Leather jeans can pose quite a fashion statement. They can be an exciting DIY project or, depending on preference, a shop/designer purchase. I’ve learned about their history and functionality, making them a fun choice for most wardrobes.
Leather jeans are a piece of clothing intended to be worn on the legs. They are typically form-fitting, made from natural or faux leather, and range in price from about $20-$1,000. A variety of styles are available for men and women, generally reflecting a forward-thinking, edgy taste in fashion.
Let’s take a look into the many different types and styles of leather jeans and leather pants available today.
What Are Leather Jeans?
Leather jeans are a type of pants, intended to be worn on the legs. They are often form-fitting, providing a unique feel to the wearer, and recognizable visual appearance. Some are made from natural leather, while a fair amount are made from synthetic (faux) leathers; construction from faux leather allows for lower costs and easier maintenance, making them accessible to far more wearers and in many more styles.
Through their history, leather pants have been synonymous with many different groups and subcultures, from the working class to hedonistic rock and rollers, celebrities, and high fashion models. Today, they’re a staple for those who want to look fashion-forward, edgy, and a little classy
There have been many trends in fashion history that rise again and again… and again 🙂 Leather jeans are certainly included, with various opinions from every fashion-conscious corner of preferences that appear: are they tacky? Chic? Taboo? Iconic?
All opinions considered, leather jeans are a fashion staple, popping up on fall/winter runways year after year.
What to Look For in a Pair of Leather Jeans
There are a few important factors to consider when deciding to buy a pair of leather pants. Let’s check them out:
Leather pants are usually made of natural animal leather. Occasionally, exotic leathers are integrated into leather jean designs, for both aesthetic or functional benefits. However, they are most often made from common bovine leather. Natural leather pants usually can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
Thanks to fast fashion, it’s also possible to purchase faux leather pants. These are most commonly made from synthetic materials such as plastics (vinyl). They are much less costly to manufacture, faster to produce, and require only minimal maintenance. Thus, they have become quite popular and are available in a number of colors and finishes.
Leather pants are usually form-fitting due to the nature of their material; they sit close to the body. This can also be an advantage as they provide an aesthetic and feel unlike most other materials. Additionally, relaxed-fit leather pants can be found for those who would prefer to avoid having to grease themselves just to squeeze into their pants. Comfort is an option too 🙂 Relaxed-fit leather pants can be found in the same cuts as any other popular type of jeans or pants.
Types of Leather Jeans
Leather jeans come in a variety of finishes and materials, making it likely you’ll find something enjoyable to wear. They can be sleek and plain, or flashy and embellished, and really fit your personal preferences and style. Below we’ll take a closer look at some of the more popular types of leather jeans.
Faux Leather Pants
If you’re not looking to spend hundreds of dollars on leather jeans, many fast-fashion retailers, along with retailers looking to cater to those avoiding animal products, offer faux leather pants. These pants are typically made from synthetic materials, most commonly plastics, and usually come in a wider array of colors or finishes.
Since they are lower-cost than natural leather, and often easier to maintain, vinyl pants can be an excellent and fun option.
Vinyl pants are a type of faux leather pants. Slightly different than PU leather (which includes plastic leather over a natural leather base), vinyl pants are all plastic with additives that can determine color, texture, and finish of the material.
Vinyl pants are generally less “breathable” than natural leather pants. The plastic does not let air to pass through the fibers, thus, wearers might feel warmer in vinyl pants. As a benefit, they are often highly water-resistant and very easy to clean, which is very-welcomed to many wearers.
Leather Pants Outfit
If you’re wondering how you’d style such a bold addition to your closet, I’ve got some ideas for you!
Leather pants are one of the most versatile garments in the world, second only to denim jeans. They can dress an outfit up or down and can be part of an outfit for almost any occasion.
