Styling Leather Pants
10 Ways To Wear Leather Pants
You may not realize it yet, but a good pair of leather pants can be a staple of your wardrobe. This iconic item of clothing is pretty versatile and can elevate just about any look. There are many ways to style an outfit incorporating this beautiful material. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.
Leather Pants Are for Everyone
No matter your personal style or your age, a pair of leather bottoms can work for you. Just one pair can transform your entire wardrobe and give you a whole new look. It’s never too late to start having fun with fashion.
Whether you lean towards traditional, hippie, punk, or trendy ensembles, you can incorporate leather in a way that complements your style. Leather comes in many different colors, textures, and cuts, giving it the range to pair with anything and everything. Keep it classy or get wild with the right pair of leather pants.
Go Timeless With Leather and Lace
As immortalized by Stevie Nicks and Waylon Jennings, this combination will go down in history. The beauty is in the contrast of these materials. Leather and lace go together surprisingly well, and both come in a lot of variations.
You can incorporate the lace any way you like. A lace top, wrap, or tights will all get the point across. There are myriad styles of lace to choose from as well, from the most delicate to the more sturdy stuff. You can even find patterns of lace ranging from florals to spider webs.
Standard black leather pants act as a great backdrop to show off the lace. You can choose any color of lace on top. Black lace on black leather can be very gothic, while cream lace on top can give off a totally different vibe. To expand your options even further, you can experiment with different colors of leather.
Ground Yourself in Brown Leather
Brown leather gives you a much more earthy look because of its natural coloring. It’s not quite as severe as black leather. Brown leather can range from light taupe to a deep chestnut. On the search for brown leather pants, you may also come across suede pants — a close cousin.
Brown leather pairs easily with warm colors and neutrals. You can also get away with a lot of fibrous textures, such as knits. A pair of mahogany leather pants and a chunky turtleneck of your choice can create a nice cozy look in the winter.
Outfits comprised of brown leather bottoms and crochet tops are reminiscent of Y2K fashion, popular with a lot of celebrities at the time. This type of look has definitely come back around. Regardless of the particular style, brown leather will be around forever.
Experiment With Textured Leather Pants
This is where things get exciting. Textured leather can include snakeskin, alligator skin, or even cowhide. Depending on the print on the animal, you can get a lot of different colors and patterns in the leather. It’s an excellent way to add depth.
Take cowhide, for example. This can come in black and white, brown and white, plain black, or mottles of all three colors. There’s a lot of bold contrast in these patterns, and the short smooth hairs provide an amazing texture. A pair of cowhide leather pants will be a statement piece in your wardrobe.
Various types of reptilian leather feature interesting and subtle textures. In particular, snakeskin is also beautifully patterned. These types of leather are most often used for shoes and accessories, but jackets and pants are not out of the question.
Don All Leather Everything
If you’re going to wear leather pants, why not go head-to-toe leather? Lean into it. You don’t have to worry about figuring out what matches if everything you are wearing is all-black leather. There’s no shortage of leather apparel out there, including caps, vests, jackets, pants, chaps, or shoes.
With the immense variety of cuts and types of leather, a full leather outfit doesn’t have to lean towards a fetish-wear look, although there’s no shame if that’s what you’re going for. Imagine how classy a pair of boot-cut leather pants, square-heeled leather boots, and a long, tailored leather jacket would look together, especially if they incorporated different textures.
Keep in mind, this may be a look for more advanced leather users. You want to make sure you are familiar with leather before going all out. Keeping it maintained and choosing quality leather is key for avoiding squeaks while walking and ensuring comfortable movement.
Wrap Yourself in Leather and Chains
This is a fun option for a more edgy style and can often go hand-in-hand with a full leather outfit. This type of look is inspired by the biker community. Bikers have historically worn leather for practical reasons, and it soon became a cultural phenomenon.
There are various ways to mix leather pants and metal such as studs or chains. It often comes down to accessorizing. Chains attached to points at the waist are common and can also be attached to your wallet for extra security. Chain belts are another good option, using any type of metal.
Studded leather will give you more of a punk look. You can go subtle with a few studs at the pockets or rock out with full stripes. If you don’t want permanent studs on your leather pants, you can easily add a studded leather belt. Don’t forget that there are different stud sizes, as well — some get pretty tall.
Get Casual in Leather and Denim
Leather and denim are two sturdy and timeless materials. Lucky for you, they also go great together. They balance each other out, which allows you to give your leather a more casual vibe. This is a fun look for fall. Pair a jean jacket with your leather pants, and you’re ready for the pumpkin patch.
