Call it protection—perhaps from the cold, or from fading into predictability—but when the weather turns cool, fashion designers tend to create collections with a bit more edge. Which is why toughening up your wardrobe is definitely on-trend this season. Although leather is everywhere for fall (and a look we’ll be covering in-depth next month), it doesn’t function equally across the board. Take the leather legging, a key piece on several runways. We found that coated or waxed denim (a process that can sustain the fabric's vibrancy against fading) looks just as cool and eliminates the need for constant care—plus it lacks the wallet pain of real skin. Wear this denim style as a perfect transitional item, day or night, but pair appropriately: Try a boxy knit or colored blouse and tailored jacket for day, or a graphic T-shirt and biker jacket for an evening out. Here, our top options around town:
The Eve High Rise Coated Skinny Jean by Habitual really does have the look of leather—a perfect choice when you're feeling all rockstar glam. In Licorice (pictured, left), $242-$263, the Blues Jean Bar, 2800 E. Second Ave., Unit 109, 720-542-3756, thebluesjeanbar.com 
A glossy finish and faux front pockets gives DL1961’s Emma legging jean a sleek fit. Try the Diamond shade (pictured, above) and mix with black for a fashion-forward color combo. In Diamond (midnight blue) or Wick (black), $168 each, Dragonfly, 3615 W. 32nd Ave., 303-433-6331, facebook.com/DragonflyApparel 
Disco the day and night away in MOTHER’s The Looker skinny jean (pictured, right) with its iridescent sheen. In Black Glimmer, $210, the Garment District, 2595 S. Colorado Blvd., 303-757-3371, garmentdistrictcolorado.com ; and Max, 264 Detroit St., 303-321-4949, maxclothing.com 
Another faux-front-pocket style, Genetic Denim’s Shane is seamed in all the right places to make a woman’s curves look super sexy. In Galaxy, $220, Moxie, 5936 S. Holly St., Greenwood Village, 303-694-0773, moxieinstyle.com 
Follow fashion editor Georgia Benjou on Twitter at @gabenjou .