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The best men’s leather jackets combine fashion, good tailoring and, yes, durability. If you’re going to plonk down your hard-earned money, you want a leather jacket to look good for a long while.
While a lot of guys keep an eye out for trends, most want something that fits well and does the job. This year, there are so many options that every time you look at a leather or faux leather jacket, you may think “that’s the best of the best men’s leather jackets,” until you see the next one.
This article breaks down the types of leather and faux leather used to create men’s jackets, and where to find them. In fact, to avoid confusion, we’ve narrowed down the hunt for the best men’s leather jacket down to 15. These leather jackets work with every budget, too.
What type of leather is used in jackets and coats?
Leather jackets can be made from many different types of leather. The most common leather used is cowhide, sometimes called cattle hide. It’s water and dirt-resistant. Cowhide leather starts off stiff, but as the leather jacket is worn and broken in, it becomes softer. Leather jackets are also made from lambskin. Lambskin is a softer leather; almost silk-like in feel. It’s very lightweight and easy to tailor into any shape; that’s one of the reasons why it’s so expensive. While goatskin leather is used more in Europe, both the US Navy and US Airforce utilize this leather in their jackets. It’s as durable as cowhide, but is soft, wears well and has a distinctive pebble-like grain. Calfskin is buttery soft like lambskin.
What is vegan leather and is it any good?
In our vegan leather jacket roundup, we discussed the finer details of vegan leather. To make things easy, we’re going to do it here too. Vegan leather can be created from mushrooms, cork and other stuff. It’s usually created from polyurethane or polyester. In reality, they’re the same thing.
Is there a difference between vegan leather and faux leather? Nope, it’s just semantics. Vegan leather AKA faux leather can look and feel like real leather. It can also last, depending upon how it’s created, and can look like real leather. Some people think that faux leather is warmer than real leather and that it’s impervious to the elements. Now, a bazillion years ago, when faux leather debuted, it felt and looked tacky. It was kinda like the “poor man’s leather.” Nowadays high-end designers, notably Stella McCartney, use faux AKA vegan leather and the quality is right up there with the real stuff.
Got the basics down? Great. Below you’ll find our 15 best men’s leather jackets to buy right now.
1. Thursday Boot Co. Racer Jacket
If you’re looking for a leather jacket that’s got that cool motorcycle vibe yet doesn’t look out of place when worn with chinos or casual trousers, the Thursday Boot Co., Racer jacket is your best bet. While the design is based on the classic racer style, the streamlined silhouette gives it the super powers to blend with any outfit. It’s made with lusciously soft lambskin that only gets better with age. This jacket also has two hidden interior and two exterior pockets, making it a great travel companion. This racer jacket also comes in four other colors, and they even make a suede version. Wear them with their equally awesome Thursday boots.
2. Schott NYC Leather Moto Jacket
Marlon Brando wore a Schott biker jacket in The Wild One in 1953, starting a 70-year craze for this specific jacket. For the fashion purist, this is a grail piece that you can wear every day and still give to your kids. It’s slightly more expensive at $900, but for a famously bad-to-the-bone leather jacket, that’s actually a good deal.
3. Tommy Hilfiger Smooth Lamb Faux Leather Bomber Jacket
Established in the 80s, Tommy Hilfiger first flirted with the preppy trend, switched over to a quasi-hip hop style, before settling into creating modern, yet classically styled clothing. They’ve slowly become one of the OGs of American designers. Their faux leather bomber jacket ticks off what you’re looking for in a leather jacket. Minimally styled so that it works with whatever you throw at it, this faux leather item has ribbed knit collar and cuffs, two outside pockets and one interior zippered pocket. Because it’s made from faux leather, it’s a great transitional piece, allowing you to wear it for more than one season. It also comes in five other colors
4. Jack & Jones Nolan Biker Jacket
BEST MOTO DEAL
This is a seriously sweet deal. For the price, you get a terrifically designed faux leather motorcycle jacket. Done in black leather, and cut in a Euro (slim) fit, this faux leather jacket has premium details like the semi-asymmetrical front zipper, snap trim on the lapels, and zippered side pockets. Best of all, it looks and feels like real leather.
5. HUGO Lyes Leather Jacket
BEST DESIGNER STEAL
Before we even begin to talk about the style of HUGO’s leather jacket, let’s talk about the price. Originally, this leather jacket was priced at $995, and now it’s on sale over 50% off. This black leather jacket has contrasting red-trimmed zippered pockets and sleeves for the right amount of visual punch.
6. Overland Sheepskin Co Lucio Lambskin Leather Moto Jacket
When buying a leather jacket, it’s always a good idea to first take stock of what colors you wear. This way, your new leather jacket will easily blend in with what you already own. If you wear lots of earth tones and various shades of blue, Overland’s blue moto jacket will fit in well with what you’ve got. The two-tone waxed staining and finish creates a soft aged patina for this supple lambskin moto jacket. Lightly lined, you could wear it from spring through fall. The front zip jacket has a stand-up collar, and two zippered pockets.
