OK- so we all agreed that a winter staple in a fashionista’s closet was a pair of tall shaft boots- right?! (Check out my article on tall shaft boots for the larger calf! It’s called: The Plus-Sized Diva! Look Fabulous and Trendy at Any Size!) Well, what’s better to go with gorgeous leather boots than an equally gorgeous leather jacket! Let me tell yah - it is a MUST HAVE ladies! Don’t let that darn ground hog discourage you. The snow will melt! “All good things must come to an end”. As trend-nista’s we have to be prepared and in style at all times. Speaking of times, it is time to hang up the old North Face or Columbia, and opt for a little more spice to melt away our winter woes! And guess what, with today’s socialites being more nature-friendly, most jackets these days are faux! Thanks to PETA and other animal rights organizations, it has become cool and trendy to wear faux leather. Remember when it was taboo! And remember how the pleather jackets would crack in cold weather!!! Well not the jackets today, not only are this season’s staples fashionably spicy but they’re durable and last just as long as the genuine leather jacket!
Here’s how: Faux leather came on the scene in the 1970’s. It’s essentially synthetic leather made out of plastic, hence, its nick-name: pleather! Back then, pleather took on a more … derogatory meaning, denoting that its owner was poor or cheap and could not afford to buy its counterpart- genuine leather. Although pleather was lighter and more flexible than leather- it had a plastic, squeaky, almost shiny appearance that… let’s be honest, did look “cheap” hanging next to the real deal! However, designers today have revolutionized this man-made hide and changed our outlook on faux materials! The most popular is made out of a polyurethane film (go figure- the same stuff used to make dolls back in the day!). Today it is treated with more elastic properties, making it similar to rubber but still allowing it to maintain some rigidity like genuine leather. It’s softer, durable, and flexible; it breathes better and is easily dyed. Not only is this faux hide versatile but it remains more inexpensive then leather itself. AND, it gives its wearer’s a trendy way to express their support for PETA without sacrificing their fabulosity!
I, however, believe in the freedom of choice and personal style when it comes to fashion. So I have fully equipped this article with great faux leather choices and genuine leather choices for jackets. So let’s get started. I choose to try out the jackets at Macy’s because they were having a huge end of the season sale!!! First up is the Alfani faux leather double breasted jacket. It has a polyester lining that helps to keep you warm, a ribbed mock neckline and double breasted button closures that draws the eye towards the center of the jacket making you appear slimmer. With the way it stops at the hips and has the princess seams, it also gives you a little hour glass shape. This jacket was originally $149; it is currently on sale for $34! Next up was Alfani’s textured faux leather with knit sleeves. Now if there is one thing I absolutely love doing, it has to be wearing textures and mixing fabrics! OH! I just love the look! The contrast is to die for! This jacket is for those who are torn with “to faux or not to faux”! It is a mixture of genuine leather, polyurethane and spandex! It has a crew neckline, long knit sleeves and must be dry cleaned! (because of the leather!) But at a steal for $28, it may just be worth it!
Here’s a name brand splurge: the Calvin Klein faux leather zip jacket is a subtle mix of polyurethane and viscose with sleek and modern detailing, it also has the mock neckline and princess seams we all crave. I liked that this jacket was similar to a scuba styled jacket and had a more streamlined look making it adaptable to day and night. This jacket is $149.
You know, there is nothing wrong with a mock neckline, but sometimes, I really enjoy a collar! I can easily pair it with a fabulous satin blend or cable knit scarf or show off the fem ruffles on one of my blouses! That’s why I tried this next jacket. Plus, and let me tell yah, for me, this is a major plus! It is styled with faux shearling. Remember when Shearling jackets were all the rave. I loved those jackets! Apple Bottoms has a faux leather and shearling jacket, originally $128- now on sale for $39 at Macy's !!! Its in the Junior Plus section ladies so you may have to size up to get that fit your looking for but its super cute with its shearling collar and cuffs and off center snap closures! I think it’s a perfect look to help you transition from winter to spring. The coat is not that heavy but it has just enough warmth to keep you toasty on cool nights. Im going to pair mine with the infamous convertible glove! (Check out my article on this must have: Hot Trend! Pop Top Mittens!)
Now, for genuine leather lovers, Izod is the fore-runner in plus size styling! Constructed from buttery soft New Zealand lambskin, this cycle jacket will add a sleek style to your wardrobe! Priced at $154, this luxury is a steal! If you prefer a collar to the mock neckline, then luxuriate in Izod’s Scuba style leather jacket. It’s made from 100% New Zealand lambskin, with a full lining, princess seams and zippered front. Priced at $160, this jacket is sure to usher in the compliments! These jackets can be found online at www.overstock.com.
In western New York, one plus of our location is the Fashion Outlet Mall!!! The Fashion Outlets are always priced 75% less than suggested retail tags. In the Niagara Falls Fashion Outlet Mall (where I just love to be!) you can find a Wilsons Leather Store and they have a decent Plus Size section. Here’s what I found: the Pelle leather Cycle jacket. Made of genuine leather, this jacket has an asymmetrical zippered front with a shirt like collar. It is pricey, ($180) but it’s so stylish and can transition easily into spring. For something a little less, there is the M.Julian Scuba style leather jacket. Now, you know the scuba styling has a superb fit! It’s snug and subtly reveals your curves. This genuine lambskin leather jacket is fully lined and has the princess seams scuba styling is known for. Priced at $150, it’s a straight forward buy that adds a timeless piece to your wardrobe.
So whether you’re an animal rights activist or you just have a passion for fashion, you can’t go wrong this season in a gorgeous faux or genuine leather jacket. Pair it with your favorite tall shaft boots or booties, your tightest jeans and the hottest accessories and diva, your sure to melt away all the snow in your path as well as the hearts of your admirer’s just in times for Valentine’s Day. Strut your stuff on the catwalk of life and bring in spring the same way you left winter, looking fabulous of course!