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How to Wear Leather Leggings (Without Looking Too Over-the-Top)

Leather and also faux leather pants and leggings are this season’s hottest winter fashion trend, but it’s something a lot of women shy away from because they fear it will look too edgy, too rock and roll or too biker bar.

When done correctly leather pants or leggings can make an incredibly statement and maintain a sense of elegance and sophistication. When done incorrectly you run the risk of making a statement like what we mentioned above—or worse.

Luckily there are some golden rules that can help you balance your desire to wear fabulous leather (or pleather) pants without being mistaken for a member of the Village People.

  1. Pair your leather bottoms with a chambray top. We love the look of a casual, classic denim-style shirt with leather because the two balance each other out and keep the leather from looking like you’ve gone overboard. It’s also a great way to dress down leather pants and make them appropriate for casual daywear. A similar tip is to pair them with another one of the season’s hottest items—a plaid shirt.
  2. If you’re considering wearing leather pants in a work or professional environment, pair them with a very feminine blouse. This makes them appear more work-friendly and it prevents them from looking too much like you’re heading to a nightclub or rock concert. You can also add a structured, tailored blazer on top to round out the office look.
  3. Mix up the textures. If you’re going for a leather-on-leather look, chances are it’s not going to turn out well. Don’t try to pair similar textures when you’re wearing leather or faux leather—go in the opposite direction when creating an outfit. For example, a chunky knit looks great with leather, as do more feminine fabrics like silk or chiffon. Pairing two juxtaposing textures keeps the outfit from going too far in either direction.
  4. Be careful with boots. Boots and leather pants can turn costume-y quickly. If you’re going to do a boot you may want to choose a bootie, as opposed to a boot with a high rise up the leg. As far as shoe choices this season, one of our favorite to see with a pair of leather pants or leggings is a point-toe pump. It’s chic and stylish.
  5. If you’re opting for leggings, try to pair them with a longer shirt. This can be a great time for a tunic, a long belted sweater or something that has a bit of a more flowy and blousy silhouette. This will counteract the tight, streamlined look of the pants.
  6. Go light on top. There’s nothing more classic than a black and white outfit and wearing leather pants gives you the perfect opportunity to wear this look in an innovative, edgy way. The choice is yours but consider a cream or winter white blazer or even a fun, loose fitting white t-shirt on the top.

What are your favorite ways to style leather pants and leggings?