No matter how many stylish jackets or amazing co-ord sets you own, a wardrobe slump is inevitable. While items like biker shorts remain a tempting warm weather style staple, try a new approach to your outerwear and go for a fashion classic: patent leather. Patent leather is not new to the rodeo, but it's made a very refreshing comeback.
Rethink the way you wear your patent leather items this spring and check out three ways I styled it.
Writer McKenzie Renae in Look #1
If you prefer to start slow, try wearing patent as an accessory piece; think shoes, belts, bags, or hats. This is probably the most subtle approach. Detail is everything darling, you can make an equal statement with a small detail just as much as you can with a bold statement piece.
I paired a corset style patent leather waist belt with some distressed jeans, an oversized white tee, platform boots, and white leather jacket. Notice the detail in the belt, it's shaped to sit right underneath the chest to accentuate your shape and has a fun exposed silver zipper in the back. The great thing about this look, is that it can be dressed up or down. Make a quick wardrobe change into a short faux fur coat and a pair of boots or heels and you've gone from day-time-play, to night-time-chic just like that.
Writer McKenzie Renae in Look #2
If boots were made for walking, then why not go for the shiny ones? Am I right? Now when it comes to patent shoes, you can really have fun. Think outside of the box and outside of the tap class you were in at five years old. Consider colors beyond the black family, like a deep maroon, olive green, cream, brown, or even red.
I personally don't discriminate when it comes to heel height. You can rock patent on everything from an oxford flat to a thigh high boot. To avoid having a Julia Roberts Pretty Woman moment with the thigh highs, make sure the rest of your outfit is balanced. Style them with something oversized or flowy versus short and tight, for a more fashion forward look.
In this look, I styled a pair of Steve Madden stiletto boots with a denim skirt, oversized jacket, and off the shoulder sweater. The skirt is on the shorter side, so with the heels being so high, I offset the look with both an oversized sweater and jacket. Boom, balance.
Writer McKenzie Renae in Look #3
Now, if you're really feeling like a badass, then dive right into a shiny patent jacket. Jackets are so fun because even with this type of leather, there's still room to play around with the material and finish. Options can range from the classic shiny patent leather finish, or even a crushed patent leather look where the jacket looks a little more toned down and worn in.
I purchased this jacket from ASOS a couple of years ago and it is truly one of the best purchases I've ever made. You can style a cropped oversized jacket like this one over a dress, with jeans, shorts, or even over a formal dress for extra edge. The options are endless! Using the same thought process mentioned before with accessories, you can also think outside of the black color family when it comes to jackets. Looking to make a statement? Go for red. Looking for something a little more versatile? Stick with black.
If you're looking for a simple way to amp things up when it comes to your wardrobe, it may be time to branch out and take a much needed fashion risk! Patent leather is timeless. The ways we wear it will continue to evolve and change over time, and every girl should have at least one patent item in her closet. Remember, winter style doesn't have to be boring. So the next time you notice a slew of patent leather pieces hit nearly every retailers' new arrival page, go for it.
This season's patent leather is unlike any we've seen before.
Original photography by Sanniyah Sloan for xoNecole.
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Original photography by Sanniyah Sloan for xoNecole.
Originally published January 10, 2019
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If there’s a President Barbie world, run by actress Issa Rae, then I absolutely want to live in it. The Insecure creator has had a fairytail trajectory from shooting her own YouTube series, Awkward Black Girl to becoming thatgirl on the big screen in this summer’s box office smash, Barbie. And while she easily has the most epic glow-up of our generation, the 38-year-old isn’t afraid to speak on the pressure she felt to be “Barbie-ready.”
In a recent interview with Glamour, Issa Rae opened up about her challenges with body image taking a toll on her preparation to play President Barbie following the end of her hit HBO series, Insecure.
“Right before [the role came to me], I was post-Insecure, post–Rap Sh!t, and post-the-final-season-of-Insecure-press-tour,” she recalls to the publication. “I was like, ‘Well, I'm going to let myself go. I'm eating everything.’ And then I got the call to do Barbie and was like, ‘Oh, no, I am not Barbie-shape ready.’”
Thankfully, Rae realized that the reimagined Barbie world that director Greta Gerwig was creating, reflected bodies of all shapes and sizes. “So, while I was still on my fitness journey, I felt less insecure about my Barbie body or lack thereof,” she says.
Rae’s “youthful, fun” and fresh take on the president is one that is inspired by the childhood version that she always envisioned. Growing up, she remembers how her mother and aunties making a point to give her Black Barbies made her “hyperaware” of her Blackness from an early age, which served as a gift in representation that she understood as she came of age.
“In some ways, I was made hyperaware of my Blackness because of how intense my mom and aunt were about, ‘We're giving you Black Barbies,” she shares. “They said, ‘It's important for you to play with dolls that look like you,’ which I didn't really understand. I was like, ‘Okay, more toys, thank you.’”
She continues, “I never played with Christie. I don't think I knew about Christie until later. It was just Barbie with blackface kind of, and it didn't necessarily have Black features. It didn't really mean anything to me until I got older and understood why it was so important for my mom and aunt for me to have this.”
What is expected to be a “self-aware” take on Barbie’s existential experience, the new Barbie movie imitates life in a way that represents the full spectrum of what Barbies of today would look like. With actresses like America Ferrera, Margot Robbie, and Alexandra Shipp all starting in the film, Rae emphasizes that no matter her shade or background there’s a Barbie in this Barbie world for you.
“Everyone in Barbie Land is a perfect Barbie. I found that so beautiful,” she says. “Almost everyone in the world is represented in some way here. That's not an easy piece. I'm sure someone might be like, ‘Where am I?’ But know that there was such an effort made to have Barbie Land be inclusive.”
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Featured image by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Shipt