Leather Pants: A Style Guide

Leather Pants styling

Your mom was wrong—leather pants aren’t just for rockstars. This luxe fabric adds a chic quality to any outfit, especially in pants form. Not to mention, they’re the perfect office-to-date-night transition piece.

Not sure how to bring leather into your pants collection? It all comes down to how you style it. Depending on your outfit, leather pants can work as an elevated basic, a complimentary piece, or the star of your style show. If you’re ready to rock these chic women’s bottoms (pun intended), then dive into our complete guide on how to style leather pants. 

Step One: Know Your Leather

Before you dive (or wiggle) into leather pants, it’s important to know your fabric. The more you know about this textile, the better you can pick leather pants that actually fit your wardrobe.

Technically, leather is any fabric made from the treated hides and skins of animals.1 As a vegan alternative, designers use non-animal fibers like polyurethane, nylon, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to create the same texture and look as real leather. But whether it’s vegan or animal-made, leather usually has these textile qualities:

  • Durable, stronger than cotton, rayon, or silk
  • Warming, retaining heat from the body and providing low breathability
  • Inelastic, giving little stretch 
  • Antiallergic, due to its natural material
  • Nonabsorbent, resisting liquids 

Because of its excellent strength and insulation, leather is best to wear in colder seasons. However, this material can truly go year round! You just need the right thickness and styling to build your weather-appropriate outfit.

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Step Two: Choose a Flattering Design

Like all pants, a good pair of leather pants all starts with the right fit. Every silhouette and body shape is uniquely beautiful—and there’s an equally beautiful leather pair of pants to match! The different styles reigning from this leather trend—from leather trousers to leather leggings, black leather pants or brown leather pants, etc—create an endless amount of outfit ideas.   

Even if you aren’t a perfect rectangle or pear, your body shape can still point towards leather pants that let your beauty shine.2 Check out these silhouette categories to find your most flattering fit.

Pear Shape

Wider on the bottom, slimmer on the top? Always need to size up your pants over your shirts? Often hear compliments on your curvaceous booty? Then you might have a lovely and feminine pear-shaped body. 

Women with bigger hips and legs may shrink from the ideas of figure-hugging leather pants—but there’s nothing to fear here. There are plenty of leather pants cuts that compliment those beautiful lower curves. Try these narrowing tips for your outfit:

  • Go high-waisted – With such beautiful curves, you should show them off! Choose high-waisted pants that emphasize and elongate your waistline for a graceful silhouette.
  • Balance your lower body – To balance your proportions, seek leather pants that narrow and streamline your lower half. Designs with dark colors, matte textures, minimalist pockets, and vertical stitching all create a streamlined look.
  • Highlight your upper half – For more proportional balance, bring a little more attention to your upper body. Go for very high or low necklines, bright colors, interesting structure, or cutouts that emphasize your shoulders and chest. 

Apple Shape

An apple-licious body has wide shoulders, full busts, slim legs, and full waistlines. This silhouette is very romantic, usually playing well with flowy fabrics. However, that doesn’t mean leather pants can’t complement your shape.

When it comes to bottoms for apple-shaped bodies, it’s all about emphasizing your legs and hips. Go for looks with leather pants that can balance your upper and lower halves, such as:

  • Draw the eye – Play up your narrow bottom half with eye-catching designs! Pick leather pants with bold colors, bright patterns, or pocket details to make your legs and hips pop.
  • Go wide – Balance your romantically rounded upper body with some width below. Leave the skinnies behind and choose flared pants or wide-legged pants to balance out a larger chest and torso.
  • Go mid-rise – To complement and counter a larger middle, look for leather pants that hit the spot right below your waistline.

Rectangular or Ruler Shape

Long, straight, and even-all-over—that’s the beautiful ruler-shaped body. This athletic figure is usually lean and low on curves, with equal width of shoulders, chest, and hips. The effect is a very elegant figure that often appears tall.

When picking leather pants, rectangular bodies are a beautiful canvas to create different shapes and silhouettes. Rather than minimizing any body part, consider balancing your shape with these tips:

  • Minimize your waist – If evenly wide all over, you can create a narrower middle by not emphasizing your waist. Pick low-waisted or mid-waisted joggers, straight-legged pants, or flared pants to fill out your lower half. 
  • Add some flair – With slimmer legs, you can add some dimension with fun designs. Pick a bright color, bold pattern, or cool pocket designs to accentuate your legs’ curves.
  • Round it out – When your body’s lines are straight, round designs soften any edges. Curved pockets, scoop necks, and cap sleeves all bring dimension to a lean shape.

Hourglass Shape

Hello, bombshell! If you’re wide on top, slim in the middle, and curvy on the bottom, then you have the classic hourglass body shape. 

