This ensemble changes up the classic, business casual pencil skirt + blazer outfit formula. A while ago, I suggested that leather or pleather jackets can be office appropriate when they aren’t overly distressed with loads of bulky hardware. You’re after a more refined style that’s not hectically “biker”, and in a fairly neutral colour. Mixed media styles that combine Ponte knit or tweed with leather work well too.
Note that leather jackets needn’t be restricted to outerwear. You can wear leather jackets indoors when they are lightweight. In fact, some of my leather jackets are less insulating than some of my wool blazers. So if you’re hot in a leather jacket, you’re probably wearing a thick and heavy version that is best left for outdoors. And that means you might like to add a lightweight leather jacket to your topper capsule, to be interchanged with a blazer.
Choose any colour palette. Here are the components:
Pencil Skirt: Choose a solid or pattern in a length and fabrication that tickles your fancy. I’ve chosen a pattern to liven up the look. Textured jacquards, lace, herringbone and tweed are other options.
Top: Match up the skirt with fluid knitwear, mock wraps, turtlenecks, layering tees, drapey knits or tank tops. I’ve found that a clean neckline works best under a leather jacket, like a V-neck, scoop, slash, crew or turtleneck. Collars on shirts and blouses can get in the way, and cowls look a little busy.
Leather Jacket: For the office, choose a dressier style that is not overly rugged. I’ve chosen leather jackets with waterfall fronts instead of moto styling. Moto styling can work if it’s refined and subtle. Leather Chanel-esque jackets, blazer styles and scuba silhouettes are other options.
Footwear: Dressy knee-high boots are an easy pairing, as are tailored booties and pumps. It’s not “too much leather” to wear a leather jacket with tall leather boots. But if you feel that is the case, opt for suede boots and/or a mixed media jacket to break up the expanse of leather.
Accessories: Finish off the look with an angular bag to offset the curves created by the pencil skirt. It’s not at all essential but I fancy that juxtaposition. Add jewellery, watch and eyewear as desired. If your outfit feels too plain when you wear a solid skirt and top, then add a scarf .
Of course, if you’re going to overheat wearing a leather jacket indoors no matter what, remove it when you sit and work at your desk.
I focused on business casual in a more corporate setting, which is why I kept things on the dressy side. But feel free to wear rugged and distressed leather jackets and boots with this combination if that suits your casual lifestyle. Adding rough elements to a strict pencil skirt is a fun juxtaposition.