White leather has had a bit of a bad rep in the past – justice for white stilettos! – but in fact, it’s a hard-working shade that can elevate an outfit in a number of ways, particularly during summer.
Typically, this pale shade is avoided for fear of staining, but done right, white leather can look unbelievably chic – the key is to get your coordinating shades right (or if you’re bold enough, do a head-to-toe look).
Caring for white leather
- Prevention is better than cure. Treat your white leather goods (particularly shoes) with a stain and water repellant as soon as you buy them, and re-apply every few weeks for good measure if you’re wearing them regularly.
- Store white leather away from sunlight, as this can cause fading.
- If you stain your white leather, spot clean right away using a gentle leather cleaning agent and a microfibre cloth.
- You can add a cream, polish or renovating cream to make white leather sing again – Uniform Standard sell a handy white leather care kit.
How to wear white leather
For many, wearing white – no matter the fabric – is a little intimidating. Actually, a head-to-toe white outfit can look incredibly fresh – the key is to find the best shade for your skin tone, since not all whites are made the same.
If you’re thinking of investing in a white leather shirt or biker jacket, hold it up next to your face and notice if it brightens your face and flatters you, or washes you out. Generally, a brighter white is better for those with cool-toned complexions, while creams and off-whites suit those with warmer skin tones. Wearing leather in summer might seem counter-intuitive, but lightweight pieces are available – which make for great layering options on cooler days.
Of course, if clothing feels a little out of your comfort zone, accessories are a great place to start – a white leather handbag is a welcome addition to a summer capsule wardrobe.
White leather wardrobe staples to look out for
The white leather shirt
Bottega Veneta, with its innovative leather ‘cotton’, has elevated the leather shirt to new heights – wear open as a lightweight cover-up during summer, and button it up and layer the look with jeans and a coat when it’s cold.
The white leather jacket
Opt for a trench, biker or puffer – but make sure you choose a shade that flatters you. We love this Massimo Dutti cropped number, or this Jane & Tash moto jacket. White leather separates look best with co-ordinating tones – try a pair of wide-leg trousers.
The white leather clutch bag
Particularly chic when teamed with warm caramel tones or a crisp cornflower blue, a white clutch bag is a summer staple for daytime or evening. Oversized pouch styles are having a moment – the Toteme T-Lock Clutch is our pick.
The white leather sandals
Paired with light wash denim, neutral tones or punchy prints, white sandals add just the right amount of freshness. The Row’s famous fisherman sandals are available in a creamy off-white, or alternatively & Other Stories stock a more affordable pair.