leather skirt two ways

Keeping it real: one leather skirt worn two ways

Nikki Parkinson Everyday Style, Fashion 27 Comments

I think long and hard before I add a new piece to my wardrobe.

I think about whether that piece will suit any of the varied occasions that can crop up in my life and I also think about whether it’s something that can work with pieces in my existing wardrobe.

In the case of this leather skirt, it only took putting together this post for me to hit the “add to cart and buy now” button.

The thinking process was fast.

It was a bargain. Sure, it wasn’t my size but I was confident that with a professional alteration, it would work in my winter wardrobe for any number of occasions.

The skirt cost me under $100 and the alteration $50 (I found a leather alteration specialist in my area via Gumtree). Winning.

And this weekend it earned its keep on two different outings, which required two different styles of dressing.

What I love about the skirt – and in general all leather, faux or real – is that it immediately offers a different texture to your outfit. This makes it easy to create an outfit of contrasting textures. When you start contrasting textures in your outfit, you add interest. It’s that simple.

Leather skirt outfit 1

The skirt’s first outing was to Sydney for a work trip on Friday. I’d been warned that the weather would be on the cold side. This excited me as I was keen to bring out a new knit Mr SY had bought me for Mother’s Day. My 5.30am start also meant that it was cold in my part of the country too.

The knit is on the loose side (just how I like them) and this also contrasts with the fitted lines of the skirt. The pattern of the knit meant that I was happy to keep everything else on the minimalist side. Except for a bit of bling around the neck.

I also loved being able to wear ankle boots with something other than pants. I’m a fan of keeping the line of the legs streamlined with the same colour boots and tights. (Want an ankle boots refresher course? Check out this post)

How to wear a leather skirt for winter workwear

ASOS Curve leather skirt altered to fit $95.28 (on sale) |  Country Road knit $129 | Country Road scarf | Zoe Kratzmann Rider boots | Peter Lang boots

Beauty notes

Whenever I have these early starts, I wash, dry and straighten my hair the night before. This means that at most all I need to do the next morning is run my irons through the top sections. Sometimes I don’t even need to do that.

For a long day on the road and planes, I call on my workhorse foundation – Illamasqua Skin Base – it’s formulated like a BB cream but creates a flawless, airbrush-like finish that lasts all day.

And because my outfit was mostly black and grey, I wanted to pop the lips (OF COURSE). My lippie of the day was also a long-lasting one – Revlon Just Bitten Kissable balm stain in Lovesick*, a bold pink moisturising stain in a chubby pencil style applicator. It served me well, only needing touch ups on the inner lips after eating.

Beauty note: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable in Lovesick

Leather skirt outfit 2

The next night, Mr SY and I were heading out in Brisbane for a parents’ cocktail party at Mr 17’s university college.  Thanks to Super Sister-in-Law, Mr 7 had a sleepover with his cousins, leaving the two of us to have a sleep over of our own … at one of our fave hotels.

The cocktail party was held outside on the riverfront terrace. It wasn’t super cold but not balmy either. Instead of wearing a cocktail frock, I figured that the leather skirt could be sassied-up to meet the dress code.

Into my wardrobe I looked and found a Country Road silk shirt from last spring and a fave statement necklace. Once again, I was looking for that contrast of textures in the one outfit. In this case it was contrasting with more feminine textures.

In keeping with the theme, sheer stockings were required. There were none lurking in my drawer from last winter, on account of the fact that sheer hosiery and I are not good friends. I usually manage to ladder them as I put them on – or during their first wear.

I always buy an insurance policy pair as a backup for occasions like this. As I was running through my local Myer store on Saturday to buy said pair of sheer stockings – and their backup – I may have got a little caught up in the Super Saturday sale, in particular the 25% off shoes. And I may or may not have come home with these Wayne by Wayne Cooper heels.

The wrap? The most divine cashmere in a splash of deep red from Everyday Cashmere*. It provided just the warmth I needed and a little more occasion to the outfit.

Oh and the clutch? I may or may not have got all the way to Brisbane before realising I’d totally forgotten to bring a clutch with me for the event. Super Sister-in-Law didn’t have one she could lend me either. A quick shop at a boutique in the hotel complex and my first world outfit crisis was averted.

I didn’t really need another clutch (I know, I can’t believe I just wrote that either) so gave the clutch over to Super Sister-in-Law the next morning. I know where it lives if I never need to borrow ;).

How to wear a leather skirt for cocktail

ASOS Curve leather skirt altered to fit $95.28 (on sale)  | Country Road silk shirt | Everyday Cashmere Tango Wrap $310.10 * | Salita Matthews necklace | Olga Berg clutch | Peter Lang cocktail ring | Wayne by Wayne Cooper heels

Beauty note

Employed a smokey eye for the occasion. Always find that this is like the makeup icing on a cocktail outfit cake.