7.Milwaukee Leather Distressed Brown Motorcycle Jacket
BEST ON AND OFF THE ROAD
Milwaukee Leather specializes in crafting motorcycle clothing and accessories. Their stuff can be worn for cross-country motorcycle trips, and for those whose two wheels are a Raleigh. Their distressed moto jacket is definitely road-worthy as it has built-in air vents and a kidney back. If you live in temperate climes, this leather jacket can be worn all year long as it has a zip-out lining. It also has two large interior pockets and zippered sleeves.
8. Saturdays NYC Logo-Appliqued Leather Harrington Jacket
Saturdays NYC opened a store in Soho back in 2009, and now they’ve become an internationally known menswear line. They specialize in designing cleanly styled modern classic clothing and accessories. Take this leather jacket, rather than use the typical racer or motorcycle pattern to create their own, they opted to mine menswear fashion history and used the classic Harrington jacket AKA James Dean jacket AKA bomber jacket as inspiration and the pattern. The result is a timeless, refined leather jacket that’ll defy categorization. At once perfect for city streets, city dates and work, it’s also cool enough to wear out at night, or on lazy weekend days. It has two large front pockets, and there’s a logo patch on the chest.
9. Levi’s Legacy Faux Leather Classic Trucker Jacket
BEST DENIM REMAKE
Who doesn’t love a good trucker jacket? The slightly oversized denim jacket has made a comeback, and the updated version is ridiculously wearable. Levi’s took everyone’s favorite jacket and created a faux leather version that lets you wear it for three seasons. You could also wear it in the winter, providing it’s a mild one with either a hoodie or sweater underneath. Anyway … going back to the jacket, it has all the seaming details just like the denim version. It features two snap front pockets and cuffs, side pockets, adjustable waist tabs and the red Levi’s tab. Shown in navy, it comes in six other colors.
10. Buck Mason Bruiser Moto Jacket
BEST MODERN MOTO
Buck Mason accrued a sterling reputation for making modern menswear classic styles in feel-good, quality fabrics. They make what a few fashion critics have called “elevated essentials.” Keeping all that in mind, when the Buck Mason design team decided to do a motorcycle jacket, they kept the good stuff, like asymmetrical front zipper, snap-accented collar, and three pocket front, and dumped the bad part of the design; namely the bulk. There’s something about some, but not all motorcycle jackets that are cut so boxy, they become bulky in the back. When you sit down, the jacket’s shoulders rise on their own. That’s totally annoying and will not happen with this jacket. Made from supple lambskin, the jacket has a slightly aged patina that will deepen with time.
11. Cole Haan Washed Leather Trucker Jacket
Like the idea of a trucker jacket, but want something a bit more elevated? Cole Haan’s come to your rescue with their leather trucker jacket. While it has the same boxy style as a trucker jacket, the style is slightly more refined with its stand-up collar and two front oversized flap pockets. Done in a rich, deep brown, this jacket can quickly become your go-to outerwear item.
12.Saks Fifth Avenue Reversible Leather and Nylon Bomber Jacket
Whether it’s raining or sunny, you can always wear this jacket because it’s reversible. One side is smooth navy leather, and the other is pale gray nylon. Either way you wear it, you’ll be able to use the side welt pockets and the sleeves are finished with ribbed trim.
13. Wilson’s Leather Dale Retro Striped Leather Jacket
BEST VINTAGE STYLE
Harkening back to 80s moto racing, Wilson’s Leather jacket sports vintage-style racing stripes across the chest. This is the type of leather jacket that’ll look good now and 10 years from now. It zips up the front and ends in a tabbed collar. It also has zippered side pockets and zippered cuffs that add an authentic racer touch to the style.
14. Levi’s Faux Leather Shirt Jacket
BEST SHIRT JACKET
Shirt Jackets were a 70s staple, and wouldn’t you know it, like a lot of styles from that era, they’ve been resurrected, restructured and made cool again. Levi’s updates the shirt jacket and gives it street cred by making it in gray faux leather and trimming it with muted silver-tone snaps. The shirt jacket has two chest snap pockets and two roomy side pockets. It’s water-resistant, and there’s an interior safety pocket to stow your valuables.
15. Ksubi Oh G Throwback Biker
The Australian brand has A-lister appeal; they’ve done collabs with Jeremy Scott, Richard Nicoll, and Travis Scott, and they used Kendall Jenner as the face of their 2020 capsule collection. Their jacket mixes up two styles: leather and denim, and re-creates a classic style. Their Oh G jacket has a denim body and leather arms, kinda like the denim vest OG bikers wore over their leather jackets. It has a quilted lining and functional flap and slant front pockets.