How to Rock Leather Leggings at 40, 50, and Beyond

Leather leggings are edgy and sexy, so they can be challenging to wear after 40, 50, or more.  Nailing the look, so you appear chic and not cheap, depends on what you wear them with. For example:

Don’t wear leather or faux leather leggings with

  • short tops
  • tight tops
  • flimsy and see-through tops
  • very sexy tops with deep V-necks and cutouts
  • tall, leather high-heeled boots
  • anything with biker gang details like buckles, studs, and chains
  • weighty, masculine pieces
  • too much glitz, shine
  • cheap fabrics
  • too much jewelry
  • too many accessories
  • piles of make-up
  • big hair
  • stilettos
  • head to toe black

DO wear Black Leather Leggings with:

  • tops that flow and are not too tight, so the silhouette is broader, looser on top and narrow, skinny on the bottom
  • tops that end below your hip bones (minimum) or cover your bum, or go even longer
  • cozy, loose, slightly oversized sweaters
  • narrow cut ( but not tight) blouses and shirts
  • tunic style dresses or tops
  •  blazers layered with a long top or sweater underneath
  • sporty and classic pieces
  • feminine touches like lace or peplum
  • long boyfriend cardigans and cascading sweaters
  • rich fabrics like cashmere, silk
  • trench coats, peacoats
  • color- brights or neutrals
  • tops with details at the neckline if you are wide below to draw the eye upwards
  • few accessories- leather pants are a statement on their own
  • Shoes or boots in black like your leggings to create a long, lean line. Flats like smoking slippers, ballet flats, and booties work well.
Spanx faux leather leggings tunic
tops to wear with leather leggings
Need ideas for tops to wear with leather leggings? Try a bright jacket or a boyfriend cardigan. Yes, that is Martha Stewart wearing leather!

What Tops should you wear with Leather Leggings?

There are many tops you can wear with leggings, which I will show you below. What’s common about all of them is they cover your bottom. The best tops to wear with leather leggings are:

1.   Long Shirts

Leather Leggings Outfit - Black with olive tunic

A long shirt that covers, matte or silky adds a feminine touch to leather leggings, which have more of a masculine vibe.

shop the look

2. Cozy Sweaters

Leather Leggings Outfits - Brown Leggings

A long sweater looks relaxed and cozy, while leather pants give your look an urban edge. This black turtleneck looks great with these brown leggings. Notice the cool faux croc print, which adds some nice texture and personality to this outfit.

shop the look

3. Long Cardigans

Leather Leggings Outfits - White Stripe

A long open cardigan looks super sleek over black leggings and a tank top. This outfit looks super sporty with these athleticwear style leather leggings that are new from Spanx.

shop the look

4. Dresses with Faux Leather Leggings

You can wear a dress with leather leggings, but it has to be the right dress. A short sweater dress with faux leather leggings is a chic look. Pair it with booties or your favorite slip-on statement sneakers.


5. Tunics and Knit Tunic Sweaters

Leather Leggings Outfits

Any tunic or tunic sweater looks great with leggings, particularly if it flares out a bit at the bottom. When it has an asymmetrical hem, it gives an artsy look. A solid color is always striking with black leather leggings or wear a print with a bit of black in it to tie in with the black leather leggings.

6. Blazers

Wear a slim fitting, but not baggy t-shirt ( untucked) + a blazer + leather leggings to look chic. This is a dressier version of blue jeans and a top. Layering pieces helps you create a wide to narrow shape that is very slimming.

7. Ponchos

A poncho is another knit that looks great with leather/faux leather leggings. A poncho + leggings + riding boots is a very chic look.


Not Sure about Leather Leggings? Try Suede Leggings, Instead

Best tops to wear with leather leggings - Green Suede

If you can’t quite wrap your head around leather leggings but want more of an edgy look than a Ponte legging, try suede leggings. They are hip, but also elegant.

shop the look

One final note: I recently bought faux leggings, and after wearing them one, they stretched out, so you may want to think about going one size smaller. Check with the salesperson how much they are going to stretch.

Do you have ideas for what to wear with black leather leggings? If so, please comment or send me a photo. I would love to post it.



3 Creative Ways to Have Artsy Fashion Style

Whether you’re a total art-lover, a big believer in self-expression, or simply a gal who wants to dress outside the box more often, shouldn’t your wardrobe match your creative spirit?

Dressing artsier can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.

Here are three easy ways to get an artsy fashion style.


1. Wear an Asymmetrical Tunic + Leggings

Asymmetric tops have a more creative feel than regular tops because of their angled or high-low hemlines.  The best way to style one is to wear it over a pair of black leggings. Tall, flat boots and some interesting jewelry add the fab factor.

Like asymmetrical tops? Zip on over to this post to see the red asymmetric tunic top I wear with leggings.




