Leave it to leather when making a stylish statement in the summer!

Just because leather is usually designated for cooler weather hasn’t stopped Hollywood’s finest -- including Kat Graham, Malin Akerman and Cindy Crawford -- from switching up the status quo on the red carpet

Carla Dawn Behrle is fashion designer and leather enthusiast whose celebrity clients include Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Carla says that leather is breaking out of its clichéd roles of just of coats and jackets; now it's seen as "fashionable dresses, tops and items that are not usually associated with leather.”

Carla says the easiest way to transition winter leather pieces into summer is to accessorize them with lighter neutrals and pretty print. Looking for other ways to incorporate leather into your summer wardrobe? Stay cool as temperatures rise in short sleeves and lightweight leather fabrics. Synthetic materials are a less expensive alternative and are cruelty-free, easier to clean, and waterproof. So what’s not to love?

Mix and match leather pieces and create your own take on this trend by swapping out a dress for shorts or a top.We love Tobi's faux leather shorts, Free People's vegan leather bustier, findersKEEPER's bold yellow skirt and Revolve's sexy mini. These pieces are summer ready and wallet friendly!

And if you opt for real leather, be sure to take care of it. Leather and moisture will lead to shrinkage and sometimes it’s unavoidable to beat the summer heat. Carla's recommendation? "If a garment gets really wet hang it up and let it air dry in order to keep it from turning into jerky.”

For more of our favorite celebrities wearing leather dresses, including Jennifer Aniston at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards, click on the “Launch Gallery” below: