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Think leather always looks tacky? This is how to look more Kate Moss than Kim Kardashian and avoid Victoria Beckham’s fashion faux pas

Think leather, sleek and orderly – and a look best left to teenagers. Always associated with 1990s thigh-length miniskirts and spray pants that restrict breathing, hinder movement and make you perspire, leather can be more vulgar than va-va voom.

Even celebrities can have trouble pulling off the look; Victoria Beckham is said to be haunted by the unflattering, skin-tight, matching black leather bomber jackets she and David posed in in 1999.

But breathe easy, the spring collections are full of smart leather pieces that are colorful, flatteringly cut and none of the old-fashioned styles that would make you cringe. Mature, understated and versatile: these are pieces you can wear at any age.

Choose a flattering wide fit

Unless you’re almost 6 feet tall and have ultra-toned pins, leather leggings are unforgiving.

This season, choose loose-fitting trousers in an exaggerated shape to make it look like you’re wearing a skirt, and add a touch of real luxury to your workwear wardrobe.

If you’re on the petite side, remember to opt for a cut that shows a hint of ankle so the shape doesn’t overwhelm you.

This wide-leg version from Me+ Em also has no pesky back pockets, for a more flattering look from every angle.

JA: Luxury look: leather trousers, £690, and jumper, £225, meandem. com

NO: Too tight - This Morning's Cat Deeley in leather trousers

NO: Too tight – This Morning’s Cat Deeley in leather trousers

Couture coat

When it comes to the leather jacket, think large lapels and a defined silhouette, as beautifully demonstrated by Kate Moss at Paris Fashion Week.

Kate wore her coat open for a relaxed vibe that showed off her dress, but you can also turn up the collars and tighten your belt, like French Vogue editor Corine Roitfeld, who takes fashion – and leather – very seriously.

Soften the look by wearing something tactile and feminine underneath, such as sheer chiffon or delicate lace.

If you want to try a color, Oxblood can be an expensive alternative to the standard black, as seen on the runway at Hermes.

But whatever you do, don’t be tempted to go for a full-length leather trench coat in other bright colors. Instead, choose muted tones.

JA: Kate Moss in the filled-in trench

JA: Kate Moss in the filled-in trench

Green for no: Kylie Minogue

Green for no: Kylie Minogue

Bring biker chic up to speed

Nothing will date you faster than a nineties-style spray-on black leather biker jacket.

The more modern way to wear one is with a looser fit or to drive in style with a Formula 1 inspired look.

Reiss has his own McLaren F1 collection of color-blocked jackets, but for those who just want to flirt with the look, this putty version is a great buy.

Stars like Bella Hadid have worn bolder versions, while Louis Vuitton sent a patchwork piece down the runway for its 2024 collection.

YES: F1 Style: Leather Jacket, £388, reiss.com

YES: F1 Style: Leather Jacket, £388, reiss.com

NO: Matching couple: Victoria and David Beckham in 1999

NO: Matching couple: Victoria and David Beckham in 1999

Matte versus glossy

Leather says ‘look at me’, but shiny tips you ‘for the wrong reasons’.

Matte leather tends to look more expensive, and good places to start are Wyse’s buttery-soft navy blue shirt and Whistles’ leather jacket, also in dark blue, which is supple for an aged feel.

If you want to enjoy the shiny leather look, Zara’s Studio versions are definitely sold out. Pair with a pair of Mary Janes (flat or heeled) for a simple finish.

YES: Smooth as butter: navy blue leather shirt, £162.50, wyselondon.com

YES: Smooth as butter: navy blue leather shirt, £162.50, wyselondon.com

NO: Garbage Bag Bling: Penelope Cruz

NO: Garbage Bag Bling: Penelope Cruz

Switch mini for the midi

Forget acres of exposed thighs with a strap of shiny leather, and you’ll miss it. That ship has sailed.

The much more refined midi is your instant spring upgrade.

It’s infinitely more portable and versatile enough to suit any occasion. It looks understatedly polished with sneakers and a jersey top,

Or wear a smarter white shirt and add a pair of kitten heels for more adult glamour.

YES: Versatile elegance: mandarin leather, £390, and stripped top, £160, cefinn.com

YES: Versatile elegance: mandarin leather, £390, and stripped top, £160, cefinn.com

NO: Thigh high: Kim Kardashian in a leather mini

NO: Thigh high: Kim Kardashian in a leather mini