Doubling the leather over 40 bears risks
Leather fashion over 40 is tricky, especially when it comes to wearing two leather items at the same time. While younger women can get away with the biker chick style, at 40+, motorcycle leather pants with a motorcycle jacket may look past prime unless you are sitting on your Harley with your helmet on. Now how can we – over 50 – wear this trend?
Leather can be part of your signature style
Unless you ride a bike, we 40+ women are often told not to wear leather at all! Who hasn’t seen on Pinterest the quote of Edith Head
Only Roy Rogers and Marlene Dietrich should be allowed to wear leather trousers.
Think about it! Both of them are known for their great style and taste. For my money, the quote means you really need to pay attention to get it right and to not look like Miss Whiplash’s auntie. Now when it comes to two leather items in an outfit, you will have to be even more alert on that you don’t look like trying to hard or not trying at all.
Leather is part of my signature style. As I pointed out in last week’s post on looking posh in leather over 40, tailoring is key. The leather items should have a classic tailored cut, and it should not be the original motorcycle pants or jacket cut. The same applies to bomber jackets unless you are actually a pilot.
How to wear two leather items in one look
When wearing leather with leather combining suede with plain leather is the safest because of the different textures (see examples below with skirt and top, or blazer with pants). Different colors of leather work well too. A fool-proof way is to wear a leather top or jacket underneath a leather coat. Unless you wear the coat open, the leather-on-leather is invisible. Even when the coat is open, it is more forgivable. Many people do not consider outerwear as an outfit that needs styling. However, I am a strong believer that one should style the outerwear and consider outerwear as an outfit as well.
Make leather-on-leather your statement
When styling a leather-on-leather outfit pick classic items in high quality, i.e. know what to look for when shopping for leather clothes. Go for neutral colors like black, blush, tan, gray, cream or white. Red and oxblood/marsala/burgundy and red are great options for the more daring 40+ woman (e.g. me). However, only wear colors that flatter you. Make wearing leather-on-leather the statement of your outfit, i.e. let it be the star, and let the accessories play a supporting role.
GAP nappa trench coat, Isaac Mizrahi cardigan, Knit dress, barrette used as closure, Banana Republic leather midi skirt, Gloria vander Belt pumps, Constance bag (all own) and necklace c/o Messages in Metal
Zoom-in on Cole Brook & Co blazer, Sienna Studio pencil skirt, GNW cardigan, coin necklace, silk neckerchief (all own), fringe clutch c/o Uno Alla Volta, and wooden watch c/o Jord
London Jean pants, Puma silver sneakers, silver belt, Oliveo chambray shirt, Modalu Pippa bag, American Meteorological Society weather symbol print silk neckerchief, silver metal belt, LeatherCoatsEtc cap (all own), and baroque pearls c/o Pearls Claps
Orvis suede blazer over GNW Luxe sweater with white dyed cowhide pants, Gloria Vanderbilt pumps, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, and Taylor’s Gold’n Stones smoky quartz statement necklace (all own)
Don’t trust the mirror – take a selfie
Try out leather items you want to wear together and make a couple of photos with your cell phone. Best, have someone take them. Then have a look at the outfit photos and pick the leather-on-leather look that looks the most flattering, i.e. the one that looks the best “wrong” in the sense of the old fashion rule not to wear leather over 40. 😉Never trust the mirror, take a selfie. #styleadvice #clothesshopping Click To Tweet
More examples of chic leather-on-leather looks
Here are additional examples of the “two leather items in one outfit trend” that I wore to work.
Example fake leather suit: Oliveo full skirt with jacket, vintage hat, striped scarf tied as a bow, LeatherCoatsEtc gloves, Modalo Pippa bag, and pumps (all own). This outfit has a slightly British eclectic vibe
Example triple leather with outerwear: Boxy coat, Orvis rawhide blazer, INC pants (similar pants here), Michael Kors leopard print satchel bag, Coach booties, Ray Ban sunglasses, and silk printed scarf (all own)
Example of mixed hides with top and G-III skirt, Anne Klein leopard print scarf, Modalo Pippa bag, Clovinton ankle strap pumps, Hermes enamel bangle, and Hermes collier de chien bangles, Tissot stone watch (all own). The scarf ties the color of the pumps, bag, enamel bangles, and top together
Example leather coat with skirt: Coat (similar coat here), Oliveo striped skirt, GNW Luxe sweater, Christian Louboutin neon pumps, LV multi color Murakami saddle bag, and Ray Ban sunglasses (all own) Example shearling with pants: Andrew Marc jacket with INC pants (similar pants here), 3.1 Philip Lim bag, and Clarks booties (all own)
Example shearling over skirt: Cole Haan coat, Sienna Studio tanned hide pencil skirt, GNW tights, Harley Davidson booties, 3.1 Philip Lim bag, LeatherCoatsEtc gloves and fedora (all own)
When you liked this post why not sharing it by tweeting to your friends how to wear leather on leather and look effortlessly chic or pinning the looks to your own pinterest board.
Do you want to know How to Dress for Success in Midlife? Then buy my book. Do you wear leather clothes? How do you wear them? Have you ever tried to double them up in one outfit? Tell me your styling problems by email so I can help you with a post.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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