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 motorcycle 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. 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.
2. Mr P. Melton Wool and Leather Jacket
Mr P., the in-house design team from retailer Mr. Porter, always does a really great job of creating elevated and elegant upgrades of most of your standard basics. Case and point, this elegant and elevated take on a varsity-style jacket; the rich midnight blue wool is matched by equally luxe leather sleeves. The overall look evokes long days past on the campus quad, without ever making it look like you’re trying too hard to wind back the clock.
3. Levi’s Men’s Vintage Deer Faux Leather Aviator Bomber
BEST FAUX-LEATHER BOMBER
We know that Levi’s has been making great jeans for over 100 years and they’re still going strong. They also make great outerwear. Bomber jackets are a classic outerwear style, so you can’t go wrong picking one. Because bombers are cut fuller than other jackets, they’re easy to wear over heavy sweaters. This one comes in regular, big, and tall sizes. Lined in Sherpa, it has snap epaulets on the shoulder, two upper and lower pockets and ribbed knit cuffs and waistband. It also comes in 12 shades.
4. Blank NYC Asphalt Jacket
Blank NYC’s been making on-trend leather and vegan leather jackets for quite a while now. Jackets have all the cool detailing of higher-priced brands, but at a wallet-friendly price. This moto jacket is designed with clean lines, enabling it to be worn long after trends fade away. Made from nubuck leather; it feels almost like suede but it’s cowhide that’s been buffed to softness. It has an inner pocket, two chest and two slant pockets.
5. Alpha Industries B-3 Sherpa Leather Bomber Jacket
BEST FLIGHT JACKET
Alpha Industries has created outerwear for the military since the 50s, and their civilian jackets, like this B-3 sherpa bomber jacket, is based on what pilots wore in combat. The original B-3 bomber was the official cold weather jacket during WWII and kept aircrews warm in unpressurized cabins. This jacket’s an investment that’ll keep you toasty for years. Lined in Sherpa wool, the leather jacket has adjustable buckles at the collar and hem to keep the cold out.
6. Tommy Hilfiger mens Faux-Leather Varsity Jacket
Tommy Hilfiger started out as a preppy designer vying with Ralph Lauren for a share of that market. Then he veered into trendsetting and now has settled into crafting classic American-styled sportswear. His faux-leather varsity jacket has the letter “H” emblazoned on the front. It has one interior and two exterior pockets. The varsity jacket also comes in a black and burgundy combo.
7. Marc New York Lott Shirt Collar Leather Jacket
BEST RELAXED VIBE
Sometimes you want or need a jacket that gives off a relaxed, kick-it-back vibe. This leather jacket from Marc New York does just that. It’s a mix of chore and shirt jacket styles with its big pockets and relaxed cut. This is a leather jacket that plays well with jeans or chinos. It also comes in black.
8. Calvin Klein Men’s Faux Lamb Leather Moto Jacket with Hoodie
What will they think of next? Calvin Klein proves that you can re-create the luxurious feel of lambskin in faux leather. This moto jacket has a detachable hood and bib, letting you go from weekend casual to not in one zip. It has zippered pockets and rib-knit cuffs and hem. Want to brighten up your wardrobe? Pick it up in either olive or brown.
9. DKNY Mixed Media Quilted Racer Men’s Jacket
Looking for something sporty and light? DKNY’s jacket could be what you’re hankering for in a fall and spring jacket. Heck, you might say it’s one of the best men’s leather jacket out there . . . and it’s not made from leather. This faux-leather jacket is styled like the moto racing jackets that are used on the track. It’s a combo of a quilted front and faux-leather body. Wear it until it gets cold enough for a parka.
10. Levi’s Leather Trucker Jacket
BEST LEATHER TRUCKER
Levi’s been making the best men’s jeans for well over 100 years. The brand completely gets the fact that style should not only meet comfort, but that fashion and comfort should be inherently entwined. Take their classic denim trucker jacket, re-imagined here in black leather. While a leather jacket is an investment, as it will be worn for years to come, nothing says it can’t be fun, too. And this snap front jacket with its two front pockets is as weekend-ready as it’s good for going to work.
11. Officine Generale Multi-Pocket Leather Jacket
BEST FOR TRAVEL
Looking for a leather jacket that combines practicality and luxury? This jacket from Officine Generale, which by the way has been reduced 60% (it was originally $1200!) is an amazing mix of olive green sheepskin leather and suede. It’s got four really big pockets on the front giving it a utilitarian style and feel.
12. Desigual Leather Effect Jacket
BEST SNAPPY MOTO
Spanish designer Desigual loves to play with colors and shapes in its mens’ and women’s lines. Its faux-leather jacket has an aged patina that makes it look like a well-loved leather piece. It has a high collar with a neck strap to keep out the cold.
13. H&M Leather Biker Jacket
BEST REASONABLY-PRICED LEATHER BIKER JACKET
H&M is one of our go-to stores for menswear because they produce both essentials and trendy stuff for guys at prices that won’t make you wince. Their leather biker jacket is slightly oversized, so go ahead and wear it over a sweater. Made from leather, this lined jacket has an inner pocket, front pockets and even a zippered coin pocket.
14. Makage Ryden Lambskin Down Filled Parka Jacket
If you have the urge to splurge on a leather jacket and a down parka, this one from Canadian-based Makage ticks all the boxes. Mackage quickly developed a reputation for making luxury leather outerwear, and this down-filled, leather-covered parka is typical of their work. The outside is made from insanely soft lambskin. It’s water repellent and windproof too.
15. Cole Haan Leather Moto Jacket
BEST REASONABLY-PRICED DESIGNER JACKET
A premium leather jacket doesn’t have to cost an arm or a leg, or the equivalent of two month’s rent. Cole Haan’s lambskin leather moto jacket has luxury details like reinforced stitching at the stress points — the elbows and shoulder. Cleanly styled like a European cafe racing jacket, it has a collarless neckline that snaps together for protection against brisk winds. It also comes in three other colors.