Armani Exchange leather leggings, £550, available in Armani Exhange stores (details here)
No self respecting fashion girl worth her sartorial salt should be without an excellent pair of leathers. Or at least, that’s what I’m saying now I finally own some. Let’s face it, wearing leather all over your legs is a slightly scary prospect. The potential for clamminess (sorry but you were totally thinking it), unflattteringness and the dreaded camel toe loom large. But, my friends, get your hands on a good quality pair and style them carefully and they will soon become like a second skin, pun fully intended. Plus you’ll instantly feel very cool and French even if, like me, you’re so far from that it’s laughable. This pair from Armani Exchange are pretty damn near perfect so I finally bit the bullet and worked them into my wardrobe…
Worn with Jenni Kayne t-shirt, Whistles bomber jacket, Valentino bag & Russell and Bromley boots
I’m going to go ahead and say it, this outfit made me feel like the love child of Freja Beha Erichson and Kate Moss. There’s something about wearing leathers in a casually badass way that can bring out the inner rock star in even the preppiest of prepsters. Also it’s SO EASY! Literally just add a decent loose fitting white tee, casual jacket and ankle boots et voila, instant model off duty. I’m totally going to be wearing this and impressing people with my newfound nonchalance, in my mind at least.
Worn with Diesel shirt, Nanette Lepore jacket, Roger Vivier handbag, kate spade new york shoes & Mac “candy yum yum” lipstick
Ok, so we managed to prep up the leather skirt but that was easy. It was fundamentally a flippy A line mini. Armani Exchange leather biker pants? Another story. I struggled a lot. In the end I found the trick wasn’t to try and over prep it. Pairing these with anything involving pastel colours or glitter would have been disastrous. But a simple pussy bow blouse in monochrome, with the addition of lots of pink of course, seemed to hit the sweet spot. The colour of preppy choice obviously doesn’t have to be pink, I just have a “bit” of a penchant for it, but I think the key is keeping things relatively simple and using a couple of details to add that prep to your leathered up step.
Worn with Peter Pilotto top, Fendi shoes, Prada clutch & Swarvoski rings
Weirdly, I found giving my leather leggings and after dark spin almost as hard as prepping them up. I suppose my predilection for dresses and skirts come cocktail hour has become engrained in my subconscious. I decided to go a little vampy but still feminine, you don’t want to go veering into scary biker territory… Or maybe you do, but I didn’t. A peplum top is the dream with trews like these as it really sorts out the silhouette and limits camel toe risk, something you’ve probably gathered concerns me greatly. Then obviously add killer heels, a bit of bling and a deep lip colour and let your noirish side go forth into the night!
I’m officially now indoctrinated into the world of leather legs! Expect to see these bad boys popping up all over my Instagram feed over the coming weeks. What’s been your favourite way to wear them? And will you dare to try leather leggings too?
Love Ella. X
Images by Holly McGlynn