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We’re back with our second post in the new Capsule Wardrobe Remix series! Today, we’re tackling the *not as tricky as you think* task of styling faux leather leggings in a versatile way. (I told you I’d prove to you that you can wear them tons of ways, didn’t I?!)
I think that leather leggings are one of the more daunting trends out there right now. They seem a little hardcore at first glance. Sure, you know how to pull them off when going out to the bar with your girlfriends, but what about to a meeting? To a coffee date? To the airport? Or to brunch?
Before we get into three ways to style them, let’s go over the items I styled with them here (you can also find the full list of all 21 October capsule items we talk about throughout this series here!)
What to wear with leather leggings: 10 Items, 3 Outfits
Leather leggings: First thing’s first, the star of today’s show!
I’ve had mine for years, but I’ve heard amazing things about this Spanx pair in particular. (With a control top, even better!) Kelly and Shaheen swear by this control-top pair as well! This B.P. pair also has good reviews and is cheaper (just without control top!) Also, if you don’t want to commit to FULL faux leather leggings–I love this pair that just has one band of faux leather–so you get the effect but not the whole shebang, if you will.
Leopard loafers: You’ll be seeing a LOT of these leopard loafers on this blog, because they really do make every outfit look instantly more stylish. Leopard always adds a ton of visual interest to any outfit, plus, they are truly the most comfortable shoes I have ever put on my feet. They required zero break-in, no blisters–ever!
Heeled Booties: These booties by 1.State go with everything I own, they are SO comfy, and are only $99! I love the shape of the toe and the fact that they’re cut out in the back too, which adds a little more visual interest! Because of the shape and color, they also help to elongate your leg, which is hard to find in a bootie, as most of the time they can cut you off at the ankles and make your legs look stubby! (You also saw them worn in my outfit post earlier this week!) I also just got these booties from Bloomingdales that I’m obsessed with if you’re looking for a more classic style.
White Sneakers: It’s no secret that I love my white sneakers. I’ve just about worn these Jack Purcells into the ground. Keds or white Converse are also great options. They are comfortable once you break them in and they look so classic, crisp, and timeless. They’re fantastic for travel and I often wear them to bop around the city on the weekends.
Striped tee: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–when in doubt, choose a layer with stripes! I’ve found that classic black and white stripes add a lot more visual interest to your outfit than just a standard grey or white t-shirt. Plus, they look really cute mixed with other patterns, like leopard, or plaid! Again, mine featured here is old but this one is basically the exact same! I also love J.Crew’s striped “Perfect Tee.”
White button down: Often, the classic white button down gets forgotten about once you’ve moved past that “first office job post college” phase–and it’s a shame! White button downs are one of my favorite layers all year round–they look adorable with jean shorts and just as cute layered under sweaters, over leather leggings, or tucked into boyfriend jeans. If you’re looking to look polished and classy but still chic and on-trend, this is one of the easiest ways to do it!
Chunky cardigan: Another one you got a little glimpse of a few outfit posts back–this sweater by Free People (I also love this similar one) is so soft and cozy it’s to-die for! Cardigans are essentials in the fall and winter because of how easily you can throw them on over whatever you’re wearing–this one is great to keep at your desk or pull on when you wake up on a cool October morning! (Or…January morning, let’s be real. Haha!)
Convertible sweater: This sweater, you guys, is probably one of the most versatile things you could buy this entire year. It’s both cowl neck and off the shoulder, you can wear it as a tunic or tuck it into high-waisted jeans or even a skirt. There are ENDLESS ways you can wear it and to top it off, it just might be one of the softest things I’ve ever purchased. (Oh, it comes in lot’s of colors too!)
Leather tote: The Madewell Transport tote making the capsule wardrobe cut comes as a shock to absolutely none of you, I am sure. It’s my everything bag. Work, travel, groceries–whatever, this is always the bag I’m reaching for and it comes in several styles and colors as well.
Plaid scarf: Of course, what fall wardrobe is complete without a plaid scarf? I love this one, this one, this one and this one, if you’re in the market for a new one! I love this one, this one, this one, and this one!
Okay–now that we’ve gone over our essentials, let’s jump into how to style them, three ways!
With a crisp white button down + booties:
Great for a lunch meeting or post-work happy hour!
When I worked in advertising, outfits like this were my bread and butter! If you work in a similar environment that is more casual, yet still professional, you will get so much wear out of these.
Why I love this combo: The crisp white button down makes it smart and classic for the office. It also accomplishes the task of covering your booty–which, as you can imagine, makes it more professional!) Going out afterwords? Tuck it in to make it feel more appropriate for a bar!
The fact that the boots have heels also make them a bit more formal, without sacrificing comfort. I would spend what seemed like hours each week running back and forth from the creative department and down the halls in between meetings. Heeled booties with a thick heel were always my favorite–they never rubbed or killed my feet!
With a Cowl Neck Sweater + Leopard Loafers:
(Great for a casual Friday at the office, or leisurely brunch!)
Fun trick: Always try to mix up and get creative with your layering. Often we think of layers as adding more over the top, but remember, you can always layer underneath, too. For example, the idea of wearing this cowl neck sweater with leather leggings might not feel creative. However, layering that white button down underneath, and adding a pop of leopard–does!
This look would’ve been great for me for a casual Friday at the office, and it’s a perfect go-to outfit to hang out with friends–whether that be brunch, or to the movies–when you want to look pulled together but still want to feel like you’re in your pajamas!
I also think leather leggings are a great essential for busy moms in particular because they are as easy to wear as regular leggings, but they are far more stylish and an easy way to make a statement. Also–perhaps an even bigger win: they don’t stain and are virtually food, stain, and liquid repellent!
With a Cozy Cardigan and White Sneakers:
A comfy + chic travel outfit!
I don’t know about you, but 99% of the time I am either dying of heat exhaustion or I feel like I’m sitting in an ice box at-risk for losing my toes. (I have bad circulation. My feet literally turn blue.)
Anyway, that’s where–you guessed it–layers come in! A chunky cardigan like this one doesn’t just keep you warm, but it makes a stylish statement. A regular old cardigan just isn’t as exciting. It also adds in another fun textural element that this outfit would otherwise be lacking. This is why this outfit makes a perfect great go-to for travel (especially on airplanes where I want to die of cold.)
Why this outfit works: you have a bit of pattern (stripes). You also have two different textures (chunky knit + faux leather). You’re also maintaining classic and flattering silhouettes! The leggings are high-rise and the shirt is tucked in. Both define the waist at it’s thinnest point and elongates the leg at the same time! The shoes also bring in a crisp, classic element and they’re a nice juxtaposition against the edgier leather leggings.
(For a more “athleisure” type take, you can style this look with your favorite Nikes, and it would look just as cute!)
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What’s your favorite way to wear leather leggings? Stay tuned for more October Capsule Wardrobe Remix outfits coming next week!
Photos and video by Cassandra Eldridge