When you always wore leather clothes, don’t stop it
When you have followed my blog for a while you know that I love leather. I started loving leather as a kid. I had a cute pair of red lederhosen. They really kept me out of trouble with mom as my dad was in charge to clean them. He just brushed the dirt out when I had slit down a dirt pile or played in the dirt.
I wore leather all my life. I remember a faux leather dress in third grade, a leather skirt in fourth and fifth grade. I recall various leather jackets and coats that protected me from the elements. In college, I got my bro’s motorcycle leather pants as a hand-me-down, and I wore them still long time after graduation.
How to wear leather over 40
Leather so to speak has become sort of a second skin. In this issue of Ageless Style, I share how to style leather over 40. In a later issue, I will address how to wear leather on leather.
Tips to style leather over 40
- It is much easier to look fabulous in real leather than faux leather, often called pleather. The latter often looks too shiny (and fake). Too shiny material adds pounds and may draw the attention to a feature of our body where attention may be unwanted. Fake leather also wrinkles in an odd way.
- When you want to wear leather to work, try a straight or pencil leather skirt, a leather blazer or leather pants. In all cases, the leather items should be cut as a classic fabric item in this category would be cut.
- Style the leather items as you would style them when they were from wool, cotton, lines, etc. A button-down top, a blouse, or jersey sweater are great options. A leather skirt or leather pants with a cardigan are also work appropriate. See the example with the twinset in the photos above. You can wear leather in a classic cut to the office as long as your work dress code explicitly out-rules leather clothes.
- Add pearls, either as a necklace or as earrings or studs. Pro tip: Avoid wearing pearls for both as it reads old-fashioned (read too matchy-match).
- A leather trench coat is a great investment as a second trench coat in a windy climate.
- A cocoon cut leather coat is an ageless classic option too, but does not do any good for your shape. But when you are tall and can pull this style off and love the freedom of movement that this cut permits, by all means go for it (see example below).
- When you want to make a statement or like to make an entrance, go for an unexpected color. Otherwise stay with neutral colors like any shade of brown, beige or classic black. When you are not worried about adding a couple of pound by a color (recall all pink and red shades visually add weight) blush is great too (see example).
- Cropped leather jackets look great over a dress, often they work better than a blazer.
- Suede leather shirts are a perennial trend. They are high maintenance as they need to go to the dry cleaners. Wearing a turtleneck underneath or a long sleeve T-shirt with a scarf that covers your entire neck stretches the time between trips to the dry cleaner. You also have to be careful when eating. Never style it like a cowgirl unless you want to achieve this look because you go into a western bar or to a western festival/concert, rodeo or alike.
- Suede skirts and pants are also high maintenance. If the dirt is just soil or dust you can brush it off like my dad did with the suede lederhosen. In suede pants, you may carefully wash the lining of the crotch to extend time between dry cleanings. However, this procedure is time consuming, risky and difficult.
- When your knees show when your pants are off, it is time for them to retire.
Style inspirations for leather outfits over 40
Here are some styling inspirations for looking ageless in leather.
Leather cocoon coat (similar available here) styled with suede gloves, GNW tights, Nicole fall sandals, structured bag, and wool beret for a posh fall outerwear look (all own)
New Magram suede leather pants styled with August Silk leopard print cardigan worn as top, Moschino belt, and Manolo Blanik booties (all own) for a posh office look
Leather top styled with floral print scarf, Nicole sandals (all own) and striped skirt c/o eShakti
Gold shorts, GNW tights, button-down shirt, and Steve Madden Mary Janes (all own) for going out
Oliveo full leather skirt styled with Ann Taylor fitted blazer, Anne Klein scarf, Coach bag, and Christian Louboutain pumps (all own) for work
Statement silver leather pants, Ann Klein sweater, and D&GM sunglasses (all own) for a posh, but edgy street style look. This outfit became Streetstyle of the Week Burberry gold colored leather trench coat, London Jeans boyfriend white denim jeans, silver Puma sneakers, and Jaeger tote (all own) for a street style statement
Oliveo leather shorts with GNW Luxe cashmere wool sweater, GNW tights, Harley Davidson booties, LV silk scarf, and statement belt (all own) for date night/going out
eShakti summer dress styled with Halogen quilted leather jacket, GNW tights, BCBG belt, and Harley Davidson booties (all own) for a fall look
Oliveo leather pencil skirt styled with Carhartt gingham shirt, Ray Ban sunglasses, Jaeger tote (all own) and wedge slides c/o Vionic for a posh weekend look
Give your friends on twitter a tip how to look posh in leather over 40. Thanks <3
Do you like the look of leather clothes? Do you wear leather clothes? Just curious.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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