Are you even into outerwear if you don’t own a leather jacket? Sure, it’s quite the investment, but if you do choose wisely, leather jackets are classic enough to wear for years and can even start to look better with age. Stylist Karen Schijman suggests leather jackets aren't exclusively for cold months, too. "I wear my moto jacket pretty much year-round," she says.
Of course, there are more than enough options if you're in the market for a new leather jacket; in the end, however, your final choice should all come down to your personal style and how it fits into your current wardrobe. "Think of your leather jacket as your second skin," suggests stylist Jamie Frankel. "It’s an added layer that you can play with, especially in the winter when layering."
We’ve rounded up the best feminine leather jackets on the market right now that revolve around both current trends and more timeless choices—and also included some styling tips from Frankel, Schijman, and fellow fashion expert Chelsea Volpe.
Acne Studios Leather Biker Jacket
"The Acne Studios’ biker jacket is as classic as it gets, but it's modernized in all the right, subtle ways," says Frankel. "It’s oversized enough to achieve the perfect model-off-duty look, but fitted enough to still be able to wear out at night, whether slung over your shoulders with a dress or worn with vintage denim and a heeled bootie." She also notes that the length of this jacket hits at the hip, which is flattering for those both tall and short. Plus, the thick belt "gives off rock-n-roll vibes" and "balances out any outfit that feels too romantic or feminine for your liking."
Price at time of publish: $1,700
Material: 100% lamb leather; 100% viscose lining | Colors: Black | Size Range: FR 32-42
Madewell Washed Leather Oversized Motorcycle Jacket
Finding an economically priced leather jacket is relative, so when you find a well-made leather jacket that covers around the $500-mark, it’s a great find. This oversized, biker-style leather topper by Madewell is one such option and offers quite a classic appeal.
Price at time of publish: $525
Material: 100% leather | Colors: Sunfaded Indigo, Dark Forest, Faded Mauve, Dried Cedar, True Black | Size Range: XXS-XXL
Free People Harriett Vegan Leather Jacket
The 'Harriett' style offers a relaxed, oversized fit and a moto-inspired silhouette that's designed for easy layering. It's constructed of soft, supple viscose—which gives it that authentic leather look—and we especially love the fabric hood, which provides an extra layer of insulation to keep you warm. The jacket runs true to size, with a boxy fit that accommodates broad shoulders and curves. Another benefit of the faux leather—it's machine washable!
Price at time of publish: $198
Material: 100% viscose shell; 100% polyester hood | Colors: Black | Size Range: XS-XL
Club Monaco Classic Leather Moto Jacket
Frankel suggests that the best leather jacket at a lower price point is none other than this option from Club Monaco. "It’s still a bit oversized, but the leather is soft and has some give so you can size up or size down as you please," she explains. We can just imagine how well this jacket will age. Factoring in the price-per-wear of this staple piece, you really can't find a better value for the quality.
Price at time of publish: $595
Material: Leather | Colors: Black | Size Range: XXS-XL
Elie Tahari Belted Vegan Leather Trench Coat
The perfect trench coat in leather is inherently versatile yet unique; it’s sleek yet understatedly elegant. And no option on the market right now achieves this better than this style by Elie Tahari. You’ll never get sick of the fine details of this coat, from the contrast buttons and sleek tailoring to the beaded tie belt. Perhaps the best part is that it's also made from vegan leather.
Price at time of publish: $105
Material: 100% polyurethane | Colors: Noir, Desert | Size Range: XS-XL
Eloquii Faux Leather Moto Jacket
Unlike other muted neutrals, any shade of white will lure the eye. This leather biker jacket by Eloquii, which comes in white, achieves that end. Meanwhile, buttery soft vegan leather and silvertone hardware ground the quintessential style, so as not to stray too far from a classic appeal.
Price at time of publish: $150
Material: 100% polyester | Colors: Bone, Jadeite, Black | Size Range: 14-28
Totême Oversized Leather Jacket
Leave it to Totême to create an ultra-modern version of any wardrobe staple. This time, the brand has reimagined a classic safari jacket in supple black leather. Clean lines mainly characterize this number, though it’s also worth noting artful details like its slightly oversized cut, four simply constructed flap pockets, and narrow notched collar.
