Yesterday was one of those weird-weather days, typical of LA, where you’re not sure wether it’s going to be hot or cold out. (Yes, this really happens here.) So I paired a chunky knit pullover with leather leggings, threw on open-toe shoes, and headed off to school. I figured, if it ends up being cold then at least I’m wearing knit…and if it ends up being hot at least I’m not wearing boots.
At school, a girl in the elevator told me I was brave for wearing leather leggings.
“I have a pair sitting in my closet,” she told me, “But I seriously have no idea how to wear them without looking trashy.”
Well, Girl-In-FIDM-Elevator-Whose-Name-I-Don’t-Know, this post is for you. And anyone else who wants to rock this look and needs a push in the right direction.
The key to wearing leather leggings, and not looking like you walked out of a music video, is balance. In other words, leather leggings are super tight and majorly sexy, so you want the rest of your look to be more loose-fitting and laid-back. Like my chunky pullover yesterday (pictured above.) Wearing something baggier also just helps cover the weird wrinkly-thing that leather does when it’s stretched across your hips….or is that just me?
Here are four fool-proof pieces that complement leather leggings and save you from looking “trashy”, as Elevator Girl put it:
#1) Classic chambray button-down. Denim and leather are two of the biggest fabric trends we’re seeing this fall, and they happen to play amazingly well together. Normally I’d suggest that you stick to one trend at a time, but in this case it’s a great combo. Also, just a side note: throwing on leather high-heeled booties with these leggings make your legs look miles long–even for a shorty like me!
#2) Plain white tee. This is so, so basic that most people wouldn’t even think of it. But, honestly, a plain white t-shirt is probably my favorite thing to pair with leather leggings. Extra points if it has a couple rips in it–so badass. The key to this one is the fit of the tee: don’t go too tight or too short. Keep it relaxed and casual. Think “I’m sexy without even trying” and you’ll be golden. Plus, wearing a plain tee leaves open the option to throw on a leather jacket as well. Sounds crazy, I know, but as long as the white t-shirt is longer than the jacket, the look will work (the white will break up all the leather.)
#3) Oversized sweater. This one is easy. Basically anything oversized and comfy will balance out the look of the leggings. I’d stay away from any print that’s too busy, though, because the leggings make their own statement. Wide stripes, like the ones I’m wearing here, are safe. Also, a sweater like this will cover your hips and butt, making the leggings less scary to wear. Yeah, I said it, you’re not the only one who doesn’t want skin-tight leather stretched across her butt. I know I sure don’t want that on display. A baggy sweater makes me more confident in this look.
#4) Military jacket. Yeah, mid-calf boots make me look shorter, but I love ‘em too much to let go. The fourth piece that is always okay to wear with these leggings is some sort of over-piece: a fur vest (not cropped), a white blazer, a military jacket etc. Again, it’s nice to have something that covers you’re hips a bit. Also, something like this military jacket has a very similar “voice” to the leather leggings. They’re both edgy and cool without competing with each other. No idea what I’m talking about? Just take my word for it.
Okay, ready to embrace this look? My leggings are See You Monday, but MICHAEL Michael Kors, Mimi Chica (they’re matte–super cool), BDG (available at Urban Outfitters), and American Apparel all make some great options.