Another season of men’s fashion trends has arrived and leather jackets are still the coolest piece of outerwear. It’s been almost 70 years since the leather jacket became famous thanks to Hollywood bad boys like James Dean, Marlon Brando and Steve McQueen, but the jacket is still around – and more essential than ever.
Leather jackets have remained cool for so long that they’ve become one of the most versatile yet statement-making pieces of clothing you can own. A great leather jacket can be worn on the weekend with jeans, a threadbare vintage tee and old sneakers, but it can also add some edge to slacks, a button-up shirt and dress shoes.
Because leather jackets are so versatile and timelessly stylish, they’re well-worth researching and shopping around for. They can get expensive, but because they’ll last so long (and look better with age) a great leather jacket is worth a splurge. Of course, this sort of big purchase is daunting, so we rounded up some of our favorite leather jackets for every style and price point to get you started.
1. Topman Leather Biker Jacket
If you’re not ready to spend too much on a leather jacket, you still have some solid options. Case-in-point: this $220 genuine leather jacket from Topman. It showcases a classic biker look, an eye-catching asymmetrical cut, and a relatively low-key style that’s great for upgrading your night out wardrobe.
2. Coach 1941 Varsity Jacket
One way to elevate the throwback high school staple varsity jacket is with some high-quality leather. That’s what designer Coach did with this minimal jacket, creating a unique go-to that’s great during warmer seasons or as a layering tool when it gets colder. Plus, it’s 50% off right now at East Dane.
3. Cole Haan Washed Leather Jacket
The versatility of leather jackets makes them ideal travel companions. If you plan on packing your leather jacket often, we suggest a lighter, more affordable jacket like this one from Cole Haan. This will make it easier to layer, and you won’t worry too much about loosing or damaging it on your adventures.
4. Lamarque Leather Biker Jacket
BEST CAFE RACER
The cafe racer is another iconic leather jacket style, befitting a more minimal look. We like this one from Lamarque because it stays true to its moto racing heritage with quilted shoulders, a banded collar and an all-black color. Rock it with a plain white t-shirt and classic skinny jeans for a classic, masculine look you can wear almost anywhere.
5. Andrew Marc Kilmer Shearling Jacket
Flight jackets typically offer more warmth, along with a unique aviator-inspired vibe. They’re slightly less casual, and look good with chinos or slacks and fresh sneakers or winter boots. We like this one from Andrew Marc because it’s very high-quality with pebbled genuine leather and a genuine shearling collar, but has a reasonable price tag (as far as genuine shearling jackets go).
6. Levi’s Bomber Jacket
For a more casual, playful leather jacket, go for this Levi’s bomber. It has a vintage style with a bomber collar and a unique, eye-catching blue leather. It looks best with more casual outfits to match, such as jeans and tees, or a polo on a night out.
7. 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 everyday and still give to your kids. It’s slightly more expensive at $880, but for a famously bad-to-the-bone leather jacket, that’s actually a deal.
8. Theory Morvek Lkelleher Leather Jacket
If your style leans toward minimal, there’s still a leather jacket to fit your closet’s aesthetic. This one from Theory, the minimalist pros, features a stripped-down look that pairs especially well with office and dressy attire. It’s made of lambskin leather, which provides a softer, more supple feel that’s less harsh than cow leather.
9. Saint Laurent Leather Biker Jacket
Saint Laurent has carved out its own place in the world of leather jackets. Instead of flashy logos or a hyper-modern shape, they opted to elevate the classic biker jacket with unbelievably high-quality materials and a perfect fit. If you can swing it, this is one of the best big-ticket fashion items that money can buy.
10. Brioni Leather Bomber Jacket
Did you recently stumble across a suitcase full of cash in the forest? Here’s one great way to spend it: Brioni’s $9,500 leather bomber jacket. It’s a Bugatti, ten pounds of caviar and some diamonds in jacket form.