Um, I hope so

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Yes, of course! Why not? Honestly why on earth wouldn't you if you wanted to?

Okay, I see your answer to that is "because you'd be sending out a 'midlife crisis in progress' message to everyone." I don't think that's true, because sometimes a pair of pants is just a pair of pants. And honestly nobody cares much about other people or what they wear. I mean, people might spend a fraction of a second thinking "leather pants... midlife crisis... huh," but that would be about it. And who cares if people think that anyway? But really I think they'd be more likely to think "Leather pants! Cool! Wish I had the guts to wear them!"

Theoretically, yeah. If I found the right pair, I'd go for them, and I'm edging ever closer to the point where "mid-life" crisis might be something of a misnomer. But I'm kind of with Rachy. The only young people who can afford leather pants are rock stars, strippers, or those with rich parents, and I didn't fall into any of those categories.

I would love a great grey suede pair. Admittedly, this is not the same as black leather. But it would work for me. You know. What Angie calls "soft edge."

...and I'll expound later when not on my phone...depends on your definition of midlife crisis. My definition for me would involve me ceasing to evolve in midlife, being afraid of what others think (within reason) and not taking chances.

Why couldn't one simply style a pair of leather pants as they would any of their other skinnies? Keeping the other style elements the same as your core style would likely ground them; if you don't do a complete style 180, it's not going to look very out of place. I don't see how it's different than any other "fashion thing"?

Joy has a beautiful pair of dark brown leather pants that I believe she thrifted/got on consignment last year. She's older than I, so beyond midlife unless we think we'll live WELL into the three digits. Hers look quite elegant on her. They are not skin tight.

OK, first question, what is midlife? I had a pair of North Beach leather jeans in my 40's. My teenage daughter and I went to the flagship store in San Francisco and she helped me choose the style. I loved those jeans to death until I outgrew them. Lately I have been considering getting another pair but have not found them yet. Not jeans, though. Well, maybe jeans.

Yeah, I don't get it either. I don't think leather pants in general is age limited item - depending on the style and styling. Skit tight leggings with heavy shine - maybe but even they may be fine styles with long tunics and not with tight and revealing tops. Relaxed skinny or straight leg styles especially in matte leather or suede - or mixed media - why not? I would wear them in a heart beat if the right pair comes along and does not break the bank biut they wold not be in black. Chocolate brown, deep burgundy or ink - bring them on!
Leather is just another type of fabric in my book and for me it spells luxury much more than sexy!
But what I definitely not agree with is that you can wear them in mid life only IF you wore them before. I think the following statement has more truth in it: if you did not wear them when you were young because they did not fit your style persona they may not fit it now too.

Lol I'm with dashielle, what's wrong with having a midlife crisis? People need to keep growing and changing, sometimes it's gradual, sometimes more of a jump when someone realizes something's gotta change right now, and the people around them just need to catch up. Some experiments with tweaking a persona through clothes are successful, some end up at the back of the closet, either way, costs less than a sports car

You say "midlife crisis" like that's a bad thing. I'm basking in it.

If I came across the right pair (or maker), why not? It would be a step up from my current midlife regression of black raw denim selvedge jeans every day.

Leather pants are a garment that needs to be right on many levels in order not to unintentionally be very easily interpreted as signals the wearer doesn't intend to send. Maybe 20% of those I see on others meet criteria I'd set for myself. But who cares, really?

Y'all have some good points, but I'm still not convinced.

But let me reiterate: I'm talking a specific kind of leather pants. Not the soft, slightly relaxed ones. Or the extremely loose drapey ones. Or beautiful dark brown ones. Or the ones that are grey suede. I'm talking tight, glossy black rock star pants. There is no way I could pull that off convincingly at this point in my life.

I freely admit I'm having a kind of midlife crisis. I think a lot of us (men and women alike) do some serious re-evaluation -- often once the kids get to an age where their needs are not so all-consuming -- where we question what we really want from life.This is a good thing. But to me, tight leather pants act as a signal that the person is trying to deal with these issues in a very superficial way. A pair of youthful, sexy, iconic pants is exactly the same as a youthful, sexy, iconic sports car -- it looks like a vain attempt to grasp at fading youth. IF you have to shift you style to start wearing them at midlife, that is.

