Ladylike Leather See All Photos Cr Imaxtree, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

If the very idea of rocking leather skinnies or a biker jacket makes you shudder—you’re not that kind of girl!—you will be pleased to know there are many luxe options now with a more elegant, decorous appeal. Designers are using soft skins to create curvy peplums, waist-nipping dresses, and midcalf skirts that come off as sensuous, not sex-kittenish.

It’s really quite simple to take on the leather trend. Just follow these three style rules from Fashion Director Cindy Weber Cleary and then click through our gallery for some inspiration.

1. Stick to classic shapes and muted colors. Nothing revealing, super-tight, studded, or distressed.

2. Team a leather piece with a contrasting texture for instant visual interest. A leather pencil skirt, for example, could conceivably be worn to the office with a boxy tweed jacket as long as your workplace isn’t ultra-conservative.

3. If you’re still nervous, choose a soft color instead of black or a leather accessory such as a pair of glamorous gloves or a slender bow belt. These won’t raise any eyebrows but will still deliver a little stylish frisson.

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