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9 best leather dresses for an effortlessly chic look - plus styling tips on how to wear the trend

Leather dresses you can wear anywhere, even the office

Leather dresses during fashion week
Carla Challis
Commerce Partnerships Editor
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The leather dress is popping up all over the high street and the red carpet, and I can see why. It’s an innately sexy, vampy look that offers up a sleek aesthetic in shapes from pinafores to cami dresses and even puff-sleeved, voluminous skirted leather dresses – who said leather can’t be feminine?

The tide is starting to turn on leather dresses being reserved for the red carpet or a dressier occasion, with daytime appropriate leather shirt dresses dominating the shops and leather shift dresses coming in second. Of course, one of their greatest appeals is the versatility a leather dress affords you. Those shirt dresses in leather and shift dresses can be downplayed for the office and the ante upped for evening – just slip on a slim heel.

Best leather dresses - quick buy

On the catwalk, Alexander McQueen, Isabel Marant and Chloe all sent models down the runway in variations of the trend at the A/W 2023 shows, from peplum shapes to tunics and off-the-shoulder mini leather dresses.

I personally own a dark green leather pinafore dress, bought from Topshop years ago, that I still wheel out during this sort of weather. I layer a polo neck or long sleeve tee under and when I say I'm complimented constantly when I wear it, I'm not exaggerating.

Royals wearing leather dresses

For some royals, a leather dress has become a staple. Meghan Markle’s is perhaps the prettiest incarnation of one, worn to the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 closing ceremony. 

Meghan Markle wearing leather dress in Dusseldorf
Meghan Markle stunned in a leather Cult Gaia dress last year

Meghan’s peacock blue Raylene Gown from Cult Gaia featured the most intricate laser cut floral detailing, and the midi length added a touch of demure.

Queen Letizia wearing a leather dress in Madrid, 2019
Queen Letizia wearing a leather dress in Madrid, 2019

Another royal, Queen Letizia, has worn a leather dress on repeated occasions, opting for a flowing shirt dress version.

How to wear a leather dress, now

The beauty of leather dresses is that they're versatile. Add a ribbed polo neck, boyfriend shirt or tee under a pinafore, cami or shift style, with sneakers or low-heeled boots, and you can whip off those layers for evening. 

leather dress worn in Paris on fashion influencer
A masterclass in leather dress layering by an influencer in Paris

Leather shirt dresses are a one-stop outfit shop, dressed up or down with ease, and the cool girls even wear a leather trench or jacket over the top. The more leather the better.

Mollie King, Blake Lively and Misty Copeland
Mollie King, Blake Lively and Misty Copeland wearing leather dresses

I love the oversized leather shirt dress look for bridging the casual yet smart gap, and for a super sexy, no messing evening look, get that leather cami like Mollie King, Blake Lively and Misty Copeland.

How I chose the best leather dresses

  • Material: 100% leather dresses are the more luxurious version, but there's plenty of faux leather options too. I've included both, and made it clear what the material is.
  • Price: As always, I have included dresses across the price spectrum, from under £60 at Sosandar to over £3,000 for a designer option from Alaia.
  • Style: Leather dress options are vast, and in this edit you'll find leather shirt dresses, shift dresses, pinafores, cami and more.
  • ASOS Leather Dress

    ASOS leather dress

    Hugo Kerve-1 Leather Look Dress Black

    Sizes: 6-18

    Colours: Black

    Material: Faux leather

    Delivery: Free on orders over £50

    Returns: Free within 30 days of purchase

    Editor's note: "I chose this simple black leather dress to go in the number slot because it's an easy shape for all body silhouettes to wear, and trendy enough to look spot on for now but one that'll last in your wardrobe for years to come. 

    "It's faux leather, but realistic looking, and I'd style with chunky loafers or chunky knee high boots."

