How To Wear Leather Pants And Skirts When You’re Over 40

Wearing leather pants or a leather skirt always makes a statement. You can look powerful, elegant, and maybe a little bit tougher than usual – which can be an awesome thing! But a good leather pants outfit can be tough to put together. It is often difficult to find leather pants or leather skirts that toe the line between effortlessly cool and a little bit rock’n’roll and trying a little too hard. Often that line can be blurred very quickly if you’re over 40.

That said, you definitely don’t need to hang up your leather pants as you get older. We’ve got some ideas as to how you can rock a leather pants look at any age. And vegan leather or faux leather has gotten a lot better if you remember the horrors of pleather and don’t want to wear animal products.

The Best Ways Wear Leather Pants And Skirts

faux leather leggings black fountainof30
Spanx® Faux Leather Leggings, $98 and Bardot Raven Faux Leather Leggings $79, now $47.40

Leather Leggings

One way to do a low key leather pants look is to wear leather leggings with a long tunic sweater or top, or even a flannel for casual days. Spanx leather look leggings have become a cult classic for a reason, and we are also fans of these leggings with crease details from Bardot. Another thing we like is pairing these types of pants with sneakers or low key flats instead of heels – leather leggings are probably the easiest way to casually rock leather at any age! A longer blazer is a good way to dress them up as well, especially if you want to wear them in a professional situation.


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leather pants with details paper bag waist and flare fountainof30
Lucy Paris Faux Leather Paperbag-Waist Pants, $98 and Free People Penny Vegan Pants $98, now $69.95 

Leather Pants With Interesting Details

While you probably tend to think of the trendy black leather leggings or the traditional moto-style leather pants when you picture a leather pants outfit, there is a whole world of other leather pants for women out there. These pants have interesting details. For instance, these Lucy Paris faux leather paper bag waist pants would be fabulous with a fitted turtleneck or similar top (we also love the unique cognac color), and these flared leather pants from Free People are ideal if you still miss your old boot cut jeans, just keep the rest of the look modern. For example, we like the idea of mixing these with an oversized sweater.

black cropped leather jeans fountainof30
rag & bone Maya High-Rise Straight-Leg Leather Ankle Jeans, $995 and Blank Denim The Principle Mid Rise Vegan Leather Skinny Pants, $98

Cropped Leather Pants

Going for a cropped look is also be a fun way to wear leather pants. These rag & bone ankle crops would be great styled with a cashmere sweater or even a flannel button-down, or a more delicate lacy or chiffon blouse tucked in during the spring and summer. This pair by Blank Denim is another stellar option if you prefer a skinnier fit and vegan leather.

black leather pencil skirts two button side fountainof30
Nordstrom Signature Button Detail Leather Skirt $499, now $299.40 and The Row Verna Asymmetric Leather Midi Skirt, $3,750

Leather Pencil Skirts

A leather pencil skirt is probably not something you’ll want to wear to most offices (but you know your workplace). But this type of skirt can be a great option for the weekend, especially if you like to play with contrasting textures. A black leather skirt with a cozy sweater, tights, and ankle boots makes for a super fun look. We love this Nordstrom Signature button detail leather skirt or if you want to seriously splurge, this asymmetric black leather skirt from The Row is the stuff of dreams.

Leather Styling Tips

Overall, the key to making leather work is to balance the drama of the pants or skirt with texture and a more covered up or flowy look on top. It’s all about the balance. Chunkier heels, flats of any kind, or even sneakers can also help tone things down. Plus they are usually much more comfortable.

One last thing to keep in mind is that leather or vegan leather is something that you’ll want to invest in. It is the type of material where the quality really shows. Vegan leather or faux leather tends to be less expensive of course, and black tends to be the most forgiving color when it comes to quality/appearance as well as figure flattery. But isn’t black always the most forgiving choice in that regard? Matte leather also tends to be easier to wear, especially for casual looks. Besides it can also look more luxurious as well.

Do you wear leather pants, leather leggings, or leather skirts, and what do you wear with them?

Shop Leather Pants and Leather Skirts

–Jacqueline Zenn

You may like to read more of Jacqueline’s styling posts for women over 40 like The Top Sweater Trends For Winter 2020 and How To Wear Ankle Boots In The Winter When You’re Over 40.

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