Fall 2011: Biker Babe.

If some chic Parisian café and a Harley Davidson shop had a little fashion baby, it would be this fall’s leather shorts and skirts trend.

Initially, the thought of leather in a non-jacket variety gave me a Faith flashback. (Buffy reference.) Try-hard, a little tacky, possibly straight skeezy. But I changed my mind after seeing the way the runways were doing leather Fall-2011-style: tough fabric in feminine shapes. Not tight Gadzooks-pleather (although I think we’ve all been there… 7th grade, anyone? Just me? Blame Scary Spice.)

So how do you properly execute? A few examples:

Biker Babe

1. Paper Crown Hudson shorts ($142)
2. KNT by Kova and T leather varsity short ($139)
3. Alice & Olivia leather tulip skirt ($495)
4. Parker leather skirt ($286)
5. Oasis leather shorts ($130)
6. Dana Buchman faux leather pencil skirt ($58)
7. Topshop pencil skirt ($75)

Some common themes: the leather is nice and thick (even if it’s faux). This prevents it from looking cheap. Also, a fairly neutral, solid color palette. Stick with black, tan, camel, a deep ruby (which is about as bold as I would go, color-wise). No prints (please and thank you).

I first fell in love with this trend when I spotted the lookbook for Paper Crown (Lauren Conrad’s new line). Those black leather shorts were perfection (1): high-waisted and not too tight and/or short. I imagined them styled both as pictured (silky tucked-in blouse with a boyfriend blazer over the top) and with black opaque tights and a chunky sweater. Very versatile. If black is too basic, try a soft camel (5) or dark red (2) version. Go with a longer hem if you’re worried about your thighs, and pair them with dark tights.

Leather skirts are probably a little easier to wear, especially in a classic pencil skirt cut (6, 7). Because there’s so much leather, I would stick with black. Imagine with a fitted turtleneck (perhaps in emerald or royal purple) and a statement necklace. Perfection! Would be a great holiday party outfit, now that I think of it: just enough sass but nothing that will get you in trouble when business resumes on Monday morning.

Another skirt option is to go pleated. This black pleated Parker skirt (4) is equal parts cheerleader and roller derby babe, which for some reason I’m quite fond of. And how beautiful is this tulip skirt from Alice & Olivia (3)? Simple shape, classic color.

What do you think– is leather for you?


  1. I love that PaperCrown outfit! It’s gorgeous.

    I hadn’t thought of this as a wear-able trend, but the way you describe it, it sounds easy! (Or at least easier!)

    Great post!

  2. I totally have the Kova and T shorts- they are awesome. I find them very easy to wear, although more so now that the weather is cooling off than during the really hot part of the summer. They look so good with black leggings or tights tucked into tall black boots. I can’t wait to wear them more this fall!

  3. I love those tan leather shorts by Oasis! They seem like they would be the easiest to wear. And the price is decent! Great picks!

  4. I really like the PaperCrown line, too! Do you have anything from it yet? I keep searching for it in stores and can’t find it. Is available online?

    1. Thanks for all your comments, guys! 🙂

      Sara- I haven’t seen anything live-in-person yet, but I know you can snag some pieces via nordstrom.com. If you buy, shoot me a comment on how you like! 🙂

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