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Red tights and suede skirt worn with a winter white cotton cardigan as a top under a tailored brown leather jacket with zipper details

This year leather on leather was all over the runways. Leather is tricky, especially, when you wear leather on leather. While younger women can get away with the biker chick style, at 40+, motorcycle leather pants with a motorcycle jacket may look past your prime unless you are sitting on your Harley Davidson with your helmet on. This post empowers you to wear the trend when you want to.


  1. Leather-on-leather is a big trend
  2. How to wear two leather items in one look
    • Easy to Follow Styling Tips
    • How to make leather-on-leather your statement
    • Leather on leather Outfit Ideas
    • Don’t Trust the Mirror – Take a Selfie
    • Chic Looks with Mixed Leather or Outerwear
  3. Final Remarks on How to Wear Leather on Leather

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

Leather-on-leather is a big trend

Now how can we – over 50 – wear this double-leather trend? 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. Both is never in style!

how to wear the leather-on-leather trend post flyer

When you are already following the blog for a while, you know that leather is part of my signature style. As I pointed out in my 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 you followed Fashion Week leather-on-leather is full on trend. When wearing this trend, it is important to style it in a way that it does not look like you are disguising as a motorcycle chick.

Different colors work well. Take inspiration from how you usually style an outfit with different colors. In the example below, the idea is red plus white makes pink, sort of. 😉 A primary color with its lightened up version plus white is a fool proof combination. The oblong floral scarf adds interest and ties the white skirt, red pumps and pink leather jacket into an outfit.

fashion over 40 woman in pencil leather skirt

blogger in work outfit with leather on leather
Oliveo leather pencil skirt, Newport News tailored leather jacket (similar here), Jaeger leather tote, long floral scarf, Isaac Mizrahi cashmere sweater, Gloria Vanderbilt pumps, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and statement necklace (all own)


The example shown above works because of the unexpected colors of white and pink nappa. These colors give the look a feminine touch. The classic cut of a pencil skirt and tailored jacket steer clear out of rocker and biker territory and rather read casual posh.

Another fool-proof way is to wear a nappa top or jacket underneath a leather coat. Unless you wear the coat open, the doubling 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.

When pairing black pieces, go for a pencil skirt or dress plus jacket, i.e. at least one piece that you can’t wear on a bike.


over 50 years old fashion blogger in a fake leather skirt suit

style book author wearing a faux skirt suit in black
Example with two leather items. Outfit details: Lookbook Store motorcycle  jacket, Sienna Studio leather pencil skirt (similar skirt here), Jeanne Pierre striped cotton sweater, Pavlova Russian wool fringe scarf, GNW tight, and Harley Davidson motorcycle booties (all own)


When doubling the hides combining suede with plain leather is the safest way because of the different textures (see examples below with skirt and top, or blazer with pants).

Easy to follow styling tips

Here are my tips to wear leather-on-leather without looking like a rocker chic.

  1. The easiest way is to stay away from all black, both menswear inspired pieces.
  2. Wear a jacket and add a skirt to create a fake leather suit.
  3. Use classic tailored feminine cuts.
  4. Try a leather dress over leather pants.
  5. When you do not dare to take on the trend to its fullest, you can wear the trend by choosing one of the pieces in suede. So chic and easy because of the matte vs. glossy contrast.
  6. Wear a leather trench coat over a straight leather skirt.
  7. Use two different colors.

How to 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 are great options for the more daring 40+ woman (e.g. me). However, only wear colors that flatter you. Make double hides the statement of your outfit, i.e. let it be the star, and let the accessories play a supporting role.

Leather-on-leather outfit ideas

style blogger Nicole donning a fall outfit with three layers in shades of gray and green Color example: GNW print cardigan, Hermes collier de chien belt, Sienna Studio skirt, Steve Madden lizard imprint green pumps, triple necklace, pantyhose, Gucci bamboo handle ostrich bag (all own), green motorcycle jacket c/o Leatherskin and olive halftee c/o Halftee
Nicole of High Latitude Style in fall outerwear over office look GAP nappa trench coat, Isaac Mizrahi cardigan, Knit dress, barrette used as closure, Banana Republic leather midi skirt, Gloria vanderBilt pumps, Constance bag (all own) and necklace c/o Messages in Metalstylist in leather skirt and jacket Fake leather suit: Oliveo full skirt with jacket, vintage hat, striped scarf tied as a bow, LeatherCoatsEtc gloves, Modalo Pippa bag, Covington pumps (all own). This outfit has a slightly British eclectic vibe
midlife lady in posh chic double-leather look Cole Brook & Co blazer, Sienna Studio pencil skirt, GNW cardigan, coin necklace, silk neckerchief, Hermes collier de chien bangle (all own), fringe clutch c/o Uno Alla Volta, and wooden watch c/o Jord
over 50 years old fashion blogger wearing reptile, geometric and abstract pattern in one outfit Printed: Unbranded scarf, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Festina sports watch, lapis and malachite beads necklace with brooch, DIY painted unbranded leather shell, Escada denim booties, Sierra Studio snake-print leather pants (all own), halftee c/o Halftee and best girlfriends bracelet c/o Chicos
mature fashion blogger in posh Tomboy look with nappa coat and pants Moda International 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 Clapsfashion blogger wearing a leather coat over a leather skirt Coat with skirt: Coat (similar leather coat here), Oliveo striped skirt, GNW Luxe sweater, Christian Louboutin neon pumps, LV multi color Murakami saddle bag, and Ray Ban sunglasses (all own)style blogger in pink leather suit with floral top and rock studs Notations floral print cardigan worn as top, Valentino Rock Studs, Gucci bag, driving gloves, Newport News fitted leather jacket, Banana Republic leather skirt (all own)

When you liked these tips why not sharing it by tweeting to your friends I just found this cool post on how to wear leather-on-leather. #effortlesslychic Click To Tweet

Don’t trust the mirror – take a selfie

Try out the 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 look that looks the most flattering, i.e. the one that looks the best “wrong.” 😉

Never trust the mirror, take a selfie. #styleadvice #clothesshopping Click To Tweet

Chic looks with mixed leather or outerwear

Here are additional examples of the “two leather items in one outfit trend” that I wore to work.

granny wearing pants and blazer made of hides Suede and leather: Orvis suede blazer, GNW Luxe sweater, INC cowhide pants, Gloria Vanderbilt pumps, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, Taylor’s Gold’n Stones smoky quartz statement necklace (all own)

over 50 years old fashion blogger in leather coat over suede jacket and leather pants 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)

fashion influencer in leather shell and suede skirt Mixed hides with top and G-III skirt, Anne Klein leopard print scarf, Modalo Pippa bag, Covington 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

American woman in leather-on-leather summer outfit with yellow and white Mixed hides: Oliveo skirt, Very Fine Dance Sport strappy sandals, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Bercile bangle, citrine, carved cat necklace, Lucky Brand suede shell (all own) and wooden sunglasses c/o Winkwoodmidlife woman in pants and shearling jacket Shearling with pants: Andrew Marc jacket with INC pants (similar pants here), 3.1 Philip Lim bag, and Clarks booties (all own)

mature woman in leather pencil skirt and shearling coat 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)

Final Remarks on How to Wear Leather on Leather

This trend is risky. However, when you always have worn clothing in this material, experiment with the pieces you already own. When you are new to it, go for a suit.  This way you can wear the blazer and skirt/trousers as separates later. And remember great style has no age limit.

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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