It’s amazing to me how I never get bored with pants. Such a simple, unobtrusive little garment and yet there are enough interesting varieties that, year after year, I’m fixated. Historically, I’ve had my moment with slouchy boyfriends, colored denim, and harem pants to name a few. But this season, it’s all about the leather pant for me.
Back in the late 90s my girlfriends and I (on our mini high school budgets) used to scour Wilson’s Leather and the Bebe outlet for discounted bootcut leather pants. Last year I threw out about 12 pairs, which now I’m thinking was a wee bit hasty. Thankfully, to lessen my regret, the leather pant today looks pretty different than it did in 2002. And even better, there’s a version for everyone.
First style up to the bat—the amazing (how-have-I-never-conceived-of-this-before??) slouchy leather pant. Shown by a score of designers for fall, this is perhaps the most ingenious way to wear leather—a cool, casual, oh-so-flippant, I just threw this on sort of affair. Why wear sweats when you can wear leather, right? My absolute, hands-down favorite purchase this fall is a pair of these leather “sweatpants,” baggy, drop-crotch, and insanely comfortable. This easy look takes away that vampy, scary factor that might deter the regular girl from wearing leather.
Another variation of the leather pant is the kind that’s almost office appropriate. Almost. It’s the cropped baby bell. I adore this silhouette! It’s new, fresh, and something we haven’t seen in several years with all the ubiquitous skinnies around. Pair these leather pants with button up shirts and pumps, and you can wear this look anywhere. Almost.
Finally, for the femme fatales and rocker chicks out there, we’ve got the leather legging or skinny pant. My favorite way to wear leather leggings is with oversized sweatshirts, fair isle sweaters (naturally), men’s shirts, and blazers. The pair I’m obsessed with this season has a combined sock attached to the pant, almost like a legwarmer! Sort of crazy, yes, but don’t worry if you’re more faint of heart; there are tons of skinny “partial” leather options for you too—combined knit and leather leggings, leather paneled leggings, or even just regular old skinny jeans with leather pockets.
And of course, don’t shy away from the fantastic faux leather and waxed/coated pants available this season. They have the same effect at a fraction of the cost. Even if you want to shell out for a pair of real leather pants though, the good news is it’s the end of the season and there are bunches on sale right now. And in a variety of colors other than black: berry (or oxblood, sigh), cobalt, and navy.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t leave you with a word of warning about leather: go easy on the leopard-stud-leather pairings! The goal, after all, is to look more Givenchy than Hell’s Angel. I hope.