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Readers, what are your thoughts on wearing leather to the office in this day and age? There are a ton of leather skirts and pants out (both faux and real) in stores right now, to say nothing of the faux leather leggings that have been in for five years or so at this point — so let’s discuss.
Here’s something we haven’t talked about in eons: whether you can wear leather to the office. We last talked about wearing leather skirts to the office in 2011 (!), and about wearing leather jackets to work in 2020, so it’s definitely been a while. And there are SO. MANY. leather and faux-leather offerings out there right now, it seems like a good time to discuss.
Some of the options from the NAS, just to focus discussion:
(Personally, I think the pencil skirt is cute but for my 5’4 frame would be a hemming nightmare; I may have ordered the shorter pants from Vince Camuto in one of my orders, but they haven’t arrived yet.)
Thoughts on Wearing Leather to the Office
Aside from shoes, belts, and bags, leather clothing still feels a little bit fringe, at least for conservative offices. I think the leather moto jacket or separate has made huge strides in recent years (I adore this TikTok from the governor of Michigan showing off all her jackets), but I would still say it’s a Know Your Office situation.
The leather clothes featured above do add to the discussion, because in my mind, some of those are things you should not ever wear to work, particularly the dress and the blazer, but… know your office! (The blazer and pencil skirt actually match, so you can wear an entire faux leather suit should you want to.) The dress, worn totally unbuttoned like a jacket or topper, might be acceptable, but it would depend heavily on the styling. (I’m also not a fan of the pieced-together fabrication, but that’s me.) But can we put a rule on it, or is it a “know it if you see it” kind of situation?
With regard to leather skirts, here’s what I had to say about it long ago (I’m actually surprised I was so enthusiastic about leather skirts to work, but I still agree with it), and since playing with tone-on-tone textures is so huge right now, I can see leather skirts or pants looking polished in that regard.
Here’s my $.02: Leather, like animal print, can be a little wild — but also like animal print it’s a classic, and a well-fitting, quality leather skirt in a classic shape can be worn for years to come. Imagine an outfit that plays with textures — a corduroy or tweed blazer, maybe a silk top, and then suede pumps — that could be amazing for the office, and the leather skirt could be just the right touch of “rocker chic” to really elevate the outfit. I think styling is key, though — you both want to avoid looking like someone out of the 80s (say, by mixing black fishnets and huge platform heels with a leopard print top) as well as someone who is just killing time at the office until your rockstar ship comes in and you’re ushered off on your world tour. I would also say that quality is key here — if you’re going to go for a leather skirt, go for an actual leather (not pleather) that has been finished well and will stand the test of time.
Are Faux Leather Leggings Business Casual?
Readers have had a number of conversations about whether faux leather leggings are appropriate at business casual offices. I think it comes down to the Know Your Office advice, with a dose of You Wear Them Differently to Work versus Weekend. For example, I’d go with a long top for sure, and top it with one of the many long cardigans that are out right now. I’d probably also think about a flat or loafer, or a low-heeled boot or heel.
Readers, what are your thoughts? Can you wear leather to the office? Are faux leather leggings business casual?
Stock photo via Stencil.