Basics for a Bargain: Leather Pants Inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow, Ciara, & More!

Part of what I love about fall fashion is how stylishly we can embrace texture!  Wearing leather is a fabulous way to upgrade any cotton button-down from day-to-night, but when it comes to leather pants, we have some really awesome celebrity inspiration for a number of very fashionable looks.  Leather pants can certainly be made into an item for any style & it’s a great basic, if worn the right way.

If you’re preppy, add a gray cableknit sweater with some patent leather mary janes.  Or let the diva in you show off a lacey bustier top with your skinny leather pants & some major platforms.  Leather pants aren’t necessarily just for a rock & roll look, but they definitely add that extra splash of edge with a blouse, tweed jacket, or tunic top.

Jennifer Lopez is on the set of her latest music video, wearing Balmain leather pants with a metallic sweater from H&M & studded Christian Louboutin pumps.  With extra zipper details & stacked bangles, this look is very high-profile for day, but also party-ready for evening.  Fergie takes in a day of travel in caramel colored leather leggings, a Balenciaga printed top, gold sandals, oversized shades, & hoop earrings, all while sporting a tight bun, perfect for letting your outfit get all the attention.  Ciara leaves a New York City hotel wearing destroyed Rag & Bone trousers with a shirt by Equipment, Louboutin platforms, & tote by Givenchy. She looks effortless & veyr natural, not pairing her rich pants with anything too flashy.  Gwyneth Paltrow made an appearance on The Early Show, doing a cooking segment while promoting her new cookbook, wearing straight leg motorcycle pants by The Row & finished off her look in a printed silk top & feminine ballet flats.

I went on a hunt to find affordable leather / faux leather pants to upgrade the bottoms in any Style Darling’s wardrobe.  My main goal was to find something $100 or less & I came pretty close to that with these chic finds.  @Victoria’s Secret, the pencil pants in black are $59.50.  You could take a cue from the model in the picture & try on this style of leather pant with a heavy knit.  What makes leather look even more luxurious is the combination against neutral shades like gray or cream.

For $66.00, head over to Topshop for these faux leather skinny trousers which would look perfect with a graphic tee & menswear vest for day.  If you already wear knit leggings or jeggings, then you’ve got to have leather-inspired bottoms like these!  Marked down from $130.00, Bluefly has on sale the BCBGeneration faux leather skinny pants for $77.35.  These slim fit bottoms are especially stylish for a girl’s night out or date night with your beau.

Of course, I haven’t forgotten about my plus-size Style Darlings who can take advantage of the Jessica London leather jeggings @One Stop Plus.  These are available in sizes 12-28, but range in price from $119.99 – $139.99.  Considering that leather pants are a must-have basic, investing the money in just one pair will last you a long time & can be worn just about any season (but be careful on sticky, humid summer days!).

Since our celebrity-inspirations were also wearing leather pants in the brown family, I searched high & low to find affordable look-alikes, but could only come across the rich brown leather pants from Jamin Leather for $55.00.  Break out your favorite black tank, metallic accessories, & pointed toe pumps to dress these up & you’ll be on your way to a very luxurious fall!

Who do you think wears leather the best?  Would you wear leather or faux leather pants this season?  How much would you spend on them?  Do you think the leather leggings trend is over or just getting started?  Happy Styling!

7/25/11 Darling of the Day: Pippa Middleton’s Casual Chic Day Look!

Pippa Middleton is making her second appearance here on Style Darling in a week (previously featured wearing a denim dress in Basics for a Bargain), so you know there’s some serious stuff going on with this famous British sister!  Pippa was caught out & about in May, strolling around London in a super hip, yet easy ensemble which includes a basic black blazer, red top, & skinny Hudson jeans.  She accessorized her look with Gucci sunglasses & a Modalu handbag.

During my search for comparable & affordable items, I was able to out together two looks for both Women’s & Plus Sizes.  These include blazers from Target & Torrid, tops from Bebe & One Stop Plus, & lastly, skinny jeans from Express & Torrid.

For the accessories, I really lucked out on bargain-priced items with a pair of sunglasses for $5.80, lace-up booties for $6.99 (YES $6.99!), & a camel shoulder bag for $32.80, all @Forever 21! As for the jewelry, the pair of drop earrings are from the Simply Vera Vera Wang collection @Kohl’s for $9.00.  Lastly, Charlotte Russe was my go-to resource for the rhinestone necklace, as well as the flower wreath ring & intertwined rhinestone ring, both $4.00!

These are the basic items that are the foundation to any great outfit.  She remains classic, chic, & very cool in this look that can be worn for a casual day at the office, running errands on the weekends, or even if you’re headed out to a quick meeting at a trendy cafe.  I recently had the argument about cardigans being so much more fabulous than blazers, but here is where the opposite is true.  I love how adding a blazer to a primary-colored top & basic pair of jeans (any style- flared, skinny, straight, or wide), adds a little more polish to the typically casual outfit.  Be sure to check out more Darling of the Day posts, including 48 photos of the Style Darling, courtesy of In Style’s Photo Gallery! Happy Styling!