Leather pants date back as far as Native American tribes who used animal skin for clothing. However, the leather pants you're probably thinking of became popular during the 70s. Now sometimes made from synthetic or faux leather, you may be wondering how long they might last. Well, we've done the research for you and have a time frame that you can expect your leather pants to last.
Leather pants that are made from genuine leather can last over 10 years when taken care of correctly. Synthetic leather pants will typically last two to five years. Whether the leather is genuine or faux leather, the higher the material quality, the longer it will last. When deciding on a pair of leather pants, choose a pair made from a thicker fabric. The most important factor in making your leather pants last is your care routine.
So now you know your pants could last anywhere from two years to over a decade, but keep reading as we elaborate on this further. We'll discuss what factors might increase or decrease the lifespan of your leather pants. Additionally, we'll answer some other questions you might have.
Genuine or Faux Leather?
Faux leather, or synthetic leather, is made from a coated plastic base. Faux leather leggings are much cheaper than genuine leggings. Though, with normal wear, they typically last from two to five years. Genuine leather, though much more pricey, can last a very long time if cared for appropriately.
There are definitely differences between the two materials. It is much easier to damage real leather than faux leather. Another difference is comfort. Genuine leather is known for its comfort, but even genuine leather comes in different quality, which can denote how long your pants will last.
Eventually, leather will tend to stretch and not return to its original shape. This happens with both genuine and faux leather leggings. You can expect areas such as the knees to become loose. Styles that aren't as tight will take longer to stretch and will likely last longer.
These are all things to consider when deciding which material is the right choice for you. We recommend researching and reading reviews to help you make the best choice.
How To Take Care Of Your Leather Pants
We've already mentioned this a few times, but making your leather pants last primarily comes down to how you care for them. There are certain ways to wash, condition, and store your leather pants in order to prolong their life. Let's discuss this further.
Washing & Drying
The very first thing you should do is check the care label that comes attached to your pants. Not all care routines for leather and faux leather are the same. To get the most time out of your leather pants, you should follow the care label's directions for washing and drying your pants. Many brands will suggest dry cleaning, spot cleaning, or washing on delicate to maintain the leather.
Spot Clean First
Both leather and faux leather pants are easy to spot clean. Just use a damp microfiber cloth to gently wipe any areas that might need cleaning. For tougher stains, it's okay to use a mild detergent.
Water Can Damage Leather
If you just throw your leather pants into the washer or dryer on your regular cycle, you risk stretching and damaging them. Genuine leather can crack and peel from being exposed to water or heat from the dryer. It is always best to line or hang dry your leather pants.
Water from washing isn't the only way your leather pants can get damaged. If you get caught in the rain, it is important to dry genuine leather quickly to prevent cracking or even rotting. Faux leather pants do not absorb water the way genuine leather does
Both genuine and faux leather pants can be conditioned with leather conditioner. This helps prevent cracks and peeling. Applying a conditioner to your pants can help them last even longer.
Click here to see Leather Honey Leather Conditioner on Amazon.
The best way to keep leather pants in your closet is to hang them up. Do not fold them because you cannot iron leather. Folding them will make them susceptible to creases and wrinkles that you will have a hard time removing.
Some leather pants will have fabric loops that you can use to hang the pants from. Otherwise, you can hang them over a hanger.
If you do choose to hang your pants over a hanger, avoid wire hangers as these can be harsh on the fabric and create a crease. Instead, opt for a hanger with a wider or velvet bar.
Click here to see Wooden Hanger with Velvet Bar on Amazon.
If you do end up with some wrinkles in your leather pants, check out this blog post for tips to remove them: "How To Get Wrinkles Out Of Leather Pants [Inc. Faux Leather!]"
How Many Times Can You Wear Leather Pants Before Washing Them?
How often you wash your leather pants depends on how and where they are worn. If you aren't wearing your pants on a hot summer evening where you might get a little sweaty, it's best to spot clean them when needed. If you did get sweaty, you can try turning your pants inside out and hand washing the inside with a cloth and mild detergent.
Once you really feel like you have to wash your leather pants, designer Marissa Webb, who has a line of leather trousers, suggests submerging the pants in water and then immediately drying them. She does this every three to four wears.
Are Leather Pants Durable?
Leather pants are durable, especially if taken care of correctly. Leather has been used to make clothes and furniture for centuries because of its durability. Fortunately, both faux leather and genuine leather are durable, so you can't go wrong with either one. However, genuine leather is more durable than faux leather and will last longer.
Can You Alter Leather Pants?
You can alter leather pants. Just like most clothing items, you can alter leather pants both around the waist and in length to fit your body better. Altering the length of the pants is the easiest, but they can also be altered to fit tighter as well.
As with all items of clothing, the most difficult alteration is making the pants bigger or longer. The size and length can only be increased by the amount of seam allowance.
Can You Alter Leather Pants By Yourself?
One tailor explains that leather pants can be altered by yourself with the right equipment, but if you're in doubt, it's always best to ask a professional. While the price to alter leather pants can range from $50 to $250 depending on the work needed, a new pair of genuine leather pants will cost you much more, so it might be worth the expense.
The cost to alter the pants will also depend on your location, so be sure to call a few tailors for quotes to get an accurate estimate.
How Many Leather Pants Should You Own?
How many leather pants you should own is ultimately up to you, but it's always good to have at least one pair. Because of their durability and long life, leather pants are a worthy investment. They can also be dressed up or down and made to work for almost any occasion.
Leather pants are available in different colors and styles, so if you want to have multiple options for your wardrobe, you might want to have more than one pair.
If you decide to opt for a traditional pair of black leather pants, check out our other blog post below for some ideas on how to style them "How To Style Black Leather Pants [5 Ideas For Men And Women]."
What Is The Average Price Of Leather Pants?
Genuine leather is not cheap, but faux leather is much more affordable. Genuine leather pants can range from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000. Whereas, faux leather pants are available for less than $50 up to around $200. Since both faux leather and genuine leather have lots of positive qualities, there is something for everyone's budget.
Both faux and genuine leather pants will last a long time, but hopefully, our article has given you a good idea of just how long that might be. With faux leather and genuine leather both being durable options and coming in a variety of colors and styles, there's something for everyone; and they are a great addition to any wardrobe.
I e been wearing skinny jeans since my 40’s. I’m 58 now, leaner and in better shape. I’m sure I could pull off the look but it may take some convincing for my wife. Thank you for all the great tips on this post. I’ll be browsing the store racks now for a pair and trying them on.