I’ve been dying to find the perfect pair of leather pants for the past two winters. After seeing style icons like Emmanuelle Alt pairing leather pants with a crisp Oxford shirt and heels and Kate Moss wearing hers with T-shirts and fur, I had the itch and it wouldn’t go away until I scratched it.
Unfortunately it is not easy to find the right pair of leather pants (or pleather leggings, if we’re being honest). They can be too baggy, too tight, too cheap-looking, or, in my case, too expensive. The first pair I bought from H&M were too big so I rarely wore them. Finally I lucked out with the perfect-fitting pair from Zara: they were stretchy enough to be comfy, had a soft inner lining, and were under $50! Sorry -- they’re sold out now.
Now that I’ve finally found my perfect pair of leather pants, I’ve been wearing them even more than I thought it would. They’ve turned out to be surprisingly versatile, no matter what your style is.
In case you’d like some inspiration, here are four different ways that I like to style my leather pants.
Make It Cozy
This outfit, or some variation of it, is basically my Fall 2014 Weekend Look. I wear this for taking my little siblings apple picking, going to the flea market, getting coffee with friends… Basically any weekend event that requires me to not be in pajamas.
The boots make it practical enough for all sorts of weather (especially since I live in the country), the leather pants are a fun alternative to skinny jeans but just as comfy, and a fluffy sweater in white or pale pink keeps me warm while toning down the leather pants a little.
Keep It Casual
This is my go-to casual look before it gets too chilly (and then I’ll probably just add a hoodie or my favorite green military jacket from H&M).
It’s perfect for running around doing boring errands, like getting groceries or walking the dog. Sometimes the temptation to wear pajamas in public gets overwhelmingly strong, so it’s nice to have a basic outfit like this that looks sort of cool and put-together but is actually just leggings, sneakers, and a T-shirt. All you need is one or two statement pieces -- like leather leggings or like my Comme des Garcons Play Converse -- to take an errand-running outfit from basic to badass.
Now, I would never suggest wearing leather pants to work -- mainly because I know I’d get driven away with pitchforks. However, they’re not impossible to dress up for a casual weekend meeting during which you want to intimidate/seduce the new kid at the firm over coffee (Cary Agos keeps popping up in my head here for some reason but I cannot imagine Alicia Florrick wearing leather pants. If only). Fine, I obviously don’t know much about dressing for the office beyond business casual, but I still really like this preppy-meets-rocker look.
I paired the leather pants with black patent loafers, my Altuzarra for Target button-up that I’ve been getting a lot of wear out of, a navy blazer and a trench coat.
Stick To All Black
This was my favorite outfit -- the one that felt most “me.” It’s also the easiest way to style leather pants. I wear variations of this look for dates all winter long and feel sexy even though I’m entirely covered up.
As long as you keep your makeup fresh and natural looking -- you know, with rosy cheeks and lips rather than a ton of black eyeliner -- and choose polished clothing items, I promise you won’t look like a goth rocker pirate or whatever. Instead you’ll look urban and sophisticated.
All I’m wearing here is a black sweater, black scarf, black heels, and my favorite black Zara coat, but the look isn’t boring because of all the little details involved: the black faux fur collar, the gold buttons and zippers, and the shine of the leather. That’s how you make all-black interesting: play with different textures to create depth. And that is why you need leather pants.
Lastly, here a few additional leather pants/leggings for you to choose from at various price points:
How do you feel about leather pants or leggings? Do you own a pair? I’d love to hear how you wear them.