Wearing leather may seem daunting to some: possibly because you feel it looks too young, or because it has an edgy feel. But, there really is a leather skirt outfit for everyone – no matter what your style personality is.

The recent trend for how to wear a leather skirt has actually been very ladylike, with the likes of Charlize Theron, Elizabeth Banks and Meghan Markle all choosing to wear leather pencil skirts with co-ordinating tops in almost exactly the same color.

In fact, the Duchess of Sussex loves the look so much, I’ve seen her put the same outfit together in two different colors – once in shades of forest green and once in burgundy.

Tips for choosing the perfect leather skirt

Before moving onto some specific outfit ideas, let’s take a look at some general tips to help you choose the most flattering leather skirt.

A skirt to suit your body shape

Choosing a skirt to fit your body type | 40plusstyle.com

It’s easy to think that leather skirts mean tight and short, but nothing could be further from the truth.

There are now plenty of styles in leather, and pleather, so you should be able to find one to suit, whether you like an a-line, a midi-skirt or a pencil style.

Sandra (above) looks fabulous in a pleated leather skirt.

Check out these skirt options from Halogen and SUNFURA, and pair with this similar printed top, moto jacket and booties.

Also take a look at the most flattering skirt styles for your body shape.

Fit is everything

wearing a pencil skirt for women over 40 | 40plusstyle.com

When it comes to leather, it can be a forgiving material, skimming over any lumps and bumps, but only if you get the right fit. It shouldn’t be too tight otherwise you will feel constricted.

Kim (above) opts for a perfectly-fitting black leather pencil skirt.

Check out this tweed blazer that you can pair with this similar leather skirt and pumps.

Wear your black leather pencil skirt casually

how to style a leather skirt | 40plusstyle.com

Just as a leather moto jacket can add a casual rock chick feel to outfits, so too can a leather skirt.

You could wear any of the sweaters you have in your closet already with your leather skirt and you will instantly give your look a bit of an edge.

Greetje (above) opts for pink and black, adding a touch of playfulness with her floral tights.

Steal her look with this similar leather skirt, top, tights and boots.

For more inspiration, check out our article on black skirt outfit ideas.

A black leather skirt isn’t the only option

leather skirts don't have to be black | 40plusstyle.com

When you think about the most classic leather skirt look, you tend to think about a black color palette, but there are so many hues you could choose.

Tanasha (above) opts for a very stylish burgundy shade.

Get her look with this similar leather skirt, off-the-shoulder top and lace-up booties.

You may have to invest

leather skirts are a perfect investment for a capsule closet | 40plusstyle.com

Leather is often more expensive than other options. But it can also last you for years and years. Make sure you choose a style you won’t tire of and you will wear your leather skirt for many seasons to come, making it a great addition to any capsule wardrobe.

Read our ultimate guide to creating a capsule wardrobe that works best for you.

Alice (above) opts for pleats teamed with designer accessories.

Recreate her look with this Moschino belt, similar leather skirt, printed blouse, tights, heels and handbag.

Opt for knee-length or midi

outfit ideas for women over 40 | 40plusstyle.com

There are no rules about what you can and can’t wear to dress in a way which is “age appropriate”. I think the only rule should be that you ought to dress in a way which makes you feel great.

My preference is for a knee-length or midi style rather than anything too short.

Michelle (above) shows how a knee-length style looks fabulous when worn over knee-high boots.

Steal her look with this similar leather skirt, floral blouse and suede boots.

For more inspiration read our article on how women over 40 can wear leather.

Leather skirt outfit ideas

Now, let’s take a look at more leather skirt outfit inspiration.

Go for monochrome: Green leather skirt outfit

This has been a big trend of late, yet it’s also a very classic way of dressing that won’t date. It also gives a ladylike look to leather.

Wear a leather skirt in any color that you love, and then choose a blouse in a very similar color.

