Passport for one, please? As much as we’d all like to be jet-setting, club-hopping, and shopping our way through Europe this fall, as collegiettes we’re mostly tied to our campuses (at least until we get to stretch our legs during study abroad semesters). Unfortunately, this also means we’re stuck with the fashion offerings of our college towns which, let’s be honest, are sometimes more “hot mess” than “haute couture.”
On the bright side, you don’t need to frequent a Parisian boutique to find Europe’s hottest style staples. As long as you know what you’re looking for, the mall around the corner (or the online store checkout) will do the trick! Put these seven insta-Europeanizers on your wardrobe wish list and you’ll be looking like an E.U.-certified glamazon before you can say “Topshop.”
Leather Sleeves on a Non-Leather Jacket
It seems like a simple equation: leather jacket + skinny jeans + messy bun = chic. Voilà!
While it’s true that the classic leather jacket will always look cute, cosmopolitan, and of course, collegiette-friendly, the fashion gods of Europe have decided that the James Dean-inspired look just isn’t cutting it anymore (making this possibly the first time ever that James Dean is no longer the coolest of cool).
So, how are the Euros wearing their leather these days? Right on their sleeves! Whether it’s a pea coat or a blazer, a jean jacket or a trench, there’s barely an outerwear known to Carrie Bradshaw that hasn’t been made over with the leather sleeve look. The sleeves add some edge to the classiness of the tailored coat and transform trendier, colorful jackets into punk-y pieces.
Since the look itself is already a patchwork, you have to be careful about how you’re pairing it – no Raggedy Ann resemblances, please! Keep the rest of your outfit basic; since the sleeves of your jacket are black, it’s best to stick with black jeans and a plain black top. Let your sleeves make the statement!
- Coat with Leather Sleeves – $229 at Zara
- Leather Sleeve Patchwork Wool Trench – $36.94 at Ali Express
- Tweed Jacket with Fake Leather Sleeves – $64 at Pull & Bear
- Contrast Sleeve Army Jacket – $130 at Topshop
- Grey Boucle Leather Look Waterfall Jacket – $88 at River Island
Quilted Leather Jacket
Though our friends across the pond have grown tired of the traditional leather jacket – and somehow decided to chop it up à la the sewn-on sleeve ensembles above – they haven’t yet run out of fresh new spins on the leather-only look. Leather lovers, take heart! In keeping with this year’s prettiest purse trend, Europe’s new favorite jacket pairs simple black leather with gold hardware (think zippers, snaps, chains, etc.).
The twist? The leather (or fake leather, if you’re an animal- or budget-friendly collegiette) is quilted, meaning it’s stitched in an all-over grid pattern. The jackets are almost always collar-less, circling the neck around collarbone level, and the fit itself is streamlined and sexy – no bumps and lumps here! Since the quilt adds dimension and bulk to the jacket, the tailored, no-frills fit keeps our frames from being overwhelmed. Moral of the story? If you’re going for the trend, stick with a clean cut! When overdone with collars, lapels, long sleeves, or pockets, the quilted jacket takes you on a one-way train to Michelin Man territory: never a good place for a fashion-conscious collegiette.