All of a leather
Leather – it’s one of those things that raises eyebrows. It can be a bit Del Boy, Hell’s Angel, TOWIE or even Pretty Woman. The leather biker jacket is now a wardrobe staple but there is so much more to leather than outerwear. In fact, this season it’s all about leathering up your bottom half. And there are plenty of choices out there whether you want to keep on the feminine side or go a bit more rock chick. So channel your inner biker/market stall trader/Julia Roberts and invest in some skin. Real or faux it doesn’t matter as there is something for every budget.
First up, the leather skirt. Now although I very rarely wear skirts, I do have a leather mini skirt I picked up from a vintage store in Paris. That makes me sound way cooler (or w***ier) than I am really. If you want a real leather mini then Hush has this Stretch Leather Mini Skirt £240. Style it either with an oversized or a cropped chunky knitwear and boots. I think leather works best when you mix it with textures and dress it down.
Whistles has a couple of different minis – Rita Skirt £170. This has pockets on which can work quite nicely and it comes in a whole host of colours other than black: chocolate, dark green and burgundy. Don’t just think of leather as a winter thing because these work just as well with a simple white t-shirt for the summer as they have styled here.
And this Leather A-line Skirt £170. I am not sure when this happened but Hush is now more expensive than Whistles. Always used to think of it as a more affordable brand but this season has definitely seen a real hike in prices. Boo hoo – Hush, you reeled us in and now we are hooked, but these prices are well a bit much.
If a mini feels like something best left behind with your 20s, then a pencil skirt is a more ladylike option. Hush has this one for £295 in the forest green and also in black. Again I think this works really nicely with a fine gauge piece of knitwear worn tucked in or out depending on your shape. You can also give a bit of edge to a blouse by teaming it with the leather rather than wool pencil skirt and courts. The furry number is just a bit too much like a giant animal round her neck though.
Whistles has this Button Leather Pencil Skirt £195.
Leather trousers definitely have Dorian from Birds of a Feather connotations for me but they too can be Parisian Chic if worn in an insouciant way ie not trussed up to the nines.
Hush has these Leather Leggings £330 in black and a grey colour. And voila not cheap or tarty in the slightest. Even better with some oversized knitwear and trainers. I have been coveting these for a few seasons but they are always sold out in my size – must be a sign.
Slightly more affordable are these from &Other Stories at £245.
I never ever thought I would say this but I am actually rather keen on these Leather Culottes from Whistles £250. Not exactly mainstream but can’t deny I am a little bit taken by them.
Ok so if these prices all feel a bit too much of an investment for something that isn’t going to be ‘everyday’, then hallelujah for pleather or faux leather. No it won’t feel anywhere near as nice a the real deal but your bank balance will breathe a sigh of relief.
Warehouse has a couple of options on the skirt front including this Faux Leather Clean Skirt £35. It comes in the burgundy or black and is great with a roll neck or little blouse and ankle boots.
They also have this Faux Leather Pencil Skirt £39 in black, burgundy and dark green so all your fashion colours are covered. Not how I would style it as this looks a bit too librarian even for a geek chic look.
Although this is called a Clean Faux Leather Midi Skirt £45 it sits on the knee here. For me this would certainly be mid calf though. Teensy bit off-putting the name but let’s not forget pleather is great where kids are concerned. In fact its wipe-cleanability makes it a mum’s best friend… maybe.
So too does Zara with this Faux Leather Pencil Skirt £25.99 which comes in this rather nice khaki as well as black and navy.
A different option would be a pleated style like this Faux Leather Pleat Midi Skirt £45 from Oasis. Looking slightly dance teacher here but not with high heeled calf boots and a sweater.
Maybe more of a true midi would be this Faux Leather Pleats Skirt £65 from &Other Stories. Ooh I like the shoes with this very much.
However, if you want real leather without splashing the cash then there are options. H&M has this Leather Pencil Skirt £79.99 in black and burgundy. Dodgy footwear and not the best sweater but gives you the idea of the look.
Oasis also has its Leather Clean Pencil Skirt £85.
And what of an affordable pair of leather-look trousers? I used to have a pleather at the front, ponte at the back pair from Zara which were great til they started to fray in the crotch area. Not a good look at all. You have to be careful on the camel-toe front with these super skinny types. I think coated jeans are a better high street alternative and have these from Mango in the burgundy and black: Waxed Skinny Belle Jeans £35.99.
So make your leather ladylike or dress it down and there is not a chance you will look like you are angling to be picked up by Richard Gere.