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Leather pants are having a moment — here's how to style them

They're all we want to wear this fall — and stylists approve.
Illustration of four woman wearing different styles with black leather pants
Arturo Holmes / Staff / Getty Images / Neil Mockford / Contributor / Getty Images / Edward Berthelot / Contributor / Getty Images / Christian Vierig / Contributor / Getty Images

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Though fall is typically the time when we pull our leather jackets out of storage to brave the dropping temperatures in style, we're seeing the material take on another trendy form in fashion this fall: Leather pants.

From designer collections to New York Fashion Week, leather pants are popping up in different crops, colors and styles. Searches for leather clothing items are up 136% since last year, according to the shopping app Klarna, and leather pants from high-end designers are some of the most desired items. With all the nostalgic trends we're seeing in fashion right now, it's only fitting that these edgy bottoms have found their way back into our wardrobes.

"Leather pants are extremely versatile and now there are so many different styles available, there's really something for everyone," New York-based stylist Gloria Cospito told Shop TODAY. "In the past, leather has had this rebellious, rocker connotation and definitely a sensual vibe. Now, leather pants feel appropriate for most settings, from work to brunch, to even a family occasion — as long as you style the rest of your look to match the dress code."

It's the reinvention of the leather pant that makes them feel like more of a trend than a staple, and stylist Gianna Nucci says there are two variations that have come to the forefront. "Over the past few years, we've seen a new take on leather in the forms of coated pants and faux leather, and this is great for those who want the leather pant look but can't necessarily afford the price points," she explained. "And it's also great for those who are a little bit more environmentally-conscious."

Much like the denim trend that is leaving skinny jeans in the dust, leather pants are also taking on the form of flares, bell-bottoms and wide-leg styles, according to Nucci. "I think seeing leather in those new ways is making it feel fresh again," she added.

And when it comes to styling, consider them a multitasker — you can pair leather pants with anything in your closet.

"You can wear leather pants for every season; just think of them as another pair of jeans," Carrie Cramer, a celebrity, wardrobe and personal stylist based in Los Angeles, told us. While it's timely for fall, you can work leather bottoms into your wardrobe during every season. "If it gets really hot, you could always throw on a pair of leather shorts," Cramer said.

If leather pants are the confidence-booster you're looking for this season, we've got you covered. From faux-leather leggings to genuine leather pants, we rounded up 15 different options in a range of styles — including some with a stylist's seal of approval.

Leather pants for fall 2021

Eloquii Classic Fit Slim Faux Leather Pant

With a super high-rise and contour waistband, these leather pants are sure to flatter any figure. Cospito called them out for their classic fit and slimming look.

Free People Night Vegan Leather Joggers

Not ready to ditch your sweats just yet? You can still get in on the leather trend with these joggers, which come in two different super-sleek colors: Grape Shake and Night Crawling.

Agolde Recycled Leather Fitted 90's

Cramer says she picked up this chic pair for herself. "Yes, I may have worn them in the '90s, but the cut is timeless and so is my mindset," she said. Want to rock these this fall? Better shop now — they're selling out fast!

Spanx Faux-Leather Leggings

Fall is synonymous with sweater weather, which means you'll have to find ways to style bulky pieces. "I think leather leggings is a staple of the cold weather season, especially as we start seeing more long, bulky sweaters and boots and I think it's a great pairing with those baggier, cozier pieces," Nucci said. "I think the leather legging gives them an elevated option versus the typical knit ones that you would wear."

Vince Camuto Straight-Leg Faux-Leather Pants

"If a skin-tight leather legging or skinny leather pant doesn't feel like you anymore," Cospito says, "try a high-waisted straight leg pant or a slouchy jogger for more room and comfort but just as much style." These pants from Vince Camuto (which are also approved by Cospito) fit the bill, thanks to their relaxed fit.

Who What Wear Ankle Length Paper Bag Trousers

These trousers combine two trends in one: the "paper bag" look and the leather pant. They come in three different colors — Black, Brown and Green — and can easily be styled with a long-sleeve blouse this season.

Lulus Make Headlines Black Vegan Leather Pants

These vegan leather pants come in two neutral colors: Black and Cognac. They're sleek with a little bit of stretch, so you can wear them comfortably all day long without ever wanting to take them off. The center seaming on the leg also gives them an elevated look.

Lulus Keep Your Stride Faux-Leather Pants

Described as "buttery soft" by the brand, these pants from Lulus are made from a blend of polyurethane and rayon. Though they have a skinny crop, the zippers at the ankles make for a detail that is not to be overlooked.

Peace Love World Regular Faux-Leather Pants

These fun flare pants have a zip front and high waist that makes them easy to wear and style. You can find them in sizes 00-28 in both Black and Brown color options. Plus, they're on sale right now!

Express Edition Super High-Waisted Faux-Leather Pant

Super high-waisted pants? Count us in. "High-waisted leather trousers can be styled the same as you would a regular trouser, [and] these are a great option for work that can translate from day to night," Cramer told us. "Daytime can be a silky camisole with a fitted blazer over the leather trousers; take off the blazer for a night out and throw on a pair of heels."

Laundry by Shelli Segal Pull-On Vegan Leather Pants

With the right shoes, these pull-on bottoms are easy to dress up or down. They feature a straight enough pant leg that you can wear them with heels or flats for a night out, or pair them with knee-high boots for everyday wear.

Open Edit Faux-Leather Trousers

We're loving the sleek belt that complements this shiny trouser. The statement-making pants are perfect for casual wear and are also available in a stunning chocolate brown shade.

Time and Tru Faux-Leather Paperbag Pant

Another pair of pants that can get you in on the leather trend for less than $20? Excuse us while we add these chic bottoms from Time and Tru to our carts ASAP. They have a 4.3-star rating on Walmart, and one reviewer wrote, "They look and feel so high end!"

Scoop Ankle Crop Flare Jeans

These slim flare jeans were made for showing off some ankle. Just pair them with booties or a sleek pair of heels — and you're ready to go!

Forever 21 Faux-Leather Flare Pants

Another comfortable pull-on pair, these cool flare pants from Forever 21 feature an elastic high waist and come in sizes XS-XL in two different colors.

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