I have tried on – and not being able to pull past my knees – a range of different leather trousers in the last few years. I will now to give you the advice I wish someone had given me before I spent Nok 3.000 on leather trousers that are now so annoyingly loose and badly constructed that I can’t wear them.
Leather expands a lot with wear. If you buy a pair of non-stretch leather trousers that are supposed to fit normal to tight, they will be quite loose after 3-4 wears.
Tall girls also have to be aware of the fit and construction of the trousers. Fitted trousers with a side zip and a smooth waist band (no belt loops) tend to be too short in the waist for us. To make them fit in the waist, you need to size up, which makes them roomier around the hips – the waist band is holding them up. After a few wears, they will loosen in the waist – and now they will become too loose. As they don’t have belt loops, you now have no means of keeping your trousers up – other than pulling them up yourself every ten minutes or stuffing a big sweater inside. So look for trousers that either have an elasticated waist band that fits snugly when bought or a jeans shape with zipper and belt loops.
Another problem we tall girls have is finding trousers that have the required leg length. Look for leather trousers that are either very long or properly cropped. The almost cropped-but-really-only-too-short-to-fit-as-regular-trousers is not a cool look. In the current sports trend, leather trousers shaped like relaxed gym trousers are popular (I have my eyes on these from Gestuz). These should also be worn cropped, to slim out the bagginess around the hips.
Look for trousers with seams that are sewn down. Many of the cheaper brands (e.g. HM) simply glue their seams down, and these will come undone after a few wears.
So which brand delivers according to my spec?
My favourites are Helmut Lang’s stretch leather leggings (and no, I’m not sponsored by them). They are really elastic (you will need to size down one to two sizes), they have a medium/high rise, elasticated waist band and REALLY long legs. They also keep their shape really well over time. They need to be dry cleaned, but the handy thing with leather is that you can just wipe them off. They are also great for windy and wet weather – the wind won’t penetrate and the water runs off! These leggings are reissued every season, always in black, in addition to a few other neutral colours. I’m wearing the black version in the photograph above (read the full blog post here).
Yes, the Helmut Lang leggings are really expensive, but my tip is to first try them on in a store, so you can find your size. Next, look for them in the online sales each season. Both my pairs have been purchased at 50 % off in the My wardrobe seasonal sales. My recent indulgence were these Drome leggings in bright red when Matches ran a special promotion last week. They have a shorter rise than the Helmut Lang leggings, so they don’t fit as well.
These were my tips for shopping for leather trousers for tall girls. What are your experiences? Have you found a brand that fits particularly well? Please share with us!