(My coat is Zara, The sweater is Zara from two years ago, the shirt: Next, The Skirt: Next, Leggings: Topshop Tall, Boots: Long Tall Sally)
As we were walking around the stores in London’s, Oxford Circus one of my best friends, Becky told me of how she had been on the hunt for a faux/leather mini skirt but that she wasn’t sure whether she could wear it to work.
The answer is, in some cases maybe not, but in a lot of cases yes, you can almost always wear whatever you want to work.
Since I don’t own a neutral leather skirt I’m going to improvise with this silver number. Interestingly I bought this skirt on sale for £10.00 in Kent but when I walked past Next in London, I saw the same skirt but not on sale! Even better, it is still available online in silver+ and even better for those of you like Boo (Becky) who would like it in Black+. (Its also not going to break the bank and is perfect for those who don’t wear leather.)
So the big question, “How can you wear a black leather skirt to work?”
The answer is quite simple. To make each piece in your wardrobe more wearable you have to pay attention to how you style it. The key, in terms of the leather skirt is subverting expectation of how this should be worn. We all have expectations as to how a skirt like this should look, worn with heels, worn out to drinks or on a date etc but for work none of this applies. For work it needs to be made smarter and so we need to add those elements to the skirt to make it more wearable.
In this case my friend, Boo (Becky) already has a lot of these in her wardrobe. Becky is a big lover of the smart, collared shirt for work and that is the perfect place to start the transformation…
I don’t often wear shirts like this because they don’t suit me that well, but imagine a smart, starched almost, white collared shirt tucked into your leather skirt with either a cute button up cardigan (and keep it buttoned up – I love this pearl embellished one from Zara particularly) and you instantly begin to look more polished. In this case, I’ve worn an uber thick sweater from Zara but a slightly longer one in a simple colour is great at keeping your outfit polished and put together. You also can often find that thinner layers look smarter than the thick jumper, if its a cold day, its worth saving your pennies for a long lasting cashmere sweater for these days. J Crew do an awesome array of super soft, cashmere for all occasions. Cheaper stores in the UK also include, Marks and Spencer & Supermarket, Tesco.
In terms of the shirt you can make the look more preppy by keeping it fitted and tucked in or loosen the look up by choosing a longer one that has a loose, less structured fit.
The roll neck/turtleneck
My bosses very favourite piece of clothing, the roll neck is also perfect for wearing with a leather skirt. Just take a look here+ at ASOS where if you search the word Leather skirt the looks available to you mainly involve that classic turtleneck look. This type of look also works because it makes you more covered up, something often associated with looking workwear appropriate. By covering up your chest and neck you balance out the over the knee skirt and appear more professional.
Of course, the best thing you can do is add a thick pair of tights, a boot (I prefer ankle boots but just under the knee works as well – over the knee less so). Better still, if you find a look that works for you, you can also wear it in different colours, for instance a black leather skirt and rollneck looks just as great together as this silver skirt will/would look with a grey rollneck.
White shirt from earlier (ASOS), Pearl Cardigan: Zara, Black Leather Skirt: Whistles (In the sale there was also a fantastic wrap leather skirt which was so tempting if I had more money to spend), another which looks amazing is this one+ from ASOS)
Another colleague of mine, actually the one person who made me so sure that you can wear a leather skirt to work, out at night and even to meetings is my colleague, Zip. Rather than the above knee number she sticks to a classic pencil skirt. I’ve seen her pair it with silk/sateen shirts to over sized chunky jumpers with suede tasseled ankle boots and she always looks phenomenal.
For something which is sometimes only associated with being sexy, worn only for dates and drinks and in St Trinians its actually a fantastically dynamic piece of clothing. On the weekend think about softening the look with a fluffy sweater, or give it some whimsy with a disney T shirt, or make it rock ‘n’ roll with a band T shirt, the options are endless!
The thing you need most is perhaps the hardest to find, confidence.
There is nothing quite like it when you want to make something work for you, whether its getting a new job or wearing a leather skirt to your current one, confidence will always be key. If you’ve not quite got it yet? The best advice is always, fake it till you make it and better still, the braver you are, the more comfortable you will become.