  • Karen Millen Leather Dress

    Karen Millen Leather Dress

    Karen Millen Leather Waist Tab Detail Tailored Midaxi Pencil Dress

    Sizes: 6-16

    Colours: Black

    Material: 100% Responsibly Sourced Leather

    Shipping: £4.99 for standard delivery

    Returns: Within 28 days, £2 per return

    Editor's note: "I'm in awe of how sleek this Karen Millen leather pencil dress is - note the tie waist additions and subtle slit."

  • Boohoo Leather Dress

    Boohoo Leather Dress

    Nasty Gal Faux Leather Strappy Mini Dress

    Sizes: 4-18

    Colours: Black 

    Material: Faux leather

    Shipping: Standard delivery costs £3.99

    Returns: Free within 28 days of purchase

    Editor's note: "How great is this simple leather cami dress, a step up from your classic LBD but giving Kim K vibes. I'd add a tee underneath, or even a light roll neck, to make it ideal for the day."

  • Club L London Leather Dress

    Club L Leather Dress

    Club L Hailey Corset Leather Dress

    Sizes: 6-16

    Colours: Black and white

    Material: PU fabric

    Shipping: From £2.99

    Returns: From £2.99

    Editor's note: "Club L London's leather dress is pure vamp, from the corset shape to the bodycon fit and the longer length adds to the sexiness too. It's also available in white, but the black for me is key."

  • Mango Leather Dress

    Mango Leather Dress

    Mango Short Leather-Effect Dress

    Sizes: 6-14

    Colours: Black

    Material: 100% polyester

    Shipping: Free on orders over £30​​​

    Returns: Free within 28 days

    Editor's note: "As evening leather dresses go, Mango has the monopoly with this simple black dress, mini in length but massive in appeal.

    "The slouchy one-shoulder makes the leather appear softer than you'd think, and I'd add a pair of Bottega style earrings (or lookalikes) with simple, black heels."

  • Sosandar Leather Dress

    Sosandar Leather Dress

    Sosandar Faux Leather Collared Dress

    Sizes: 6-20

    Colours: Burgundy and blue

    Material: Faux leather

    Delivery: Free on orders over £50

    Returns: Free within 30 days of purchase

    Editor's note: "A classic shirt dress in soft faux leather? Sosandar is the place to go, known for their incredible collection of leather dresses in buttery soft faux.

    "This shirt dress nips in at the waist, with a flared skirt for a feminine silhouette."

  • Pretty Little Thing Leather Dress

    PLT Leather dress

    Pretty Little Thing Leather Blazer Dress

    Sizes: 4-16

    Colours: Chocolate brown and cherry red

    Material: Faux leather

    Shipping: From £3.99 for standard delivery

    Returns: Within 28 days of purchase

    Editor's note: "Marrying two trends, the tuxedo dress and leather dresses, PLT's bargain blazer dress is made from faux leather and comes in a delicious chocolate brown or cherry red."

  • River Island Leather Dress

    RI leather dress

    River Island Faux Leather Pinafore Dress

    Sizes: 6-18

    Colours: Brown

    Material: Faux leather

    Shipping: Free on orders over £40

    Returns: Within 28 days of purchase

    Editor's note: "A pinafore leather dress really is a great piece for every season, and River Island's has the addition of retro style buttons. The length is just on the knee, so demure enough for the office but could be dressed up with heels and structural earrings for a cool evening look."

  • Norma Kamali Leather Dress

    Norman Kamali Leather Dress

    Norma Kamali Faux Leather Strapless Dress

    Sizes: XXS-XL

    Colours: Brown

    Material: Faux leather

    Shipping: From £7 for standard delivery

    Returns: Within 28 days of purchase

    Editor's note: "You might not have thought you ever needed a leather tube dress in your life, but ever since Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Hailey Beiber have worn one, they've become sought after.

    "Norma Kamali is the brand to go-to for this fit, known for bodycon styles that hug in all the right places. This brown leather strapless dress ticks all the boxes - a muted shade, close fit and kicks out at the hem."