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 the best leather jackets for men, in every style and price point, to get you started.
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 good deal.
2. Mr P. Melton Wool and Leather Jacket
Mr P., the in-house design from retailer Mr. Porter, always does a really great job of creating elevated and elegant upgrades from 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. Alex Mill Tumbled-Leather Jacket
BEST ATYPICAL OPTION
If you’re in search of a new leather jacket, but want something that’s a little different from the other options, this tumbled-leather jacket from Alex Mill should be worth checking out. Its caramel-esque hue is decidedly lighter than most standard options, while still being made in a silhouette that’s typical of other jacket styles you’re familiar with. And if the fit doesn’t work for you right away, the adjustable waist tabs can help you dial in whatever look fits you best.
4. Lucky Brand Classic Washed Bonneville Leather Jacket
BEST CLASSIC STYLE
This jacket from Lucky Brand is most similar to the cafe racer style leather jacket, which boasts a more classic and/or minimalistic look. Here, Lucky has made the leather appear to be more faded for a vintage-look that happens to still look of the modern era. Feel free to dress it up or down depending on the situation — but prepare for all the compliments you’ll get on just how well it fits and looks.
5. Thursday Boot Company Flight Jacket
BEST FLIGHT JACKET
Despite their name, Thursday Boot Company has started to branch out into other leather-based offerings like this killer flight jacket. Inspired by jackets that actual fighter pilots would wear during missions, the shearling collar helped to add extra warmth around the neck in what was an otherwise cool cockpit. Thursday’s version has a removable collar, which makes it all the most versatile. Additionally, the full-grain leather will only get better and better the longer you wear it. It’s a well-crafted and smart-looking jacket that will instantly elevate the style of anyone who puts it on.
6. AllSaints Kino Leather Bomber Jacket
We’ve written before about how just easily bomber jackets work for elevating a standard outfit into something really polished and trendy, but an entirely leather bomber jacket only serves to double down on that effortlessly cool look. This minimalist version from AllSaints strips down a lot of the fussier details into something that’s refined and simple — without ever feeling plain or basic.
7. H&M Biker Leather Jacket
Outside of a suit, a leather jacket is one of the pricier items in the world of menswear. So it’s understandable that you might not want to spend an arm and/or a leg to get your hands on something that looks really stylish. If you find yourself in this mindset, H&M has you covered with this biker-style leather jacket. A complete steal at $69.99, it’s crafted from faux leather, so you can feel as good about the purchase as you look wearing it.
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. John Elliott Leather Rider’s Jacket
Los Angeles-based designer John Elliott makes a leather jacket that’s absolutely one of the best in the business. Crafted entirely in LA, its Italian leather construction is tough, yet elegant, and will last for decades if you take care of it properly. Oh, and if you’re not convinced, Elliott’s leather jackets are the go-to leather pieces for one LeBron James — which is one hell of a compelling celebrity endorsement, as game quite literally recognizes game.
10. Theory Rivington Shearling Hooded Leather Jacket
If you want something that’s really different, this offering from Theory is both a hoodie and a leather jacket. Its hems and cuffs are crafted from a ribbed material that evokes traditional stylings of standard leather jackets, but with a hood on it. The interior is lined with a supple shearling material that will keep you comfy, cozy, and warm. Sure, it’s an unconventional pick, but if you’ve got the extra money to splurge, why not go with something that’s truly unique?