Fashion: Nine of the best leather (and faux leather) dresses for every budget

Katie Wright offers a steer on how to bring this seaons's catwalk trend for the leather look to your wardrobe from under £30

Marks and Spencer Autograph Leather Sleeveless Skater Dress, £199

THERE was a lot of talk at the autumn/winter shows about clothing as armour, which translated to capacious coats (sometimes worn two at a time), shiny rain-repellent fabrics and fierce animal prints that scream 'back off!'

Another example of the the protective fashion trend in action was designers' collective obsession with leather dresses.

On the high street, retailers have really run with the trend, but there are a few style notes you need before you go hell for leather.

First up, this isn't about clingy, sexy pencil dresses – there's a toughness to the trend, so think loose shirt dresses or A-line styles.

If you're opting for a sleeveless or pinafore-style dress, layer it with a jersey rollneck or chunky knit to make it daytime appropriate.

Muted colours are also best for day. Black is the classic hue, of course, but deep red, burgundy or forest green are really wearable, too.

And finally, it doesn't actually have to be real leather. If you want to avoid animal fabrics – or steeper prices – there are some excellent PU (Polyurethane) alternatives that are much more affordable. Here's our pick.

1. Marks and Spencer Autograph Leather Sleeveless Skater Dress, £199

2. Zara Leather-Effect Dress, £29.99

3. Elvi Aster Honeycomb Faux Leather + Lace Mix Cami Dress, £43.20

4. Very A Line PU Dress, £50 (available next week)

5. Warehouse Faux Leather Western Dress, £56

6. Sosandar Black Leather Look Front Panel A Line Dress, £69

7. ASOS White Burgundy PU Leather Midi Dress, £85

8. Monki Faux Leather Dress, £40

9. Baukjen Lynn Leather Dress, £499; Soft White Relaxed Turtleneck, £59

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