As popular as they are, wearing leggings for non-sporting activities seems wrong in my style book. However faux-leather leggings have received a tremendous amount of publicity this winter and fashionistas everywhere are not prepared to give up their seemingly essential trend of choice for that carefree effortless look that also boasts a svelte silhouette.
Despite my reluctance to embrace the wonder leggings, I was surely tempted by the ease of wear, certainly the faux-leather texture ups the style quota whilst minimizing the sport vibe. Looking beyond their lack (in my opinion) of creativity I could see the versatile benefits that come with wearing a piece so simple and basic.
Admittedly I purchased and returned more than one pair having tried them out in the comfort of my own home with various looks. I didn't feel they lived up to their reputation. Specifically, the Spanx leggings ($98) were a definite no-go for me, too much like wearing tights, too legging-like and, not a natural leather look - a rather blotchy and unrealistic finish. They also rolled down at the waist which they claimed not to... although the odds are stacked against them with my midlife midriff!
Another pair I tried were the Sanctuary leggings ($99). Whilst these did have a better faux-leather finish than the Spanx, it was a tad too polished! They have additional detail around the body to make them look like a jegging as opposed to a straightforward legging. Worst design flaw... the inside of the waistband is the faux-leather fabric turned inside which sticks to your skin and ultimately becomes a sweatband! Yuck.
I decided to give it one more shot before throwing in the faux-leather legging towel and as luck would have it my perseverance paid off. Say hello to my legging friend... Commando!
From the day I brought these babies home I've never looked back and will certainly NOT be taking them back. These are keepers for sure!
They may possibly be the perfect pant to wear with combat boots, which makes them worth hundreds of dollars more than their $98 price tag given the viral popularity of said boots.
And, never underestimate a 4-inch heel with Swarovski-like crystal embellishment to establish who exactly is in "Commando" around here! Yes indeed... for leggings they scrub up pretty well for a night out on the town!
Just in case your day is all about action, a sweater or tee and sneakers is still going to give you that movie star incognito vibe... a sporty chic disguise for a girl boss in Commando!
As you can see from this closeup, the leather look is very real, yet the wear-ability is amazing from a comfort perspective. An all-directional stretch without sagging, soft and pliable but supportive in all the right places - very important from my 58-year-old point of view!
I was initially concerned that the hems were not finished off. I wondered if I should cut them to a desired length and take them to my tailor to hem professionally. Then I realized the unfinished hem left them open to much more flexibility. Since they don't fray there is no need to hem them, and when left to their original length they come long enough to grip nicely around the lower ankle for wearing under socks and boots keeping them securely in place with no bulk or riding up.
Alternatively, when wearing with shoes or sneakers, the hems can be invisibly tucked under to the required length allowing any amount of ankle display desired... ingenious!
Oh, and a couple of very important last-minute thoughts... there is no fear of a camel toe because of how well structured they are, the high waist is truly a high waist, not one you need to pull up to excruciating heights! Secondly, there is a re-enforced silken inner waistband that performs slimming miracles and I know this for a fact because I virtually (actually had to) wear them non-stop through the Christmas frivolities and they literally saved the day, every day... Commando to the rescue!
The sizing is as you would expect. I'm wearing a medium and they're snug although super comfortable. They mold to your body as you wear them and become a second skin, only a smoother taught skin. The best part is, they make you look about seven pounds lighter... got to love that!
If you're looking for that perfect legging to put you back in charge even if your holiDAY ended up being a holiMONTH as mine did, these bad-ass Commandos will have you strutting about with all the confidence of a whippersnapper!
Linked below these leggings, which also come in metallic hues... oh so fierce! I've also added some other pieces to create similar looks shown here.
There are affiliate links in this post which means I may receive a small percentage of sales made. This does not affect the price you pay.
The availability of realistic high-quality faux leather fabric has enabled the fashion industry to expand the repertoire of luxe goods without the guilt. Likewise, consumers can purchase with less restraint due to more choices, generally easier on the purse strings and of course the feel good factor - no animals were hurt in the making of these pants!
Society has progressed toward a vegan (not just for food) trend for many years with influence from designers like Stella McCartney. Still producing her coveted vegan leather handbags and still charging a whopping $$$$ in most cases. Never judge a bag by it's cover!
