How To Style Leather Pants Without Looking Like An Extra In ‘Grease’

Kristin Corpuz
How To Style Leather Pants Without Looking Like An Extra In ‘Grease’
Photo: Courtesy of Lauren Moghavem; Adobe.

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I like to think I’m pretty well-versed when it comes to styling, but figuring out how to style leather pants was a tricky one. I’m a curvy, mid-sized gal whose size fluctuates pretty much every other day, and we all know that leather—even faux leather!—can often be a little unforgiving, and sometimes even unflattering. That said, as I’ve whittled down my closet over the past few years and created a wardrobe of quality basics, leather pants have become something of a staple for me, and I’m here to share my styling secrets.

I love how versatile leather pants are: They can be dressed up or down, they work well with lots of other fabrics, they offer a unique texture and (when you find the right pair!) they can be super flattering, so don’t rule them out if you try one pair that makes you look like Sandy from Grease’s understudy. Though I tend to dress pretty simply—I describe my personal style as minimalist chic, with an emphasis on elevated basics—I feel like leather pants make my very plain pieces have far more impact.

Incorporating leather into an outfit can make even the most monochrome, neutral look feel super luxe and sophisticated. It’s easy to mix and match my favorite blouses, bodysuits, and outerwear on top of them, and putting on a pair of leather pants makes me feel like I can strut down the sidewalk Cheetah Girls-style (Except, not in the Barcelona heat, because I’d probably pass out from sweating).

My collection of leather pants has become quite large, so I’ve been able to play around with styling them to figure out the best ways to make the most of this closet staple. (My boyfriend has even asked me to please, please stop buying more leather pants, because we live in LA and I can only wear them a couple months out of the year. My unhealthy shopping habit says No, but I digress.)

Below, take a look at some outfit inspo for how to style leather pants in a few cute, uncomplicated ways.

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STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of Lauren Moghavem.

Monochrome Magic

TBH, I have no idea where I would wear this outfit, but that doesn’t stop me from loving it. I really like that these Get Choosy pants aren’t as traditionally slim-fitting as lots of other leather options. The cargo pockets and semi-safari vibes make these a little more casualand, in my opinion, a lot more versatile.

I played with volume by pairing them with an oversized blazer and skin-tight top. I’m a huge fan of mixing neutrals, so finishing off the look with some Yeezy shoes that match the pants perfectly really tied it all together.

 

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of Lauren Moghavem.

She’s A Snake

To me, this is the ultimate NYFW street style outfit. If I’m ever stopped to have my picture taken outside Spring Studios, this is what I hope I’m wearing. I’m obsessed with the shiny finish on these Leith pants, and I think it really elevates them overall.

Because I liked the reflective nature of the pants, I decided to match them with an equally-shiny trench by BLANK NYC, which has a (faux) snakeskin look. As an added bit of texture, I topped off the outfit with a croc-embossed messenger bag and these incredible Cult Gaia boots. 

 

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of Lauren Moghavem.

Leopard Love

I know, I know. I live in LA and there’s literally no time of year during which it makes sense to wear this jacket, but… *drools*. It’s so good. What I love about this outfit is how much texture I was able to incorporate: the faux fur leopard print is a statement on its own, but paired with a ribbed sweater, faux snakeskin pants, a croc-embossed bag and leather boots? I was serving a a fully-textured fantasy.

I went super matchy-matchy with the colors to keep this bold look feeling cohesive. The shoes and top are the exact same color, as are the bag and these Revolve x Camila Coelho pants. The bag and pants also match the leopard spots on the coat to tie everything together. 

 

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of Lauren Moghavem.

Black On Black

This outfit was one that I put together with some of my favorite pieces from the other looks I created. To me, the standout here is the leather-on-leather top and bottom combo, a bold choice that can be pretty hit or miss.

Matching up the exact colors and textures makes it look like I’m wearing a full leather suit, which could be rocked anywhere from a fashion show to a boardroom meeting. I love mixing in neutrals, so the brown and cream accents I added to the look help break up the black-on-black intensity. 

