It’s no secret that I am a keen lover of fashion, and find it particularly important to take note of fabrics when making buying decisions. I have always loved leather, both in accessories (shoes and bags), but also have a good few leather pieces of clothing. I don’t think you can go through any A/W season without seeing leather clothing pieces, and accessories making their way down the runway.
So what makes leather a go to fabric in fashion? Leather is made from cowhide, which is naturally water resistant and tough. It is a unique and valuable material, as it is warm in the winter and cool in the summer – similar to wool. It is also extremely durable which is particularly important when it comes to bags and shoes. Living in the UK, weather is never reliable so a good leather handbag is essential for any woman, as another property of leather is that it is water resistant. I’ve never had any issues with my leather shoes, bags or clothes being destroyed by water. Protecting your leather items with a leather protecting spray or cream is essential to ensure longevity, however, this can sometimes alter the appearance of the leather often making it appear darker.
My best wearing bag is a tan leather soft tote bag from Marks and Spencer, which I have had for many years, and features in my “What’s in my bag’ YouTube video. I use this bag at least 3 times a week, carrying items like my gym kit, change of shoes, lunch etc. It’s never light! It has survived a lot, and has gotten softer with age.
Leather is a material that ‘ages’ over the years, which means its appearance changes with time and use. Click here to understand more about the changing appearance of leather.
All of the above reasons are why I rarely buy any bags or shoes that are not leather. The cost per wear in my opinion justifies the often higher price of leather goods, and I have mainly had good experiences with leather bags in particular. My style changes periodically, but my preference as you can see from the images are soft leather bags as opposed to the more rigid styles.
Suede is also a type of napped leather, and is also a popular material for handbags. It is made from the underside of animal skin, but is not as durable as standard leather. Unlike leather, suede tends to absorb liquids easily, and therefore stains easily. I have bought a few suede bags in the past to be quite disappointed by how they have worn, and stained. I also found the dye from my denim would rub off easily onto a suede bag. I find suede itself quite difficult to maintain, and tend to stay away from the material, even though I do like suede for its aesthetic properties.
Leather tanning and the use of animal hide for clothing has been around for a long time, and will no doubt continue to be popular in the fashion industry for years to come.
Until next time.