Price at time of publish: $1,380
Material: 100% lambskin | Colors: Black | Size Range: DK 34-40
RE/DONE Suede Fringe Blazer
What goes better with fringe than suede? RE/DONE's leather jacket emits a free-spirited, retro vibe but is still sophisticated. It’s cut from genuine leather suede and offers stylish details like a notched collar, blazer-like structure, and fringing on the front, back, and sleeves. Pair effortlessly with the brand's 70s classic clog.
Price at time of publish: $1,295
Material: 100% pig leather | Colors: Black, Brown | Size Range: XS-XL
Nour Hammour Bombshell
Clean, long lines and impeccable tailoring make Paris-based Nour Hammour’s ‘Bombshell’ style a top pick in this category, which best suits wearers in cool weather where a layer of shearling isn’t paramount. We love its simple and effortlessly cool style that’s vaguely 1990s, à la Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, and that can tastefully top off any ensemble.
Price at time of publish: $973
Material: 100% lambskin leather; 100% rayon lining | Colors: Black, Acai | Size Range: FR 34-44
Halfboy Leather-Trimmed Shearling Jacket
Halfboy took a classic leather biker jacket and optimized it for crisp winter weather and steady warmth with shearling and sheepskin. We love the crinkled leather look, a departure from the smooth skins on so many other options out there, and the cozy appearance of the shearling.
Price at time of publish: $1,665
Material: Black shearling and sheep leather | Colors: Black | Size Range: XS-XL
LAMARQUE Dylan Leather Biker Jacket
For a dose of the 1980s, look to LAMARQUE. This coat is a cropped biker style made from supple black leather and bold design choices reminiscent of the period, from wide shoulders to a tapered hemline.
Price at time of publish: $510
Material: 100% leather; 97% polyester, 3% spandex lining | Colors: Black, Tan, Red, White | Size Range: XS-XL
Best Plus Size
Universal Standard Leeron Leather Moto Jacket
This buttery-soft moto jacket is made in an inclusive size range of 00 to 40—the company bases its fits on sample size 18. With a boxy fit and a belt, this style is also lightweight enough to wear in the spring—think over a flowy maxi dress or to elevate a casual t-shirt and jeans. The steel blue is also an unexpected shade that pops in the warmer months.
Price at time of publish: $598
Material: 100% leather; polyester lining | Colors: Black, Brown, Blue, White | Size Range: XXXXS-XXXXL
Able Maha Leather Jacket
Worn open, this jacket resembles a fitted, cropped blazer, making it good for those who want a figure-skimming option. Made from lamb leather, it loosens up with wear and is as soft and comfy as it is chic. For a looser fit, though, size up.
Price at time of publish: $385
Material: 100% lamb leather; polyester lining | Colors: Red, Taupe, Black | Size Range: XXS-XXXL
Lucky Brand Leather Trucker Jacket
For a laid-back look, throw on this leather trucker jacket over, well, basically anything. It fits close to the body and fits the bill if you're looking for a shacket-like style. Made from lamb leather with a viscose lining, it's silky soft and comes complete with silver-tone hardware and chest and side pockets.
Price at time of publish: $449
Material: 100% lamb leather; viscose, polyester lining | Colors: Black | Size Range: XS-XXL
Our overall favorite leather jacket is the Acne Studios Leather Biker Jacket, a classic staple piece that looks great on everyone and works in any capsule wardrobe. To spend less on the trend, pick the Madewell Washed Leather Oversized Motorcycle Jacket. Made of genuine leather, it also comes in four colors.
Meet the Expert
- Jamie Frankel is a New York-based wardrobe stylist represented by Honey Artists. She's styled celebrities like Nina Agdal, Karolina Kurkova, and Christie Brinkley, and has worked with commercial clients ranging from NET-A-PORTER to Amazon.
- Karen Schijman is a New York-based stylist represented by Honey Artists. She also recently launched a handbag line called Chascona Bags.
- Chelsea Volpe is a New York-based fashion and still life stylist represented by Honey Artists. Starting out as the assistant stylist for Alicia Keys, she's since collaborated with commercial and editorial clients including Bloomingdale's, Hypebae, and Victoria's Secret.
What to Look for in a Leather Jacket
Silhouette and Fit
"I think the most important thing is fit," says Schijman. "You want the jacket to fit your shoulders as it will wrinkle and stretch in time, but also enough to have room to flex your back (and biceps) and accommodate a sweater—even in Los Angeles, think cashmere." An oversized fit is best for layering, while a relaxed piece works well for someone who would like a bit of breathing room in an otherwise close fit. Tight-fitting is the most classic silhouette, reminiscent of the early 1970s à la Jane Birkin, though it sometimes requires careful attention to determine the best size.
