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    The best black leather jacket… Does black really go with everything?

    Q:The best black leather jacket… How to wear a leather jacket and does black really go with everything?

    My 21-year-old daughter tells me that I am wrong! She thinks her black leather jacket does not “go” with a colored sweater and jeans, so she chose to “freeze” today instead of wearing her leather jacket here in usually much warmer central Florida. I grew up in Chicago where people do not own five different colored winter coats because everything goes with black.

    Am I wrong???

    My daughter also tells me that one does not wear black with brown or even black with blue. Please help us settle this argument. Thanks for your input. (Lakeland, FL)


    Jeez mama mia, seems like the youngins’ needs a push to be freer in her fashion attitude. I see your frustration but more often than not, it’s the daughter who is willing to push the envelope when it comes to style while mama pulls in the reigns! At 21, your daughter is certainly old enough to figure out style for herself, but maybe not.

    In an old school, rely on convenience, and not think out of the box way, the generic and ubiquitous black leather jacket was (note past tense) a go to wardrobe staple across America. The problem was that many women would throw on this jacket regardless if it worked with the proportion of the rest of the outfit or not. Fast forward to a modern fashion moment and this same shapeless, mid-hip, left over from the eighties leather number can come across as totally fab on a young enough It Girl who finds vintage style fresh and has the super cool savvy to know how to make anything work. Don’t think that would describe your daughter.

    However, a good black leather jacket is much like the right denim jacket, it could dress up or dress down almost any outfit if worn with the unexpected kind of off-handed street style rather than in a cookie-cutter by the dated rules fashion-less fashion.

    Style is what’s key here— the modern leather jacket is best semi-fitted, sits above the hip, and doesn’t have too much hardware to interfere with the rest of your look yet still maintains a certain sense of fashion “toughness” with the enduring exception of the motorcycle jacket.

    What looks up-to-the-minute is working a rather classic, yet edgy, short leather jacket over something surprising— like a sexy fitted dress, a big print mini, silver gray trousers, or the right fitting jeans and big scarf. It’s the unpredicted balance in the imbalance which spices up an otherwise traditional outfit with a dangerous touch of black leather.

    “Everything” doesn’t necessarily “go” with black, but almost everything can be finessed to work with black. And what’s modern is to break up black with dark brown accessories, like a belt, bag or shoes as is the other stagnant fashion rule of mixing blue with brown—vibrant navy blouse to add interest, yet remain tonal with an otherwise black outfit. Breaking rules is what makes style fresh and alive and your daughter is far too young to get set in her rather dull, matchy-matchy ways.

    Most important, the dumbest fashion tenet is to freeze your petunias off because you don’t like the way your jacket or coat looks— being appropriately dressed for the environment is always smart. And, yes Mom, some people (myself included) have far more than five coats and jackets in their closet, But at the end of the day, one fantastic jacket that complements most of your wardrobe is better than owning 50 unflattering or hard-to-wear others that go with nothing in your closet. Style on…

    –March 18, 2008


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