The same is not true for leather in general.

That's why the ladies whose style has been 'hard-rock edgy' all along get a pass. People who actually ride motorbikes also get a pass. I think ex-strippers also get a pass, although that style isn't, generally speaking, something I'd want to emulate.

Deb, midlife starts at 42!

Or it could signify a certain confidence and fearlessness that only comes with age and empowerment, defying our youth-oriented culture and bias against what society determines is being past our prime. There's a certain relief in leting go of those expectations, and I think that's another form of mid-life crisis that's often unacknowledged: "I don't have to be who I have been told to be all my life."

Now if we're talking flat-out trashy, that's a different story at any age. But even then, how much do I care? If it's my son's teacher in hot pants at school, sure I care. If she's out and about on her own time, not so much.

I know you're always game for a good discussion, so let's take it further: what if this woman was a surgeon instead of a stripper?

Plus 60 here and I wear them. Waaaay beyond midlife crisis!

Another couple of things I thought of. I think there comes a point where you're so far past your youth that no matter what you do, it won't look like you're trying to recapture it. I don't know of any grannies offhand who have suddenly been seized by the desire to dress like Keith Richards, but if they exist, I bet they can rock it.

Also, the leather pants = midlife crisis thing applies to men, too. That's why it was so funny with Ross from Friends. He bought the leather pants to impress his much younger girlfriend. He wasn't middle-aged, but he was in his thirties and, importantly, the conservative type. The pivotal point of the episode was when he hid in her bathroom to pull down his pants to cool off (cause leather pants are HOT) and then couldn't get them back up. The ensuing phone call to Joey was indescribably funny. But part of the reason we laughed so hard was because of the patent absurdity of that particular character purchasing that style of garment at that point in his life. It was so clearly an ill-advised attempt to 'be' younger. He'd have been better off to just be himself.

Marley, I posted the above without seeing what you posted. We must be on the same wavelength! Although I don't see a woman in her 60s as a 'granny' (I just love that term, btw. I'm going to be called 'granny' if I'm ever lucky enough to have grandkids).

Una, I think I mentioned earlier somewhere about how if you're a 'rock star' at some other profession (i.e. not music), you probably get a pass. I was thinking more along the lines of a creative field, like say a someone in the special effects industry, but OK, surgeon, why not. Some surgeons are indeed rock stars.

I think the surgeon in question might have to be, er, 'cool' (is there any other word?) in other ways, too, though.

A friend's mom who is north of 70 wore a brown pair to the school play. Not tight but not loose by any means. She looked fantastic but she always looks stylish. No idea if she's been wearing leather for a long time but she looked like she was so comfortable with her look. I would say "it depends".

Aziraphale - I'm 55, happy as a clam, so no midlife crisis and I bought leather leggings 2 yr ago. I'm a huge leggings girl and I wanted dressy, edgy leggings to wear with tunics and a long tux jacket. Of course they're great with tunic sweaters etc too. I think it's difficult to assign "mlc" to an article of clothing itself - although any of the items mentioned could be bought in that vein the emotion with which they are worn and how they are styled should convey the real story. I think that's the problem and potential trap with such sweeping generalizations. We all bring our personal biases into our judgements of others - but your personal intense feelings and transference might cause you misjudge others. Why such an intense passionate response? I think that's the more interesting question.

I think you make an interesting point about the distinction between early 40s and well-past-early-40s. My gentleman friend drives a flashy Maserati (black, mercifully, rather than red) but on a white-haired 60something it says "I'm spending my nonexistent children's inheritance -- wanna make something of it?" rather than "I'm worried about my virility," which is what it might say if a 42-year-old were driving it.

But honestly, honest and truly, I think 42 is young and tight black leather pants are A-okay.

And our own Natalie (goldenpig) isn't a surgeon, but she is a doctor and I'm almost certain I've seen her rock leather pants. And I'm pretty sure she's around 42.

yes I think you could start wearing them at any age! Of course styling has everything to do with it that it looks cool, edgy & elegant but not aging desperate rock star.....

So my mom, who is 70, last spring just got herself a pair of faux leather front ponte pants and she looks amazing with her ankle boots, great tops & silver hair!

