Leather for summer: 8 Style Panel tips for wearing one of this season’s hottest (literally!) trends

Leather for Summer Style Panel
Leather for Summer Style Panel

If you’re like us, you totally fell victim to this past year’s leather craze. With fall and winter both behind us (phew) it’s only safe to assume that our newly broken in leather finds are due to be packed away for a cooler day, right? Wrong! Leather for summer is on-trend and the options are endless.

For the office or a night on the town, leather is perfect for adding a necessary dose of edge to an otherwise simple outfit. At Toronto’s NXNE, we saw festivalgoers hike up the hemline with summer-appropriate leather shorts, and at Coachella, with daring leather mini skirts. At New York’s Governor’s Ball, leather vests were spotted, adding flare to laid back concert-ready ensembles. Bored of black? Dip into a bold colour palette with a bright red leather mini as Karlie Kloss so effortlessly pulled off, or a turquoise leather halter as Salma Hayek was spotted in.

Still skeptical of how to pull of leather for summer? We’ve asked our Style Panel for tips and tricks on how to rock leather in the warmest weather.

According to Over My Styled Body’s Lyndsey Forest, the trick for keeping cool while adding leather to your outfit is to choose the right colour and form. Velvet and Vino’s Becky Kung is also a firm believer in leather for summer, and recommends pairing a light leather jacket with a summer dress on a cool summer night to add the perfect amount of spark to your look. Canadian Fashionista’s Amber Desilets deems the leather vest the perfect investment piece. For a summertime date night she pairs her vest with a tank top, boyfriend jeans and strappy sandals.

Question 58: How do you wear leather for summer? Read the answers now!

Or jump to: AMBER DESILETS, LONDON | ANUM KHAN, TORONTO | BARBARA ANN SOLOMON, TORONTO | BECKY KUNG, CALGARY | KAYLA SHORT, HALIFAX | LYNDSEY FOREST, EDMONTON | MARTA TRYSHAK, TORONTO/MONTREAL | WHITNEY COSGRAVE, VANCOUVER

Leather for Summer Amber Desilets

Amber Desilets, 30
London | Canadian Fashionista

I would suggest sticking to leather shorts, dresses and vests, as they all tend to have less material so it won’t be as hot. A leather vest is a perfect investment piece as you’re able to wear it all year round; its sleeveless which  works well in the summer months, but can be layered in the fall; it gives an edgy look to an otherwise pretty simple outfit. When paired with a white tank, boyfriend jeans and some strappy sandals you’ll have the perfect summertime date night outfit.

Amber’s Wearing: Tank, Le Chateau. Necklace and bracelet, Cocoa Jewellery. Watch, Guess. Sunnies, Oakley. Vest, Top Shop. Jeans, American Eagle. Sandals, Target.

Leather fo Summer Barbara Ann Solomon
Photography by Trevor Negin

Barbara Ann Solomon, 26
Toronto | Barbara Ann’s Style Blog

This summer has gotten lost on its way to visit Toronto and we have been experiencing unseasonably cool conditions. Although, I am loving changing-up in how I style my summer wardrobe to adapt with the unusual temperatures, I’m ready to start working on my tan. Summer leathers are everywhere and thanks to the weather, you can actually feel comfortable wearing the without breaking into an outrageous sweat. An easy way to style leather for this season is to wear those great fall boots with shorts and dresses. It can give a very feminine look some edge.

Barbara’s wearing: Dress, Joe Fresh. Boots, Jeffrey Campbell. Earrings, Urban Outfitters. Necklace and leather cuff, vintage.

Leather for Summer Lyndsey Forest

Lyndsey Forest, 23
Edmonton | Over My Styled Body

When summer comes around the last article of clothing you’re probably reaching for is leather. But despite popular belief if you do it right, leather can be a great piece to add to your summer wardrobe! The trick to wearing leather is to wear it in a different colour and form. Those tight leather pants will be safe and sound in your closet until the next season rolls around. Instead, try a leather skirt or a pair of shorts. And in my case I chose this white leather moto vest. For one, the colour reflects the sunlight keeping me cool and secondly, the cut off sleeves keep it nice and light. Perfect for keeping my outfits edgy and beating the summer heat this summer!

