Trend To Try: Leather Body Harnesses

Leather harnesses from ASOS.

In the realm of fashion accessories, you may have noticed an uptick in leather harnesses. Although long associated with a more underground sort of, uhhhh, “fashion” (Google it), harnesses are now totally wearable in an everyday sort of way and have even made their way onto many of the fall 2012 runways (hi, Herve Leger by Max Azria). We can thank Lady Gaga for all of this, of course, because she famously ushered the harness-as-accessory into existence via her “’Yoü And I” video. We were all over that biz and even paid a visit to designer Zana Bayne’s studio where the vid’s megatastic creations were born, but as you can imagine, these custom pieces don’t come cheap, so our hopes of harnessing ourselves have been delayed. Even though we’ve already decreed harnesses a major fall 2012 accessories trend, we have some major issues, such as A) how to afford them, and B) how to wear them. It’s an accessory CONUNDRUM! Thankfully, ASOS has a whole bevy of harness goodness available, and OMG *GASP* some of the pieces are already on sale.


The ASOS 4 Strap Pastel Harness Belt ($28.65), above left, comes in pale green and is all about major drammmmz. Because it straps across half your body, we suggest pairing it with a long maxi dress or trying it with something floral to edge out the pretty lady factor. It would also work over a body-con minidress if you’re into that sort of pronounced binding.

For those wanting to try the trend in a more relaxed way, we like the brown leather ASOS Harness Belt ($26.86), which has triple-strap detailing in the back and kind of looks like a holster. Not only does it go with T-shirts, it doesn’t seem to detract from other accessories like the two dangling necklaces the model above is wearing. BUT if you’re harness-happy yet worried that the bodice-accentuating qualities won’t work with your bazoombage (no worries, we’re totally in that boat, too), the ASOS 3 Strap Pastel Harness Belt ($32.23), above right, is the answer. A harness and belt in one, we like this over a summer dress or with something black and flowing.


Leather harnesses from ASOS.

A bolder way to wear the harness is to choose one that has a crossbody effect. The ASOS Leather Buckle Detail Harness ($107.43), above left, is super strappy and screams I’M WEARING A HARNESS AND IT’S AWESOME. You can wear this with dresses or T-shirts, just make sure you choose something that is somewhat simple in shape and texture to wear underneath. If you don’t want to wear leather, you can still rawk the trend with the black ASOS Harness Belt ($25.07) which is actually made from leather-looking FABRIC. One of our favorites, though, is the ASOS Leather Stud Detail Harness ($71.62), above right, in the perfect shade of mint green and snazzed up with those silver studs. Fashion superhero? Hellz yeah.


From left: Bliss Lau Contour Dress, Cascade Collar, and Contour Jacket.
Photo: Courtesy of Bliss Lau

OK, so in our dream fantasy world, we’d own pretty much everything by Bliss Lau. But since we’re talking about harnesses here, we had to narrow our choices down to three totally amazing and virtually unaffordable pieces. (This IS a fantasy obvs.) Thus, when we’re having a quiet dinner with Ryan Gosling, let’s say, we might wear this Contour Dress over a black slip. Not only does it have customizable chains, it’s insane in an art deco steampunk showgirl kind of way. In a more sedate dream that involves a music festival, motorcycle, dark skinny jeans, a white tank top, and leather jacket, this Cascade Collar necklace with a braided chain makes an appearance. But, wait. Maybe instead of the SHAZAM harness power of the dress or the edginess of the necklace we go for the more subtle—yet still completely beautiful—Bliss Lau Contour Jacket, which is draped to enhance the female form. We’d wear this over a vintage black cocktail dress that cinches at the waist and flows down the mid-calf in a retro feminine sort of way. Cue Gosling and the motorcycle, please.

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