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Ask Belle: Tips for Wearing Leather Leggings

Hi Belle,

I really (REALLY) like the look of leather leggings.  Can you help me figure out what to look for or what to buy?  Maybe what to wear them with?  

Thanks! K

First, let’s talk about how to wear leather leggings.  As with any pair of leggings, both front and rear coverage matters.  This charcoal tunic sweater is a great option.  I also like this high-low cashmere sweater from Neiman Marcus Last Call.  But the best choice has to be this $40 cowl-neck, cable tunic in ivory.  I love the contrast between the slick leather and the cable knit.

You can also layer the leggings under a simple sweater dress.  This cashmere sweater from Bloomingdale’s is lovely.

Now, onto which leggings I like…


Ann Taylor Leather-Ponte Leggings ($98, also in tall and petite)

The nice thing about a longer sweater is that it provides balance for the pear-shaped among us.  But even with that coverage, full-leather (or leather-like) leggings were too much for my psyche to handle.  After trying on a half-dozen pair, I decided  to go for a mix of leather and ponte.  Much better.  (These Guess leggings are a good under-$75 option.)

Want the full leather look?  I like that these Karen Kane leggings have an elastic waistband and a not-to-shiny finish.  The new Piperlime Collection has a good-looking pair for $98.  This Michael Kors pair also have a great look to them.

Plus-size?  These Ralph Lauren leather-like leggings are a good option.  Need something under-$75? Try these mixed media leggings.

Now, let’s talk about footwear.  Tall leather boots with leather leggings…too much like you should be carrying a whip and wearing a dog collar.  I recommend pointed toe pumps or suede booties.  A pair of patent-leather flats is also a good option.



  1. Joules says:

    I’ve never really strongly considered the leather leggings look, but I really like how you’ve suggested styling it. With that sweater dress and pumps I think I might actually wear and like this outfit.

    Style by Joules

    October 7, 2014/Reply
  2. rar says:

    I just got some faux leather leggings from Express. They were on sale for $30 and they are amazing. Plenty of coverage, thick, and make my legs look great. I like them better than my $500+ pair of actual leather leggings from a few seasons ago (which I never wear bc I am afraid of ruining them). There was also a great selection – I got all leather with some zipper details, but they had leather/ponte and leather accent versions.

    October 7, 2014/Reply
  3. Lauren says:

    I have these from Nordstrom/Hue: that I really love. They have pockets on the back to make them look more like pants and less like leggings as well.

    October 7, 2014/Reply
    • Addie says:

      I tried those on last season but didn’t end up buying them. Have you had them long/washed them a few times? How have they held up?

      October 7, 2014/Reply
  4. Michelle says:

    I’m thinking about trying the Banana Republic “coated” denim, which simulates the leather look and seems thicker (and therefore more forgiving!) than leggings. They look lovely in the store but I haven’t had time to try on a pair.

    October 7, 2014/Reply
  5. Saramel says:

    I bought a black pair at H&M last year and I loved wearing them so much I bought their oxblood pair yesterday. I can’t wait to wear them. Thanks for the styling suggestions!

    October 20, 2014/Reply