Remember that episode in Friends where Ross wears leather trousers on a date, goes to the loo and can’t get them back on again? The one where the lotion and the powder come together to form a paste? Well if you thought that was a fate that was far beyond you, this season, think again…
That’s right folks, leather trousers have made the comeback of all comebacks. The epitome of a sartorial nightmare, leathers were thought to have bitten the dust along with the Backstreet Boys, 5ive and most other forms of mid-nineties paraphernalia, but woe betide those who believe this to be true. The fashion powers that be have hailed the return of the most difficult item of clothing to wear. Ever. The woman to blame is French fashion designer of the moment, Isabel Marant. Her skinny, cropped leather trousers in cherry red and black sparked a stampede of trend-hungry stylists and French fashion editors with long, lean legs. Now clearly your average British body doesn’t exactly match up to this vision of chic, but I’d like to think that we could give them a run for their money.
The question is, should we embrace leather trousers, or run screaming in the opposite direction? Perpetual recollections of unshaven men, mid-life crisis, atop gleaming motorbikes might dash your hopes of achieving goddess-like, leather-clad proportions, but perseverance is the key. If you’re going to embrace, do so with utter confidence and conviction. Not for the light-hearted, leathers need fierce heels and an attitude to match, unless you have the legs of Elle Macpherson, in which case go as flat as you like. What’s more, the British high street is unbeatable; so trawl the stores until you find a style that suits. Leather trousers are risqué, but they are also ever so slightly risky, so be on your guard for any mutton-dressed-as-lamb-esque incidents. If in doubt, drag a skeptical friend along to view your transformation.
It is important to keep in mind that leather trousers say far more than good old denim. Like your friend for life, jeans will stick around throughout your moments of black, biker madness, whereas leathers are for now. They’re the friend that tells you that one more drink won’t hurt. For women, they’re about fashion and power, for men they cannot help but be sexual and slightly scary at the same time.
Of course there are other ways to wear leather this season: shorts, boots, skinny belts and shearling-lined jackets, but for me at least, none incite a distinct lust for dishevelled insouciance in quite the same way. For the ultimate in edgy yet minimal, trend-led but not try-hard, look no further that the leather trouser. They’re having a moment, a moment of madness perhaps, but a moment nevertheless.