 

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of Lauren Moghavem.

Contrasting Leathers

This lighter shade of leather pants is a little unconventional, which is part of why I love them. Even though I’m not experiencing much winter weather here in Southern California, I’m all about winter creams and ivories, so this pair always comes out of my closet when the temperatures drop.

I happened to have a hat that perfectly matched the pants, and decided to layer leather-on-leather once again with this Steele faux leather blazer. The turtleneck (My mom’s from the ’80s, thanks Mom!) gives the outfit some seasonal warmth, but could be easily switched out for a tank in warmer fall weather. I felt like these boots really tied everything together thanks to the black and cream tones in the unique heels.

 

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of Lauren Moghavem.

Seasonal Suede

Last but not least! Leather doesn’t just mean smooth fabric; it also applies to suede. I love these L’Academie pants because the cut is super flattering and makes my legs look really long. The zipper up the middle also makes a statement on its own, so I was able to keep my top half pretty simple.

I mixed leather textures by incorporating this faux leather shacket (shackets are a huge trend, people!) for a bit of movement and play on volume, and paired the ensemble with tone-on-tone accessories. I picked clear heels because they helped lighten up the outfit a bit, especially since the pants fall past my ankles and I usually rock a cropped fit.

Ready to start styling leather pants on your own? Check out 10 great options below.

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of KENDALL + KYLIE.

1. KENDALL + KYLIE Women’s Vegan Leather Wide Leg Pant

Okay these pants are so. cool. The wide-legged fit, the shiny patent leather and the croc embossing make them such a statement, but you can style them over and over again in a ton of different ways.

 

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of Lulus.

2. Lulus Open Minded Burgundy Vegan Leather Pants

Burgundy is such a great color for winter, so this is a fab pair of leather pants that you can wear for any occasion. The hidden closure and ankle crop makes these look sleek for a day at the office or drinks with friends. Just remember to bring a mask for either event!

 

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of The Ragged Priest.

3. The Ragged Priest Faux Leather Pant

If you’re into the cargo pant look, these have a utility-inspired feel that give me all kinds of Destiny’s Child “Survivor” music video flashbacks. The exaggerated (real!) pockets also ensure that you’ll never lose your phone again.

 

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of Tagoo.

4. Tagoo Faux Leather Leggings

Every girl needs a pair of leather leggings and these have detailing that makes them look more like fancy skinnies than comfy leggings. Who would be the wiser? I’ll never tell.

 

 

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of Halogen.

5. Halogen x Atlantic Pacific Faux Leather Trousers

These just-under-$100 pants come in not only black and tan, but (drumroll please!) Barbie pink as well. If you like the relaxed trouser fit, you might as well buy all three shades and throw out your jeans for good.

 

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of Eloquii.

6. Eloquii Slim Faux Leather Pant

I’d argue that these are some of the best faux leather pants in the game for plus-size fashionistas. Oh, and if you’ve already got a solid black pair on lock, these also come in gorgeous evergreen. Great for the holidays!

 

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of Free People.

7. Free People Vegan Crocodile Tapered Trouser

I love camel and cognac colors for the winter season, and the texture makes these even better. The slightly cropped hem makes this a more casual fit, but they’re definitely sophisticated enough to whip out for a holiday party.

 

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of Reformation.

8. Reformation Veda Leather Pant

If Reformation sells it, then you know it’s cool, so it’s safe to say this is a great pair for anyone really looking to dive into the leather pant trend. I’m in love with the super-straight leg and cropped hem.

 

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of Song of Style.

9. Song of Style Seana Leather Pant

If you’re looking to embrace those winter creams and ivories, invest in a pair like this. I particularly love the seaming, especially at the knees and on the giant pockets. The double button closure is also a nice touch. 

 

STYLECASTER | How To Style Leather Pants

Courtesy of Wilfred.

10. Wilfred Melina Pant

If you’re looking for the ultimate leather trouser, this one from Aritzia has gone TikTok viral, like, three times already. It comes in 10 different colors and has a high-waisted, slim-fit cut that’s as flattering as it gets. 

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