If you’ve ever seen that Friends episode where Ross gets stuck in his leather trousers (let’s be real, who hasn’t), you may have been a little more than wary of this pants trend in the past. I must admit, the skin-tight leather leggings championed by Kate Moss throughout the early 2000s are particularly hard to pull off and even I found it difficult to see their appeal after that.
This season, though, as we’ve all started to embrace our autumn wardrobes, I’ve been really tempted to try them out. Especially after seeing so many great street style looks recently with buttery soft pairs in not just black but rich browns as well. When I mentioned my leather trouser intrigue to my colleagues, they all agreed and I was tasked with finding the best pairs out there for autumn 2019. The high street is well known for having amazing faux styles as well as great value real leather pieces so I started there.
Moving away from the glamour of the leather skinny, I felt myself wanting to find a pair I could dress down for weekends but also make work for the office, something that could replace my Levi’s but feel a bit more special. Turns out there’s a plethora of different styles available for this season that are really flattering (the straight leg especially) and casual (so many luxe joggers, who knew). When I was out shopping I kept the styling relaxed with a white T-shirt or cosy camel knits and found the shoes that looked best with them were trainers (particularly for cuffed styles), loafers and ankle boots (best for cropped or full length styles).
So, whether you’re thinking of dipping a toe in the pond with a faux style or ready to invest in the perfect luxury leather pair, keep scrolling to see which pieces were my favourite and shop them now.
Style Notes: This & Other Stories pair had a nice kick flare shape which worked really well with ankle boots. They're real leather so you could feel they would last and even get better over time.
Style Notes: These were really comfy, which is one of my top criteria when buying trousers that I'm going to enjoy. They are faux and you can definitely tell from the slight creasing but considering the price, they didn't feel cheap at all.
Style Notes: This isn't a style I would normally pick up. I do love a bit of vinyl and already own a number of shiny trench coats, but at 5'2 a voluminous wide leg normally swamps me. The nipped in waist of these, however, balanced out the wider leg and they felt, dare I say it, quite effortlessly cool.
Style Notes: These were the perfect 'luxe-jogger' in my opinion. With that price tag you'd hope they would be, but I do get the feeling you would wear these over and over, dressed up with stilettos and a white shirt or down with loafers. I always think Massimo Dutti clothes make you look rich so I'm a fan.
Style Notes: I think these Mint Velvet trousers had to be my favourite classic style that I tried. They had everything you would want from a real leather pair - super soft and expensive looking, perfectly straight legged and extra comfortable. They would wear in really well I think.
Style Notes: Another style that mixed smart-casual quite well. The drawstring waist is really flattering and they did have that softness that felt like it could be real leather for a fraction of the price.
Style Notes: These were one of my top three, for sure. They look and feel way more expensive than they actually are, so a great option for someone who wants the authentic look but with a 'vegan' price tag. They come in black too but for the more affordable price I think I'd choose the 'of the moment' beige ones.
Style Notes: These were a really flattering work or evening option. They would look cute with a strappy sandal or stiletto and the belt made them feel a bit more formal than other tapered styles I tried.
Style Notes: This utility style felt a little too slouchy for my personal taste, again I'm quite petite so they swamped me a bit. If streetwear is your vibe, though, check these out. Otherwise, paired with a super high heel and lace cami could actually make them really cool for evening.
Style Notes: OK, I saved the best for last. Good old M&S has come through for me again. I'm always a big fan of their classics - coats, cashmere, white shirts - and these leather trousers are getting added to that list. Buttery soft and in the most perfect shade of autumnal brown (they also come in black below), I'm seriously considering the lifetime investment.
Style Notes: So good you should see them from the side too.