- Who can look posh in leather
- When can you wear leather at the office
- How to wear leather at work
- Stylist’s tips on how to wear leather
- Style inspirations for leather work outfits
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Who can look posh in leather
I wore leather all my life. I started with a cute pair of red lederhosen as a toddler. 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. Leather so to speak has become sort of my second skin. In this post, I share how to style leather at work.
When can you wear leather at the office
First of all your HR approved work dress code must allow wearing leather. When in doubt better ask then being sorry. If it’s permitted Casual Friday is best. And a Golden Rule is that your look must be posh and your outfit must be beautiful.
Second, only don leather at the office when you always have worn leather. In other words, you must feel confident in your skin. Otherwise it’s not a great look at the office.
How to wear leather at work
In an earlier post, I shared how to wear leather-on-leather over 40. The photos below show a winter business casual outfit as an example how to get it right. Go for classic pieces on all burners is the best way to stay within the dress code. Keep your outfit on the modest side. Think of how Queen Letizia wears her leather pants or how Meghan Markle or Melania Trump wear their leather skirts. Avoid everything that could work for date night or going out.
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.
- 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. You can find a guide on what to look for when shopping for leather clothes at this link.
- 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 item should be cut like a classic fabric item in this category would be cut.
- Style the leather items like you would style them when they were made from wool, cotton, lines, etc. For instance, a button-down top, blouse, or jersey sweater are great options to wear with a straight leather skirt at the office. Leather skirts or pants with a cardigan are also work appropriate. See the example with the twinset in the photos above. You can wear nappa in a classic cut to the office as long as your work dress code does not explicitly out-rules leather clothes.
- Add pearls, either as a necklace or as earrings or studs. Stylist tip: Avoid wearing pearls for both (ears and neck) as it reads old-fashioned (read too matchy-match). That combination was in fashion in the 1960s.
- A classic trench coat made of hides is a great investment as a second trench coat in a windy climate. See this link for what to look for in a trench coat.
- A cocoon cut 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 outfit idea 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 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, >outdoor concert, rodeo or alike.
- Suede skirts and pants are also chic and versatile options. You can find how to recyle a favorite suede skirt in various looks at this link. Of course, suede trousers and skirts 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.
- When your knees show when your pants are off, it is time for them to retire. Depending on their cut you may be able to upcycle them by cutting off the legs just above the knee. Wear them as sleek “fake” Bermudas or long shorts when the legs are straight or wide, respectively.
- Yes, you can wear leather in spring and summer.
When you like these tips, please share them with your friends See these stylist's tips on how to look posh in leather over 40. #leatherlove Click To Tweet Thanks <3
Style inspirations for leather work outfits
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Here are some styling inspirations for looking ageless in leather.
Leather cocoon coat (similar coat) styled with suede gloves, GNW tights, Nicole fall sandals, structured bag, and wool beret (all own) for a posh fall outerwear look 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 for a cool sunny day in spring
Oliveo full leather skirt styled with Ann Taylor fitted blazer, Anne Klein scarf, Coach bag, and Christian Louboutain pumps (all own) for work
Casual Friday outfit, London Jeans boyfriend, Graphic Tee (all own), blazer c/o The Jacket Makers
London Jean boyfriends, graphic Tee, Nine & co. zebra print pumps (all own) and leather frock c/o The Jacket Maker for Casual Friday
Burberry trench coat, London Jean white bf jeans, Puma sneakers, and Jaeger tote (all own) for a street chic look 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
eShakti summer dress styled with Halogen quilted leather jacket, GNW tights, BCBG belt, and Harley Davidson booties (all own) for a fall look
T. Tahari jacket, DIY brooch, Chanel leather skirt, blue graphic tee, Anne Klein pumps, Modalo Pippa bag (all own) for a Casual Friday look
Karina green-blue-black-yellow print dress, black DIY underskirt, Juicy Couture yellow patent leather slides with golden block heel, Ray Ban amber colored sunnies, lace layering top (all own), green leather biker coat with zipper details c/o Leatherskin, and designer crossbody c/o Uno Alla Volta
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
Like some of these outfit ideas? If so, please feel free to pin them to your own Pinterest board.
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.
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Photos of me: G. Kramm
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