Make sure you are pairing the right denim wash with the leather. It’s always safe to put together “opposites” in this circumstance. A light wash pairs well with black leather, and a dark wash goes great with lighter, brown leather.
Certain designers may even put the leather and denim together for you in a pair of pants. Piecing together the two materials in a sort of patchwork is a bold look that won’t disappoint. All you would need is a plain white tee to show this combination off.
Surprise Everyone in Dyed Leather
If you love wearing colorful things, this doesn’t mean you have to give up on leather pants. It’s common practice to dye leather, so you can find leather bottoms in many colorful variations. Just think about leather purses and how many colors they come in — the same process applies.
Imagine the statement a pair of bright red leather pants would make. Rich color brings a whole new attitude to your leather look, adding a touch of luxury and high fashion. Mixing leather with other materials, like satin or velvet, allows you to wear interesting mono-color outfits, as well.
As always, don’t forget to use your color wheel when putting together a look. Keep in mind how to work with shades, opposites, and complementary colors. Try to limit yourself to three different families of colors per ensemble.
Wear Leather Pants Without the Leather
Although plenty of leather is ethically sourced, it’s still not for everyone. However, if you are against wearing leather, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. There are plenty of vegan leather options to give you the same look and feel of leather:
- Microfiber Leather: Very common in the fashion world, this synthetic leather is made of polyurethane resin and is known to resist creasing.
- Pleather: Also known as plastic leather, this is most commonly made out of a polyurethane film.
- Fruit Leather: Believe it or not, you can make leather out of fruit! One of the most prevalent is pineapple leather, but you can also find apple, mango, and banana variations.
In many cases, you can’t even tell the difference. With advances in textile manufacturing technology, more options for leather alternatives are available every day. A lot of the time, vegan leather is slightly easier to work with and allows designers to come up with stylish new configurations of leather pants.
Patent leather tends to be made with synthetic alternatives most of the time. A truly bold material, this type of leather is not for the timid. Patent leather is especially fun to wear on a night out, allowing the shiny surface to catch and reflect the light. No one will be able to take their eyes off you on the dance floor.
Modernize With an Alternative Cut
You are in no way limited to the plain old boot cut, mid-rise leather pants you may be imagining. These days, they come in every waist height, cut, and style you can imagine. You can even find leather plants with gathers or pleats. This can give you a much softer look if that is what you prefer.
Many leather pants are cut like trousers these days, as well. This allows you to bring leather to the professional sphere. If you think you can get away with it, try out leather trousers at the office. With a simple button-down, your boss might not even notice right away.
As an example, leather harem pants have made a splash on the scene. This is an excellent style to apply to leather, especially if you are worried about breathability and leather clinging to your legs. Pair these with a simple black tank and you have a truly unique look.
Defy Seasonality With Leather Shorts
What are shorts, if not shortened pants? A good pair of leather shorts allows you to wear leather bottoms while letting your legs breathe. Carry your leather passion into all seasons, including the summer. Typically, you’ll find high-waisted options of leather shorts.
You can pair leather shorts with tights for extra flair. Black tights or stockings lend a subtle layering effect. For a mod look, try a pair of colorful opaque tights. The ability to layer tights makes these shorts a great candidate for the leather-and-lace combination, as well.
Leather shorts make putting together a full leather outfit a little less intimidating for some. With a vest and some boots, you’ve got a cool all-leather look without feeling overwhelmed by this material.
Incorporating Leather Into Your Wardrobe
You don’t want to skimp on quality when it comes to leather pants. Whether you are buying real or vegan leather, this is one item in your wardrobe where fit and material are extra important. Most types of leather and pleather don’t have a lot of give and can be uncomfortable if not constructed properly.
Learning to maintain your new leather clothing is also important. Leather should age like fine wine and become more comfortable with time. Of course, it will need your help. Keep your leather moisturized with a special conditioner and preserve it with a leather protectant.
Laundry day for leather is quite different. You don’t want to wash your leather pants as often as you would your other clothing items. Depending on the exact type of leather, your pants may be dry clean only. There are techniques for spot cleaning, as well. Some leather can be washed delicately in cold water and laid out to dry or rubbed down with a solution of vinegar and water.
Find Quality Leather Pants
Try to stay away from fast fashion when sourcing your leather bottoms. Again, the quality of the material is especially important for this type of garment. At the same time, a lot of brands will overinflate pricing just because something is leather. You need to find the middle ground and purchase from a retailer you trust and whose design choices you admire.
Turn to Kate Hewko for unique and stylish options of premium leather pants. Browse our boutique collections and find quality pieces without the runway price tag. You’ll be sure to wow your friends and family with your newfound leather fashion sense.