Pairing leather pants with a leather jacket gives off an ultra-cool, edgy vibe. If you’re going for less edgy and more effortless cool, leather pants paired with a t-shirt feels classically rock and roll. Both of these options dress the pants down and make them more wearable in casual settings.
If sophisticated is more your style, wearing leather pants with a sweater makes for an instant holiday party look that keeps you warm, and an elegant top plus leather pants equals instant glam. Leather jeans with a classy top is an instant club or party outfit!
One of the most common style suggestions about leather pants is to avoid wearing them to work, but even this advice evolves – you CAN wear leather pants to work. Opt for a neutral blazer, a flowy top, and matte leather pants, and you’re got a polished professional look.
Leather Jeans Men
Men’s leather jeans are less common in the fashion world, but they make a bold statement. Like women’s leather jeans, men’s can be found in genuine leather and faux leather varieties; however, faux leather is less common in men’s jeans because they are generally less in-demand.
Thus, men’s leather jeans also tend to be a bit more expensive at all ranges, though still start at about $60 and can go $1000+ depending on the brand and style elements.
Similar to women’s leather pants, men also have the option to wear flashy faux leather, or heavily-embellished natural leather with decorative studs, lettering, and color combinations.
Leather Straight Leg Pants
If one is looking for a traditional silhouette on the legs, leather straight leg pants can be a great option. Slightly looser than form-fitting versions, they provide clean lines with this edgy material, allowing one to express a bit of boldness while still fitting in to a more classic aesthetic.
Real Leather Pants/Genuine Leather Pants
Real leather pants (also referred to as genuine leather pants) are made from natural animal hides. Thus, they have the qualities of natural leather which include durability, abrasion-resistance, incredible look/feel, and the tendency of the fibers to adapt to the shape of the wearer over time.
Often more expensive than faux leather pants made from plastics, real leather pants offer a variety of material differences that can be benefits, depending on the wearer’s preference.
Leather Pants with Zippers
The styling of leather pants can and often includes many adornments, adding to the visual appeal of a piece. Commonly, leather pants with zippers can be found in a variety of configurations. This can include a zipper on the fly (different than button-fly or clasp-fly variations).
Additionally, leather pants can have zippers for access to the pockets (instead of having open pockets). Or, they can be used as stylistic elements, integrated anywhere on the pants for an edgy, visual appeal. Imagine having zippers down the legs, or across the front of the pants, it’s all possible 🙂
Women’s Bootcut Leather Pants
A style that has stayed is the bootcut jean. Women’s bootcut leather pants has a slight flare towards the cuffs; this provides a visual quality contrast to the taper at the knee. It also provides a functional quality, providing more room around the cuff area if the wearer might want to wear boots or thicker shoes (that would otherwise not have room with a more tapered cuff).
Cheap Leather Pants
If one is looking for cheap leather pants, in price, not necessarily quality, there are definitely options. Faux leather, made from plastic, allows for many varieties and styles to be available at low cost. Also, secondhand natural leather pants can often be purchases as a substantial discount from retail. Cheap leather pants can often be amazing leather pants.
Designer Leather Pants
Designer leather pants are most commonly produced by fashion houses and carry very distinct design elements, visual appearances, unique colors, textures, and materials. They are often made in low quantities, and carry high prices. That said, sometimes the look, feel, and fit of designer leather pants make the cost worth it, and ultimately an exciting purchase.
Leather Track Pants Womens
Another style of leather pants is the women’s leather track pants. These are generally looser fitting, allowing for more free range of movement. Looser towards the waist and tapered towards the cuffs, they are easy to put on, comfortable, and form a pleasing silhouette to the body. A looser cut than women’s leather jeans, these can be a fun addition to the closet.
Faux Leather Jean
The faux leather jean is a popular option that is made from synthetic leather materials. Most commonly, this is plastic, in the form of vinyl. Manufacture from vinyl offers for a wide range of thicknesses, colors, textures, and finishes, at costs that are much lower than for natural leather jeans.