Meghan Markle has been wearing this exact skirt along with a forest green blouse and nude pumps. She looked classy yet modern.

how to wear a leather skirt - a monochrome outfit idea | 40plusstyle.com

Chelse28 wrap blouseBOSS leather skirtHelene Berman belted wrap coatTrotters pumpTopshop crossbody bagAkola teardrop earrings

Opt for neutrals

As discussed earlier, leather really doesn’t have to be black. If you’d prefer to bring a lighter feel to your outfit, you could choose a neutral shade.

This is also a great way to make sure that your leather looks appropriate for warmer seasons.

choose a neutral leather skirt | 40plusstyle.com

Entireworld stripe teeBobeau high/low cardiganReiss leather pencil skirtClarks sandalTory Burch woven straw clutchNashelle drop earrings

Choose a wrap style

If you want to bring a touch of the unexpected to your leather skirt outfit, then look at a skirt in a style you wouldn’t necessarily associate with leather, such as a wrap style.

You can let your skirt be your hero piece and wear with a simple top or sweater.

a leather wrap skirt worn with a turtleneck | 40plusstyle.com

BP. turtleneck ribbed topRebecca Taylor leather skirtBella Vita bootieUrban Originals toteAkola drop earrings

Leather pencil skirt with a blazer

A blazer is always a stylish way to elevate any outfit, and a leather skirt is no exception.

While leather can be associated with a rock look or one with plenty of sex appeal, you can make sure your outfit is very classy with the addition of a blazer.

wearing a leather skirt with a blazer | 40plusstyle.com

Bobeau faux wrap knit topHalogen plaid tweed blazerReiss leather pencil skirtVionic flatMali + Lili round bag

Wear with a sweater

This is one of the easiest and most stylish ways to wear your leather skirt. Simply team with your favorite sweater.

wear your leather skirt with a sweater | 40plusstyle.com

Lulus rib sweaterNordstrom Signature button detail leather skirtSteve Madden pointed toe bootieAkola chain necklaceTed Baker London shoulder bag

Leather look skirt: Opt for faux

Leather look skirt: Opt for faux  | 40plusstyle.com

You may prefer faux leather either because you prefer not to wear leather, or because you would like a more affordable option. Either way, there are some very stylish faux leather and pleather choices in stores.

BOSS stripe long sleeve topCaslon longline cardiganHalogen leather pencil skirtAkola drop earringsSteve Madden top handle satchelVionic flat

Long leather skirt: A midi skirt outfit

Midi skirts have been a big trend for the past few seasons, and this hemline is still very much on trend as we head into spring and summer.

a leather midi skirt outfit idea | 40plusstyle.com

Ted Baker London print camisoleStateside cardiganRachel Comey leather skirtCarvela sandalTed Baker London shoulder bagNashelle drop earrings

Choose a leather pleated skirt

Ladylike pleated skirts definitely enjoying a comeback. Give yours a more casual flair by pairing with a denim jacket.

pairing a leather skirt with a denim jacket | 40plusstyle.com

BP. knot front teeAG denim jacketHalogen pleated leather skirtEileen Fisher platform sneakerTory Burch tote

Retro style full burgundy leather skirt

If you love a 50s-style retro vibe, but you don’t want to look as if you stepped straight out of a time machine, then choosing a full skirt in leather is a great way to wear the trend.

a retro style leather skirt outfit idea | 40plusstyle.com

Entireworld teeZeagoo midi leather skirtGal Meets Glam Collection jacketJared Lang sneakerNakamol Chicago hoop earrings

For more inspiration on how to style leather skirts, read our article on concert outfit ideas.

Do you already have a leather skirt in your closet? What is your favorite way to style it?

A capsule wardrobe on how to wear a leather skirt | 40plusstyle.com

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Continue reading:

  1. What Is The Best Skirt For Your Body Type?
  2. A Style Guide And Capsule Wardrobe For The ROCK Style Personality
  3. The Best Leather Jackets For Women You Will Wear With Everything
Leather skirt outfit ideas: How to wear a leather skirt for women over 40 | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Michelle


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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