How to wear leather leggings

Written by mimi abney
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Leather leggings first appeared on the fashion runways in 2008 as a must-have trend for fall. Paired with sky-high heels, or ballet flats and a printed tee for everyday wear, liquid leather leggings lend a touch of rocker-chic to the modern woman's wardrobe.

Sleek, slim, and skin tight, leather leggings are the perfect style item for women who wish to add unexpected shine and style to their bare legs. Adding five common wardrobe items and a few simple style suggestions can effortlessly transition your leather leggings from day to evening wear.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fitted jacket
  • Tunic or fluid tops
  • T-shirt
  • Shoes and Accessories
  • Belt
  • Soft cloth
  • Mink oil

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  1. 1

    Focus on fit. Leather leggings look best on a woman's body when they skim over the legs smoothly. Since leggings stretch after a few wearings, women of all shapes and sizes must prepare for bagging fabric around the knees, crotch and ankles. To prevent droopy leggings, select a pair one size smaller than your normal trousers size. Before purchasing these leather garments, check yourself in a three-way dressing room mirror to analyse the fit. Sit, bend and walk to see how the leather fabric responds to your body during daily activities and normal wear.

  2. 2

    Wear a tunic or fluid top with the leggings. Whether you are full-figured or pencil thin, a tunic flatters all figures. To keep your proportions balanced (between your thin legs and the billowy top), pair the tunic with a vest or wide belt to feature your waist. Most importantly, keep all tops above the knee. Longer tops will look matronly; while short tops can reveal too much tummy when sitting or bending down.

  3. 3

    Add a printed tee for daytime. Leather leggings, whether real or faux, tend to be shiny. A cotton tee--in a solid or bold print--provides a casual fabric option for less formal occasions. Most leather leggings feature hues of dark black or charcoal grey. Wear a T-shirt that is light coloured to reflect light off your face and soften the harsh tones featured on your legs.

  4. 4

    Choose a fitted jacket to dress up your leggings. For the fashion-forward woman who enjoys trendy garments, but does not want to look like a teenager, a tailored jacket is the perfect pairing for leggings. Select a flattering jacket that hugs the curves of your body and is nipped at the waist. While black jackets are slimming and always chic, add a blouse or camisole in a vibrant colour to complete the look.

  5. 5

    Polish your look with statement shoes and bold accessories. Classic handbags, understated jewellery, and sophisticated black pumps can turn your leggings from biker chick to elegant glam goddess in an instant. To mimic the star style of your favourite celebrities, wear your leggings with high-heeled platform shoes, chunky silver bangles, large-framed sunglasses and a designer handbag.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose your shoes wisely. Wear thick-heeled pumps or ballet flats to accessorise your leather leggings during the daytime and for less dressy occasions.
  • Never clean your leggings by hand or in the washing machine. Leather leggings are dry clean only.
  • According to's article "Leather Leggings," from Feb. 2009, legging wearers should "keep the leather supple by buffing it with a soft cloth and mink oil." (Reference 1)

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