Leather details for fall
I can't recall a season with more more simple, clean skirts and tops made in leather, or with significant leather details.
The drawback to mixed fabric and leather pieces is obvious: specialty drycleaning. But, since nearly all are dark, they often need only a light wipe with leather conditioner. (I've only ever cleaned leather skirts that way for years, then finish with a swoosh of protector spray.) Wearing a cami under tops helps, too– but ultimately, there are pros who can return your piece all clean.
Phillip Lim combines leather and silk in a top; it can give you that Marianne Faithfull (sober, but still dangerous) vibe. Price, $745.
Danier, the Canadian mall chain, is mostly average, but every fall for the past three years they have slid in some simple, strict pieces. This year's entry is a bamboo stretch jersey and lamb leather sleeved top, available up to L (will fit 14-16, a lot of stretch in the piece) on the web site. (I have a similar one and wear it every chance I get.) Price is a grab-able $249.
Lafayette 148 design a leather line that always offers something extra. Leather can be too bulky for petites, so I was pleased to see this clever leather-front sweater, soft and well-scaled, in their Petites line. Price, $398. (Also in womens sizing P to XXL.)
Lafayette also make a lined travel-worthy jacket in tech cloth with leather patch pockets, the perfect layer for Portland or Prague. Price, $598, and available in women's, petite and plus.
On your behalf, I've checked out dozens of leather skirts. Most are too short for women over 50, unless you want that Hey, Sailor effect.
The winner for quality, price and cut is the "weightless lambskin" Lafayette 148 slim skirt. Big smudgy red lipstick kiss to them for offering it in plus (as well as regular and petites) and in a 24-inch length in women's and plus, 20 inches in petites. Price, $728; also comes in espresso, but can you imagine how the vermilion would make you feel in drab winter?
Runner-up: Danier classic pencil (Style # 113030099); though length is not given, you can tell it's not a mini. Price, $279 in espresso or black. A leather skirt is stellar, rollable travel piece, dressier than jeans and, worn with a jacket or sweater, goes to most work settings, especially if not in the tougher black.
If you can wear a 4 or 6 and seek a slinky departure from basics, Danier's site has a sale item, a python-printed leather skirt that would certainly jazz up a cashmere tee, no? Sale price, $119.
When I think of it, leather items are always among the lowest cost-per-wear and longest shelf life in my wardrobe, not that you will need that rationale if you fall in love with a simple, light piece!