6 Outfits That Prove Leather Pants Are a Wardrobe Staple

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And before you ask: No, there aren’t any Aritizia Melinas.

Photos: Imaxtree/Collage by Brooke Frischer

And before you ask: No, there aren’t any Aritizia Melinas.

Leather pants may be one of the most polarizing pieces in fashion. We all remember where we were, in the not-so-distant past, when it suddenly felt as though every person on planet Earth was wearing the Aritizia Melinas: You turn left, and someone within your sightline has the straight-leg trouser in black; turn right, and someone’s wearing a barbiecore hot pink version. It wouldn’t be a Saturday night on the Lower East Side without them. 

But just because something becomes overwhelmingly popular doesn’t mean there isn’t room to find other versions of the look. Below, we’ve curated six leather pants outfits that challenge the average pair, whether through color, texture or cut — and prove that they’re a wardrobe essential. 

The Shego

shego leather pants look

Inspired by my personal favorite “Kim Possible” character, this outfit will have everyone around you green with envy that they didn’t think to buy pants to match this Hanifa trench first. 

alice and olivia green leather vegan pants

Alice + Olivia Dylan Vegan Leather Wide Leg Pant, $198 (from $330), available here (sizes 0-14)

skims loungewear tee shirt

Skims Cotton Jersey Super Cropped T-Shirt, $42, available here (sizes XXS-4X)

hanifa leather trench

Hanifa Zahra Faux Leather Coat, $899, available here (sizes XS-3XL)


Steve Madden Bnikki Green Clutch, $54, available here

diesel knife toe boots

Diesel D-Venus Kbt Boot, $357 (from $595), available here

justine clenquet earrings

Justine Clenquet Silver Daria Earrings, $35 (from $50), available here

The Muted Barbie

barbiecore chic

These soft, matted pink leather pants are just calm enough, while still offering the right amount of Mattel-inspired fun.

Screen Shot 2023-01-17 at 1.32.52 PM

Remain Birger Christensen Lynn Leather Straight-Leg Pants, $308 (from $440), available here (sizes 0-12)

ralph lauren pussy bow blouse

Ralph Lauren Collection Cormac Pussy Bow Shirt, $396 (from $990), available here (sizes 2-12)


The Frankie Shop Bea Blazer, $345, available here (sizes XS-L)

marc jacobs studded pushlock mini

Marc Jacobs The Studded Pushlock Mini Satchel, $650, available here


Jeffrey Campbell Synth Boots, $129.50 (from $185), available here

anine bing ball drop earrings

Anine Bing Link Ball Drop Earrings, $150, available here

The Dinner for One (or More)

classic trendy

What happens when you mix the two most classic fabrics of all time? You get these ultra-cool leather-and-denim jeans from Agolde. Paired with a sleek slingback and peplum top, they’ll accompany you perfectly to a dinner out on the town.

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agolde harley denim leather pants

Agolde Harley Pants, $378, available here (sizes 23-34)

safiyaa peplum white top

Safıyla Slit Peplum Crêpe Top, $682 (from $975), available here (sizes 2-14)

black flower choker

Express Flower Choker Necklace, $28, available here

merjuri hoop earring

Mejuri Single Mini Hoop, $35, available here

toteme sharp point toe heel

Toteme Sharp Leather Slingback Pumps, $650, available here

bottega veneta pouch nero

Bottega Veneta Pouch, $3,600, available here

The Coolest Girl at Trader Joe’s

casually cool

Sneakers, a bright knit and chocolate leather sweats? She bought several new items from the frozen section, but, most importantly, several bouquets of grocery-store flowers. All I know is: I want to be her.

nanushka faux leather wide drawstring pants

Nanushka Calie Faux Leather Wide Drawstring Pants, $161 (from $625), available here (sizes XS-XL)

christopher john rogers sweater

Christopher John Rogers Rainbow Stripe Brushed Unisex Sweater, $925, available here (sizes XS-XXL)

gucci brown jackie bag

Gucci Jackie 1961 Small Natural Grain Bag, $3,350, available here

adidas green sambas

Adidas Samba OG Shoes, $100, available here

The Motomami

racer chic

Motorcore is here to stay. Before going full Nascar, take the aesthetic for a test drive by matching these silver embossed trousers with a moto-style jacket.

rotate silver leather pants

Rotate Birger Christensen Rotie Croc-Effect Faux Leather Straight-Leg Pants, $300, available here (sizes XS-XXL)

courreges cropped jacket

Courrèges Logo-Print Faux-Leather Cropped Jacket, $1,086, available here (sizes XXS-XL)


Amina Muaddi Ami PVC Pumps, $780, available here

mejuri silver drop earrings

Mejuri Wave Hoops, $78, available here

luar ana mini bag

Luar Ana Mini Leather Top Handle Bag, $275, available here

The Comfortably Cool

cyan leather

Cropped leather pants with Dr. Martens is the combination you never knew you needed. With a dash of cyan blue, this look will electrify any room you walk into.

loewe wide leg leather pants

Loewe Leather Wide-Leg Cropped Pants, $2,900, available here (sizes XS-L)

black commando bandeau leather

Commando Faux Leather Bandeau Bra, $39 (from $78), available here (sizes XS-XL)

botter knit bolero

Botter Roll Neck Gloved Bolero, $391 (from $521), available here (one size)

swarovski lucite cyan earrings

Swarovski Lucent Hoop Earrings, $264 (from $330), available here

coach black pillow tabby

Coach Pillow Tabby Shoulder Bag 26, $550, available here

dr martens platform combat

Dr. Marten 1460 Pascal Max Leather Platform Boots, $220, available here

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