Faux leather, vegan leather, pleather, leatherette, PU, PVC, vinyl… the names for fabrics that look like leather but aren’t, go on and on. But never fear, your favourite friendly neighbourhood alt blogger is here to explain it all, and show you how to wear it too.
Obviously, leather is made from animal skin. So if that kinda creeps you out or you’re just not into the price or the maintenance, faux leather is your new best friend. It has the same look and feel as leather, and while it used to be a bit rubbish, lots of the high street shops have gotten into it so you can pretty much find whatever style, cut and colour you want.
There are two main fabrics that are used to create that leather effect: PU (polyurethane) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride). They are pretty much used interchangeably, both to refer to fabrics and within the fabrics themselves. I think PVC is associated with the super shiny patent leather/faux leather that goths and punks are known for, but you can have PVC fabric that’s matt and/or has a leather effect applied to the surface (so it looks like animal hide).
Faux leather can get a little sweaty – it’s not breathable like an animal skin is – so be warned that you’ll have to deal with that if you’re off out to the club in PVC. It can crack as it gets older too, particularly if the fabric has no natural fibres in it (like cotton).
One of the best ways to wear faux leather is to have fun with texture. In this outfit, I’m wearing a faux leather pinafore dress with a sheer, tattoo style top. It works because they complement each other, and together they give off a kind of sexy look but the long sleeves and the pinafore style keeps it cute too.
Whether you’re wearing shiny PVC or textured pleather, when you’re wearing faux leather trousers, it has to be paired with knitwear. Oversized, cosy and chunky or layers of fine and floaty, whatever you go for, it’s the contrast that absolutely makes it. When it gets a little chilly, I’ll be pairing this pinafore with a big snuggly cardigan.
A faux leather jacket makes even the most basic of outfits interesting and edgy. There’s no way to wear a leather jacket without a badass attitude, so make sure you don’t leave that behind. My jacket from Primark that you’ll have no doubt seen all over my Instagram (and in previous posts) is faux, but it’s a really great dupe. Cover it in pin badges and patches and make it uniquely yours.
Can we talk about this location in thees photos, please? If you ever go to Brighton, you must stay at the Chapel Townhouse. It’s just all of your goth dreams come true. I need a neon cross in my life. And a silver roll top bath. And all the black paint. Thanks.