Why do leather trousers never cease to be fashionable? Is it just a case of sex, drugs and rock n roll or is it piety, Horlicks and a bit of hymn singing?

Leather trousers have a specific cachet; they still raise eyebrows in some quarters and represent all kind of dreams and desires. This is their joy but also their problem. On the one hand you can look like the kind of woman who wants to demonstrate just what a rocker she is or you can end up looking like you are still walking around with the shape of your bike saddle tattooed on your arse, or worse still with the ‘filled nappy look’. It’s a delicate line to straddle gracefully. I could of course branch out in this piece and talk about lurex and spandex leggings and big hair 80s metal bands but I will save you the agony but try a Google search for: Europe, Ratt, Bon Jovi, Poison, Motley Crue, Cinderella and Winger. Ha ha, what names to conjure with, but no, that was not my intended look.

Suffice to say I managed to nick the perfect pair of leather trousers from an ex who was studying History at the same university and looking back seemed desperately unlikely to be the owner of said pair of leather trousers. They were perfect and I knew he would be unlikely to see them again, except fitting snuggly around my legs the minute I tried them on. Thank you Simon, if you read this.

I have read blogs which discuss the merits of contrast and fit when contemplating wearing leather trousers, apparently one has to make the top half ‘of the ensemble’ (goodness) have sufficient contrast to provide visual interest. If I say I used to team up my leather trousers with a black swimming costume, I imagine you can probably guess the kind of contrast I was after.

This was not me trying to be provocative (ahem), this was me heading up an otherwise all male heavy metal band so, said trousers and a mandarin collar on a tight, padded motorbike jacket was definitely the required look. I spent the whole of my university days pushing supermarket trolleys stuffed with amps and cabs across campus, avoiding lectures, being a poet and perfecting the art of smoking Malboro without feeling sick or dizzy. I did perfect the art only to find myself hospitalised with pneumonia which cut short my ‘elegante’ smoking career.

The leather trousers were my signature look. My style blogger/guru states ‘By mastering the two variables of fit and contrast, you can incorporate leather pants into your outfit without looking like a punk rocker or a biker (that’s a shame!) The result will be both sexy and stylish rather than low brow and tacky.’ I mean, how could you possibly look tacky when you coupled that look with a bubble perm? Really.

From 1978 until 1983 I travelled the West Midlands playing gigs, becoming Melody Maker finalists in their Rock and Folk competition, appearing in Kerrang and was evenmentioned in the Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal. I do have the odd rather fuzzy picture of me in the trousers but that’s for me to know and you to imagine. What I will say is that I did graduate to a chic tan, soft leather skirt, striped silk blouse and stilettos not long after and as much as I miss belting out ‘The Rocker’ to a packed student union building, I’m really glad I am through that phase but wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Certainly it gives me plenty of material for writing exercises even if I do start in one place and end up miles away through the process.


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