Wearing leather is often discussed controversely. Especially, when the wearer is female. Often a certain age is set as a mark. This post encourages women of any age to wear leather by providing inspirations and demonstrating that “older” women can look effortlessly stylish in it.
- Women over 40 can wear leather
- Jackets are an easy start for integrating leather in your wardrobe
- Create timeless looks with leather leggings or pants
- Go beyond a black leather pencil skirt
- Leather peplum, a real statement piece
- Vests are not just for winter
- Shorts at any age, in leather, yes please
- Going out in leather clothes
- Final remarks
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.
Women over 40 can wear leatherOnly Roy Rogers and Marlene Dietrich should be allowed to wear leather trousers - Edith Head #quote #leatherclothing Click To Tweet
Sorry Edith, but I disagree. First, everyone should wear what they want! Second, everyone can look stunning in leather when knowing how to look stunning in the hide. In this post, I will show you how some of my fellow blogging friends rock theirs and how they get it right. And, yes there is not just one way to look stunning. Are you new to the trend and want to jump the leather trend bandwagon?
Jackets are an easy start for integrating leather in your wardrobe
A black motorcycle jacket or a brown fringe leather jacket are easy ways to wear leather. Look for a look for high quality when shopping for leather and a classic cut to look your best. Add a pair of dark jeans, a white T-shirt, pearls or a long necklace, and pumps or Birkenstocks, and your have a polished casual or California Casual look, respectively. Both looks are perfect for the weekend for grabbing coffee or running errands.
Nancy Baten of Nancy’s Fashion Style even doubles up on the material in her outfit. Why does it work? Different colors, a classic blazer style, and the American Classic white-gray-blue-black neutral color combo. Learn more about leather-on-leather look in the guide at the link.
But nappa jackets have so much more potential! Not to mention there are so many more types of them that make stunning outfit basics for midlife women. What about wearing your moto jacket over a dress instead of a cardigan like Cathy at Cathy V Style does in the photo below? If you like it, pin it.
Create timeless looks with leather leggings or pants
Speaking of leggings … Annette Höldrich at Lady of Style, creates a timeless outfit by pairing her taupe leather leggings with a black blazer, patent leather girly flats, and white shirt plus a pop of color. She actually wears another thing women in midlife always hear or read about not to wear after a certain age. But she also demonstrates successfully how women over 50 can look stunning in leggings. The secret of this Ageless Style? All colors of the main pieces are neutral.
Go beyond a black leather pencil skirt
A black leather pencil skirts is a great classic piece and easy to style even for the office with a button-down shirt and pumps, if the work dress code allows to wear leather. A tan pencil leather skirt is as easy to pull-off in an ageless way as Annette demonstrates in the photo below. This look is so much more eye-catching and interesting because it goes beyond the usual black and white combo that you see everywhere. The embellishment on the comfy tan wedge sandals, the bag and necklace add a third color to her look. Her outfit also shows that you can wear your leather in summer too without looking to be out of place.
The following is an outfit in all neutrals but lives from the unexpected combination of tan (brown) with black. Of course, you can easily do this combination with a black pencil skirt, tan leather jacket and a white, tan and black print top as well.
Tan is a great alternative to a black when it comes to investing in a leather skirt. #styletip Click To Tweet
You don’t have to stick to just neutral colors. Susana Fernandez of A Key to the Armoire, looks classic and office appropriate in a mustard nappa straight skirt, navy school blazer and classic navy-white striped sweater. The red pumps complete the three basic colors of red, blue, and (mustard) yellow.
Sheila of Ephemera makes the color of her leather skirt the statement. She goes for a patterned top in analogous colors. Since green and purple have blue in common, the outfit gives the illusion of being monochromatic. Thus, the bold colors (green, purple) don’t look over the top or like a bag of candies. 😉
Take home message: Working the color wheel is key when going beyond neutral colors.
Besides color, the style of the skirt can make the look. In the photo below, Jamie at More than Turquoise dons a full pleated leather skirt. She went for a neutral color look and made texture (pleats, faux fur, shiny booties, laces) the statement.
Vests are not just for winter
Most outfits look incomplete when there are not three major pieces. A vest is a great alternative to a cardigan or adding a scarf. So when you love menswear, Rock’n Roll, street style or even Bohemian Style, a nappa vest is a great way to go. Monika Faulkner at Style is my Pudding ups her vacation outfit with a cool cropped vest in tan. She repeats the color with her booties, and belt. More on how you can wear a leather vest in this guide.
Best and worst leather dresses
Leather sheaths are often sold super short in black as party attire. Sorry, but I think they are just hideous on any women, even on women who are at the end of their teenage years. What fascinates me about these super-short nappa dresses is that you see them in online stores everywhere. Since merchants are only interested in revenue, there must be many women who like them.
Call me a prude, if you want, but for my money, they are a no-no.
Give the dresses just 10 inch or so more, and they become head-turning sheath dresses. And of course,
You can't go wrong with a LBD. - Coco Chanel. #fashionquote Click To Tweet
Again neutrals are a great alternative to the traditional darkest color. Blondes look great in cream or a tan sheath, while brunettes look great in chocolate or dark brown like shown in the photo below.
When going beyond the classic black or neutral brown color, make sure your cut is a classic one like a shirt dress or just above-the-knee length sheath. Stay also on the modest side with respect to your styling.
Leather peplum, a real statement piece
Many women love peplum tops. They create a waist and an hourglass figure the moment you put them on. They are stunning in leather. See how Sheila pairs her peplum top with floral paisley patterned cropped pants. The tan and black in the pattern tie the outfit together. Black pumps wouldn’t do it in such a stylish way. <3
I paired my greenish-yellow suede peplum with a white hide. Thus, the piece is the statement of the look. Note that pairing nappa with suede is a nice trick to create interest by different structure. You can find more stylist’s tips on how to wear the leather-on-leather trend in the post at the link.
Shorts at any age, in leather, yes please
Speaking of shorts, we hit several perceptions at once. Add a lot of old-fashioned style rules to the mix. Don’t fear the shorts. Key in wearing shorts (in midlife) is all about balance. We have recognized that sexy is not equal to “flesh show”, but to show features strategically. Covering more, is so much more sexy than showing everything at once. When you love your legs, and you want to feature them, please show them off. In my experience, you can get away with a shorter length more easily with tights underneath than with bare, well maintained legs (shaved, leg makeup). Read more about best stylist’s tips to look great in leather shorts at any age.
I like to wear my golden shorts and my black Bermudas with black tights and tops.
Going out in leather clothes
Who doesn’t remember Angelina Jolie on the Red Carpet in her breathtaking nappa evening gown with her signature mile-high side slit? Sure, her appearance in that famous gown was years ago. Sheila (photo below) demonstrates that we midlife women can look gorgeous in nappa too when going out.
There is no age limit on wearing leather. The key is to find pieces that tell your story. Pieces that match your personal style and lifestyle. When you feel comfortable and great wearing leather clothing by all means go for it.
Even the over 90 years old Iris Apfel looks great in her leather pants.
Do you wear leather clothes? What is your challenge styling them? Let me know, so I can help you and write more about what you want to read.
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Photos in this post are courtesy to the featured women.
Photos of me: G. Kramm
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