Life Style

9 Ways to Style Black Leather Pants for Ultra-Sleek ’90s Vibes

Woman wears black leather pants and a taupe sweater vest against a stone wall

With trend-heavy platforms like TikTok running the show, if there ever were a time when fashion’s pièce de résistance is liable to pivot at any given moment, it’s now. Parachute pants become cargo pants, which become cargo maxi skirts, which then become denim maxi skirts, and so forth. And while the trend cycle can be fun, it makes sense to take an occasional step back to refocus your shopping budget toward timeless items capable of transcending the seasons, as well as the next inevitable trend prediction video. A number of evergreen staples are worth considering for your rotation—where trousers are concerned, black faux leather pants have proven to be here for both a long time and a good one.

A hard-hitting staple of the ‘90s (at the time, onlookers were just about guaranteed snaps of the likes of Cindy Crawford and Gwyneth Paltrow leaving their hotels donning the classic style regularly), leather pants have made their way into and out of the center of fashion. However, with the cultural idea that materials like leather and faux leather are season-specific dwindling, the versatile style has since captured the attention of fashion enthusiasts in a more permanent way. (Plus, faux iterations make for an ultra-lightweight option that can thrive even in the summer.)

Particularly in classic black, there’s simply no shortage of ways to style faux leather pants, from pairing a straight leg option with a corset top for a warm-weather date night to styling flared pants with an oversized sweater in the winter. You can incorporate virtually any color into the remainder of the outfit, making black leather pants one of the most versatile, cost-effective pieces to build your wardrobe around for the new year. Ahead, we pulled together nine different ways to style black leather pants to get your gears turning.

With a Denim Top

Classic pairings that are simultaneously super on-trend are all the more fun. As fashion continues its obsession with both denim and cargos, mix the two together by way of a cropped denim top for an outfit that’s just the right amount of casual and stylish for daytime wear.


With a Slouchy Sweater

Faux leather pants on the bottom and a cozy sweater up top is likely to become your cold weather uniform once you’ve discovered the combination in all its glory. To ensure it feels fresh and current, emphasis on silhouette is key. Try a slouchy, oversized, or even boxy sweater up top, paired with sleek, bootcut pants that feel as modern as they do nostalgic.


Add a Pop of Color

While it can be instinctual to opt for a monochromatic approach when styling black leather pants (the sleekness of it all is, after all, fail-proof), consider trading your black top for a pop of color on occasion. A neon blouse will look particularly striking, and if you want to take things a step further, try closing out the look with a pair of matching metallic heels.


With a Corset

Arguably, no style of trousers transitions as seamlessly from workday to day off to night out as seamlessly as black leather pants. As far as nighttime dressing goes, you can’t go wrong with a faux leather corset. You can, of course, opt for any color, but black-on-black often has a certain je ne sais quoi to it. Finish with a pair of heels with hardware details for added flair.


With a Blazer and Button-Down

Leather pants are just as primed for the office as they are for most any other occasion. In fact, black leather pants and an oversized blazer create perhaps one of the most undefeated combos. Add a button-down shirt to pull together the crisp, chic look, plus a pair of heeled boots that can go from day to night.


Wear It Biker-Style

The way leather trends in fashion is quite layered—case in point, the “bikercore” trend has also been one of the most sought-after ways to style leather these days. Couple this with the more evergreen trend of faux leather pants, and you have an outfit that simultaneously meets the moment and stands the test of time. For a more interesting ensemble, opt for a twist on faux leather trousers complete with lace-up details, and finish with a unique pair of sunglasses.


With a Faux Fur Coat

Faux fur coats are as evergreen as leather pants, and together, they happen to create an effortlessly fashion-forward ensemble. With a simple turtleneck top, the outfit can work both with and without the jacket.


With a Party Top

The statement-making going out top (think the sequined numbers of the early aughts) is back, and faux leather trousers lend a wearable, staple element to an otherwise bold party look. Dancing the night away calls for a very specific shoe, and reaching for a pair of comfortable mules (pointed toes for the win!) ensures you can remain on your feet for hours.


With a Sheer Top

The way it’s looking, 2023 is set to be the year of sheer, and a dainty, sheer top is sure to lend a romantic touch to a black leather pants outfit. Opt for a simpler iteration during the day, but come nightfall, elevate the look even further with a sheer top complete with crystal embellishments.



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