… the fact that faux leather and leather lookalikes have come SUCH a long way in recent years.
I’ll level with ya: I still balk a little at faux leather shoes because the few pairs I’ve tried have worn out quickly and made my feet uncomfortably warm and sticky. Leather may not breathe the way, say, linen does, but it breathes better than polyurethane. However! I am unspeakably impressed by how much softer, suppler, and real-er the current batch of faux leathers is than the crinkly, stinky crap that was available when I was a kid. Also completely love waxed/coated denim and other treatments that are meant to hint at leatheriness, but subtly.
Here are a few faux leather items that have caught my eye of late:
I totally adore my pair, and of all the fake leather pants and leggings I’ve tried on they are by FAR the comfiest. These have a slightly crackly finish, so they don’t look quite as convincingly leather-y if you examine them with a magnifying glass. But from a few feet away? No one will be the wiser.
Melie Bianco Alyssa – $98
Although I haven’t fondled this exact bag, I’ve mooned over many Melie Bianco designs in my day and they are top-notch in the faux leather department. This particular bag hits two of my favorite marks: Dual external pockets and gorgeous cobalt color. Yum.
Madden Girl Hold On Bootie – $59.95
My feet are considerably less prone to sweaty outbreaks during the long Minnesota winters, so I might consider a bootie like this little love. So sleek with that stacked heel and simple styling, and perfect for jeans or cozy socks and sweater tights.
Matt & Nat Mitsuko Bowler Bag – $155.62
Another reliably amazing brand for faux leather, Matt & Nat bags have the added bonus of being lined with a material made from recycled plastic bottles. This little bowler is absolutely classic, and that burnished tan will go with everything.
Express launched their (Minus the) Leather line last year with a gorgeous group of jackets, and it was so successful that they’ve expanded into other garments like miniskirts and peplum tops. There are over 91 items available now, but this on-trend mixed media coat caught my eye. Gobs of faux leather may feel like overkill, but faux leather accents like the sleeves on this topper are discreet and chic.
Spanx Wax Denim Leggings – $107
I have a denim jacket that I believe is waxed, but I was so curious about how the material would feel in pant format that I sprung for a silver pair of these a few weeks ago. And, unsurprisingly, I’m now in love with them. They run true to the size chart – I tried a large first since leggings and legging-style pants are often squeezy on me, but had to swap them for a medium. This black pair looks more leather-like than the silver, and is still hella cheaper than the genuine article.
Could there BE anything more badass? I’m pretty sure I’d poke my own eye out if I ever wore this, but it’d be worth it. OK, no it wouldn’t. But it’s still a pretty badass bracelet, people.
As you can see, top-quality faux leather is pretty spendy. There are plenty of bargain pieces out there, but you really do get what you pay for. Many of the fast-fashion fauxs I’ve handled feel rubbery and smell funky, whereas the items listed above are soft, supple, and smell-free. (I can’t vouch for the bracelet, but the rest I’ve dealt with in person or seen other items from the same line/brand up close.) Great news for you vegans out there who love the look of leather and have been waiting for more realistic-looking, animal-friendly options.
Are you a fan of faux leather and leather lookalikes like waxed denim? Any other finds to share?
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