Zara Leather Pant and Blank NYC faux fur coat

A Leather Pant, Really Hallie??

Ok, ok… I know, you might be bristling at the idea of leather pants. There’s something that feels very Sons of Anarchy, biker chick about them. But hear me out. As I was doing my own outfit planning this season I kept feeling like I was missing a key piece.  That my wardrobe needed that fun outfit for going out that was NOT jeans. But I also didn’t want anything as serious as slacks. What was I yearning for? That in-between pant that’s not too dressed up but not too casual either. My answer was a leather pant.

Now, when I say a leather pant, I do not mean those Spanx leather leggings that all of the 20-year-old bloggers are raving about. I am fine with those if they’re paired with a tunic and boots or even sneakers. But they are definitely a legging, NOT a pant. I don’t personally wear them either. Because I think they’re a pain in the a** to take on and off. I almost passed out just trying them on in the dressing room, it’s such a production. They’re kind of thick and tight, so you’ve got to shimmy them up and jump and wiggle.  And I drink way too much water to be futzing around every time I goto the loo.

What I was looking for was a real pant – a trouser style, but made of leather, or faux leather or even waxed denim that gives it a leather-like look, but at a friendlier price.

After A Lot of Searching…

After a lot of searching, and online orders, and returns – yes, even as a wardrobe consultant I get stumped when looking online. The models and the reviews help but there is nothing that can beat actually trying something on. Sometimes the item is so much better on than in the photo (or even on the hanger). And sometimes, sadly, it’s so much worse!

That’s actually a big reason why I try so many things on myself. And do those try-on sessions on my Instagram Stories. So I can give you guys (and my personal styling clients) a true, first-hand account about how clothes fit, look and feel in person. Sometimes (ummmm, often) you just don’t know until you try.

Styles of Leather Pants

So anyway, after a lot of searching I found 2 styles of leather (or faux leather) pants that completely brightened up my wardrobe woes. And all of these styles can be worn for work, play or party.

A Skinny Leather Pant

The first style is one I’d had in my closet for a while already. I hadn’t been wearing it for the past few seasons but this season it feels very relevant again. It’s a coated skinny jean, and they’re the bomb! Sometimes it’s called coated denim or waxed denim. Basically, there is a coating put on top of the cotton that makes it look like leather, but at a fraction of the price and it’s easier to clean, so there’s that too.

This style looks great with the mid-calf boot I waxed all poetic about a few weeks ago. It’s slim so it tucks in nicely, but it’s not super skinny like a legging would be. This style can be worn with a sneaker and oversized sweater for a casual but finished day look and then paired with pumps and a silk blouse for the night too.

STYLE TIP: Because waxed denim does not have a lot of stretch, (otherwise it would be a legging) it’s often necessary to size up in this style.

A Leather Trouser

This whole search started because I was looking for leather trousers. I had been seeing girls in NYC and LA wearing wider legged, trouser inspired leather pants and they just looked so cool. Like hip but classy. Not too provocative but not too conservative either. I envisioned wearing them with a chunky sweater and booties on a fall evening and with a sparkly top and heels for a holiday party.

Luckily for me (and for you), there are a BUNCH of leather pant options to choose from right now. And at all price points. As much as I wanted the true leather trousers – like the Nili Lotan or Tibi pairs, I opted for a vegan pair and am LOVING wearing them. FYI, they run big, so I recommend sizing down.

Leather Pants in a Rainbow of Colors

Another way to make your leather pants feel less Harley Davidson (not that there’s anything wrong with that mind you). My Father-in-law is an avid Harley rider. And I actually knew I wanted to marry Greg when he picked me up for our second date on his Harley. I am a total scaredy-cat but had so much fun and felt daring but safe as Greg rode. Not to be all sappy but I knew that was how I wanted to feel for the rest of my life. That motorcycle ride was a game-changer for me so I’m not ever gonna thro shade on motorcycle world.

Wearing your leather in a color other than traditional black can add interest to your outfit. Just as with slacks I always recommend getting basics, like black first and then adding some frosting with different colors or patterns.

So I am totally obsessed with the whole leather pant look. Don’t be surprised if you see me in them multiple times a week. My jeans might get jealous.

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Photos: Becky Cormell

OUTFIT DETAILS: scroll thru and click to shop all of the items I’m wearing


Post Updated 3/23/21


Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.


  1. Hi! I’m interested in the Nilis? What would you recommend for sizing with them? I’m a 27 inJean’s. Thanks!

    • Hallie Abrams Reply

      I’d recommend going on their website and chatting with an expert. I personally find their sizing to vary by style. In other brands I’m a 26/27 in denim. And in their wide leg jean I’m a 24!! praise be! In other Nili pants I’m a 26…

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