ladylike leather

I love leather. Whether it's a daring pair of high-waisted shorts or a kickass coat, a dash of leather is the easiest way to add a little (or a lot) of edge to your look. While leather undoubtedly evokes a sense of rebellion, anarchy, and all-around badassness, it can also be tamed down to convey a more subdued elegance. Indeed, leather can be ladylike. As with any great outfit, it's about the styling and how you wear the look, as opposed to what you're actually wearing.

In this case, I started with your typical James Dean-inspired leather jacket from Forever 21's menswear line. As a woman, what I like most about men's outerwear is its versatility and relaxed fit. Obviously, a men's size small and a women's size small are going to be completely different. By opting for men's sizing, you get A) more mobility and B) more options for styling, because it's much easier to play around with layers when your jacket isn't suffocating you (is it just me, or are women's coats/jackets fitting tighter than ever?). Plus I just love the look and feel of oversized outerwear -- it's structured without being stuffy, chic without being constricting.

I feminized this jacket with a few quintessential ladylike pieces. First, I chose a plain T-shirt in a super feminine blush hue and topped it off with an intricate, silver vintage statement necklace, which adds just a touch of sparkle without being distracting. Then, I kept it classic and simple with black skinny jeans (featuring perfectly placed ripped patches that give off a slight "tough girl" vibe) and black pumps.

The end result is an ensemble that's a little Rebel Without a Cause with a touch of Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Jacket: Forever 21 Men

Shirt: American Apparel

Necklace: Vintage (similar)

Jeans: Zara (similar)

Shoes: Shoe Cult by Nasty Gal (similar)