How To Buy Faux Leather That Looks Expensive
- Next1 of 9Courtesy of Nasty Gal; Forever 21; Zara
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- Previous Next3 of 9Courtesy of Free People
- Previous Next4 of 9Courtesy of Topshop
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- Previous Next6 of 9Courtesy of Zara
- Previous Next7 of 9Courtesy of Pixie Market
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Leather Weather1 of 9
By Charles Manning for Cosmopolitan
There's no getting around it—real leather is expensive, but you have another choice. Go faux. Faux leather has come a long way in the last few years. It's way more affordable than the real deal and if you do it right the only person who will know you didn't pony up the extra cash for the good stuff will be you.
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Mix Master2 of 9
Choose pieces that mix faux leather with other materials like wool or cotton. Instead of buying a full-on leather piece, go for a jacket with leather sleeves, or a pair of jeans with leather pockets. The contrast in texture makes your fake leather look more like the real deal.
SHOP NOW: ASOS casual leather look trench, $54, asos.com
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Rough It3 of 9
Even the best real leather has a certain grainy texture—and so do good fakes. Nothing gives away faux leather faster than a perfectly smooth surface. You want some variation. Imperfections will actually make the piece look more real.
SHOP NOW: Free People faux leather moto jacket, $168, neimanmarcus.com
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Fit the Bill4 of 9
Fit is always important, but stay away from anything too tight—no body-con dresses or liquid leather leggings. You want to save money, not look cheap.
SHOP NOW: Topshop moto faux leather front joggers, $110, topshop.com
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True Colors5 of 9
Stay away from brown. Black, white and trendier colors like bright red and metallic are a lot easier to fake because the color is so consistent across the garment even if the leather is real.
SHOP NOW: Nasty Gal reverse faux leather skater skirt, $68, nastygal.com
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Shine On6 of 9
Try patent. Real and faux patent leather look exactly the same. Even luxury brands like Marni, Versace and Calvin Klein use faux patent, so go wild.
SHOP NOW: Zara synthetic patent leather jacket, $160, zara.com
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In the Details7 of 9
Break it up. Big pieces, like jackets, skirts, or bags need extra bells and whistles to distract the eye. Quilting, beading, cut outs, or fringe add texture and, well, distract the eye.
SHOP NOW: Pixie Market Jesse studded leather skirt, $65, pixiemarket.com
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Shoe Thing8 of 9
Shoes are always a good bet. It's easier to pull a faux fast one on someone if they can't get a good look at what you're wearing and shoes are just harder for people to get up close to than bags or jackets.
SHOP NOW: Zara high heels, $40, zara.com
Less is More9 of 9
It's a lot harder to tell if something is fake if you don't see much of it. Small details like leather cuffs or patches and small leather goods like wallets are almost impossible to distinguish from the real thing, especially at a distance.
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