Also, faux leather jeans are often water resistant, and very easy to clean; making them affordable and easy to wear.
Popular Brands of Leather Pants
Leather Pants Zara
Zara, a popular Spanish retailer, offers a range of natural leather pants in a variety of cuts and styles including wide-leg, waxed-finished, slim, leggings, and high-rise styles.
Faux Leather Pants Zara
Zara also offers an extensive offering of faux leather pants. These include faux suede, culottes, leggings, faux leather jogging pants, wide-leg, and even faux leather chino pants.
Leather Pants Fashion Nova
Fashion Nova, a United states-based retailer, offers an extremely wide variety of leather pants at very reasonable prices. Their styles range across cuts, colors, fits, and trends, making it likely one would be able to find something they enjoy.
Faux Leather Pants Forever 21
Forever 21 is an American retailer popular for fashionable pieces at reasonable prices. They offer faux leather pants, for both men and women, in a range of styles.
There are also a variety of popular designers that produce leather pants; some of these include Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, JBrand, Givenchy, 7 for All Mankind, Saint Laurent, and Tibi.
Where to buy Leather Jeans and Leather Pants?
Leather pants might be hard to track down in person in your local department store, especially if they’re not in season. There are some reliable options online where you can buy leather pants virtually year-round:
Amazon provides Great all-around selection from pricier to super affordable. It’s in a league of its own in terms of accessibility and range of options, including women’s leather pants, faux leather pants, and options for men.
These fast-fashion retailers are mid-range, great mostly for faux-leather pants at an affordable price. A few of these retailers include Forever 21, H&M, and Fashion Nova.
These stores are known for sneaking some seriously fashionable stuff into their clothing collections. Don’t expect to find much, if any, genuine leather here though, since most items fall under the fast-fashion category. These are stores like Target and Kohl’s.
“High-fashion” Fast-Fashion Stores
A sort of elevated tier of fast-fashion, these retailers are an excellent source for great quality faux leather pants and some genuine leather pants, too. Think Topshop, ASOS, and Zara.
“Designer” Department Stores
These retailers are often a middleman for designer brands, so you’re sure to find mid-to-high-priced genuine leather goods here. They’re also a great resource for embellished leather and faux leather, which tends to be more expensive than unembellished. Some examples include Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s, and Macy’s.
Speciality Leather Retailers
Naturally, a retailer specializing in leather goods is a great option. Though, they may be harder to find local to your area. The most common of these is Wilson’s Leather.
Ordering or purchasing directly from high-fashion designers is a surefire way to guarantee a genuine leather product that is designed well. A good resource for both locating designer pieces and purchasing them is the online retailer Net-A-Porter, who focus specifically on true runway designers.
For those that are sewing-included, it is surely an option that can be pursued. With some fashion design experience, homemade leather jeans and pants can be a fulfilling way to create an exceptional look and perfect fit that will have everyone smiling and asking where you got them 🙂
Leather pants are one of those garments that fashion lovers dream about, but few feel brave enough to wear them, and even fewer think they can afford them. With so many different options, there’s truly a pair of leather pants for everyone. From skintight to flare, genuine leather to vinyl, the options are endless. Leather pants are an investment worth making that will make you look chic and put-together for years to come. To learn more about it’s qualities and benefits, click here for my article on faux leather. To pair it with other clothing, click here for my guide on leather trench coat materials and style options, or guide to leather backpacks.
What Tops Pair Well with Leather Jeans?
Leather jeans are clean, classic, and pair well with many tops. Popular choices include t-shirts, sweaters, jackets, and blazers. Depending on the environment and personal preference, the pairing can be more conservative, or more edgy.
Are Women’s Leather Pants available in Lambskin Leather?
Yes, women’s leather pants are available in lambskin. Often used in fine gloves, lambskin is a very thin, soft, supple leather. It feels great to the touch, and allows for freedom of movement. Lambskin leather pants are quite a comfortable option.