40+ women can look great in beautiful leather

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 as a toddler. I blame them for my love of leather clothing. 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.

mature style blogger posing in leather pants and cardigan for work

midlife woman in winter work outfit with brown leather pants
Outfit details: INC brown leather pants, Jeanne Pierre sweater and Moda International cardigan worn as faux twinset, pink pearl necklace, Antonio Melani booties (all own) and wooden watch c/o Jord

How to wear leather over 40

Leather so to speak has become sort of my second skin. In this post, I share how to style leather over 40. In an earlier post, I shared 5 tips on how to wear leather-on-leather.


50 plus woman wearing leather pants and outerwear
INC leather pants with YSL bag, Antonio Menali booties, gloves, Yes St. Laurent bag, and diamond leopard print cropped jacket (all own)

Stylist’s tips on how to wear leather over 40

Leather clothing is a big trend this fall/winter season. When you want to jump the bandwaggon here are my secrets to get the look right.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add pearls, either as a necklace or as earrings or studs. Stylist tip: Avoid wearing pearls for both as it reads old-fashioned (read too matchy-match).
  5. A leather trench coat is a great investment as a second trench coat in a windy climate.
  6. 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).
  7. 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).
  8. Cropped leather jackets look great over a dress, often they work better than a blazer.
  9. 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.
  10. Suede skirts and pants are also high maintenance. When 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.
  11. When your knees show when your pants are off, it is time for them to retire.

Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy my book now.

Style inspirations for leather outfits over 40

Here are some styling inspirations for looking ageless in leather.

mature fashion blogger in leather fall outerwear Leather cocoon coat (similar available here) styled with suede gloves, GNW tights, Nicole fall sandals, structured bag, and wool beret (all own) for a posh fall outerwear look

over 40 woman in a leather work outfit 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

mature woman wearing a leather top Leather top styled with floral print scarf, Nicole sandals (all own) and striped skirt c/o eShakti for a cool sunny day in spring

midlife fashion blogger in gold leather shorts Gold shorts, GNW tights, GNW button-down shirt, and Steve Madden Mary Janes (all own) for going out

midlife woman wearing a full leather skirt Oliveo full leather skirt styled with Ann Taylor fitted blazer, Anne Klein scarf, Coach bag, and Christian Louboutain pumps (all own) for work

mature blogger in leather business casual look London Jean boyfriends, graphic Tee, Nine & co. zebra print pumps (all own) and leather frock c/o The Jacket Maker for Casual Friday

midlife style blogger in silver leather pants 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 Weekmature woman wearing street style Burberry trench coat, London Jean white bf jeans, Puma sneakers, and Jaeger tote (all own) for a street chic lookover 40 years old blogger wearing leather shorts 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

middle-aged woman wearing a dress with cropped leather jacket eShakti summer dress styled with Halogen quilted leather jacket, GNW tights, BCBG belt, and Harley Davidson booties (all own) for a fall look

midlife blogger in silver skirt, scuba cropped jacket, open-toe pumps with shark Pippa bag T. Tahari jacket, DIY brooch, Chanel leather skirt, blue graphic tee, Anne Klein pumps, Modalo Pippa bag (all own) for a Casual Friday look

older woman in blush lace top and layered tulle skirt with leather corsage, slides and gray bag Bandelino slides, Modalo Pipa bag, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Eclipse watch bracelet, hair pin worn as brooch, Trouve leather top (all own), halftee c/o Halftee and mesh skirt c/o Lookbook Store for running errands

Give your friends on twitter a tip how to look posh in leather over 40. Thanks <3

Do you wear leather clothes? Do you like the look of leather clothes, but don’t know what to look for when shopping for leather clothes? Then check the link to get informed.

Like these outfit ideas? If so, please feel free to pin them to your own Pinterest board.

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Photos of me: G. Kramm

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