With this proportional silhouette, your clothing should complement what’s already there. Consider these hourglass-friendly designs that can elongate or accentuate your curves:

  • Play up your waist – Let that hourglass shine with some serious waist accentuation. Belts, high-waisted pants, and darker colors all play up that narrow waist.
  • Go fitted – Your body is beautifully curvy—so celebrate it! Skip pants that skim over your waist and hips, and pick designs that gently hug your silhouette. Similarly, leave flowy tops and sleeves behind for pieces that cinch your body’s narrowest points.
  • Strike a balance – With your proportional features, you don’t need to go super wide or super narrow. Pick mid-width pants designs like flares, boot-cut, or split-hem pants.

Step Three: Pick Your Vibe

So, you've picked out the best leather pants for you and you want to wear them—but you don’t want to look like the newest member of a motorcycle club. Where to even begin? Whether you’re looking for how to style mom jeans, a wide leg pants outfit, or leather bottoms, it all depends on the occasion and the vibe. 

Despite their reputation, leather pants are incredibly versatile, all thanks to the variety of designs out there. Whether you’re dressing for the office or a hot date, these textured bottoms can take you there in style. In fact, you probably already own some pieces that would work perfectly with a fresh pair.

Ready to saddle up? Consider some of these outfit ideas to let your leather pants shine:

Go Business Casual

They may have a fun-loving reputation, but leather pants can give a professional sheen to your work wardrobe. Their sleek texture, heavy structure, and full coverage give that effortlessly chic yet safe-for-work feel. Wow the office with a business casual leather pants look:

  • Bottoms – Straight or wide-leg leather pants
  • Top – Turtleneck or fitted long sleeve blouse
  • Outerwear – Blazer
  • Shoes – Heeled boots or closed-toe pumps
  • Accessories – Leather belt; simple jewelry (chain necklaces, small hoops, etc.); leather shoulder bag

To tuck or not to tuck? That is the question. When choosing whether to tuck in your shirt, it’s best to follow your ideal silhouette. Emphasize your waist by tucking, skim over curves by untucking, or go for a half-tuck for the perfect medium.

Glam It Up

If there’s one aesthetic made for leather pants, it’s glamour. Whether in small or large doses, leather just gives that extra oomph to any outfit. Make an unforgettable entrance by playing up this material’s luxury with this outfit:

  • Bottoms – Skinny or straight leather pants with high sheen and 
  • Top – Silk blouse, silk camisole, or upscale crop top
  • Outerwear – Trench coat or leather jacket
  • Shoes – High heels or platform shoes
  • Accessories – Statement jewelry (chain bracelets, precious metals, etc.); clutch bag 

Stay Cozy and Covered

Another way to style your favorite pair of leather bottoms is to go for the cozy look. Despite its “tough girl” appearance, leather is actually pretty cozy! This fabric has some excellent heat retention properties, keeping you warm during the chilly months. Even better? Leather pants can be comfortable—you just need a flexible fit.

From the pumpkin patch to the fireplace, stay cozy with a cold-weather leather pants look:

  • Bottoms – Wide-leg or jogger leather pants
  • Top – Cable-knit oversized sweater or turtleneck
  • Outerwear – Parka or winter coat
  • Shoes – Flat or heeled boots
  • Accessories – Cozy hats; metallic jewelry; simple cross-body bag

Keep It Elegant

Elegant is just one step from simple—and that step is a sleek piece like leather pants. Pull on some structured leather pants, and you’ll be saying je suis Paris. Start with these pieces to pull together your most classy leather look:

  • Bottoms – Wide or straight-leg leather pants with low sheen
  • Top – Fitted blouse, thin knit top, or matching leather top
  • Outerwear – Thin blazer or full-length coat
  • Shoes – Heeled boots, pumps, or closed-toe flats
  • Accessories – Sunglasses; metallic jewelry; small crossbody bag or handbag

Rock Your Leather Looks with VICI

Whether you identify as boho, preppy, or punk, leather women’s pants have a spot in your closet—it all depends on how you style them. Add this sleek staple to your wardrobe, and you’ll have a new pair of pants to take you to the office, the neighborhood restaurant, or your favorite reading nook.

Down with the leather look? VICI can help you wiggle in. Our leather pants are 100% vegan, coming in unique designs that accentuate your features. Choose between flared, split-hem, joggers, and more to rock your best fit. And while you’re at it, find the perfect shoes or cute tops to match. After all, those pants deserve an equally cute outfit.

Build your dream mix-and-match closet by exploring the entire VICI collection today.



Sources:

  1. Masterclass. Fabric Guide: Learn About Leather. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/learn-about-leather
  2. The Concept Wardrobe. Determine Your Body Shape(s). https://theconceptwardrobe.com/build-a-wardrobe/determine-your-body-shapes

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