November 14, 2013

DIY Studded Vegan Leather Jacket - Get the Look for Less!

This week I shopped Sears to pick up some fall fashion and created this DIY studded vegan leather jacket to show you how to get the designer look for less as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias.  #ThisisStyle

My style tends to err on the side of feminine and polished with a few surprises here and there.  Pretty silk tops, fitted pants, statement jewelry and preppy handbags make up the bulk of my wardrobe.  They're timeless, adaptable to most seasons and incredibly easy to dress up or dress down.  Which is why it's funny that as a girl who never says "I have nothing to wear" I recently found myself thinking just that.

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My husband and I are off to a rock band filled music festival in Nevada with some friends soon.  File that under not-really-my-scene.  BUT it's a perfect excuse to embrace a few fall fashion trends and of course pick up some new clothes!  After all, I have nothing to wear.  Having spent a decade in the fashion industry, I've learned a few things.  Like what to splurge on and where to hunt for bargains.  So I headed to Sears because you will not believe just how much style you can grab for under $100.

Mommy Testers, hi-low hem concert tee,  get the look, look for less, 2103 fashion trends, searsStyle #ThisisStyle #shop #cbias

I instantly fell in love with this True Freedom vintage feeling top and knew it was perfect for concert going paired with some super skinny jeans and flats.  It's all about the details for me.  The high low hem and ribbed knit finish of the top gave it a boutique feel.  But I also wanted something a little more edgy that could serve as a layering option for that swift fall transition from day to night.  When I spotted a rack of Bongo vegan leather jackets for $25 it was like there was a giant DIY sign flashing over them.    There wasn't, but that's the way my brain works these days.  Studded vegan leather jacket anyone?

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Studs are huge right now and while I think it's a fun trend to embrace, it's not one I'll invest in.  Most of the studded leather jackets I've seen are either incredibly expensive designer pieces or inexpensive versions that just don't feel quite right to me.  I spent years translating designer style into affordable fashion at work so I love adding my own trims to a great basic piece and transforming it into a one of a kind treasure.  And yes, I'll show you how to do it...right now!

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You'll just need a leather punch (which you can purchase online for under $10) some screw on studs and you can use a piece of chalk to mark your pattern if you like.  Mine was nabbed from my four year old's toy easel.  Total mom score.  The leather punch is a great random tool to have around for adding holes to shoe straps, belts, and cross body bags so I guarantee it'll get used again.

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All you do is mark your pattern with chalk and then line up the leather punch and press.  Once you've made your hole you simply pop the screw backing into the hole and then screw the spike on by hand.  It's incredibly easy and the screw style studs are simple to reposition if you make a placement error and totally reusable if you decide you want to put them on something else in the future.

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You can add just a few studs or cover large areas of the jacket.  After some careful consideration I decided that covering the tips of the collar was the perfect dose of edgy-punk for me and kept the jacket from becoming too biker feeling.

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I chose gold studs because their warm tone worked with the caramel colored jacket and given the choice I will always pick gold or brass jewelry and hardware.  Because I travel a lot it makes things really easy when deciding what jewelry or accessories to pack and most pieces easily go together.  Ready to see my final look?  I'll show you exactly how to wear it.

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I love the contrast of the caramel vegan leather against the deep black top and indigo hue of my favorite jeans.  The jacket also has a couple of functional zippered pockets that are perfect for lip balm, gum and a small wallet or card case so I don't have to carry a bag.

Mommy Testers, studded cat pointy toed flats, get the look, look for less, 2103 fashion trends, searsStyle #ThisisStyle #shop #cbias

I added some pointy toed black suede flats from my existing wardrobe which echoed the studs but with a ladylike twist.  Can I just say how happy I am to see pointed flats make a comeback?  They elongate your legs and instantly make an outfit seem polished.

Mommy Testers, Aztec inspired ring, get the look, look for less, 2103 fashion trends, searsStyle #ThisisStyle #shop #cbias

I tend to be very picky about jewelry since I spent so many years looking at it with a critical eye.  So I was pretty surprised to see how on trend the Bongo jewelry collection was at Sears.  I picked up this Aztec inspired ring for just $8.  The slightly oxidized finish and little crystal accents make it the perfect casual accessory to complete this look.

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The undeniably fun part of fashion is seeing how inspiration from one great find can quickly lead to another.  When I saw this Metaphor Aztec inspired sweater there was no question as to whether it was coming with me to Nevada.  I instantly thought to pair it with some broken in tall boots and leggings.  If you're a yoga pants devotee then you'll love the big sweater and leggings trend this year.  These Bongo cable knit leggings were just $10 and super soft.  Choose the right pieces and you'll look fashionable while being just as comfortable as you would be in those yoga pants.  I pinky swear!

Mommy Testers, Aztec sweater jacket, get the look, look for less, 2103 fashion trends, searsStyle #ThisisStyle #shop #cbias

With a little one stop shopping and some quick DIY fun I think I'm ready for our trip and can no longer say "I don't have anything to wear."  With the great deals at Sears and my Shop Your Way rewards points I came home with all of this style for under $100 and not one ounce of shopping guilt.  Next stop, Imagine Dragons live in the desert!

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Want to keep up with searsStyle? You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and my personal fave, Instagram. They have great recommendations for how to wear all of the current trends and you might just find some style steals like I did.

Thanks to my friend Dana of Dana Dirks Photography for taking these photos!


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