Posted on: December 15, 2023 Posted by: Comments: 0

I’ve become a woman possessed—I simply must own a pair of leather trousers this year. It’s really rare that this kind of desire sweeps over me. For a fashion editor, I actually buy very little. So when the urge comes, I know I should follow it, as 99.9% of the time, it results in a sensible purchase that I’ll get plenty of wear out of for years to come.

Once upon a time, leather trousers were the ultimate in discomfort. One can’t help but instantly conjure up images of Ross from Friends and his leather-pant disaster when considering them. But since then the technology behind the hides and fabrics used has moved on leaps and bounds (stretch leather and leather-blends are a thing of absolute genius), and we’re now at a point where the association with talcum powder is all but obliterated. 

The other factor that is also helping to push this look further is the introduction of high-quality vegan leather designs. Cult brand Nanushka could be accredited with really spearheading this movement, but you’ll now find cool faux-leather iterations across designer houses and at high street stores—I’ve noticed Mango is particularly good for them. 

Keep scrolling to shop out the best leather trousers from designer brands, affordable stores and also faux-leather creations.

Style Notes: A quick glance on social media will only prove how popular leather trousers have become in recent years, second only to jeans maybe, as the top trouser choice of influencers right now. Browse e-commerce sites such as Net-a-Porter or MatchesFashion and you’ll see that there is a plethora of different styles, silhouettes and colours. As a category, the styles available have really opened up. Not so long along the only leather trousers en vogue were just skinny and tight, like a pair of spray-on jeans. These days you’ll find leather joggers, wide-leg cuts, cropped flares, tapered legs, paper-bag waists, and all sorts of colours, ranging from classic black or cream through brown, snake-print, burgundy, croc-embossed, pastels and much more. My favourite classics can be found below.

One of FRAME’s most popular and most versatile silhouettes, reimagined in leather. This pair also gets bonus points for being made from recycled materials. 

The long wider-leg cut and high-waist fit give these a timeless appeal. 

The thick leather and mid-leg seam give these a hint of Seventies rock’n’roll flair. 

These are a minimalist’s dream, with a touch of Scandi-inspired laidback cool. 

Joseph is known for making timeless pieces that last, and their leather trousers are a brilliant example. 

Style Notes: Real leather is, of course, inherently more expensive thanks to the premium nature of the fabric. But it is possible to find some leather trousers at the more affordable end of the spectrum on the high street—think hundreds rather than thousands. 

The slight flare on these understated trousers gives them a hint of Seventies style. 

It’s not easy to find 100% leather with this universally flattering fit. 

Trust Reformation to make leather pants looks effortlessly cool. 

I love the seam detailing, and the fact they’re made using an environmentally friendly chrome-free tanning process.

These loose leather trousers would be perfect for layering under a chunky, oversized knit. 

Style Notes: Prefer a “vegan” option? Opt for faux styles, which have come an extremely long way in the last few years. Gone are the days of plastic-y finishes. Now faux-leathers can be just as buttery soft as the real thing, and top designers like Nanushka and Stella McCartney are embracing this more planet-friendly option. 

Suiting trousers, but make it (faux) leather. 

Stella McCartney has long led the charge on vegan leather—this jean-like pair is made with 62% recycled fibers and forest-friendly viscose. 

Another vegan pioneer, Nanushka’s cropped pair have just the right amount of shine. 

Trust Zara to have the coolest faux leather options for the best price. 

The shape and texture of these make them look more vintage than faux. 

I’m obsessed with the croc-effect. 

This was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Next up: Autumn Is Here—12 Simple Items You Don’t Want to Be Without

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