How To Wear Patent Leather, According to 17 Street-Style Stars

Lauren Caruso
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How To Pull Off Patent Leather
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Just like certain silhouettes and accessories trends, fabrics come in and out of style on the regular. Think: the Juicy Couture velour sweatsuits of the early-aughts, the stick-to-your-every-curve stretch denim that was big a few years ago, and the poplin cotton shirts that are taking over our spring and summer wardrobes as we speak. And just like the latter, patent leather—yes, the glossy, look-at-me fabric that was huge back in the ’60s and ’70s—is staging quite the comeback.

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But pulling off the look without giving off go-go vibes isn’t always easy. If you’re unsure if you can nail the trend (hint: you can—trust), the key to incorporating patent leather without feeling costume-y is to keep all other fleeting trends far, far away from the rest of your outfit: That means pairing a glossy-finished pant with a simple button-down, or topping off your shiny loafers with raw-hem jeans and a tee. Start with an accessory, and then work your way up to outerwear. And as far as the shopping for patent leather goes, look for timeless pieces that give off a modern vibes, like this minimalist, blush-colored raincoat or an A-line miniskirt that hits at just the right place.

Of course, if you’re a master print- and fabric-mixer and the thought of wearing a patent-finish jacket with thigh-high boots and a ruffle-collar shirt Gives. You. Life, go all out—and wear it with confidence! Ahead, 17 street-style vets demonstrate how to wear patent leather the 2017 way.

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Start simple with a bag, or...

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...a pair of shoes that give off major '70s vibes.

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Then try out a shiny-shoes-and-socks look.

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Once you get the hang of it, pair a shiny skirt with a poplin top.

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Swap out your go-to jeans for patent leather pants.

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Try an (almost) all-black look.

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Opt for a powerful look in red patent leather.

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Go for the primaries—colors, that is.

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Pair shiny pants with even shiner shoes for mile-long legs.

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Try a baggy pair for a laid-back vibe.

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There's a reason there's a song about red patent leather...

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Stick to one color family.

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And once you nail that, start to play with silhouettes, too.

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Red patent leather outerwear strikes again...

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Shiny green leather sounds all sorts of wrong, but this skirt is every bit perfect.

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Balance look-at-me pants and high heels with athleisure on top.

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Zero effs given—and we approve.

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