by Lindsay Law
Leather has come back in a big way, and it's no longer just for bikers and bad boys. Leather vests, leggings, skirts, pants and jackets are available in a variety of colors, cuts and styles in women's clothing. Leather may seem dressy and stiff, but it's actually a very versatile fabric. Read on for a few tips on incorporating leather pieces into your wardrobe and creating stylish outfits.
Pick one or two pieces you will wear. Because leather is so glossy and smooth, it makes a statement however you wear it. That's why it's important to look for leather clothing that you will feel comfortable wearing and that won't fall out of style quickly. Leather pants may look great on the red carpet, but if you're not confident wearing them, they won't look good on you and you'll regret the purchase.
Only wear leather pieces suited for your body type. Leather is clingy and form-fitting by nature, which sometimes makes it difficult for curvier women to wear it. Avoid leather leggings and pants if you have thicker legs and stay away from bustiers and tight leather dresses if you have a round stomach. Leather jackets are flattering on almost everyone because there are so many different styles, but avoid cropped cuts if you are thick-waisted, because this style will draw attention to your stomach.
Wear just one article of leather clothing at a time. To avoid looking like Catwoman, wear contrasting fabrics with your leather leggings or pants. Wearing all black can be slimming and sophisticated, but try adding other colors to your leather ensemble. Slip on white pants or skirts to complement a leather vest or wear blue jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers with a leather jacket for a laid-back look. A leather dress looks best with simple heels.
Contrast the leather with another fabric. The key to wearing leather well is to slip it effortlessly into an outfit. You won't feel comfortable if you're trying too hard to look tough or urban. Instead, wear leather with a feminine outfit you already have, such as a linen sheath dress or your favorite dress pants and blouse. Avoid wearing leather with similar fabrics, such as suede or sheepskin; contrast creates a more interesting look. Try pairing leather leggings or pants with a flowing tunic or a T-shirt and cardigan. This way, you won't take yourself too seriously.
Accessorize with leather. If you're still too afraid to wear a leather statement piece, wear leather boots with your jeans or skirt. Depending on the style, your look can be either modern or country. Leather cuffs and headbands also allow you to incorporate the trendy fabric into your wardrobe, and leather gloves work wonderfully as driving gloves.