When Can Women Wear Leather Pants?
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When Can Women Wear Leather Pants?

A woman can wear leather pants whenever she desires. The key is to feel good about wearing them; otherwise, the pants will wear you. Fashion is fickle. So either decide to be a trendsetter or a fashion watcher who just keeps an eye on the trends. There is a fine line between being bold and being clueless. Choosing an appropriate silhouette for your particular shape is not difficult as leather pants are available in a wide variety of cuts, colors and styles.

Fashion History

Leather clothing hit the mainstream after World War II when rebellious teens adopted the leather look from bikers. Marlon Brando popularized outlier fashion in “The Wild One,” although his female love interest dressed demurely. In the 1960s, English television featured Diana Rigg as leather cat suit-wearing heroine Emma Peel in “The Avengers.” In an early nod to London’s underground bondage scene, Emma’s tight, constricting outfits intrigued and titillated middle class viewers. Rock and roll icons, such as Tina Turner, carried on the look that simultaneously attracted and challenged the viewer’s gaze.

Hot or Not

Women who wear leather pants tend to make statements–whether they intend to or not. Leather pants have admirers and detractors. Color, style or adornment can be secondary for those who read messages into fashion. Women wearing leather pants can look assertive and confident when they feel confident about their choice. Tight-fitting black pants look and feel sexy–as long as the wearer loves her shape. Looser fitting, lighter colored pants can be appropriate for daytime casual wear. Those in creative professions, such as graphic designers or music industry executives, manage to add leather pants to everyday work wardrobes.

Leather for Everyone

Large or small, rail thin or generously padded, all women can wear leather pants. Leather has natural give to it, but it is also substantial enough to provide structure and shape. Some styles suit tall thin-legged gals better–skinny leather jeans and low-rise cuts can make legs look shorter and the rest of the body look out of proportion. Curvy women might choose pants that hug the hip, then fall straight down to below the ankle.


Thin supple leather makes good-looking leggings and slim pants. Rhinestone- and rivet-embellished pants make a woman rival a country-singing star. Suede leather pants look appropriate on wearers who are more conservative. Good fit and cut is important–baggy leather does not look good–so try on different brands and choose one that fits well.


Quality leather clothing is expensive. Leather pants are not the most practical pair of pants you are likely to ever own. Cleaning pants can also be expensive. Dry cleaning bills add up–as does exposure to potentially toxic chemicals sometimes used in cleaning. Hot humid conditions can team up with leather pants to make you feel like your own personal, portable sauna. There are easier, more comfortable ways to lose a few pounds. Fashions change for leather pants just like for any other item of clothing. Keep an eye on the trends in leather. There is always room for an updated pair.

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