Kate Mara's Leather Valentino LBD Is All About The Feminine Details, Plus 3 Affordable Options For Your Own LLBD

An LBD is pretty much a perfect wardrobe piece because you can turn it up depending on how you style it, how you accessorize, what shoes your wear, and whatever fabric the dress itself is made of. Kate Mara's lambskin leather Valentino LBD schooled us on all how to rock this trend, making a look that could be deemed tough decidedly feminine. It was all about several soft details.

Mara's pixie cut is a sweet complement to the dress, which has plenty of ladylike touches. It's darling, but it's also sexy. Mara and her makeup artist wisely kept things minimal, save for a matte berry lip.

I love wearing leather hoodies, leggings, pencil skirts, and dresses, but I realize that it can be an unforgiving and stiff fabric. Still, if I had eight grand to toss around, I'd be making this Valentino frock my valentine for ever and ever.

If you are a fashion fan and told me you don't have at least five LBDs in your closet, I'd assume you were lying through your teeth. But here's a fresh take on a basic.

Everything about Mara's LBD, worn to a Fantastic Four premiere, is memorable. But she's not the only starlet to choose a short leather dress for the red carpet. More on that in a sec; first, we have to dissect her Valentino frock.

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The shape is so summery yet full.

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It has pockets!

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There is a bow on her shoulder! What a small but high-impact detail.

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Strappy heels with skinny ankle straps are the right choice for footwear.

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The pockets make it so casual and eliminate the need to carry a clutch... as long as her load was light. A lip gloss for touch ups and that's like it in terms of what she could feasibly tote with her.


I love the bell shape and the fact that there is only one bow, allowing for asymmetry. I also adore the fact that there isn't a deep V exposing too much cleavage. This has a bib-like look, which keeps it from revealing too much!

Remember when I said that other starlets have donned leather LBDs for premieres?

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Camerone Diaz wore a leather The Row dress to a premiere of The Other Woman in 2014.

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This is probably one of my fave Cam looks of all time. I like leather LBDs; what else can I say?

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Cam so wore that dress, not the other way around.


I love how the leather looked shiny and stretchy, without being dominatrix'ish. It was also lambskin.

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Emma Stone wore a simple, sleeveless leather LBD with front gathers to the VMAs years ago and it's still one of my favorite of her looks.

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See how leather fabric and detailing can so take an LBD to "next level" status?

Wanna try one yourself? There are way more affordable options out there. Some are faux, but they are just as lovely. Cheap 'n' chic, baby.

You can count on Forever 21 to have many options, like this flirty skater frock ($21, forever21.com) This nods a bit to Mara's LBD.

If you want to upscale a little, Zara also offers plenty of leather LBDs. This one is so pretty ($30, zara.com) and it resembles Cam's dress.

This front-zip, vintage look, distressed dress from ASOS is real leather and so affordable ($154, asos.com). It is similar to the one Stone wore.

You can totally wear a leather LBD. There are lots of choices and styles. It's such an easy way to bump up a boring LBD.

Images: Forever 21 (1); Zara (1); ASOS (1)