As retailers have finally started catering to a wider variety of body shapes (thank you, Eloquii and Universal Standard), they’re also opening up trends to become more accessible for those of us who aren’t swimming in cash. Case in point: this fall’s frenzy for coated jeans, which let you have the look of leather for a fraction of the price. While actual leather pants could run you up to $1,000, coated jeans can be had for $50 or less.
First things first: What are coated jeans? Basically, they don’t feel like jeans at all. Constructed of the fabrics you typically find in denim ― cotton, polyester and elastane ― they’re finished with a waxy coating that mimics the texture and sheen of leather.
This means, of course, that they’re not exactly breathable — but that’s what makes them perfect for fall’s dropping temperatures. If you’re concerned your sweat will make them stick to your skin, stylist Ama Godson suggests wearing a pair of thin leggings or tights underneath. The London-based Godson designs looks for a variety of private and public clients, and she’s a huge fan of coated jeans ― and an expert on how to do them right.
“If you keep the look very simple and minimal, a coated jean can always look very chic and you can wear it anywhere,” she said.
Read on for her tips on working this versatile trend into your fall rotation.
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“A bright white shirt is always a good way to do coated jeans,” Godson said. Pair a crisp white shirt, buttoned all the way to the top, with black jeans and pointed black mules from Aldo, Topshop or Zara. Top it off with a blazer and you’ve got a polished, work-appropriate look that “looks quite smart but it’s still edgy,” she said.
And keep the colors in the same family. “For example, if you are doing a snakeskin-coated pair of jeans and they’re brown, make the bustier a nude or cream color, so it doesn’t look too garish,” she said. Keep the jewelry minimal, since the jeans are your statement piece.
Your recipe for cozy yet cool brunch fashion: chunky knits (preferably oversize). “Tuck your sweater in slightly at the front of the jeans … it cinches you in at the waist, number one, and number two, it says, ‘I didn’t try (but I tried),’” Godson said. Pair your jeans with stiletto ankle boots, oversize sunglasses and a roomy clutch — because you never know where the day will take you.
For A Concert
“For a concert, keep it quite cool, quite edgy” and don’t wear too many layers, Godson said. Go wild with colors — try coated jeans in a snakeskin or crocodile print, or bright red. Godson recommends pairing with a printed tee and a “nice, fresh sneaker,” like the Stan Smith from Adidas.
Final Styling Notes
Godson has a firm opinion on the ideal denim silhouette: “With a mid-rise [coated jean], I generally find that that’s an awkward fit for most of my clients and myself,” she said. “I always usually do low-cut or high-waisted.” If you want to show off your figure (and a little bit of skin), choose a low-cut pair. A high-waisted silhouette is perfect for those who want to feel more cinched-in at the waist.
When laundry day rolls around, you’ll find that caring for your coated jeans is easy. Many pairs are machine washable — just be sure to follow the instructions on the care tag, as some specify laundering on the gentle cycle.
Snag one of these so-right-now coated jeans styles for your closet.