Can a Leather Leggings Outfit Look Sophisticated? Yes! Here Are 12 to Try Out Now

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Black leggings are a universally beloved wardrobe staple, but they’re not exactly appropriate for a day at the office or drinks with friends. That doesn’t mean you have to wear restricting pants—just swap your Lululemons for a pair of leather or faux-leather leggings. The sleek, shiny fabric feels infinitely more sophisticated while maintaining all the flattering features of your beloved yoga pants. Here, 12 women demonstrate how to put together a leather leggings outfit to best fit your style.

Black Jeans Outfit Ideas 13 Looks for Every Event on Your Calendar

1. Turtleneck + Long Vest + Leather Leggings

If you’re not into showing off your bum but also don’t love the bulky look of an oversize sweater, consider the long vest. This trench-inspired wardrobe staple instantly elevates basic leggings and a T-shirt—especially when you finish the outfit with a pair of leopard-print pumps.

Shop similar styles: Universal Standard turtleneck ($45); Eloquii vest ($85); ASOS Curve leggings ($40; $34); Sam Edelman heels ($150)

2. Cardigan + Button-down + Leather Leggings

On their own, these three classic wardrobe staples can feel a little, well, basic. When combined, they exude buttoned-up charm. One thing to note: A longer cardigan and button-down in a looser fit will balance out skintight leggings in a much more flattering way than a cropped cardi ever could.

Shop similar styles: J.Crew Factory cardigan ($118; $59); Chico's shirt ($90; $39); Torrid leggings ($40; $28)

leather leggings outfit with sweatshirt
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

3. Black Sweatshirt + Leather Leggings + Ankle Boots

You know those days when all you want to wear is a giant hoodie and leggings? You can totally go for it, so long as you keep a handful of style rules in mind. First, opt for a simple black sweatshirt in place of graphics or grays. Second, look for leather leggings with some shine to them. The latter also applies for your footwear; lean toward patent-leather styles with a pointed or almond toe.

Shop similar styles: Alo sweatshirt ($98); Wilfred Free leggings ($138); Madden Girl boots ($70)

4. Blazer + Leather Leggings + Boots

Leather leggings at the office? You bet! Try them with a blazer that hits around mid-thigh and a pair of flat or low ankle boots rather than your usual pointy-toe pumps. The resulting look is board room (or PTA meeting) ready.

Shop similar styles: Anthropologie blazer ($148); Topshop leggings ($32); Cole Haan boots ($120)

leather leggings outfit with sweatervest
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

5. Button-up Shirt + Sweater Vest + Leather Leggings

Leather leggings offer a blank canvas of sorts, so you can push your sartorial limits. Use these pants to experiment with combinations you wouldn’t otherwise reach for, like a knit vest over a blouse, all layered under a black leather jacket. Add in a pop of color, in the form of yellow booties or red hoops, to keep that quirky, fashion-forward feel flowing.

Shop similar styles: Lyssé shirt ($108); Valentino vest ($1,590; $208); GRLFRND leggings ($478); The Seller boots ($268; $154)

leather leggings outfit with oversize sweater
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

6. Oversize Knit + Leather Leggings + Sneakers

Ah, one of our most beloved outfit combinations: a chunky sweater with leggings and sneakers. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Just be sure your white sneakers aren’t looking too grungy.

Shop similar styles: Everlane sweater ($228); Abercrombie & Fitch leggings ($79); Converse sneakers ($50)

7. Cropped Sweater + Leather Leggings + Sneakers

Or, if you’d rather show off that hourglass figure, opt for a cropped sweater that hits at the waistline of your leggings. Pro tip: Look for a knit that nips in at the waist to really emphasize your curves.

Shop similar styles: Reformation sweatshirt ($58); Topshop leggings ($32); Re/Done sneakers ($450)

leather leggings outfit with mini dress and otk boots
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

8. Minidress + Leather Leggings + Over-the-knee Boots

An excellent option for those who aren’t quite convinced that leggings can be worn as pants, this trio provides ample coverage with a menswear twist. The contrast between shiny leather, matte suede and textured wool adds depth to an all-black outfit, while preventing your figure from being swallowed into a literal black hole.

Shop similar styles: Superdown dress ($72); Frame belt ($190); Commando leggings ($98); Jeffrey Campbell boots ($205)

leather leggings outfit with leather shirt
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

9. Leather Top + Leather Leggings + White Shoes

A regular T-shirt and leather leggings might feel a bit too laid-back. But swap that tee for an oversize leather shirt and suddenly you’re singing a different tune. Whether you choose kitten heels or chunky sneakers doesn’t matter much—just make sure your kicks are white or light in color to offset the heaviness of all that leather.

Shop similar styles: Nanushka top ($450; $180); Blank NYC leggings ($98); 27 Edit shoes ($155)

leather leggings outfit with patent leather
Hanna Hassen/Getty Images

10. Classic Trench Coat + Crewneck Sweater + Patent-leather Leggings

If high-shine pants cause visions of dominatrices to dance in your head, it’s time to reconsider. Preppy classics, like a camel trench coat, a crewneck cashmere knit, a collared shirt and ballet flats can all work wonders to balance out the brazenness of skintight patent leather.

Shop similar styles: Lauren Ralph Lauren trench coat ($200); Pam & Gela sweater ($255; $152); Commando leggings ($98)

leather leggings outfit with red leggings
Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

11. White Sweater + Red Leather Leggings + White Boots

If bold colors are your signature, let them steal the show by keeping the rest of your outfit clean and simple. Take these bright red leggings, for example; a stark white sweatshirt and mod white booties allow the vivid hue to really pop while avoiding any “Oops…I Did It Again” crossover.

Shop similar styles: Sweaty Betty sweater ($165); Carbon38 leggings ($98); Chinese Laundry boots ($80)

leather leggings outfit with sequin top
Natalie in the City

12. Sheer Jacket + Sequined Cami + Leather Leggings

There’s something inherently sexy and little bit tough about leather leggings, which makes them an excellent date-night option. Offset any rock-and-roll vibes with a glamorous piece, like a sequined tank or a cardi with sheer sleeves. The end result? A vampy getup that works for anything from a night of dancing to a candlelit dinner.

Shop similar styles: Torrid jacket ($70; $49); ASOS top ($26); Coldesina leggings ($42); ASOS heels ($45; $34)



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...