How to Wear Leather Shorts Without Looking Slutty

Posted in Daily Outfits, Fashion.

Leather shorts – once the uniform of street walkers, then (weirdly) adopted by dads in the 80s, now wardrobe staple of the stylish and readily available in your local branch of Topshop. Unfortunately, leather shorts still have an air of the cheap and easy about them, especially when teamed with a low neckline and mottled skin.

I picked up a vintage pair over summer but have been too terrified to tackle them sans tights. They’ve been loitering in my wardrobe waiting for a pair of 120 deniers to hook up with, so now the weather’s cooler and my self-imposed hosiery ban has lifted (May-August people – tights look wrong in summer) I’m giving them a go. Here are my tips for wearing leather shorts without looking slutty…

  • A fine knit jumper in a pretty colour will soften that ‘biker babe’ look. Go for something loose and floaty to keep it casual.

Fine knit jumper c/o Next, vintage leather shorts, brogues c/o Bertie, brooch c/o Stolen Thunder

  • Only the thickest of thick tights will do – this is not the time nor the place for anything sheer. A sturdy 100+ denier should do the trick.
  • Flat brogues like these Bertie beauties add to the vintage style. Ankle boots with a small heel would work well too, but steer clear of the perspex platforms.

Mango ring, Michael Kors watch, Models Own nail polish in Pink Fizz

  • Go for delicate accessories – a cute brooch and chunky ring keep things simple.

Optional – pink sparkly nail varnish sends out mixed signals when worn with leather – your fingers may say ‘princess’ but your ass says ‘kinky’.

What do you think – can leather shorts be daywear or are they distinctively ‘lady of the night’?



They’re not an item I personally would reach for – I’m more of a denim shorts girl – but I love how you’ve styled these and that jumper is absolutely delightful! xx


Great blog title! I’m not sure I’d be able to pull them off or be brave enough to wear them but they look great on you!


Ahh haha Jen your copywriting skills really came to the fore in this post. I laughed out loud. You know I love a leather short and I probably break all your rules but I do agree. They’re darn hard to wear without going wrong x


Saw someone wearing gold ones today and that completely put me off them. However, the more subtle colour looks nice. Loving the jumper!
x x x


Love all the elements of this outfit. The brooch is super cute too. I also love your glasses, mine are starting to break a little bit, i think the screws need tightening on the side. I’m so worried they’re going to break – i really dont want to wear my granny pair in public! (as much as i love them!) Where did your specs from? xxxx


Haha great title! Totally true though. Leather is totally difficult to work if you’re not a street worker or model! You’ve done it well though, Im thinking of investing now xo


Oh this post made me laugh! Your brief history of leather shorts is spot on! Great post and incredible outfit. You look amazing xx


I love leather shorts but have been wary of the slutty predicament but think you’ve just convinced me I need some in my life! Sorry bank balance…
Mairi x


I have a pair of leather shorts and was wondering how I could style them. Thank you for this post! One thought, would it be possible for you to add a blog archive button to your blog? I would love to see how A Little Bird started. Thanks! xx


I’ll stick to my leather jacket I think, just can’t see myself in them, you however look fab, love the contrast with the jumper.
Flats are great with it, and your new watch is AMAZING!!



I own 6 pairs of leather shorts. Yes. Six. Colour me ashamed. I love them though and wore them pretty much constantly last winter, avec thick tights obviously! You look fab xx


you have totally got my craving rose gold and blush tones jen!! my bank balance is gonna take a hit cos of you!! this look.. was tempted by leather shorts on asos but thought i cldnt pull them off..maybe have to re-think! 🙂 x


I’m really hoping to get my hands on a pair of leather shorts this winter, www and cords! I plan to wear them with chunky knits, or perhaps pussybow blouses and blazers. Definitely need to give it a girly edge!


Wow, almost every time I’ve seen leather shorts on some-one they have looked utterly atricious – for instance I was in a pub last week, and a girl was wearing leather shorts that showed her arse – literally, it was disgusting. I digress. Anyway, yes, you’ve somehow made them look not only acceptable, but brilliant. I love the brooch also x
Sirens and Bells


Love the title of this post! Not a whiff of slut about your outfit… but I still don’t think I could bring myself to wear a pair, Suffolk just isn’t ready for that!


I’m jealous that you thrifted your leather shorts – I have never managed to find a pair second hand. It’s one of those trends that I don’t fancy spending a lot of money on, just in case!

LadyBugSays ...

The shorts look fab on you, especially paired with the soft pink! I have a pair of vintage leather trousers waiting to be DIY’ed into shorts, must do this!


They really do look fab in this outfit…love the pink colours against the black and then the brogues, oh the brogues!

I’ve seen leather shorts in magazines that people have managed to style right, but yeah, I think its a very difficult balancing act to get it right!!


Leather is such a difficult thing but I really love what you’ve done here. The colour of that jumper is gorgeous a d really balances it out. X


I used to have a cute leather mini-skirt in pale grey which i loved and I used to wear it much the same way as you, with a soft knit and thick tights. Sadly it went the way of most of my heels when I had kids. Leather and sticky, greasy, little fingers = drycleaning nightmare.


I love how you’ve styled these. I found an amazing leather skirt in a charity shop the other day for £3 or something but left without it as i was scared of coming across ‘street walker’ – regretting that now!

I’ve just added your blog to my blog roll by the way (:

Annah xx

Chloe Likes To Talk

I really like this whole idea- something that’s got slutty or risque associations and wearing it in a way that’s not what people expect from the item. You look fabulous, and if I thought I would look anything else than an elephant in leather shorts, might be inclined to try it- may have to try this with my satin-esque shorts instead.

China In Your hands

I disagree with your tights ban “may to august people”, given the the uk is so crap with ‘summer’ rarely making an appearance I say if the chill factors there reach for the tights. After all no one batted an eyelid at people wearing jackets in ‘summer’ so why not tights?

Great shorts!


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