Leather leggings are sort of basic. Leggings in generally are definitely basic, but they can pass for stylish when the fabric is luxe or sexy, like animal print or leather. That makes them a wardrobe staple, as well. Faux leather leggings are affordable and they are super versatile, since leather leggings can be dressed up or down depending on how you accessorize them. Surprisingly, they've remained in style since the late '00s, with the likes of Rihanna, Lindsay Lohan, and The Olsen Twins popularizing them.
You have to be careful, though, when it comes to leather pants. Leather adds a sultry element to any outfit, so you want to avoid showing too much skin, wearing too much additional leather, or showing too much cleavage while wearing leather leggings. Dominatrix or trash queen is not the desired look here (unless it is, in which case, I say go for it!). Demi Lovato is a shining example of how to do this look right.
If you don't wear black exclusively from head to toe, there are patterned leather leggings out there, plus cuts that mimic jeans for a fancier look. If the pants hit at the ankle, you can add heels easily. Longer, bunched pairs look good with Converse for an homage to Joan Jett. Any and all leather leggings can be tucked into a biker boots with a loose or tight fitting tee. So. Many. Options.
Here are eight ways to wear leather leggings, inspired by celebs and stylish ladies.
1. With Sheer And Flowy Tops
Leggings are a Demi Lovato wardrobe staple. She dressed her super shiny pair up with a sheer, flowy top, adding some volume.
2. Structured And Contrasted
Kim Kardashian's voluminous cape coat and neutral heels provided double contrast to her leather leggings, the shape of which were jeans-like. This was one of Kimmy's most chic ensembles... ever. Leather leggings pair wonderfully with a statement, structured coat and the right heels.
3. With Masculine Biker Boots
Kendall Jenner — make that Kendall, her mononym model moniker — has legs for days. She stuffed her leather leggings into a pair of masculine biker boots, which made her legs look even longer. Even if you aren't blessed with height, you can do biker boots or combat boots with leather leggings. Just make sure your shirt or blouse hits at the hip, since a top that comes past your thighs could make you appear shorter.
4. With A Fitted Blazer
Leather leggings also look terrific when paired with a fitted blazer, like this one with statement, sharp shoulders. The wet look of the leggings moved this from basic black to "Whoa!"
5. With Lots Of Leather Layers
You have to have confidence to pull this off. It's a lot of leather and a lot of studs, so some of the elements compete with each other. But the dose of color and print on the shirt broke things up a bit and softened this Harley Davidson-approved style. This is not an everyday look but if you have the style cajones, try it.
6. In A Fierce Print
A fierce animal print like this is pretty amazing, but it's also a bit tough to pull off. Here, it's paired with heels and a matching blazer, but the graphic tee also broke things up, which is essential.
7. With Cool, Blingy Details
Fergie's leggings hit at the ankle, so she was able to wear 'em with blingy heels with a gold ankle strap. The fringed blazer also added a hippie x rock chick edge. One of the best things about leather leggings is that they invite layers, including scarves.
8. With Fall-Appropriate Layers
This is a runway look that is so, so wearable. You can take advantage of the '90s grunge resurgence by pairing the leggings with a floral dress, topping it with a cropped jacket and a beanie.
A few of my favorite places to snag leather leggings? Lauren Conrad's high waisted pair from Kohl's are super flattering and crazy affordable at $21 a pop, while Jessica Simpson's collection are slightly pricier (but just as comfortable) at $32.
Images: Getty Images