How to Style Leather Pants: One Pant, 12 Ways
A dozen outfit ideas that are equal parts tasteful, approachable, and fashion-forward.
We all know and love “sweater weather,” but what about leather weather? Not only does fall call for snuggling up in your softest sweaters, but it also presents an opportunity to enjoy the hardy embrace of luxurious leather.
While I suspect most of you have experience with wearing leather shoes, bags, belts, and jackets, when it comes to leather pants, you might start to sweat—both literally and figuratively. Thanks to iterations that are poor in quality or excessively heavy, there’s no denying that leather pants can be unbearably stuffy; and in terms of style, their proximity to bikers, rockers, and the likes of Kim Kardashian can make them seem extreme, intimidating, or overly trendy.
Despite these perceptions, I’m here to speak out as a recent leather-pant convert. Let me tell you: If you don’t have leather pants in your closet, you’re missing out—big time. So, how do you do leather pants right? All you need is a pair that’s neither too heavy nor too tight—like our vegan leather, kick-flare Archie pants—paired with the power of refined styling. Want to see some examples? Scroll for 12 of my favorite ways to wear leather pants.
Sizing guidance: The Archie pant fits true to size. I’m 5’6” and typically wear a 2/XS in M.M.LaFleur and a 26 in most jeans; I went with a size 2.
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How to Style Leather Pants
Tip #1: Balance Out Their Edge
To balance out the edginess that leather pants are known for, include a soft fabric or a relaxed silhouette somewhere in your outfit.
Tip #2: Play with Texture
Leather pants are all about their buttery smooth, subtly reflective texture, which is only made more luxurious when combined with other sumptuous materials. Try pairing your leather pants with a wide variety of fabrics to achieve a look that’s varied in depth and texture.
Tip #3: Let Them Shine
Make sure you don’t overwhelm your leather pants outfits with overcomplicated pairings. Leather pants are a statement style themselves, so limit yourself to one other eye-catching element throughout the rest of your outfit—whether that’s a bright color or a bold pattern.
12 Leather Pants Outfits
With a Blazer
With the help of a blazer, the Archie pants can add “office staple” to their resume. Balance out their fitted, straight-leg silhouette with the relaxed-cut Janette blazer, which offers a distinctly different yet equally sleek handfeel, thanks to our smooth Italian ponte. To fill out your tonal palette, wear the Sahara-print Lisey top—or another neutral, patterned top of your choice—along with classic black or brown loafers and a pair of gold hoops.
With a “Going Out” Top
On any given day—or night—you’ll catch me in a pair of pants. Dresses and skirts serve their purpose in my closet, but I feel most comfortable and stylish in a pair of well-fitting jeans or interesting pants. That’s why I wear my vegan leather Archie pants “out” all the time. For dinner or drinks, I’ll pair them with a figure-hugging top like the jardigan-knit Jin and my favorite low-heeled boots. This look is stretchy from head to toe, so it’s ready to go dancing or stroll the city streets—wherever the night may take you.
With a Turtleneck
When I think of the most luxurious fall outfit I could possibly put together, I think of some version of this one: brown or black leather pants or leather leggings + a high-quality cashmere turtleneck + an abundantly long scarf. In this iteration, I’ve tucked my slightly oversized sweater into my Archie pants and, for extra warmth, I wrapped our gorgeously patterned, indulgently plush Nash scarf around my neck.
For Fall Festivities
For an outfit that’s equal parts festive and flexible (read: stuff-your-face-friendly), pair the stretchy Archie pants with a knit top like the Rae. Its burnt orange hue will beautifully mirror the fall foliage—or manifest that golden brown turkey you’re hoping to roast to perfection. As you shuffle around the house or lounge by the fireside, keep cozy in a pair of fluffy slippers, and post-holiday, swap them out for coordinating cognac flats.
Next time you’ll be spending a significant amount of time outside, guard yourself against the crisp autumn air with one of our sherpa-knit coats. I’m ever-so-slightly partial to the Eli coat, since its shorter silhouette allows you to show off your leather pants and feels like a snuggly spin on a motorcycle jacket. Whether your plans involve apple picking or errand running, go with an underpinning that’s both snug and breathable, like the Axam turtleneck, and lace up your white sneakers for a chic street-style vibe.
With a Cardigan
This combination is reminiscent of something a spunky retiree would slip on before walking out of her Upper East Side apartment—and that’s a major compliment. The cloud-like Caro cardigan drapes over the fitted Paige tank and falls just below the hip of your leather pants, while leopard-print shoes tie together your two-tone palette. For some finishing flair, don’t forget to swipe on your favorite red lipstick and some bold gold earrings before heading out the door.
You can pair neutral pants with a wide variety of prints, but when in doubt, go with one that involves a coordinating color. In this case, I complemented my chocolaty faux leather trousers with the Didion top in brushstroke paisley—a pattern that contains a range of earth tones, including various shades of brown and green. All you need to complete your look is a pair of minimalist shoes, like the Zelda boots. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, you can pair brown with black!
With a Sweater Vest
This look deserves an A+ in my book. The preppy-leaning Eloise vest creates a delightfully unexpected juxtaposition when paired with your edgier pants, and the Axam turtleneck lends an air of sophistication to your fashion-forward ensemble. Finish it off with lipstick that’s as fiery red as your vest and loafers that are dark brown—just like your pants. Pro tip: Having your pants and shoes match creates an elegant elongating effect.
With a Pop of Color
Want an easy way to put seemingly summery hues to use throughout the cooler months? Pair them with your leather pants. Their distinct richness will reframe your bright color of choice as wonderfully stylish rather than out of season. Pictured here, I paired my Archies with the chartreuse Kara top and bookended my outfit with white accessories, including the Parker earrings and my own vintage mules.
With a Button-Down
A crisp white button-down goes with just about anything—leather pants included. In the case of our Mila shirt, airy cotton establishes a striking textural contrast against your more saturated bottom half, and the delicate stripe adds extra depth to your ensemble. Try tucking in just one of your shirt tails for a touch of effortlessness.
With a Tuxedo Dress
In addition to being wrinkle-resistant, machine-washable, and incredibly chic, the best thing about the Gwynne dress is that it does double duty as a jacket. For a look that’s badass yet professional, leave the Gwynne open over the 365Knit Choe top, which you’ve tucked into your leather pants, and add a bit of sexiness with the sharp Lana boots. Embellish your solid-colored look with an eye-catching element, like a pair of sculptural statement earrings.
With a Formal Blouse
When paired with leather pants, even your most formal work blouses can live out their rock ‘n’ roll dreams. Try the washable silk Darcy top, which features a tie front that you can style in various ways, and fill out the rest of your subtly ‘70s look with the Lillie earrings and leopard-print shoes.