Few pieces of clothing can claim to have the same enduring appeal as a great pair of leather pants. Of course, there are closet staples such as classic blue jeans or a structured blazer that every woman ought to have in her arsenal, but leather pants somehow feel both essential and exciting. They were a core part of the greaser uniform in the 1950s before being co-opted by rock ’n’ roll and punk royalty in the ’70s and ’80s. Fast-forward to 2022 and they’re as relevant as ever – a testament to their transcendence and timeless design.
In recent seasons, designers have been moving away from more body-conscious cuts in favor of straight and wide-leg styles with an inherent sense of ease. Crucially, these updated leather pants are also even easier to style than their predecessors. Take your cues from tastemaker Alice Barbier (pictured in opening image, far right) and team straight-leg leather pants with a flight jacket and mini bag in an earthy palette – an individualist take on city style.
It’s also worth noting that, while black is still the de facto shade when it comes to leather pants, increasingly, more designers are playing with neutral tones, too. Goldsign, the LA-based label that excels at premium denim pieces, has reimagined its cult high-waist silhouette in a 50 percent recycled-leather blend. Style the versatile shade of taupe with a simple black blouse, wool blazer and mules for an effortless desk-to-dinner look. Meanwhile, Chloé’s chic, tailored leather pants in a warming shade of brown have a dressed-up feel to them. Take cues from the styling on the runway and pair with a cream-colored knitted tank and penny loafers, plus a trench coat and chunky gold jewelry to complete the look.
Elsewhere, pioneering labels are offering rich, inky shades in a variety of vintage cuts. The Row’s sleek, flared leather pants have ’70s appeal and are sure to become a go-to in your closet for date nights and dancing until dawn. Pair with a second-skin sweater, glossy black ankle boots and statement silver rings. Meanwhile, Loewe’s ‘Balloon’ tapered leather pants are inspired by the voluminous shapes of the ’80s. The roomy fit is perfect for layering over tights on cold winter days, and looks cool with the label’s graphic-print tops and combat boots. For a piece with an air of ’90s rebellion, look no further than Dodo Bar Or. The supple, straight-leg ‘Wrandy’ pants have an understated glossy finish that can easily be dressed up or down. Style with a chunky sweater and white sneakers for an elevated, casual look, or wear with a bustier and colorful strappy sandals after dark.
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