Although leather jackets have traditionally been associated with toughness and edge and sometimes thought of more as a men's style, options for women typically have a more feminine flair. Look for slim-fitting options without a lot of room in the shoulders or a cropped fit. And a belt around the waist creates a cinched, hourglass silhouette.
Details and Utility
Naturally, you’ll match the level of detail to your taste, but of course, any detail should be thoughtful and purposeful, be it in the spirit of utilitarianism or simply the most flattering silhouette. Functional pockets with button or zip closures make for a useful travel piece, while silk lining is great for layering over thick knits or sweatshirts. Seaming can be especially important in minimalist styles, where lines are the focal point, so pay special attention to the placement, direction, and workmanship.
Leather jackets vary in how they are made and where the leather is sourced from. Look for companies that are transparent about their manufacturing processes to be sure you're getting an authentic, ethically made product. Madewell is one brand on this list that details its manufacturing processes on its website. And Elie Tahari's Belted Faux Leather Trench Coat and Eloquii's Faux Leather Moto Jacket are vegan, if you'd rather steer clear of genuine leather.
How do you style leather jackets?
Schijman says leather jackets can be "paired with everything from a sundress to an evening gown" year-round. While working on set, she styles her leather jacket with a light puffer from Zara or Uniqlo or wears it over a shearling or Mongolian vest for a more "boho" vibe.
Frankel agrees with the leather jacket-puffer pairing. "Contrasting a puffy, sporty vest over a leather jacket is a cool combination," she says. "It gives you that extra warmth, but still shows a cool sleeve and/or collar peeking out from your leather jacket—same goes for oversized coats," she says. "Once we start heading into spring, I also like layering underneath a leather jacket with a colorful sweater and white tee. Choosing a leather in other shades like cognac or sage green are also nice ways to wear a leather jacket in an updated form."
On the other hand, Volpe prefers a more retro look when it comes to leather jackets. "I love to style a leather jacket on top of a vintage metal tee or underneath an oversized vintage men's jacket," she says. "It creates dimension in texture and aesthetic."
What are tips on how to clean a leather jacket?
If your leather jacket has been properly treated and protected by the manufacturer, you should be able to buff away light coats of soil with a clean, damp cloth or sponge and a leather-cleaning solution, such as Absorbine Horseman’s One Step. (This specific solution also rates well for color restoration and leather hydration.) However, if the exterior needs attention on a larger scale or if it’s the interior that requires some refreshing, send the garment to a professional leather cleaning expert, like LeatherCareUSA, which provides services through the mail. This could be your dry cleaner, but to be certain, verify their credentials, as it’s not safe to assume that every dry cleaning business is adept at handling leather goods. If the inner lining is made from a washable fabric, like viscose, you can technically hand-wash your garment at home, though this is a somewhat tedious process that involves specific detergent and techniques.
Can leather jackets get wet?
While it’s not ideal, it’s unrealistic to think that your leather jacket will never get wet. If this happens, you needn’t worry; leather can sustain such conditions. If it becomes soaked by heavy rain or snow, let it air dry, then treat it with a leather conditioner. (Generally speaking, using a leather conditioner like mink oil every so often is good practice, as it keeps leather from drying out, looking ashy, or becoming subject to severe damage from the natural elements, experts say. As with moisturizer on human skin, conditioner on leather nourishes and hydrates for a smoother appearance.)
What is vegan leather made from?
Vegan leather is generally made from polyester and polyurethane. The combination pretty effectively mimics the appearance of real leather and is lauded for its cruelty-free credentials. It’s also dubbed a sustainable fashion choice; however, given that neither polyester nor polyurethane is known for its biodegradability, the point is heavily debated in the fashion community.
Why Trust Byrdie
This shopping guide was written by Byrdie associate editor Hayley Prokos. A seasoned commerce writer and editor, she’s constantly on the hunt for the best wardrobe essentials to update your collections. Her work has appeared in SELF Magazine, Newsweek, and the daily Greek newspaper Ekathimerini, and she holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Northwestern University. For this roundup, she spent days combing through current offerings and researching the best leather care.