Hair-wise, I changed it up a bit with some outward flicks using my ghd Eclipse straighteners. This is actually just as easy as doing a full straight style as all you are essentially doing is pulling your hair through the irons and engineering a slight upward movement at the ends. A bit of hairspray and you’re set.

Oh, and this outfit definitely called for siren-like nails. Worked them with a strong, creme red, Orly’s Risque Encounter* (available July). Can’t wait till then? Try Orly’s Down Right Red.

Beauty note - Orly Risque Encounter

Have you jumped on the leather or faux leather bandwagon yet this season? How are you wearing your leather pieces?  

Items marked with * were gifted to me for review. Click the below icon for more details  Review

Comments 27

  1. I really like all the texture in that Country Road knit. What a fantastic Mothers Day gift. I would love to find something similar in a longer length to wear with my leather panel leggings.

  2. Love both of those outfits, Nikki. As usual, you knock it out of the fashion park! I can rock my pleather leggings with oodles of confidence – I know how to style them to suit me – BUT I struggle with skirts. I would love so much to rock a pencil skirt, but I just don’t think my shape is built for them. The search for the perfect skirt continues…!

  3. Both outfits looks great Nikki. I love a good shopping story too – very clever move buying a different size and getting it altered. I know it’s obvious but I probably wouldn’t have thought to do it.

    I haven’t jumped to leather this season, but I’m all for textural contrasts. Today – velvet jacket and lace skirt.

    What a treat your date night sounds. Just realised that I saw Mr SY in Nespresso last week. I was in front of a man in the queue and he looked so familiar to me, but there was no recognition at all from him (of course!), so I thought I was dreamin’…

    1. Oh Kathryn, that is so funny! He works in the city so I send him on errands for me 😉 And the getting altered thing – it was too good a bargain to not give a go, I thought. That’s what lead me down that path. Love your textures!

  4. Hi Nikki, you look fab in both leather outfits! How awesome that you snuck in a sleepover of your own! Thanks to you I recently bought a Metalicus wool tubeskirt in black….must look back on your post on how to wear it! I did comment on your winter races post, don’t know why it didn’t send properly anyway….thankyou for that post too, I think I mentioned last year that our races are a casual affair so it’ll be scarf and long boots for me, although I might just have to shop for a felt hat and thankyou for reminding me to dig out my leather gloves! xx

  5. I bought a black leather skirt from Sportscraft last year (super sale price), but haven’t worn it yet. Thanks for the inspiration, as I really wasn’t sure how I would wear it, just it was too nice to pass up. Do you think I could wear the lace shirt from Witchery’s white shirt campaign? That was too nice to pass on, too.

  6. Hi Nikki, just bought the skirt in black, loved how you styled it for work! Thanks for such great inspiration!

  7. You do flawless styling Nikki! I loved both yr looks a lot! I’m inspired to try leather now…,must add that u worked the lip color just perfectly in the first look:-) Love the knit top and boots of course!!

  8. I bought the Trenery leather skirt but haven’t worn it yet as I’ve been in SE Asia for the last 7 weeks. But now I’m back and you’ve inspired me to wear it tomorrow!

    1. Oh do it Johanne – that was the one originally on my wishlist but couldn’t get to a store to try. I like to wear skirts low on account of my short waist so needed to know it would work. This one was too big but alterations sorted that.

  9. I Love both these outfits on you Nikki,good buy that leather skirt especially as it looks so different on both occasions.I have a pair of leather panelled leggings that I bought from Witchery last year and yes they will be on high rotaion in my wardrobe as a dressier alternative to ponte pants or jeans I have my Sons Girlfriends 21st coming up so I will probably wear them with a nice knit ( though it is supposed to be a dress up party) though the theme is “what do you want to be when you grow Up” I think I am a tad too old for this theme so I will go as a Chic woman ,do you think this will work?
    I am glad you enjoyed the cooler weather in Sydney and got to wear your Country road knit ,they have the best knitwear ,don’t they and you are a sweetie giving the clutch to your sister in law,handy too when you forget one again!

        1. Hello Lisa, I hope Nikki’s No.1 commenter doesn’t mind me making a cheeky suggestion – how about getting your hands on a pair of loud plastic sunglasses a la Karen Walker and dressing up as one of the gorgeous Advanced Style models?? I for one wouldn’t mind looking as good as some of those chic ladies when I grow up!!

  10. I took your advice and I got on the bandwagon with some leggings with faux leather panels. I team them with ankle boots and a long tunic. This outfit puts a big smile on my face because I feel comfortable and fashionable.

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