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Weekend Outfit Inspiration: Faux Leather Leggings

Looking for an alternative to jeans for dates nights or the rare evening out with girlfriends?  Consider a pair of faux leather leggings. I know your first instinct is to think they are not for you, but if you wear traditional black leggings, you can wear these. And, despite what you may think, your dress size and age don’t matter at all.  All you need is a place to go.

Of course, you don’t have to wear them if you don’t like them.  I happen to like them very much. They are a saucy alternative to jeans, and after spending most of last year feeling very much like an alien invaded my body, saucy sounds fun right now. They are not so much a basic, but you can wear them the same way. I call these “second level basics.”

What makes these special is the impact of the fabric. The look of faux leather adds edge and an element of texture.  With the right combination of separates, the look can be both casual and elegant, and edgy yet approachable.


Weekend Outfit Inspiration: Faux Leather LeggingsLeggings, $98  |  Pumps, $50  |  Tank, $59  |  Cardigan, $20  |  Clutch, $20  |   Earrings, $38

The pants are by SPANX. They have great stretch and tummy control. I know they look like a pair of scuba pants, but in person they are much more subtle.  Some people love SPANX, some not so much.  I’ve always liked their quality and fit so I don’t minding spending here.  I’ll also wear them enough to get value out of the price. If you want something similar for less, try these Hue leggings on sale for $25 at Nordstrom Rack.

I’m using the Banana Republic drapey tank we featured last week here, only in ivory. You will wear this all the time: under a blazer, with a pair of jeans, or like we have it here, as a base layer for a modern nighttime look. You could also use the J.Crew Factory Drapey Tank that so many of you already own.

I love playing with contrast in a look like this, so when you have something like the leggings, that are bold and edgy, I pair it with something on the other side of the spectrum. Here, it’s an oversized, cozy, unstructured cardigan (that’s only $20). It’s long enough to cover your bottom but not so long that it looks like a bathrobe. Pieces like this are my favorites because you can wear it dressed up, or on your sofa with pajama bottoms.  Talk about versatility.

Then, finish the look with some thoughtful accessories.  The shoes are a classic, suede pump with a higher-than-what-we-usually-work-with-heel. My friend Neen calls heels like this “valet shoes.” All you have to do is walk from the valet to your table.

If they are too high for you, something lower works just as well.  The most important element is the pointed toe.  They are the best complement for a “dress” legging since they help extend the line of your leg.

STYLE NOTE: When you’re wearing a longer cardigan or jacket you do want to wear a shoe with some kind of heel to help bring balance to the look. Otherwise, the layer will overwhelm you, regardless of your height. 

This inexpensive fold over clutch is only $20 at TJ Maxx.  It’s a great example of a super wearable leopard print. Here, it works as a neutral and ties all the colors together. You could also carry a black clutch or a gold one. Even better if it has something extra to it, like some quilting detail, cool hardware or a statement shoulder strap.

Finally, lovely little earrings that “dance” when you move.  These are so sweet, they could be part of your every day rotation. Keeping your jewelry simple here is important. The leggings take up a lot of the look, and the clutch is bold.  If you were to add big jewelry, or lots of layers, you run the risk of looking overdone.

And no one wants that 🙂

Have a great weekend!

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Weekend Outfit Inspiration: Faux Leather Leggings

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Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Friday 1st of February 2019

I bought a pair of faux leather leggings from Nordstrom a few years ago based on one of your earlier posts... (2016???) and love them for a change of pace! I was actually thinking of wearing them to a surprise birthday party with an off-the-shoulder gray wool sweater (also from Nordstrom...) and boots as an outfit option. Now that I read this, I am inspired to wear it for sure! They obviously don't go out of style ;)

Megan Kristel

Sunday 3rd of February 2019

That sounds like the perfect outfit!


Friday 1st of February 2019

this outfit is dreamy! You also read my mind as I was going to email you about fake leather leggings earlier this week

Megan Kristel

Friday 1st of February 2019

Yay! I really love them, such an easy way to add a little edge :)


Friday 1st of February 2019

I love your picks and keep an eye out for your email each day. Unfortunaltely, it seems like when I like something, I go to the website (sometimes within minutes of your email coming out) to try to buy it and it’s already limited stock/sold out! Such a bummer. Would it be possible to choose items that we have a good chance of being able to purchase?

Megan Kristel

Friday 1st of February 2019

Thanks Kirsten. I actually spend hours making sure what we feature is readily available. There are a lot of variables that I have to consider, availability is one, but it also needs to come from a reputable retailer, be relatively reasonable price, and when possible include petite and plus sizes. So when I organize a post, usually a few days out, options are all available online. Unfortunately, I can't see how much of each size is available. Keep in mind this time of year is challenging because we are in between seasons too, that has a lot to do with the fast sell-outs.