By expanding on some old classics even those dating back to the Victorian era and beyond, current trends have been playing on the versatility of sleeves. Everything from exaggerated shapes in sheer organza to over-sized balloon sleeves creating bold silhouettes and contemporary designs. It's fashion at its best and totally fun for any midlife woman to partake in, especially those concerned about crepe skin and bingo wings, it's a fabulous camouflage and looks totally on fleek!
As a fashionista with a weakness for a cute trending handbag, it can be a costly endeavor and let's be honest, not all trends are here to stay or are worthy of a lofty price tag. If it takes three lifetimes to achieve a reasonable cost-per-wear then it's one I'll skip... NEXT!
However, this trend started floating about last year and all kinds of beaded bags have continued and still are a huge hit. But there is one that all others aspire to be and according to "Who What Wear", the one that wears the crown is the Antonia Faux Pearl bag by Shrimps.
Cargo pants may not be everybody's cup of tea, but relaxed wear clothes are becoming the norm and from a style perspective they're a step up from yoga pants... in many ways! This utilitarian, wardrobe workaholic can camouflage a myriad of midlife misfortunes! Even if a cargo or jogger pant isn't your style, there are a zillion twists on the classic version that likely will convert even the most steadfast objector not to mention there being oodles of ways to style them!
This season sees a revival of longer length shorts. Fashioned after the classic Bermuda shorts, they're more refined (with the exception of their denim counterparts) made with more modish fabrics and cut with a slimmer fit throughout. As such they're known as tailored or city shorts.
Zara can be an overwhelming store. It's big and bright (except for the changing rooms) and there's a lot to take in from clothes and accessories at eye level to shoes and bags at ground level and tables of flat lay clothes in between!
Tennis players and golfers are bound to own a skort or two, that ingenious invention of a miniskirt with a built-in pair of shorts underneath. Undoubtedly, ruffled miniskirts minus the risk of over exposure was a tempting draw to the game of tennis for me!
The skort is equally as practical off the court or the fairway! When it comes to bending over, a gust of wind, getting in and out of cars, the color of your panties will remain your secret!
In the never-ending struggle of wardrobe maintenance, ensuring a perfect outfit for every occasion from walking the dog in monsoon rains, attending a fashion show on a balmy spring evening and battling the furnace that is Arizona in the middle of an August day… let’s just say I have my work cut out.
Not only can this be a costly endeavor but an overcrowded one, and with neither a pile of money or a spacious closet, strategic measures must be taken.
While the fad for easy-care clothing continues, I was recently intrigued by a new offering from a well-known retailer, Chico’s – a white cotton shirt that repels stains, specifically red wine. The brands marketing targets midlife women, which might suggest we are clumsier than our younger counterparts, or perhaps we drink too much resulting in a few tipsy spills?
When style and functionality come together in the form of a trench coat, it's a modern-day fashion fairy-tale! Inevitably such pieces have been around for donkeys’ years and for good reason - everybody loves a fairy-tale! In the ever-fast-moving fashion industry, when something is here for the long haul it's generally worth the investment.
Say hello to my "little" friend... the mini trench coat. In short (pun intended), the fresh and updated version of the classic trench coat, this year's spring must-have, and undoubtedly many more springs to come! And, if you’re old enough to remember the trench coat’s predecessor, you’re welcome to call it a mini mac!
Kimonos are a blessing to the fashion world. Their ability to add the finishing touch to an otherwise plain outfit is like the icing on the cake! They bring color, drama, texture, movement, an utterly feminine statement and the ultimate top layer of forgiveness to whatever may be going on underneath... like food babies!
Just because you don't get to wear white trousers everyday doesn't mean you don't need a pair. In fact, white pants score high when it comes to evening functions and special occasions giving your look more panache than the common alternative, black pants! They also make the perfect dressy look for day or evening, just tweak how you style them, and you've got versatility nailed.
Would you wear a hat that originated in the 17th century worn by peasants in southern France? How about a hat worn by revolutionary activists or military forces across the globe? If your answer is yes to any or all the above, you are clearly a fashionista with an eye for style!
The current obsession with animal print is rather like a number one hit record. Every time you turn on the radio, it's that song playing again and everywhere you look, it's animal print again!
Before the numbness sets in and we go off it altogether, the fashion powers that be have decided to spice things up! What better way than to throw in some unexpected colors. Rich deep reds, blues, greens and yellows are now sporting our beloved leopard spots and snake prints, yes indeed... step aside neutrals, colored prints matter!
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50