How To Wear A Leather Harness, Whether You're Going For Edgy Or Understated

These days, anyone can adorn a leather harness and turn a few heads simply because it's a killer fashion statement, but it wasn't always an everyday accessory. Leather harnesses have a long and meaningful history. Many speculate it began in a post-World War II society, after men overseas witnessed Japanese bondage and experimented with more "taboo" sexual desires. All leather ensembles emerged amongst the gay community back in the '60s, when men were looking to express their hyper-masculine style while subtly letting other men know what they were interested in. Harnesses are also commonly used amongst people who participate in BDSM, therefore the leather straps were heavily sexualized for decades, worn subtly or in private.

But in the past few years, harnesses have come to the forefront of the fashion world. Michael B. Jordan rocked a floral harness over his three-piece suit on the red carpet back in 2019, and how could we forget about Kat's iconic leather harness moment on "Euphoria?" Leather harnesses are the perfect accessory when you're looking to add that little extra something to your outfit. But don't be fooled — whether you're going for totally edgy or something more subtle, there are tons of ways to style a harness.

You can never go wrong with an all black ensemble

When in doubt, wear black. A simple black leather harness looks incredible paired with an all black outfit, from your little black dress to your favorite jumpsuit. @ashleypletcher3 styled her harness with a sheer black top, a pair of straight-leg slacks, and an adorable pair of black leather booties. Use this look for inspiration and layer all black items to the leather harness shine, while the different textures keep the look interesting. You'll look like a total badass in this edgy monochrome fit. 

Try a pop of color with this pink leather harness

If all-black outfits and dark leather aren't your style, there is a harness for you in every color of the rainbow. @bellatorleather shared her harness look that features soft pink leather and silver fasteners. Pair your own with a black outfit, hat, and a pink Louis Vuitton bag. While her monochrome outfit lets the bright pink leather take center stage, we also love the idea of pairing a colorful harness with a pastel blouse or brightly colored dress, turning the harness into a more understated accessory.  

Take your pearl necklace to the next level with this unique take on a leather harness

Leather harnesses may be trending, but that doesn't mean it needs to be strictly leather. For those looking to add a chic, feminine take on the harness trend, you'll definitely find some outfit inspiration from @daddypaisleyrose. Their harness features a gorgeous pearl bodice and cream-colored leather shoulder straps, complementing their multicolored gingham dress. They continue to accessorize with more pearl jewelry to match the details in the harness, creating a look that is ready for any springtime activity.

Use a harness to elevate your work wardrobe

Who says you can't rock a leather look to the office, brunch, and beyond? Harness your inner fashionista (pun intended) while you're on the clock like plus size stylist and creator @dressing_dawn shared her favorite leather harness look. You too can achieve this outfit by pairing a midi-length skirt and turtleneck with a leather harness and brown leather boots. This creator debunks the myth that only certain body types can rock a harness, reminding her followers, "Don't let anyone tell you what you can't wear."

Harnesses can be worn over or under your favorite fits

A leather harness is more versatile than you might think — savvy fashion icons have found multiple ways to wear the interesting style without always making it the star of the show. Sometimes, adding a harness is simply that little extra something your outfit was looking for, depending on how you layer it. @soraya.oruya shows off a stunningly understated harness belt over a fitted blazer and mini skirt. The choice to wear the harness on the outside of her coat is inspiring, we are definitely adding one to our cart!