The only way to wear them is with a ton of swagger and insouciance – while hoping your thighs don’t squeak as you walk
their shiny, skin-tight sheen, leather trousers are an outrageous pant. Your M&S slacks and casual Friday cords must bow in deference to these cock-of-the-walk rock star pants. Risk-wise, wearing a black leather trou is roughly up there with skydiving and parkour. The only way to nullify the creeping sense of embarrassment is to wear them with a ton of swagger and insouciance – a sort of “This ol’ thing?” vibe – while hoping your thighs don’t squeak.
Coach and Givenchy brought them back to the catwalk recently, presciently foreseeing the yeehaw trend, AKA dressing like a drunken cowboy. But can the leather trouser’s reputation recover after that episode of Friends where Ross wore a pair on a date, and ended up overheated and stranded in the toilet, covered in talcum powder in a vain attempt to cool off? It’s tricky. There are two styles of leather trouser around at the moment. First, the very tightly fitted, loss-of-circulation skinny shape, which I don’t think works outside, say, Max’s Kansas City nightclub circa 1974. The second is chunky and more in the style of a biker fresh off an enormous chopper. To pull this off here, I’m channellingYeezus-era Kanye: going with a baggy, porridge-coloured top and large trainers. It’s essentially a perspective trick. With an item of clothing as physically and tonally dominant, you need something to take the sartorial weight off.
Still, looking down at my legs I see that these trousers look absolutely wild: as if someone has taken Suzi Quatro’s leather jacket from Happy Days, cut it into a rough trouser shape and flung them my way, pausing only to make the sign of the devil. Immediately, they feel overly warm and the words “talcum powder” repeat endlessly in my head. Is it the heat or an anxiety fever?
My conclusion? These are special-occasion trousers; you cannot treat them the way you would a pair of jeans or joggers. I’m unlikely to wear them to the pub, or even around the house. And yes, I would welcome a dusting of talcum powder.