Palos Verdes Estates, CA
“Diamonds were a girl’s best friend … then leggings happened.” – Unknown
Leggings 1, Leggings 2, Leggings 3, Leggings 4, Sweater 1, Sweater 2, Pumps, Kate Spade Bag 1, Bag 2, Bag 3, Sunnies
Could a pair of the latest vegan leather skinny leggings successfully hide a bit of menopausal weight gain? Would it be possible for a pair of skinny leggings with a universally affordable price point of $49 instantly give the illusion of trimming 10 lbs off my figure?
I had a great deal of difficulty gaining weight after my battle with Lyme Disease. For the first time in my life, I had to work hard at gaining weight. When menopause kicked in, I zoomed right past parity without a problem and practically gained 2o lbs overnight. Now, I find myself wanting to find clothes that make me look a bit slimmer. My challenge began!
Over the past year, I’ve been seeing a trend in the making which I’m hoping will now become a classic. Faux leather leggings began to pop up on social media and in the latest fashion magazines and websites. They seemed like a great alternative to the far more expensive leather legging. With established brands like Spanx recently adopting the trend, I had a feeling they might serve a dual purpose. Not only were they edgy, cool and fashion-forward (always a plus), they seemed to have the ability to act as shapewear, to highlight your curves or lift and tighten those areas that might need a bit of help, much like spandex. An added bonus – they don’t stretch out which can be an issue with pricier leather leggings.
I’ll admit I was concerned that this trend was “too young” for me. The only way to find out was by it giving it a go. I don’t look to anyone to tell me what to wear based upon my age. I look to myself to make those decisions based upon one thing and one thing only: How does it make me feel?
Where to start? By combing the internet for the perfect pair! That meant super stylish but also at an affordable price point. I had seen some creative marketing by the company, Spanx, with a fabulous wide range of vegan leggings in a multitude of styles. With a price point of $100 and up, I decided to opt for a pair that was half the price yet equally stunning. Nordstrom Rack is one of my favorite websites for the latest in fashion at discount prices and they had a great selection of leggings. Budget always factors into my decisions and finding a gorgeous pair of vegan leggings by David Lerner, a brand that I love, for $49 on the Nordstrom Rack website seemed like an easy decision.
Deciding to go for a simple classic look, I chose a cozy crewneck sweater in off white from Zara. I had spotted this look on a friend of mine, Karen Brooks of Wear With Passion in her Faces of Fierce Photo Shoot at FierceCon. I quickly found a similar style at Zara and decided it would be the perfect top to complement the skinny leggings. Choosing a shoe was easy as this look naturally lent itself to a multitude of styles. I grabbed one of my favorite pairs, a strappy sandal by Rebecca Minkoff that had a bit of an edgy gladiator vibe to them. I found them on sale a few years ago and have linked a similar style below. The Kate Spade backpack was found during a major online sale at Lord and Taylor. Although classic in nature, the tweedy fabric mixed with a touch of black leather felt like the ideal accompaniment. You can’t go wrong with a backpack as they are both stylish and functional. An added bonus…they easily cross the generational divide and can be worn for decades, especially if you choose styles that are more classic than trendy. There is always a great selection of stylish backpacks online and I’ve found a few of my favorites shown below. Tossing on a pair of sunnies by Kate Spade found on Amazon finished the look. Any black pair of sunnies from your wardrobe will do the trick.
The leggings are meant to be super fitted which required a bit of patience and a process of “shimmying” to get them on which would make a great comedy video! The minute I looked in the mirror, I could see the slimming effect. Black is always a great choice when it comes to flattering your figure. The color is automatically slenderizing. The material of the legging acted a bit like magic, seemingly trimming 10 lbs off my figure in an instant. It was time to grab my photog and hit the road! A word of warning, these pants are meant to be worn in cooler temperatures. I happened to shoot on a day that was bloody hot and I wouldn’t recommend that as spandex tends to trap heat.
I’ll admit I felt absolutely amazing in these pants. I could tell they were an instant hit by the reactions of people walking by. Fashion has a way of changing the way we feel. Menopause has been making me feel a bit puffy lately and these pants were an instant antidote. They did not only flatter my figure but they seemed to make my legs look even longer. Now that’s always a major bonus. I’ve rounded up my favorite pairs of skinny vegan leather leggings I’ve found online although I’m sticking with this pair from David Lerner. What I also love them is that they go with absolutely everything. From a simple tank top to a graphic t with a blazer – from sandals to a great pair of booties – a silk blouse or a fun sweater, the options are truly limitless. I added a pair of chokers from a brand I love, Awe Inspired, as they celebrate survivors. They’re simple yet always a standout. I love layering the necklaces together. Their latest Goddess Collection is filled with some special pieces and gorgeous medallions.
I decided to bring the pants along on a couple of trips I had planned. One was to Rivahil Winery with my dear friend, Jacqueline DePaul of Yellow Brick Runway and Loretta Sayers of The Countdown to 60. Be on the lookout for an upcoming post documenting our Fierce & Fabulous escapades. Jacqueline is one of the most stylish fashionistas I know and both she and her beau, Todd, were commenting on the pants and asked where she could grab a pair. There’s nothing like the validation of a highly esteemed fashionista to know you’re onto something! A couple of days later, I hit NYC with the Fohr Freshman Class and brought my leggings along. Once again, an instant hit! My millennial classmates remarked on my choice of David Lerner leggings and were quite surprised at how hip a 57-year-old could be. I’ll admit, that made me smile!
The road test proved this pair of leggings was a winner. I would highly encourage you to give this trend a try. I have a feeling it might become a mainstay in your wardrobe as it has in mine. The best part? No dieting required to look and feel as though you’ve trimmed at least 10 lbs off your figure. Try it for yourself and let me know your experience. Better yet, share a photo of you in your vegan leggings and tag me on social media. Cheers beauties…it’s a great way to add a bit of Moxie to Midlife!
beautiful and beautiful curves
WOWZA…. Catherine, can you look any better? I wished I would have seen this post with these fabulous vegan leggings before purchasing mine. They fit you like a glove. Do they have other choices of colours in the leggings? I would love a pair of metallic or silver ones.
Although you have a beautiful slim figure to start with. You certainly ROCK… those gladiator shoes, and that backpack is adorable as well. You have awesome taste in clothing.
You deserve every compliment that comes your way. You are so inspiring my beautiful friend. Xo
Catherine Grace O'Connell
Wowza…could you be any kinder??? You are such a beautiful light. Thank you for shining such love on me and the other women in our community. I’m grateful for you and I do love these leggings…clearly!
It is SO true how our clothes can make us feel fierce!! And you are SO fierce!
Catherine Grace O'Connell
Fierce and fabulous…right sister???
You look A-Mazing in those leggins girl! Love all the wonderful inspiration! Thank you!
Catherine Grace O'Connell
You are AMAZING! Thank you for your kind comments!
Babe, you rock these leggings. I love the backpack too. Of course I love the sweater. I love mine because it can be worn with so many outfits. You are so gorgeous. ❤️
Catherine Grace O'Connell
You would absolutely rock these as well. Thanks for inspiring the sweater purchase!!!