It's only in "mid life" that I have had the confidence to even remotely THINK about wearing leather pants. I got a pair of half ponte half pleather last year, just to see how I liked them, and loved them. Not sure I'd ever go full on leather, partly because of the price, and partly because FOR that price I'd want them to be a style that never dated, and would also want the guarantee my weight/shape wouldn't change for several years. But if that screams mid life crisis, then bring out the megaphones.

Gryffin -- oh, I'm sure there's some good Freudian reason.

But seriously -- I'm not actually all that passionate about this. I'm well aware of the midlife crisis thing because I'm the actual age now (42 really is considered the start of midlife, I didn't make it up), plus I have made some major life changes after re-evaluating my life at around age 39. So yes, you could say it's on my mind.

But really, I don't care what anyone wants to wear. If a woman wants to wear neon yellow hot pants as a hat, well, all right. This was more a discussion of benign interest, because stripper mom (whom I like but who has what I consider to be bad taste) kept insisting that I could rock the leather pants because I'm slim and all that. I disagreed -- and I still disagree -- for the reasons I've explained throughout this thread.

MaryK, 42 is young or it is old, depending on who you ask. It's relative! But it is also the age that is generally accepted as the start of middle age. (It's also the answer to life, the universe and everything, if you're a science fiction fan).

I think one can wear them at any age as long as you like them and feel comfortable in them. The good thing about the dancer is that she does what she likes and does not care about what others think. There is power in that.
If you love leather pants and can afford them, wear them. Plus, a mid-life crisis, if it's there, is going to show with or without the leather pants. As someone said before, nobody really cares about what others do or wear. I would go for them if I found the right pair.

I'm 44 and working my butt off at the gym and if the opportunity came to wear rock star pants I would leap on it and work it to death.

Age isn't a limitation. Only minds.

I know what you are saying and it has been an interesting discussion. I think 10 years ago that might have been true, but I see leather/pleather leggings/pants/jeans as quite mainstream now. Mostly worn by 30 pluses as the younger ones are all in high waist acid print or dungarees or something else.

I don't have a pair because my legs aren't my favorite feature and I don't think I suit tight jeans/leggings all that much. And I am not prepared to spend the cash on the loose/baggy ones that I think may be quite a fleeting trend.

Absolutely it's OK to wear them! I would wear a skinny pair, but not a skin tight pair - that's just my personal preference as I don't like skin tight anything. I also don't really care what others think about what I'm wearing.

A nice pair of leather/pleather skinnies? Sign me up! In fact, that might make a nice New Year's Eve outfit.

You answered the question yourself in your recap of the Friends episode:
It was so clearly an ill-advised attempt to 'be' younger. He'd have been better off to just be himself.
If being yourself, at any age, includes wearing leather, of any kind, go for it.

I just watched the Advanced Style documentary and I think most of those ladies are at an age where it's not about trying to look young or even midlife anymore. They're freakin' 80 and they're having an artistic engaged time with their fashion choices. There's a point, and for most folks it seems to be somewhere between 65 and 70, where you just look older and yes it does seem a bit foolish to try to look like you're 45. That's not to say that leather pants have to be about trying to look younger. In fact, I don't think of them as a particularly young look. There's the expense and the old fashioned rock and roll association; do younger musicians even do the leather pants thing anymore?

I'm reminded of our conversations about 'trying too hard', such an unfortunate phrase. I mean, compared to whom? According to what? Those sorts of judgments can be so destructive to enthusiasm and creativity.

Such a fun discussion, Elisabeth! But I'm sticking with my feeling that, while I think people can wear what they want whenever they want, I still don't think I'd be enthusiastically giving the thumbs up to a good friend, IF (and I emphasize IF) she asked me for my opinion. If my hypothetical friend bought a pair of skin-tight, black "stripper" leather pants, and was asking for my support when she wore them, she'd get it, but I'm pretty sure there would be snickers behind her back--and that would bother me. If she was fine with enduring that gauntlet, then good for her, but I wouldn't be the person to give her a shove into that arena.

And, by the way, I'm assuming that we are not talking about leather and suede pants in general here, but a very specific type of leather pant on an average middle-aged woman who, up until this point, has been a fairly conservative dresser.