Denim Review: James Jeans Faux Leather Skinny Pants in Black Licorice

This weeks review is on a pair of James Jeans Faux Leather Skinny Pants in Black Licorice. I was really excited to get these as I am a big fan of faux leather jeans/pants as I find them more breathable, a much cheaper price and of course animal friendly, so I was hoping these would be perfect, just like I wanted them to be, but unfortunately they aren’t.

I will start with the fit as that’s a really important factor. I usually love low rises, but the rise on these is just much too low. I included a photo of just how short it is and also the back rise is just as bad. If you bend forward just a little bit then you end up with builders/plumber butt right away, which isn’t the general look I go for, ha ha. So I would love for the rise to be at least an inch higher all around actually.

Another factor is how they run. My usual size in James Jeans is a 27 and most of those 27’s fit me quite tight, however these in a 27 are incredibly loose and baggy and I can pull the waist out really far when wearing them. So they run huge in comparison to their usual jeans. I’m not sure if perhaps I have a miss tagged pair? But they are definitely really large. I could probably size down 2 sizes to a 25 for them to fit tight, but then the rise would be even lower and I can’t imagine that looking attractive at all!

Since I usually love James Jeans and find them so flattering, I was sure that these would be the same, so it’s really unfortunate that they aren’t the same fit as usual. The inseam length is great though as is the overall skinniness of the jeans. They fit nicely from the top of the thigh down. If you don’t mind low rises at all then these will be fine for you! I used to live in low rises, but as I grew up I just can’t really do them anymore. They are very very stretchy for leather style pants as well, they have quite an elastic to them and are quite thick in fabric weight.

The big plus point about these is they do actually look a lot like leather. They are matte and quite dark, although they aren’t totally pitch black, they are slightly more on the grey side actually. They are also really soft inside and have a soft lining or back of the fabric, which feels nice against the skin. It’s a little hard to get used to though since I’m very much used to denim, so this fabric is quite a strange difference on the skin. I would say it doesn’t move as easy as denim does as far as an easy wearing fabric goes, however it is comfortable.

This fabric/coating seems to mark really easily too, you can see a line mark on the front thigh and also a little patch on the close up back pocket shot where some of the coating has peeled or chipped off. So it seems like they can easily get marked and damaged. Be careful not to scratch or rub them against anything for this reason as it seems they are incredibly easy to break. I’m actually unsure how those marks got there, so I can’t say exactly what did it.

Also, due to the looseness of these pants, I didn’t find them to be as flattering as James Jeans usually are on the butt. But I am pretty confident that if I had my correct size and the rise was higher, they would be very flattering to me. I would say as a general observation, these pants would be perfect for those of you who are great with lower rises, those with a smaller butt as well so the back rise will fit and also those of you who are willing to treat them with care. They are going to be a pair of jeans that need a lot of looking after and minding so they don’t get marked or scratched.

As much as I absolutely love the look of these on someone else or just laid flat, they just don’t work out for my body shape unfortunately. Which is such a shame, but I’m sure there are many out there who will look great in these. The model on Shopbop does, although they seem to be a bit loose on her as well. The rise on Shopbop does state 7″ but on mine it is lower than that. I have listed the measurements below of my size 27 for you and you can buy these online at Shopbop for a cheaper price of $150.

Waist aligned – 16″
Rise – 6.5″
Back rise – 11.5″
Hips – 17.5″
Mid thigh – 7.75″
Inseam – 29″
Leg opening – 5″

Jeans courtesy of James Jeans.


  1. At first glance they look fab (they look really skinny on the leg on the top pic, love that look) but you are right, talk about low rise! Cannot do that either anymore, maybe and age thing? lol! Great review!