How to wear a leather shirt – and 4 styles you can invest in now

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Grace Cook
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The backbone of your everyday wardrobe just got a luxe leather spin — here’s what to style it with.

Few items are failsafes in the wardrobe, but the leather jacket is one and button-up business-like shirt is another. But now, the two have united, for the leather shirt is a must-have in trans-seasonal wardrobes

Seen all over the street at Copenhagen Fashion Week (where all good trends start), and of course, the runways (with Nanushka, Alexander Wang and Acne Studios all showing versions for spring/summer 2020) the leather shirt is a super versatile staple that can be dressed up or down. 

But perhaps more so than the aforementioned jacket and shirt, the hybrid leather shirt requires more consideration in terms of how to wear. After all, a leather jacket can be thrown on on top of basically anything; a crisp white shirt can wear with trousers, jeans, over roll necks… the list goes on. 

But the leather shirt, while slightly trickier, is worth due diligence, because the sartorial dividends are beyond worth it. 

Leather shirts: Copenhagen Fashion Week. Credit: Getty

How to wear them? Here are four failsafe rules. 

The leather shirt manifesto

1. Ensure the shirt is oversized, which not only makes it feel cooler, but enables it to be versatile in its styling as it can be slouch-ily tucked into high-waisted skirts and trousers, or worn loose and open as an overcoat.

2. A leather shirt is a great pairing for jeans. Make sure the jeans are super high waisted and cut to a ‘Mom’ style retro cut; leather shirts have quite sexy connotations and the best way to avoid that is to loosen up your overall silhouette. Wear with a simple white tee underneath, with some shirt buttons open so the T-shirt is visible. Tuck the shirt in, and go!

3. It’s a great choice for a smart-casual evening or daytime event when you’re not sure how long you’ll be out for. Don’t bother with a jacket – simply put a fitted camisole underneath to act as an extra layer without detracting from the outfit. Great tucked into boxy or A-line skirts; finish with heels or a heeled boot. 

4. Wear over a mini dress. If the shirt cut is super oversized, it looks great offset by a more fitted under layer. Play down any accessories and just opt for a simple, squashy handheld clutch (a la Bottega Veneta). Too much accessorising with a leather shirt gives off serious Harley Davidson vibes —instead keep it simple to feel Scandi. 

Sold? We are too. Here’s the best you can buy now. 

1. Frankie Shop

Leather shirts: Frankie Shop at Net-a-Porter

Whoever said a leather shirt was typically black? This beige-toned dream from cult US label Frankie Shop is just the ticket – the cropped waistline makes it perfect for tucking in. 

Leandra faux leather shirt, £165, Frankie Shop at Net-a-Porter

2. Tibi

Leather shirts: Tibi

If Tibi’s Amy Smilovic buys into a style, you know it’s a wardrobe staple — her whole ethos for Tibi is everyday wearable pieces for the fashion-conscious woman. We love the oversized cut of this shirt, and the patch pocket at the front. So chic. 

Leather shirt, £355, Tibi

3. & Other Stories

Leather shirts: & Other Stories

Burgundy is the new black, have we told you that before? This super clean-cut button-up from & Other Stories is the perfect autumnal hue — best worn with neutral camel or dark chocolate trousers and accessories. 

Leather overshirt, £239, & Other Stories

4. Arket

Leather shirts: Arket

In a super luxe conker-c0loured leather, this buttery soft shirt from Arket is a dream for everyday autumn wardrobes. We’d let the tan colour stand out and wear it with a strictly black palette — black tailored trousers, superfine black roll neck (Uniqlo do great ones), and black boots. 

Leather shirt, £225, Arket