Over the last few seasons leather, or faux leather, leggings have taken over the High Street. When I was in H&M today I counted at least 5 pairs and pretty much every store has some, of one description or another.
So firstly, some tips for choosing the right ones for you:
- Are you ready to commit to leather leggings or are you just dipping your toe in the leather/pleather legging water? There are some out there for as little as £10;
- The fit is really important. Everyone thinks about leggings being too tight but equally, baggy leggings are never a good look;
- Check from all angles before buying and have a good wriggle around in them. Wonky seams, leggings that are too tight and leggings which ride up (or down) are never going to work. Oddly the crotch can also be in the wrong place too. Imagine that!
- Most leather style leggings will have panelling or details on them. Light can bounce off shinier fabrics, acting as a highlighter, so check where those panels sit on you. Panels may be best avoided on the thighs and/or bottom and confined to the lower leg, or down the side of the leg instead (see below).
To list all of the leather/pleather leggings available on the High Street would take all night, so here are a few choices at different prices;
Black leather leggings Mint Velvet (£499) – the real deal and I have to admit that they do look lovely;
Liv leather leggings Baukjen (£299) – the real deal at a slightly lower price;
Damsel in a Dress leggings at John Lewis (£89). These are made of a thick fabric and have real leather detailing down the side of the leggings. This is a really flattering way to wear leather on leggings as the vertical lines serve to lengthen the legs. Damsel in a Dress designs for a slightly more mature market too, so they sit fairly high on the waist;
Faux leather leggings Mint Velvet (£39) – these are a good mid priced option, ones that I haven’t yet tried but I am planning on doing so.
So, what to put with them? Well on most people, covering the bottom will be a good idea. I have seen one woman wearing the Damsel leggings with a short fitted top from Zara and she looked amazing – but then so was her figure! There are lots of different ways of styling them so here goes!
The long shirt:
There are lots of longer line shirts available. From denim, to silk for a night out, to an oversized man’s shirt or a plaid one for a rock chick look, there are plenty of options available.
I like this Ebony print blouse from Mint Velvet (£69). The Nehru collar is flattering, I like how the print is concentrated at the top of the blouse and for anyone with a curvier bust, a V-neck can be created by undoing a few of the buttons. Wear it with the shoes at the bottom of the post for a night out.
The long knit
Long jumpers and biker boots are a nice way to style leather leggings for a weekend. This Merino Kimono sleeve sweater from Jigsaw (£98) is a great jumper and one which I used for an event on Wednesday night. It’s long and loose enough to give the right look, without swamping the wearer. It also looks great with a long pendant worn over the top of it.
The shirt dress
Depending on the fabric and print of the shirt dress, it could be worn either to dress the leggings up for a night out, or down, to wear them casually.
GAP has a good selection of shirt dresses and this plaid shirt dress (£35) would work well worn with ankle boots for a casual look. Again, for anyone who prefers to steer clear of a high neck, a V-neck can be created by undoing the top couple of buttons.
The Long Cardi
Long cardis work well over leather leggings, provided that any top worn underneath has the requisite length at the front, if you get my drift.
This long wrap around cardigan from Zara (£19.99) comes in several colour ways and would look good with a brighter jumper, or printed jumper, worn underneath it or with a plain top and a big printed scarf. I think that I would have to work in a bit of neon to this look.
Tapping into the trend for sweatshirts, a sweatshirt dress would give a very modern feel to the look and would look fantastic with a statement necklace. This sweat dress from Topshop (£19.99) would work well, as would a more traditional jumper dress. I am sure that Primark will have some lovely novelty ones in time for Christmas!
I had to include these shoes on here today. They are my current all time favourite. They are the lacey Courts from Carvela (£59 down from £85) and they would look totally brilliant with leather leggings – as they would with lots of things. They are a classic style but the spikes give them an edge, so they tick that box for when you want something stylish but also very modern.