Patent leather ain’t just on your daughter’s feet anymore, and that’s the True Fashionista buzz ‘round here, girl! During Fashion Month, there’s always one standout trend; back in the spring, it was patent leather’s time to well, shine. (Sorry had to go there) documents how catwalks were full of patent leather trench coats, high-shine boots, and more for fall and winter fashion looks. This shiny, statement-making fabric makes such a statement, it’s important to know how to correctly rock your patent leather.
A few True Fashionista patent leather fashions to follow in the upcoming months include Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s Crest jacket, Jeffrey Campbell’s stark white Brisbane Chelsea boots, Rachel Comey’s jaunt crinkled ¾ length coat, an Isabel Marants Eewa shoulder bag in a gorgeous green, ankle boots by Prada, and a maritime bomber jacket by No.6. The fanny pack makes a valiant comeback as well with a Bershka-designed patent leather offering. Who knew?

A few basics to follow this season:

Only specific shoe styles can be pulled off in patent leather. For men, patent leather shoes are generally a brown or black dress shoe so its fairly painless. Women should avoid over-the-knee boots or 4” stiletto heels. Go classic here to achieve style, i.e. ballet shoes, loafers, Mary Janes, ankle boots, and only a couple inches of heel. Designers understand this, offering simple looks to accentuate the shiny stuff. Get the inside scoop from Shoes of Prey, who offer instruction and tips for designers looking to create the next patent leather footwear masterpiece.

Stick to fall colors like black, brown, and jewel through winter, the only exception being black, which transcends trends and pulls off style for any formal or professional event anytime.

Women can accentuate patent leather shoes easily with opaque hosiery this winter. Your shiny patent boots will add another level to a monochromatic ensemble. Men can pair black patent leather shoes with a tuxedo for black-tie events. Designers like Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade and Alexander McQueen offer new lines of smart-looking black patent leather purses to carry you through the chill of the next few months. Bazaar’s resident “bag snob” Tina Craig shares that pastel-colors and prints are perfect springtime accessories. Before you stash them carefully away for winter, she recommends a little Windex or anything similar to spot-clean your patent leather purse. Patent leather isn’t just a spring fabric either.

Maybe you went to a wild party and your patent leather outfit needs a little more than spot cleaning to bring it back. WikiHow shares cleaning tips for your patent leather wardrobe like starting with a soft brush followed by buffing scuff marks away with a pencil eraser. Tough stains can be removed using rubbing alcohol or Vaseline, followed by a nice soft cloth buff. If your shoes are sticky, (What DID you do last night?) use some olive/mineral oil on a soft cloth, followed by a dry cloth for a final buff. Patent leather purses can be cleaned following a somewhat similar regimen.
With proper care and informed True Fashionista knowhow, you can enjoy your patent leather for years!

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