Calgary Journal living editors explore new and used in their hunt for staple fashion items

Some like it new.

Danielle has always been a “retail” shopper and purchases her clothes new. A student who works part-time, she usually tries to save up and splurge on herself from time to time. Danielle only spends the big bucks on staple wardrobe pieces. She also keeps her eyes open for large clearance sales once or twice a year.

Some like it used.

Tiffany hasn’t purchased anything new in years. A full-time student and young mom, she can’t always afford to keep up with every trend that the fashion industry deems essential. But she’s skilled at staying current by sourcing clothes on a budget in Calgary’s consignment and thrift stores.

Loving the look of leather

Leather is among the oldest fabrics made by humans and has seen a multitude of uses over time. In the early 20th century, leather jackets were used as military uniforms — specifically in the Air Force. They gained popularity during the 1950s with the “greaser” culture and icons like James Dean. Nowadays, leather is not only for motorcyclists, but has become a popular wardrobe piece for anyone wanting to sport the rock star style. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Cara Delevingne, Rihanna, Ryan Reynolds, Kanye West and Justin Theroux can all be seen wearing the edgy material.

Buyers can find different leather pieces ranging from $10 all the way to $5,000 for designer items. The cheaper pieces often come in the form of pleather — plastic made to look like leather. Whether real or faux, leather continues to make a huge statement in the fashion world.

We compared some leather pieces from Danielle’s closet and went to Eleganza Fashions on 14th Street SW to find Tiffany some great consignment pieces.

Danielle’s retail chic

Ritz on a budget

Made by Wilfred and sold at Aritzia, the Daria Legging and the Sauvage Pant — both sold for $135 — are comfortable and easy to pair with virtually anything. The face is made of 100 per cent polyurethane with a soft 100 per cent nylon backing. No awkward Ross Gellar moments.These leggings will stretch slightly with wear, but will return to their original state after washing. I prefer to wear these in the cooler months, because they can be a little warm but are so lightweight that they are not stuffy.

Photo by Danielle Harder

This white leather Debra Murray Original was priced at $48. Pretty much a steal compared to the average leather mini at a retail outlet, which sells for around $250. Plus, this is a one of a kind vintage piece made by a Calgary designer. It’s a true original.

Photo by Danielle Harder

I don’t have the budget yet for a high-end leather jacket, but have always found great options at Le Chateau. The shell of this jacket is made of 100 per cent polyurethane with a polyester and acrylic lining. This jacket’s original price was $150, but I was able to snag it on sale for $50. It has great stitching across the shoulders and the zippers on the sleeves give it an edgier look.

Photo by Danielle Harder

I loved this black Cosa Nova motorcycle bomber. Leather is honestly a timeless wardrobe staple, and one that you may have to spend a little more on than usual. This vintage item dates back to the 1970s and was in mint condition. It was priced pretty sensibly at $98. When compared to retail prices averaging around $200, this is a reasonable purchase for any budget-conscious consumer.

Photo by Danielle Harder

Disclaimer: We do not endorse the retail outlets mentioned nor any of their products. We don’t accept freebies, and our opinions are our own.