If you read this blog you may already be aware that I am a big fan of leather skirts [indeed, some may call me a collector...] and that I always recommend them whole-heartedly to fellow shorter-legged and/or curvier-thighed ladies. I find that the sturdy material not only holds its shape well and thereby flatters a great deal but of course also provides outfits with a rock'n'roll or power edge - depending on the style, leather skirts can be businesslike, rebellious, bohemian, uber-feminine, etc., but in any case, they tend to exude confidence and strength.
So this post is to celebrate this fabulously empowering wardrobe invention in all its glory : )
Leather skirts may not be for everyone - some find the vibe and fabric overwhelming -, but as everything, they come in many shapes, colours, lengths and vibes, offering a range of possibilities - and they are worth giving a chance.
First of all, a word on the fabric. Good quality is a must, but there are excellent imitations out there these days [I love the terms: 'faux', though more chic in French, obviously does mean 'fake' so nowadays you see it called 'eco' or 'vegan', much better marketing :)], so real leather is no longer a set-in-stone requirement. However, whether real leather or not, take care that:
1) the material is strong but soft [no hint of plastic - unless you are going for vinyl]
2) the colour does not run or transfer onto other items and
3) ideally, that the skirt is lined.
Second, the options.
- In terms of styles, the most easy to find leather skirts are pencil or A-line, but belted/paperbag shapes have also been available recently and look great. They usually come in a mini or just-above-the-knee length but these days midi ones are also quite frequent. It is very much worth scouring vintage shops for them, where the range of styles is wider [tip if you have access to Asos Marketplace: check out Peekaboo Vintage - brilliant and very affordable].
- In terms of colour, black, although the most common, is absolutely not the only option - burgundy and dark green are popular high street alternatives, and with some patience it is possible to find a lot of colours.
- For fellow girls with shorter legs, I recommend shorter skirts in a pencil or slightly A-line shape [high waists are a bonus point], ideally in neutral - or at least not too bright - tones. Asymmetric midis may also work, but are harder to get right.
Third, how to wear them - in a classy way, that is. Leather no longer means trashy whatsoever, provided you follow some basic rules. The key thing is to avoid an overly sexy vibe.
1. Never go too short: aim no shorter than mid-thigh. [If you are young and have great legs and want to give micro-mini a go regardless, balance with thick tights, a big jumper and/or shoes as flat as possible.] At all cost, avoid a spray-on skintight look. Pair an above-the-knee leather skirt with a non-revealing top, ideally a roomy one. In cold weather, jumpers look great. In spring/autumn, loose-fit shirts can look classy and cool, or for a more traditional look, choose an ever-feminine blouse. A loose sleeveless tee paired with a chunky longer cardi is a great look too.
2. Another option is to have fun and go girly [as opposed to SM] with flat shoes, stripes and colours. Just make sure you leave the 'cute schoolgirl' look well alone, it only looks good on manga characters.
3. Long [if your frame can carry it off] is always a classy option; and definitely the way to go if you want to wear a very fitted top.
Caught the bug? Get started with these:
For beginners: a classic but superbly leg-lengthening pencil from Peekaboo Vintage:
A wrap style from & Other Stories:
An unusual, chic red pencil midi from Sosandar [for longer legged ladies]:
Super classy burgundy A-line skirt from Reiss:
Gorgeous navy pencil from Karen Millen:
The perfect mood-boosting spring skirt, also from Karen Millen [available in yellow too]:
Suede again, for petites [quite short] from Warehouse - amazing for winter with black tights:
A mega-cool high-waisted teal number from French Connection [also comes in black]:
And for the brave, an amazing red asymmetric number [sadly unlined but this at least means light and floaty - to match the design] from Zara: