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The Fashion Memo

10 of the best 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

Fashion

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 ’50s 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. It’s fitting, then, that leather pants dominated the runways for FW18, a season defined by a mood of strength and defiance. This is how to wear them now…

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Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini FW18

Day to night

Leather pants might seem like a daunting proposition, but you’d be surprised just how wearable a classic black pair can be. If you’re looking to take your off-duty look up a notch, opt for the cropped styles championed by labels such as Frame, J Brand and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini. These look great with a white tank top and elevated slides for a luxe daytime look. If long lunches stretch into the evening, simply add crystal-encrusted statement earrings and kitten heels – you’ll be ready for wherever the night takes you.

  • J Brand
    Alana cropped leather skinny pants
    $1,000.00
  • RE/DONE
    Ribbed cotton-jersey tank
    $75.00
  • By Malene Birger
    Congoe striped knitted cardigan
    $450.00
  • Gucci
    Princetown horsebit-detailed leather slippers
    $695.00

After dark

Souped-up leather pants are the cool girl’s alternative to traditional evening attire. From Saint Laurent’s lust-worthy cropped version to Rejina Pyo’s paper-bag-waist designs, these game-changing pants don’t scrimp on attitude. Soften your look and play with proportions by adding a romantic, billowing blouse or second-skin top – the contrast is compelling. When it comes to accessories, keep it simple; classic pointed pumps and a miniature 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.

  • Stella McCartney
    Faux leather straight-leg pants
    $925.00
  • Orseund Iris
    Drama cropped satin blouse
    $525.00
  • Gu_de
    Edie croc-effect leather shoulder bag
    $480.00
  • Saint Laurent
    Zoe suede pumps
    $625.00
Saint Laurent FW18

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