body types, I feel it will be around for a few more years. But I am building up a collection of classic silk blouses in my wardrobe, as I find they elevate any outfit and add a real touch of class.

Top – http://www.jaygodrey.com from http://www.amazon.com

Jay Godfrey flared silk top, Chanel classic double flip bag

Black open toe heels (sandals)

Now, I love shoes! And I am a big believer of always buying good quality shoes, not only because they look great, but because your feet will thank you for it. But there a few pairs of shoes that I think every woman should have in her wardrobe; and one of those is a pair of black open toe heels. This style is universally flattering, goes with everything, can be dressed up or down and elevate any outfit.

These Alexandre Birman leather tie shoes are amazing, not only because they look spectacular, but they are so versatile. I wear them with dresses, skirts, leather pants,  and jeans. They have the perfect heel height, are easy to tie around the ankle and look that little bit more special.

Shoes – http://www.alexandrebirman.com.br

Chanel classic double flip handbag, Alexandre Birman shoes

Designer handbag

There’s something beautiful about owning your very own designer handbag. The classic handbags from Chanel, Dior, and Hermes have stood the test of time. Year on year they are seen on the arms of women all over the world, because of their classic aesthetics. I oscillated between a few different classic handbag options when purchasing this Chanel handbag. But what it came down to was how it made me feel. Every time I put the bag on my arm, I felt like I could rule the world. And that’s what I love about fashion! When you feel good, you look good.

Viktoria and Woods leather pants

I love that I am on the journey of building up my capsule wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong, I love experimenting with different trends and styles, but I think that comes after you’ve got a good base to work with. A few other key investment pieces worth the investment: leather jacket, trench coat, a great power suit, cashmere sweater, great pair of jeans, ankle boots, black blazer, black pumps, and a classic watch.Adelaide city

Thanks for stopping by!

What I wore:

Silk top – Jay Godfrey via http://www.amazon.com

Scarf – http://www.sportsgirl.com.au

Leather pants – http://www.viktoriaandwoods.com.au

Shoes – http://www.alexandrebirman.com.br

Bag – http://www.chanel.com

K – Leather & Soie

 

 

Why I used to never wear shorts.

Portuguese flair in Macau – a quick day trip!

Macau

Macau is most famous for being a haven for gambling. This tiny island took over Las Vegas in regards to it’s gaming revenue, securing itself as the perfect hub for cashing in on the influx of wealthy visitors from China and other parts of Asia.

Personally, I wasn’t there to gamble. We just wanted to take in the gorgeous architecture, culture and Portuguese tarts! And as you can see from the pictures, the architecture is stunning. Macau really is a unique blend of European styling and Asian culture.

As for the Portuguese tarts…we didn’t get time to take a photo. 🙂

 

Looking through these beautiful sunny images got me thinking about what it means when you start to embrace your surroundings, or perhaps even more so, the people you spend most of your time with. At first glance, you can see I adopted the Portuguese styling by wearing this beautiful ruffle top, natural colour shorts, and red earrings. But in all honesty, that was a bit of fluke. I didn’t really plan ahead for such aesthetics! I naturally tend to gravitate to this look as I think it suits my personality and my body type. I like to wear clothes that are unique, good quality, easy to style, and suit my mood.

But what about the people we choose to spend our time with? Is that a fluke? Do you ever step back and realise how much of an influence they have on your life? And when it comes to your own personal style; how much they influence what you wear. And more importantly; how you feel in what you wear.

 

macau square church

Interestingly enough, I never used to wear shorts. I used to hate the way my legs looked in shorts. As most women (unfortunately), I had confidence issues. I grew up being an athlete, and competed in sports where you were scrutinised on how you looked. I went through some dark stages, where I was too thin and then compensated years later by hiding behind a less than ideal body for myself. I didn’t know what my normal was. But it wasn’t until I started to realise that the people around me (namely my husband) gave me confidence to be myself in every being of the word. I started to be honest with myself and accept the body I was given. I started to dress to enhance my attributes, not cover my flaws. And I had people around me that encouraged that transformation.

But being honest with yourself, is the first step to self-love. I still get emotional about my body and how I look, but not nearly as much. And if I do, I remember this quote – “Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.” (Quote from Game of Thrones – and I’m not even a fan!). And to be honest, no one cares about how you look nearly as much as you do!

macau church 1

macau flower

Now that I always dress with the intention of being honest with myself and dressing to show off my attributes; wearing shorts is a pleasure. I now know that I look better in shorts that are high waisted and have a tailored leg with a slight flair. And for me, quality over quantity. When you feel put together; you often exude confidence. These Aje shorts have been the backbone of many summer looks. I love how I can tuck in an on-trend ruffle top, add a leopard print belt and some statement earrings and I’m ready!

But in all honesty, I talk a lot about being yourself, being confident and doing what feels right. And a lot of that comes from surrounding yourself with like-minded people. It takes effort to be confident and trust the process to ‘be yourself.’ But if you have friends and family around you that support your decisions and actions, you’ll feel more at ease. It won’t be an easy road. Nor will the road ever end. As we get older, or go through certain stages in our lives, we need to learn to adapt to a whole new set of challenges.

At the end of the day, you have been blessed with a body that functions and lets you live out your life – the least you can do is treat it well and cut yourself some slack. And when you dress to your strengths; you feel good. And when you feel good, you often do good. And you become a positive influence to the people around you.

macau walk 2

I have fun styling myself. I know what works best for me and my body, and my lifestyle. I’d love to hear from you – experiences, feedback, etc.

