Sunday, 30 October 2011

Ruffled leather miniskirt: more versatile than you might think

So a wee while ago now, I decided, on somewhat of a whim, to buy a ruffled leather miniskirt from Ricochet. Well. It wasn't really a whim. I'd been contemplating it for a bit, going so far as to ask friends over drinks, "FRIENDS. SHOULD I BUY A LEATHER RUFFLED MINISKIRT, or jeans." Unanimously the answer was MINISKIRT but then the further addendum was a $200 price difference between a good pair of jeans and this skirt. 

AND THEN. AND THEN. My excellent friend from Pearls in Vinegar called me one Saturday afternoon to let me know that said skirt had been reduced from $330 (eesh, a little much to splash out on) to $130, and that she'd taken the opportunity of putting one on hold in my size. Clearly the universe was on my side regarding leather ruffled miniskirts and their place in my wardrobe. (Said excellent friend later took the opportunity to buy her very own leather ruffled miniskirt. She and I have Significant Wardrobe Overlap, which makes for careful pre-event coordination to avoid the terrible awful no-good faux pas of wearing the same item.)

So then I had this miniskirt. And I found myself wondering, "How do I even wear this thing? Is it a party-only thing?"

(Credit to Hyperbole and a Half)

And then I did.

One (one leather miniskirt! Muahahaha!): work-appropriate tailored

This is, I think, the most work-appropriate of my coordinations, involving a cute little Japanese floral cotton jacket belted over the skirt. The jacket is cut with a lovely flared peplum so it sits nicely over the ruffles of the skirt, and with a belt cinching in the waist, it's an excellent emphasising-the-hourglass style. If I worked in a more conservative jacket, I would probably amend this by switching the flat boots for classic black low-heeled court shoes, pull my hair back, and possibly add a black blouse underneath to hide my tattoos, but as it is, it's a lovely crisp look which de-emphasises the sexiness of the skirt while still allowing the leather miniskirt awesomeness to shine through. 

Details (click picture for larger version): Japanese-floral dobby-cotton jacket, DeVol clothing via Frutti. Leather ruffled miniskirt, Ricochet. Opaque tights, supermarket. Black suede boots, Mi Piaci. Black patent belt, Cue. Gold cuff bracelet, vintage via Trademe.

Two (two leather miniskirts! Muahahaha!): party drapery

For a party or going out, keeping the skirt demure isn't a problem, so I coordinated this with a loose singlet and a draped chiffon over-top. Also, a temporary-tattoo fingerstache, because I'm super cool like that. The singlet is actually super-long at the back, so I tucked it up into the waistband of my tights to stop it from showing under the hem (fashion is so hi-tech) and pulled it out from the waistband of the skirt so it fit loosely with a bit of a flash of black bra. I'm a classy, classy lady :P

Details (click picture for larger version): White singlet with black print, Glassons. Leather ruffled miniskirt, Ricochet. Opaque tights, supermarket. Black chiffon over-top, Glassons. Black ankle boots with wood heels, Number One Shoe Warehouse. Amethyst and acorn pendant, Madame Fancy Pants and Trademe. Fingerstache, temporary tattoo, gifted via Ikoiko.

Three (three leather miniskirts! Muahaha... okay I'm bored with this): girly prettiness

This was another work outfit, and I really like the contrast between this delicate, floaty silk/cotton blouse and the leather skirt. Again, in a more conservative workplace I'd probably add a tailored blazer over the top, and possibly switch out the boots for pumps. Also possibly black nail polish might not be appropriate. Sigh. This blouse is adorable, though - it's from Karen Walker, who normally I'm not a big fan of (she overcharges for things made-in-China and not particularly well-made or designed at that, and trades on her big name to do it) but this blouse I love. It's covered in ruffles and a cute little print of wee girls and boys, and I'm always and forever a sucker for a pussy-bow tie.

Details (click picture for larger view): Silk/cotton blouse, Karen Walker. Leather ruffled miniskirt, Ricochet. Black opaque tights, supermarket. Black/brown wedge ankle boots, Mi Piaci.

Four: casual floral comfy

Never let it be said that a leather miniskirt cannot be worn in a casual, comfortable errand-running outfit on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Pearls in Vinegar knows it, and I am totally down with this trend. In fact, because this skirt fits incredibly well over my waist and hips, throwing it on with a pair of tights or leggings, flat boots and a cute t-shirt is actually more comfortable than jeans. It doesn't ride down, it doesn't give me muffin-top, it doesn't have a seam up the inner-leg, and it doesn't wick rain up from the cuffs all the way to the knee (pro-tip: never wear jeans in the rain unless you're tucking them inside boots). You might recognise the print on this t-shirt - I also own a dress version in grey, because when I like a thing, I buy all of it.

Details (click picture for larger version): Black floral t-shirt, Kate Sylvester via Trademe. Leather ruffled miniskirt, Ricochet. Grey marle tights, Glassons. Black suede boots, Mi Piaci. Grey merino draped cardigan, Glassons.

Five: casual Friday cuteness

Why yes, I am coordinating a leather skirt with an adorable Peter-pan collar and pearls. It's how I roll. I probably wouldn't wear this as a normal work coordinate (it's not quite tailored and crisp enough) but for casual Friday it does just perfectly. No jeans-and-a-t-shirt in my casual Friday ensembles, thank you very much.

Details (click picture for larger version): Cream peter-pan collared top, Peter Alexander. Leather ruffled miniskirt, Ricochet. Black opaque tights, supermarket. Black suede boots, Mi Piaci. Gold cuff bracelet, vintage via Trademe. Cream glass pearls, vintage via Trademe.

So what, dear readers, have I learned from my foray into leather miniskirting glory? Apart from the fact that they are awesome, it really is that this skirt is really rather versatile for such a seemingly-niche item. With the addition of judicious tailored items, such as a crisp blazer or jacket, or a demure and pretty ruffled blouse, it becomes work-appropriate, while dressing down with a draped cardigan and t-shirt is remarkably easy. Also, opaque tights or leggings are an absolute must. Ricochet, I am impress.


  1. OOOOH I love the floral jacket and belt with it! I'd been avoiding trying a hip length top because I thought it might be all a bit much with the ruffles, but it looks GREAT.