2. Add Creative or Dramatic Jewelry

Creative style is a little off-kilter, so one way to add an artsy style to an everyday outfit is with your accessories.  Pass on the pearl earrings or fine diamond necklace, and instead, go for something unique, like a hand-made artisan piece that looks like a sculpture or objet d’art.

Be creative and go for bold, oversize options like a big cuff. Of one-of-a-kind pieces will let your personality shine through and enhance the vibe of your outfit.



3. Mix Prints

A polka dot top, a floral pant. Mix the two, and you will instantly look more creative. The trick is to keep the patterns in the same color family and vary the print size. Otherwise, you can look kooky instead of cool.



How To Wear Leggings Over 40 (Podcast 4-001)

It’s finally here, what you’ve all been asking me for. Welcome to the first episode of The Fabulous After 40 Podcast where you can subscribe to iTunes to automatically receive weekly fashion tips via my style podcast.

This week we start by talking about How to Wear Leggings at 40, 50 and beyond

Leggings are very popular these days. They’re casual and comfy and look great when you wear them right. Here are a few instagrammers who look fabulous in their leggings.

leopard tunic black leggings



gingham top black leggings




In this podcast, How to Wear Leggings, I give you some easy tips on how to wear leggings to look classy and not trashy.


  • the difference between leggings and pants
  • who can wear leggings
  • the biggest mistake women make when it comes to wearing leggings
  • the best style of tops to wear with leggings
  • what color of leggings to wear
  • what shoes to wear with leggings

Check out this podcast and don’t forget to leave your comments. I’d love to hear from you!

Also please Click to Review & Rate the ‘Fabulous After 40 Podcast’ on iTunes! I value every review I receive and often read them out on the show. If you take the time to leave one, THANK YOU – You’re Fabulous!

Here’s the podcast: How to Wear Leggings.



Shirtdresses – The Solution for Shoulders That Slump

Dear Deborah,

The older I get, the more my shoulders and back of my neck slump. I like to dress casually, but I have a hard time figuring out what to wear on top that looks relaxed but gives me some shape.

Do you have any suggestions besides a short fitted blazer? Thanks, Laurel

Hi Laurel,
Slumping shoulders are common as we age, but you still need to talk to your doctor about it to be sure it is not a more serious problem. I understand that you are tired of cropped jackets. What about a collared shirt dress?

shirt dress with leggings
Shirt dresses with leggings

They’re quite casual, and they give you that needed shoulder definition. You’ve got a couple of options here.

Wear a Shirt Dress as a Top 

You can wear a shirtdress on its own as a dress, but the problem is that many are very short. So, if you find a shirt dress you like and it’s too short, then you can wear it with tapered pants or leggings. Shirt dresses make excellent tops for leggings.

Change out the Belt

Many times a shirt dress will come with a soft tie self-belt. This can sometimes make it look frumpy, so I suggest you add your own belt. Choose something exciting to wake up a plaid shirtdress. It could be a loose belt like the one I’m wearing or a belt that cinches at the waist.

Just be sure that when you belt it, the shirtdress does not become too short!  If your shirtdress suddenly ends at your hips, it will look more like a short top and will throw off the look.

So Laurel, try a shirtdress. Not only will it solve your slumping shoulder problem, but it will make you look casually chic in leggings too.


What To Wear With Skinny Jeans and Leggings

There’s been a lot of confusion about what to wear with skinny jeans and leggings. In fact,  many of you have emailed to ask what’s the difference is between the two, and whether you should wear the same kind of tops with leggings that you would wear with skinny jeans. So here are some general guidelines.

legging vs sinny jeans

Skinny Jeans vs. Leggings – What’s the Difference?

Skinny jeans are tight pants that narrow at the ankles, often hugging them. The best skinny jeans have some stretch built-in.

Leggings are more like tights or thick stockings. They are very soft and very stretchy, as well as form fitting to your body and end at the ankle or mid-calf. They are also much more lightweight than skinny jeans.

Can You Wear the Same Tops You Wear With Skinny Jeans with Leggings?

Since skinny jeans are considered pants and leggings are an accessory, what you pair them with is different.

Jeans are heavier and thicker and can be worn with short tops. Leggings are thinner and lighter and should be worn with a top that is long enough to cover your crotch and your bum. For example, you need to wear a shirt, long sweater or tunic with leggings, or else you will reveal too much information, especially after 40!

There is also something in between called jeggings; These are a cross between a legging and a jean. They are a skinny jean with a lot of stretch.  If you have a good figure, you can sometimes wear jeggings with a shorter top.

With so many slight different styles of skinny jeans and leggings out there the line has become very blurred. A good mirror is your best judge.

To better understand what tops to wear with leggings, check out this post I wrote.  To find out more about what to wear with skinny jeans, just keep reading.  Continue reading “What To Wear With Skinny Jeans and Leggings”