K – Leather & Soie

What I wore:

Shorts – http://www.aje.com.au

Top – http://www.slideshow.com.au from http://www.wildchildstylelab.com.au

Belt – http://www.jcrew.com

Shoes – http://www.toms.com

Bag – http://www.bally.com

Sunglasses – http://www.tomford.com

Earrings – http://www.missmartini.com.au

 

My Hong Kong street style

Honkers

2Y4A5707

The last few weeks have been pretty hectic. In fact the last few months have been absolutely insane! More recently,  I went over to Shenzhen for work for a few days, and then my husband flew over last weekend, and we spent 4 days in Hong Kong (and Macau – next post) together. I had every intention on sharing some great pictures from Shenzhen, but I unfortunately lost the images on my computer, and subsequently deleted them off my SD card. I work a full time job in the medical industry and I’m essentially on call 24/7. I worked whilst being away, which was a challenge in itself. Hence why I am a bit late posting on my blog this week. But do you know what…we are all busy, and life can be really tough. But those moments of sheer grief and unstableness are the moments that make us stronger and better equipped for the future. I truly believe that being uncomfortable and stretching yourself is where you find out who you are and how to grow as a person. I’m also inspired to go read, ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck,’ by Mark Manson. Anyone read it?

https://markmanson.net – in the meantime, I’m loving his blog.

2Y4A5773

Going into this trip, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be confident. Is it just a case of working on loving yourself? Not caring what others’ think of you? Or simply having the courage to follow your dreams, and put yourself out there? I don’t have the answers. But I sure am working on all those 3 elements. And this constant self-evulation should never end. Every stage of your life will come with a different set of challenges. Feel the fear and do it anyway (that’s a great book by the way!).

Back to my trip! We embarked on this trip to Hong Kong with the intention to see everything we could, eat fabulous food and experience all that Hong Kong had to offer. And boy did we do that! I really wanted to add shopping to this list, but it turned out that Hong Kong wasn’t so cheap when it came to fashion. But I took the opportunity to embrace the casual street style of Hong Kong, whilst enjoying the fact I wasn’t freezing my ass off (like I am back in Australia)!

Let’s start with food…as I am a bit of a foodie too! We had dinner on our first night at a very authentic restaurant in Mong Kok called ‘Spring Deer Restaurant’. They are known for their duck…and they delivered. I have no photos, because well, I ate it! The second day we ate a Michelin star restaurant in the Sai Kung district (fishing village), called ‘Loaf On’. You would have never known it existed if you were just walking the streets, as it’s tucked away in a little alley way. We had the lobster fried rice, and it was fantastic. Again, no photos…too hungry!

But I will share a couple of other notable restaurants. Above you’ll see chef’s cooking up the beautiful noodles from Mak’s Noodle Restaurant. We had lunch there after walking up Victoria Peak, and it was truly delicious. Well worth the visit if you’re on Hong Kong island. The noodles are fresh, the service is quick and it’s very satisfying.

The other really cool place on Hong Kong island was the covetable ‘Under Bridge Spicy Crab’ restaurant (first set of images above). You can see the massive line-up for dinner. We ordered the signature dish – spicy crab. We also thought it would be a good idea to go for the #3 spicy option. Just a word of warning – that is very hot! I can handle hot food (ask my colleagues in Shenzhen; each morning I had pho with a small bowl of chilli in it!), but this was perhaps a bit too much. If you can handle spicy, I’d go #2 on the spicy scale, and #1 or lower if you prefer mild to a little bit of spice. But other than that, it was superb. Absolutely worth the wait.

I did mention that the shopping was expensive, but that didn’t stop me from wandering the beautiful high-end stores sprinkled all throughout Hong Kong. I mean…Chanel.

We really enjoyed walking the streets of Hong Kong. It’s such a melting pot of different cultures, cuisines, and style. I found a lot of women (and men) dressed quite casually. I believe this is due to the heat and the sheer amount of walking they do to get to and from work, etc. They have a very fast-paced lifestyle, where it is quite common to see groups of friends shopping or eating dinner at 11pm. I have travelled to most regions in the world where I have experienced different cultures, but Hong Kong is quite unique in that it’s a wonderful mix of the west and east. Most people were friendly and eager to help.

stretch leg

One of the things I love about travelling is the sheer amount of walking you get to do. And when in Hong Kong, one must always walk The Peak (Viktoria Peak – on Hong Kong Island). I love this image, as it encapsulates just how I was feeling whilst looking over this beautiful view = sore and needing a good stretch, at peace, away from the hustle & bustle and taking in all the beauty. Reflection at its finest.

2Y4A5765

As for what I wore when I was there. I was a bit torn to be honest. We had such beautiful weather – between 26 and 29 degrees each day, with no rain. I wanted to get dressed up and explore the night life, but at the same time I wanted to walk all day and see as much as possible. So I opted for cool and casual clothing. Shorts, leather skirt, t-shirts, vests and sneakers.

Thank you Hong Kong, we had a blast!

Watch out for my next post on Macau…

What I wore:

White vest – http://www.seedheritage.com.au

Leather shorts – http://www.viktoriaandwoods.com.au

Bag – http://www.bally.com

Leather skirt – http://www.aje.com.au

Floral tank – http://www.ausfashionlabels.com.au

Leather jacket – http://www.sandroparis.com

Khaki shorts – http://www.viktoriaandwoods.com.au

Activewear – http://www.lucashugh.com

K- Leather & Soie