When you live in a city as eclectic as New York, it’s pretty rare to see multiple people a day wearing the same thing. That said, there have been a few pieces over the years that it seemed like everyone had to have—like, I couldn’t walk a block in Soho without seeing them. Last winter, it was the Saks Potts coat. This summer, it was the Coach Pillow Tabby. And now, the Aritzia Melina Pants are the must-have piece it seems absolutely everyone is wearing.
And normally, I’d be all for a good faux leather trouser. The trouser trend in general has skyrocketed over the last year or so, with fashionistas who swore they’d never rock business casual actively seeking out trousers and work pants to put their spin on.
Of course, a leather trouser is the chicest of all options, and Aritzia’s are positively beloved. Available in a whopping 31 shades, the Melina Pants feature a high-rise, slim-fit silhouette reminiscent of your favorite jeans, plus just enough stretch for that perfect balance of comfort and support.
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There’s just one problem. I hate the way I look in them! For some reason, I just can’t get excited about the Melinas, even after returning to the Aritzia dressing room to give them a second chance. I just don’t find they flatter me enough to drop $148 of my hard-earned dollars!
But this is no shade to Aritzia, as my story actually has a happy ending. Whilst grabbing some Melinas to take to the dressing room for Round 2, I accidentally grabbed a pair of the Wilfred Modern Cargo Pants. And honey, it was love at first try!
Unlike the Melinas, these leather beauties sport a button-up fly that I find flatters and snatches the waist, plus subtle patch pockets on the legs to break things up and snap-closure cuffs at the ankles. They’re perfectly on trend, but I kind of love knowing they aren’t the same exact pair every girl in Soho has on. They’re just different enough!
Which brings me to the below roundup of not necessarily Melina Pants dupes, but alternatives. If you’ve already got ‘em and love ‘em, expand your faux leather lineup with a few more options! And if, like me, they just weren’t for you, I guarantee an alternative favorite is on this list.
WeWoreWhat Vegan Leather High Rise Dad Jean
If you’re seeking leather pants that give off more of a jean-like look than a true trouser silhouette, this wide-leg pair by WeWoreWhat for under $100 is for you. Available in Black, Ivory and Cocoa Brown, they’re basically your go-to jeans, reimagined in chic faux leather.
Good American Better Than Leather Good Boy
AGOLDE Recycled Leather Fitted ’90s Pants
AGOLDE knows a thing or two about creating a pair of pants good enough to go viral—their Criss Cross jeans put asymmetrical denim on the map! These perfect straight-leg pants are narrow without clinging, so you decide whether you want to style them with an edgy or classic twist.
Sculpt-Her Marilyn Faux Leather Pants
Plus-size shoppers—run, don’t walk, to snag these NYDJ faux leather babies before they sell out for good. They are, in a word, perfect. Not to mention they have the brand’s tuck-lift technology to flatter the tummy and lift the bum.
Faux Leather Seam Detail Split Hem Skinny Pants
Plus Black Vinyl Split Hem Pant
And of course, PLT never sleeps on its plus fashionistas! These are my personal favorites because of the split hem detail and vinyl shine, but there are tons of different faux leather options in all sorts of colors and silhouettes on their site.
Neo Faux Leather Joggers
Personally, I’m a lover of a good leather jogger, so these by Sanctuary have my heart. With the perfect creamy knit and some cute boots? So effortlessly chic for day or night. Not to mention more comfortable than a full-on fitted silhouette.
Eloquii Classic Fit Slim Faux Leather Pant
Cue Eloquii with even more incredible plus options! The brand is making faux leather pants in multiple of different fits this season, so whether you’ve got a fuller stomach, wider hips or thicker thighs, you can find the pair that flatters you perfectly and makes you feel hot AF. These come in Black, Pure Cashmere and Pine Grove—and if you find your dream fit, you might as well buy all three.
Abercrombie Vegan Leather Dad Pants