Yes, You Can Wear Leather When It's 80 Degrees Out

Thermostat be damned.

Originally Published: 
Grece Ghanem wears leather shorts in the summer.

Cotton, linen, and silk are all standard fixtures in any summer-ready wardrobe. Leather and suede, on the other hand, probably don’t come to mind when you’re getting dressed on a hot, humid day — but you shouldn’t disregard these pieces entirely. Don’t get stuck thinking only of the heavyweight hides you wore through the winter. Leather of a lighter variety has been a key trend for spring 2021, and you can expect it to continue well into the coming season. When it comes to exactly how to wear leather in the summer, a few updates and some strategic styling will make it better suited to the rising temperatures.

Certain pieces will always have a place in your outfit rotation, no matter the time of year. A simple leather jacket, for instance, is as essential now as ever. An elegant blazer style can be worn to the office to help elevate a plain shift dress, while a classic moto is perfect when you’re wearing a light camisole or slip dress on a cool night and want that just-enough extra layer. Beyond these season-less staples, look for leather in summer-friendly forms. In other words, less coverage and lighter colors. The latest collections feature hide vests and short-sleeved tops, as well as leg-baring miniskirts and Bermuda shorts that help keep things airy and comfortable. Joyful, vivid colors and soft pastel hues also work since they won't absorb heat like classic black and they inherently channel some fun summer vibes. Ahead, shop some of the coolest leather pieces for your warm-weather wardrobe, and discover chic ways to wear them in the months ahead.

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Leather Bermuda Shorts

Long leather Bermuda shorts with a trendy cutout top and strappy heels is the perfect going-out ensemble for summer nights.

A Modern Blazer

For the minimalist, a boxy leather blazer is the perfect extra layer to wear with a simple fitted white dress and barely-there heeled sandals.

Short Sleeves

Pair a short-sleeve leather top with summery pieces like printed cycling shorts and a sun hat.

A Flirty Frock

Frocks in soft feminine colors like blush, ivory, and baby blue keep a vegan leather dress feeling summer-appropriate.

Short Shorts

Let your legs breathe in the opposite of the Bermuda short trend: leather short shorts. Pair with a blouse in a bold animal print and chunky clogs for a casual date-night look. A glass of rosé in hand is optional but encouraged.

Suiting Separates

Tailored leather shorts can be a power player in your summer work wardrobe. Add a matching leather blazer and heeled thong sandals for a fully polished, summertime look.

Bright Pants

A bold-colored leather pant feels suited to summer's bright mood while a neutral tank helps keep things cool in the heat.

Super Knee-Highs

For those days when it’s too hot to even think about pants, knee-high boots can make for a great substitute for bottoms. Pair the statement shoes with shorts and a voluminous top for even more of a statement.

Cropped Trousers

Basic cropped leather pants can work for summer, and they’re best when the outfit is kept simple. A sleek tank and classic Mary Jane flats — a major footwear trend in 2021 — help transform the trousers for warm-weather wear.

A Bold Miniskirt

A roomy graphic tee paired with a leather miniskirt makes for a casual-meets-edgy look for the summer season. Top off with a statement silver chain necklace, and you’re good to go.

A Classic Moto

A black moto leather jacket, bike shorts, and a cropped tank make for a streamlined outfit that combines athleisure and grunge in such a unique way.

Bright White Accents

Whether it's a shirt, shirtdress, or any style in between, incorporating elements of bright white is a refreshing and seasonable way to wear leather.

A Sleek Vest

A sleeveless leather tunic or vest is just enough to add a little edge to your outfit, without weighing you down with too much bulk.

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