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The Fashion Memo

How to wear leather pants

Patent or matte, cropped or flared: this season’s leather pant options are endless

Synonymous with cowboys, biker gangs and rock legends, leather pants will inject your closet with some rebellious spirit – and they’re surprisingly wearable, too


Leather pants have a colorful history. First sported by cowboys in frontier times, their association with wild behavior is an integral part of their DNA. A symbol of rebellion, they enjoyed a renaissance in the 1950s, when they became part of the greaser uniform, and again in the ’70s as the go-to choice for rock ’n’ roll and punk royalty. And while men may have kicked off this trend, it’s women who really made it their own. Through the decades, leather pants have become a style signature for iconic rebels including Joan Jett, Chrissie Hynde, Marianne Faithfull and Kate Moss. Ever a symbol of strength, leather pants are a fitting addition to new-season wardrobes; for FW20, the silhouettes have loosened up, seamlessly blending the comfortable slouch of casualwear with leather’s buttery soft smartness. This is how to wear them now…

Day to night

Leather takes on a new statement in decadent, earthy tones. From Bottega Veneta’s rich browns to Isabel Marant’s desert sands and Gucci’s lacquered flares in a poppy red, these versatile pants don’t scrimp on attitude. Play with proportions by adding a second-skin top – the contrast is compelling. When it comes to accessories, keep it simple; classic slip-on heels and a padded clutch will ensure that these trophy pieces get the attention they deserve. Beauty should be similarly minimal – a red lip teamed with slicked-back hair is our tip.

After dark

Leather pants might seem like an unusual evening proposition, but you’d be surprised at just how wearable a classic black pair of pants can be. If you’re looking for a new silhouette, opt for this season’s most sought-after wide-leg styles, championed by the likes of Loewe and Petar Petrov. These look great with a simple white tank top and heeled thongs for effortless after-dark look. Simply add gold-tone earrings and a tailored blazer and you’ll be ready for wherever the night takes you.


The models featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown