If you’ve hit the bars or clubs recently, you’ve seen the corset top & leather pants combination. The tube top & skinny jeans combo was at its peak around 2019--maybe you’d landed your first corporate job, or maybe you were hitting the fraternities for the first time. Regardless, we have experienced a significant shift in the “going-out” attire in the past four years, which could have been exacerbated by the pandemic, or the “TikTok-ification” of consumption and trends, or the shift towards opulence in fashion. Whatever the reason, leather pants are in. They can be dressed up, dressed down, and dressed sideways; plus, they are an excellent staple piece and layering tool. We’re here to convince you that leather pants are the newest wardrobe staple akin to the popularity of jeans.

(Brief) History of leather!

The process of tanning animal hides has existed for approximately 7,000 years, and the multiplicity of leather usage transcends frequenting the local dive bar. It was used by our ancestors to fashion armor and tools, as well as clothing and shoes. The actual process of creating authentic leather is decently complicated, time-consuming, and requires different parts of the animal for authentic tanning. Importantly though, most leather pants that you would purchase today are sourced either synthetically or partially synthetically; this makes their production much quicker and sustainable.

Leather has been taken up by several communities as a symbol of comfort, familiarity, empowerment, and sisterhood. It’s a testament to the power of leather’s practicality, precision, longevity, and cultural resonance.

Leather longevity

Let us try and convince you to swap your jeans for leather pants. Think about the history associated with leather--sultry, weathered, artfully haggard, intentionally chosen. It is associated with bikers, sexual appeal, artists, and craftsmen alike. Plus, leather is one of the only materials that has withstood the test of cyclic fashion trends and decade-specific attire. Your mom likely has a leather jacket from the 80s, or your dad has a pair of leather boots or a leather varsity jacket. While the same case could be made for jeans, the trends of style, cut, length, and rise of jeans has varied dramatically. (Think of the current skinny jeans vs. baggy jeans vs. high-rise jeans vs. low-rise jeans debate currently happening.) In conjunction with their trendy longevity, leather pants can also last for years--even over a decade--if taken care of properly.

Caring for your leather pants

Because our goal is longevity, it is firstly important to invest in a quality pair of leather pants. If you’re concerned about sustainability, there are several quality synthetic options (Nordstrom, Sanctuary, and Amazon, to name a few places). If you’re wanting to try a synthetic/leather mix, check out Zara, Aritzia, Nordstrom, AGOLDE, and Karen Millen. Although quality leather pants are certainly an investment, they will last years: rain, shine, humidity, dryness, and yes--the real test--the bars. They’re your newest statement staple piece: we encourage you to splurge. (As a plus, you can also have leather pants made specifically to your proportions. They are made exactly for your body shape, size, and movements. Just another reason to love leather pants.)

Unlike jeans, there are certain protective measures you can take to ensure the longevity of your leather pants. Firstly, you should aim to waterproof your new pants. There are several at-home methods to do this, most of which include some kind of wax. Water prove has an excellent recipe for water-proofing wax, which includes household items you likely already own. Their website also details how to apply and maintain the waterproofing layer.

It’s also important to not throw your leather pants in with your regular laundry. It’s important to use cold water and a very gentle wash cycle; ideally, only have your leather in this load. For drying your pants, don’t throw them into the dryer. Hang them up to air dry and make sure to not wring out or excessively handle your wet leather pants. The fibers of the pants are most susceptible to breakage and damage when wet.

Lastly, we recommend that you condition your leather pants. This is an important part of the maintenance process, and one that should recur over the lifespan of your pants. Ideally, you should condition after every wash/dry, as the conditioner makes the material supple and shiny again. There are pre-prepared leather conditioners on the market (and some amazing deals on Amazon).

Now that we’ve (hopefully) convinced you, enjoy your new timeless, eclectic, and fashionable wardrobe staple!

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