Faux leather — also known as “vegan leather,” if you’re fancy — is experiencing a glow-up. The faux leather purchases of my past always had that vinyl-like sheen — a major giveaway for cheaper (and more cheaply made) leather alternatives. But my latest faux leather purchases have felt so rich and buttery-soft, I’m tempted to swap them in as my everyday basics (as someone who has refused to wear real pants in over a year, this is a big step for me). Brands like The Frankie Shop and Nanushka offer streamlined faux leather options that easily elevate anyone’s closet and make faux leather way less intimidating.
Faux leather pants, especially, seem to be making a comeback. But instead of the tight, skinny leggings of the early ‘00s (I’ll leave that to LiLo and Paris), the latest faux leather silhouette favored by fashion editors and influencers these days is looser, with a wider leg and even slightly baggy fit. Whether paired with a skinny heel and white T-shirt, or chunky boots and cropped sweater, faux leather pants instantly add an edge to any outfit with basically zero effort. Plus, they’re surprisingly comfortable! Ahead, find some of my favorite, easy-to-pull-off outfit ideas for your faux leather pants — your dusty old sweatpants are shaking.
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The easiest way to look polished is to pair your black faux leather pants with an all-black ensemble — you can add some slate gray pieces in, too, to add avoid looking too Matrix-y (though honestly, that’s a vibe too). A black turtleneck is a must-have for winter layering, and a sleek pair of ankle boots go perfectly with a wide-cut pant.
Here’s a wild thought: Try making your faux leather pants your “casual pants” and wearing them with sneakers. You can even opt for a style with a drawstring waist, to really trick your body into thinking they’re sweats. It’s an easy swap that will make you look much more put-together.
Contrast the sleek texture of your faux leather pants by pairing with a bright, fuzzy sweater — the more oversized, the better. Layering your sweater over a simple tank or crisp white shirt is an easy styling tip for the colder months.
Remember how I said Matrix-reminiscent style was a vibe? Well, here’s your proof. Leather-on-leather can sound intimidating, but the key is to add a pop of color via a bright accessory or even shoes, like blogger Jessica Torres does here. Keep the rest of your outfit neutral, and you’re good to go.
Don’t rule out color when choosing a pair of faux leather pants. Burgundy or brown is the easiest way to ease out of black, but forest green is also a surprisingly versatile option that you can dress up or down. I’m obsessed with this head-to-toe green monochrome look from fashion influencer Maxine Wylde— and the matching Nikes are the perfect finishing touch.