How to dress like a grown up with Shane Watson: As Super Cindy shows, mums CAN rock leather
- Shane Watson shares advice for embracing this season’s leather trousers trend
- Recommends opting for cropped black styles, paired with a low heel
- UK-based fashion expert takes inspiration from Kaia Gerber and Cindy Crawford
Here’s a picture of Cindy Crawford and her daughter, the model Kaia Gerber, out and about in Paris during the shows a couple of weekends ago, and look which one of them is wearing leather trousers. Yes, it’s Cindy.
OK, the trousers may be pleather, it’s hard to see (although note that Cindy is sweeping aside her camel coat so we can’t miss the fact that she’s wearing something leather-ish) but the point is mums can and do wear leather trousers.
These trousers are no longer at the sharp end of cool, they are what you wear with your camel coat and flat boots when you’re out shopping with your 20-year-old daughter on a spring day.
Shane Watson shares advice for embracing this season’s leather trousers trend at any occasion. Pictured: Kaia Gerber with mother Cindy Crawford
OK, if you’re a one-time supermodel you might choose a skin-tight pair, but if you’re a regular 56-year-old (or thereabouts) civilian mum, you’d probably go for a looser wide-leg style (£250, cosstores.com) or a cropped Bardot, like the ones the fashion editors were all wearing at the shows (£245, jigsaw-online.com).
One thing’s for sure: we’ve arrived at a point where the old debates — are they nice or nasty? When are you too old for them? — have all fallen away and the only relevant questions are the ones that apply to everything we wear: does it suit you and does it suit your life?
Let’s deal with the second part first. There are lots of ways to wear leather trousers, but for our purposes I’m sticking with smartish.
There are tons of joggers, jean and cargo styles in the shops, but I firmly believe that if you’re going to wear leather trousers in your mum years then they’ve got to be worn in the manner of a cool Parisian editrix, which is like tailored black trousers with more gloss, or not at all.
If you do want a slouchy pair of joggers then I would point you in the direction of Hush (£299, hush-uk.com), but for that money I want to be getting the maximum injection of Parisian chic — I’m not wearing leather trousers unless they’re as flattering as my jeans and they make me feel like I’ve upped my game.
Shane said leather trousers are not being glammed up, but worn with a camel coat and a cream wool hoodie. Pictured left: Katy Perry, Pictured right: Amanda Holden
A quick word about game-upping. This is for me the only reason to buy clothes any more unless you are replenishing your basics. You want clothes that make you feel like you’ve rewound the clock to that time, a decade or so ago, when you thought you looked pretty good.
We’re not talking about making an entrance kind of game-upping; the point about leather trousers now is they’re not glitzy or rock ’n’ roll and you’re not glamming them up. Instead you’re wearing them with a camel coat and a cream wool hoodie (see Cindy), or with a jacket and a skinny polo neck.
Knitwear works well with leather trousers, allowing you to drape and cover your waistline, and longer, bottom-grazing sweaters with leather legs peeping out is a look that works for all ages.
LEATHER TROUSERS: THE NEW RULES
- Go for a side zip and flat front.
- Stick to black.
- Try a cropped style.
- Wear with a low heel.
Otherwise, a crisp boyfriend shirt half tucked into leather trousers is chic and simple, or you could add a tank top, and keep the shirt tails out.
The only rule is avoid high heels. A mid-heel ankle boot is fine, maybe a cropped cowboy style, but otherwise loafers, flat boots, something boyish (maybe a low slingback) is what’s required.
Will you suit them? Yes if you don’t try to make them look sexy with a low-cut top and high sandals, and if you opt for the most grown-up cuts. My favourites are those previously mentioned wide-leg leather trousers from Cos, which sit on the waist and have side-seam pockets.
Cos does several styles including a regular straight leg, also good, and a barrel leg cut (£250 and £290, cosstores.com), which is cropped a few inches above the ankle.
Cropped leather trousers look lighter and neat with an ankle boot or low-heeled slingback — it’s the cropped length and the side-fastening, smooth silhouette of Jigsaw’s Bardot that make it so desirable. For some reason jean-style pockets cheapen the look of leather trousers and whatever you do, avoid flares and pleats.
And then there’s pleather. A lot of the best fake leather versions are as pricy as the real thing. Nanushka is the fashion front row’s favourite for vegan leather trousers (from £345 nanushka.com).
For cheaper versions try Mango’s straight leather-effect cropped trousers (£35.99, mango.com), which are pretty good and a nice length and Zara does a basic, pleather straight fit (£29.99, zara.com), but for my money what’s the point unless they’re just right.
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