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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. See these midlife women looking stunning in leather

  1. 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
  2. Go Beyond a Black Leather Pencil Skirt
  3. Leather Peplum, a Real Statement Piece
  4. Dresses
  5. Vests Are Great Layering Pieces
  6. Shorts at any Age, in Leather, Yes Please
  7. Going out in Leather Clothes
  8. Final Remarks on Midlife Women Looking Stunning in Leather


Pdated: 10/10/2021

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

Women over 40 Can Wear Leather

Only 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.


over 40 years old woman in nappa blazer and leggings
Nancy Baten at Nancy’s Fashion Style wears a navy nappa blazer over nappa leggings with navy plateau sandals and a classic white and gray polo shirt like top. Photo courtesy to her


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


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.


lady of style in leather leggings and blazer
Annette Höldrich at Lady of Style looks timeless in leather leggings and blazer. A great look for Casual Friday. Photo courtesy to her



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.


Lady of Style in a tan leather pencil skirt
Annette Höldrich of A Lady of Style in a tan leather pencil skirt and sleeveless blazer style button-down white shirt. Photo courtesy to her


The following is an outfit in all neutrals but lives from the unexpected combination of 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.


over 50 years old fashion blogger wearing a cardigan, blazer, leather skirt fall outfit
Hallogen tan leather skirt, Vittoria black blazer, GNW tights, and Steve Madden Mary Janes, smoky quartz necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and GNW printed cardigan worn as top


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.


mature woman in work outfit with straight nappa skirt
Susana Fernandez of A Key to the Armoire in a mustard straight nappa skirt, school blazer, striped sweater and red pumps looking office appropriate. Photo courtesy to her


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. 😉

street style Sheila in purple leather skirt with floral cropped jacket
Sheila at Ephemera in a purple pencil leather skirt, cropped floral jacket, statement necklace, and green pointy toe shoes. Photo courtesy to her


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 of More than Turquoise dons one in pleats. She went for a neutral color look, and made texture (pleats, faux fur, laces) and shiny booties the statement. While pleats are often associated with conservative school uniforms, they get a real edge when not made of wool. A full pleated leather skirt is a real street chic statement piece.

style blogger over 40 looking young and hip in a pleated leather skirt
Jamie Lewinger, the style, home decor and travel blogger at More than Turquoise looking young and hip in a full pleated burgundy leather skirt, a navy zipped jacket with faux fur collar and hem, navy tight, and black high-heel lace-up booties. Photo courtesy to her


Read more on when you can wear your leather skirt.


Vests Are Great Layering Pieces

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. The example look below features a vest with shearling collar in a winter layering look. More on how you can wear a leather vest in this guide.

nearly 60 years old lady in leather vest winter layering look
Max Mara vest, smoky quartz statement belt, Hipstik tights, Söftt shearling booties, J. Crew snake print skirt, LandsEnd turtleneck sweater


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. 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.


leather fashion blogger winter brown jumper
Elie Tahari jumper leather dress, Orvis Irish blazer, Dior over-the-knee boots, and opera length pearl necklace


A fit-and-flare dress can be styled many ways. Furthermore, it is a great classic cut flattering many body shapes. And of course,

You can't go wrong with a LBD. - Coco Chanel. #fashionquote Click To Tweet


granny in leather fit-and-flare black dress
Halogen Fit-and-flare leather dress, Gloria Vanderbilt pumps, Longchamp bag


Burgundy is another great color when going beyond the classic black or neutral brown color. A classic shirt dress cut in just above-the-knee length is a great way to go. Stay also on the modest side with respect to your styling.


over 50 years old woman in plum leather shirt dress styled for summer
G.I.L.I plum leather dress, Eddie Bauer long sleeve T-shirt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Ivanka Trump pumps c/o Wikibuy, and wooden sunglasses c/o Winkwood




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

Stylist’s tip: Repeat two colors of a print in your outfit to tie it together. #agelessstyle #secretsofstyle Click To Tweet

over 50 years old woman in leather peplum
Sheila, the style blogger at Ephemera, looking stunning in a leather peplum. Photo courtesy to her


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 at the link.

American woman in leather-on-leather summer outfit with yellow and white
Oliveo pencil leather skirt, Very Fine Dancesport Shoes strappy sandals, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Bercile enamel bangle, citrin and carved cat statement necklace, Lucky Brand lemon suede top, and wooden sunglasses c/o Winkwood



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.


mature woman in leather shorts and tight
Sheila of Ephemera looking great in burned orange shorts paired with tights, suede boots, and a Mongolian goat-fur like style cropped jacket. Look at the interesting sleeves of the jacket! Photo courtesy to her


I like to wear my golden shorts and my black Bermudas with black tights and tops.


over 50 years old woman in golden leather shorts
Escada golden leather shorts, Hipstik tights, Chantelle satin pumps, oda International sweater, Hermes collier de chien bangle


over 50 years old woman in leather shorts and straw hat
Carhartt Gingham shirt, Oliveo leather shorts, Kieselstein Cord belt and 3 horses buckle, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Hermes enamel bangles, carved agate necklace and earrings, Tissot stone watch, Ray Ban sunglasses, orange Michael Kors patent leather sandals, and D&Y straw baseball hat



Going Out in Leather Clothes

Who doesn’t remember Angelina Jolie on the Red Carpet in her breath-taking 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. Do you love looks with metalic leather pants and jackets?


mature woman in gold pants
Sheila, the style blogger at Ephemera, looks polished and sexy in her gold pants. Photo courtesy to her


Final Remarks on Midlife Women Looking Stunning in Leather

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 100 years old Iris Apfel looks great in her leather pants.

I hope these examples convinced you that there are  midlife women looking stunning in leather.

See these midlife women looking stunning in leather. #leather #midlifestyle Click To Tweet

Photos in this post are courtesy to the featured women.

Photos of me: G. Kramm

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