Have you ever wondered why is it that bad girls are always the ones wearing leather in your favourite movies and tv shows? Me too! So I did some digging……

I think the main reason so many bad girls wear leather on screen, is because when a director wants a bad girl in the film or tv show he needs that character to appear strong, dominant and powerful, as well as badass. And nothing says bad Girl better than a girl wearing black leather.

It also has a practical side. Leather is strong and perfect for bad girls running and fighting. The material also looks amazing on-screen as it captures the light and draws your attention to that bad girl (and her curves) and whatever she is doing. I cant imagine Catwoman jumping from rooftop to rooftop in a long flowing negligee or ball gown!

My Top Ten Bad Girls Wearing Leather

This is only my current top ten bad girls who wear leather on screen and there are thousands of others. And it will probably change by this time next week as there are just so many to choose from. But these are the ones that come to my mind and I have enjoyed time and time again. If you haven’t seen these bad girls in action, I highly recommend you do!

You’ll have to let me know yours.

How I Rated My Bad Girls In Leather

Bad Sandy From Grease

Ok so in truth she does only wear a leather jacket, her trousers are actually satin. But she personifies the good girl going bad so well. Standing there in front of Danny wearing a black leather bikers jacket, satin pants, blonde wig and a cigarette dangling from her ruby red lips she epitomises how hot a bad girl in leather can look. Especially as this is such a transformation from the butter wouldn’t melt Sandy, we see throughout most of the movie. In a strange way, it’s not until she steps out looking like this that John Travolta falls for her big time. Is it saying If you want the man you need to put on some leather? I hope so!

How To Get The Bad sandy Look

Trinity From The Matrix

I know! I know! There is no leather. But there is So much shiny PVC in this movie. (PVC is a lot cheaper). And, unlike a lot of leather wearing shows the matrix is actually an excellent film. She is wearing something tight and shiny throughout the entire trilogy. Such a great style and those long full-length coats are fabulous. She is certainly bad ass in the whole trilogy. And nothing stopping us replacing that fabulous long PVC trench coat with a leather one!

How To Get The Trinity Look

Buffy Summers Vampire Slayer

Maybe Buffy the vampire slayer isn’t the first thing that comes into the mind when thinking about the character wearing leather. But a quick watch and you will soon realise that Buffy is usually wearing some tight leather pants in most episodes. Usually to help with all those fight scenes I suspect. But it does help her look more mature and bad-ass particularly as the season’s progress. In fact, more and more leather is worn as the show goes on.

How To Get The Buffy Look

The Devil From Bedazzled

When I saw the poster for this movie with Elizabeth Hurley lounging on a car bonnet sipping brandy in a tight-fitting full-on red leather catsuit I knew I had to see this film! It is a little disappointing that she doesn’t wear the catsuit for the entire film. But seeing her in the red leather is amazing. Perhaps the only actress to wear a red leather catsuit ever! Plus as she is playing the devil she couldn’t be any more badass, could she?

How To Get The Devil Look

The Great Tyrant From Barbarella

The movie Barbarella is often quoted as being quite a trendsetter for its time and has certainly influenced many a movie since. Jane Fonda as the space kitten does wear some pretty far out outfits and the subject of many a boys fantasies (and some of us girls). But for me, the stand out moment was when Anita Pallenberg jumps out on-screen wearing some of the longest black leather gloves I had ever seen. She is a badass alright and struts about just as I imagine I do whenever I am wearing my long sexy leather gloves.

How To Get The Great Tyrant Look

Catwoman From The Dark Knight

Now she would probably have been top of my list if it wasn’t for the fact that she doesn’t actually wear leather in most of the various films and shows. In the original 1960s Adam West show (and movie) Catwoman wore a black glittery lycra type catsuit. In Batman returns, perhaps, her most famous appearance, where she was played so well by Michelle Pfeiffer, she wore latex, not leather. But it didn’t matter she was a magnificent bad ass Catwoman. Halle Berry wore lots of leather in the catwoman but the film is so bad its hard to watch, even with her dressed from head to toe in black leather.

In the dark knight returns, we did have Anne Hathaway in a more comic book based outfit that certainly did look more like leather. I liked how she played Catwoman but it still wasn’t quite up there with Michelles’ version, in my opinion. I am sure if you ask most people they would say Catwoman looks great in her leather catsuit so I guess it doesn’t matter if it wasn’t actually leather most of the time.

How To Get The Catwoman Look

Selene From Underworld

Bad girls wearing leather on screen don’t come much more powerful, bad-ass and dominant then Kate Beckinsale. Dressed up for practically all the movies in leather, latex and PVC. She strides about killing vampires like no one else and shows exactly what I’m talking about when it comes to the leather look giving the character power.

Get The Selene Look

Alexis Carrington From Dynasty

The wonderful Joan Collins playing a bitch in Dynasty was essential viewing back in the 1980s. Always immaculately dressed in something with massive shoulder pads and smoking a more 120 as she stole the entire show week after week. Maybe not an obviously overly leather dressed character perhaps. But she nearly always wore some leather. Usually wearing some butter soft short black or red leather gloves to go with her power jacket.

She does wear some leather trousers and skirts in a few episodes including some memorable brown leather trousers when she attempts to ‘sing’ a Marlene Dietrich number. If anyone shows the importance of wearing leather gloves at all times , she does. Plus Joan has often worn leather in all her shows and films making her a stand out bad girl in leather for me.

Get The Alexis Look

Cathy Gale

Probably should be my number one bad girl in leather. Just pipped at the post because she isn’t really a bad girl, mostly always on the good side. Played by the wonderful Honor Blackman as the ultimate Avenger back in the early 60’s. Working alongside the dapper John Steed she wears full leather outfits in almost every episode of this cult british tv show. She was advised to wear leather purely from a practical point of view to start with as the show was shot live in those days and it was the only material not going to rip in all the fighting etc.

A lot of people associate the avengers and the leather with the equally amazing Diana Rigg as Emma Peel , who took over from Honor when she left to film Goldfinger. But for me Honor wore the leather outfits the best (and more of them). Plus Honor Blackman often said that she liked wearing leather any way (and did until she passed away in 2020). Diana Rigg did only wear leather for 1 season and has always said she hated it, as it was too hot! So that’s why Honor takes the prize for me. Best leather wearing seasons are 2, 3 & 4.

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Barb Wire

Pamela Anderson Lee as the comic book heroine in the film Barbwire appeared to be perfectly cast as the leather clad, gun totting bad ass barb wire. She certainly looks the part and wears a ton of leather in almost every scene. She takes no nonsense from anyone and struts about in her leather thigh high boots and bust enhancing leathers like no other before her. Such a shame then that the actual movie was not well liked and no follow ups were ever made. The movie wasn’t great but boy did Pamela show exactly why bad girls wear leather on screen!

Get The Barb Wire Look

I could have gone on for many more (and I might well do in future blogs). But these are the first 10 bad girls in leather on screen that came to mind. So I guess for me they stand out. But there really are so many more in Arrow, Flash, Terminator 3, Gi Joe, Too hot to handle, Birds of Prey, Batgirl….so many.

Let me know yours

1 thought on “Why Do Bad Girls Wear Leather On Screen?”

  1. Thanks Tony x
    Cant argue with that. Honour Blackman for me because she was the first actress I saw wearing head to foot leather.

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