How to Wear Leather in the Summer

I don't know about you, but I love a good leather jacket.  

Admittedly, I tend to collect them. I have at least six in my collection so far, and I absolutely love each and every one of them. From embroidered to studded to a classic moto, I have a leather jacket for every occasion, and wear all of them at least once a week. Oh, and before you ask, yes, they're all vegan (duh).  

But then, summer roles around, and wearing leather jackets becomes harder and harder. Sometimes I can get away with it in gloomy San Francisco, but here in the East Bay, aka the sunny-side of the bay, wearing a leather jacket is not so easy. However, fear not, leather lovers, as I've found the perfect jacket to help take your love of leather into the warmer summer months.  

A few months back, I picked up this cropped leather jacket from Zara, and it has quickly become a summer staple of mine. Now, let me preface this by saying that I try not to ever shop at Zara (for ethical reasons) and most things I do buy from there are second hand. But sometimes, you walk in there and see a piece you just can't resist... like this jacket. I love the toughness of the faux leather mixed with the girly, ruffled detailing. It teeters between the edges of masculine and feminine perfectly, which completely reflects my personal style.  

Part of the reason why I find this jacket so great for summer is the fact that it's incredibly thin.  The "leather" is almost paper thin, but don't get me wrong, it doesn't feel cheap in the slightest.  It's a nice, soft, thin fabric that's supple, yet breathable at the same time. I also love the three quarter sleeve- it's long enough to keep you cool on chilly nights, but still warm enough to wear during the day.  

But if ruffles and Zara aren't your jam, I totally understand (and when it comes to Zara, I'm right there with you!) So, here are a few vegan leather jackets that I think would be great for the summertime, as well as the fall. I'm especially feeling keen towards this off-the-shoulder look, which I think I may end up copping sooner rather than later: 

You see, the key to wearing leather in the summer starts with the right jacket. Without the right jacket, you'll be left hot, miserable, and sticky. It's like finding the right pair of shoes- you wouldn't wear your Uggs in the summer, nor would you wear your gladiators in the winter (although if you read this blog, I sincerely hope you don't wear Uggs. Ever. No matter what the season.) My favorite places to look for a great leather jacket are Nordstrom, H&M, and thrift stores. Depop is a great online thrift store, and for in-person buys, I love Pretty Penny on College Ave. in Oakland and Kostum on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland as well.  I recommend finding a jacket that's made of a thin material, and/or that has cropped sleeves. You'll be thanking yourself later for that extra exposed arm when the sun is beating down on you. 

Another key is to layering lightly.  Pair your jacket over a thin, cotton tee or dress, or even dare to wear nothing at all. It's up to you, but my recommendation is to keep it as light as possible. I'd love to layer this jacket over a cropped top and high waisted shorts, or even a backless romper. Keep things simple, light, and let your jacket carry most of the weight (both in actual bulk and in conversation).  

While taboo to some fashion fiends, I'm a firm believer that you can make your leather work in the summer.  With some careful planning and considerate styling, you can take your favorite leather pieces into the warmer summer months, and look uber cool in the sweltering heat. 

Photography by: Julia O Test

Location: 40th St. Oakland, CA

SHOP THE LOOK HERE: Jacket // Dress (old) (similar) // Shoes (old) (similar) // bandana