Lyndsey’s wearing: Vest and crop top, Forever 21. Shorts and clutch, H&M. Heels, ASOS. Sunglasses, Jason Wu.

Leather for Summer Marta Tryshak

Marta Tryshak, 24
Toronto/Montreal | With Love Gabrielle

“Leather has been a fashion staple for decades. Yet in the past few seasons, leather has become more prominent and finally made its way into the mainstream for summer wear. For me, just the thought of wearing leather on a hot summer day was terrifying. However, I recently discovered that wearing it in the summer can actually be both stylish and comfortable. My particular favourite piece is a leather skirt. Yes I love jackets too, but skirts are more unexpected and fun. For summer nights out, a leather skirt paired with a tee or a blouse can infuse a lot of style into an outfit.”

Marta’s wearing: Pullover, T by Alexander Wang. Leather skirt, Marc by Marc Jacobs. Purse and sunglasses, Kate Spade. Flats, Bravo Browns.

Leather for Summer Whitney Cosgrave

Whitney Cosgrave, 25
Vancouver | See Shop Eat Do

I don’t really see myself as someone who wears (or can get away with wearing) leather, but when I got these coated, leather look jeans from James Jeans I was converted. I love that they fit just like a comfy pair of jeans but are right on trend. I’ve been wearing mine on cooler summer evenings to dinner with a lightweight tank top and minimal accessories.

Summer leathers are everywhere and thanks to the weather, you can actually feel comfortable wearing them without breaking into an outrageous sweat. An easy way to style leather for this season is to wear those great fall boots with shorts and dresses. It can give a very feminine look some edge.

Whitney’s wearing: Dress, Joe Fresh. Boots, Jeffrey Campbell. Earrings, Urban Outfitters. Necklace, vintage. Leather cuff, vintage.

Leather for Summer Anum Khan

Anum Khan, 23
Toronto | SummerxSkin

I recently found the most comfortable pair of leather leggings from Aritzia, and despite popular belief, these are made for warm weather as well as the colder months. You don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort, especially if you’re out for a casual picnic or BBQ, why not pair a chic pair of leather leggings with a graphic or striped tee?

Leather is really in for the summer and if leggings aren’t your thing, you can find cute shorts, skirts, or even go for a faux leather jacket to carry around in case it gets cooler at night-time.

Anum’s wearing: Leather leggings, Aritzia. Striped t-shirt, Gap. Crochet flats, H&M. Crossbody Bag, Aldo.

Leather for Summer Becky Kung

Becky Kung, 30
Calgary | Velvet & Vino

The fun thing about leather is its ability to transfer between seasons, which certainly makes our wardrobe more cost effective and dynamic. This spring and summer season has been full of leather textures including leather pants. My recommendation is to wear pieces that are conducive to warmer temperatures such as tops, light jackets to pull over a summer dress for the cooler evenings, leather shorts or leather skirts. The exciting thing is that leather can be paired with any colors or fabrics. Such a fun way to add a little spark to your look!

Becky’s Wearing: Leather Skirt, Only. Top, Garage Clothing. Necklace, J. Crew. Heels, Chinese Laundry. Clutch, Deux Lux. Watch, Michael Kors.

Leather for Summer Kayla Short

Kayla Short, 26
Halifax | Short Presents

Leather, typically speaking is reserved for the colder temps, but believe it or not, leather actually has a place in your summer wardrobe as well. My favourite way to play up this trend (and probably the easiest way) is to pair a leather jacket with fun and flirty dresses. Subbing in a leather jacket for a traditional party cardi is a great way to add some edge to your otherwise girlie outfit, not to mention keep you warm while the summer weather figures itself out.

Kayla’s wearing: Dress, Winners. Jacket, Forever 21. Purse, Aldo. Shoes, Marc Fisher. Necklace, Dynamite. Earrings, Short Presents Etsy Shoppe.