Much like denim jackets and wool peacoats, leather motorcycle jackets seem to be an everlasting archetype of outerwear. While they have a certain edge, leather jackets can often be paired with a myriad of outfits, from ruffled dresses to virtually any jeans and T-shirt combo.
Byrdie Researched & Approved
As it often goes with any investment item, deciding on the best one for you can be overwhelming. With that in mind, we’ve spotlighted a handful of standout leather motorcycle jackets available right now, which we identified from the construction, material, and fit of each one. We also spoke with Alison Bruhn, a New York City-based personal stylist, to learn more about the latest leather moto revival (thanks to designers like Prada and Simone Rocha) to better inform our research.
From made-to-last styles to more fashion-forward options, here are the best leather motorcycle jackets.
Quince 100% Leather Motorcycle Jacket
The Quince 100% Leather Motorcycle Jacket is our best overall pick for its classic design, which includes a buckle belt at the hemline, zipper sleeves, and those iconic pointed lapels, as well as its approachable price point. (Many similar jackets can price into the thousands, but this one retails for under $150 before tax.)
Price at time of publish: $150
Material: Top grain leather | Size Range: XS-XL
H&M Patent Biker Jacket
If you’re not looking to spend a pretty penny but want to channel the same look, there’s this style from H&M for under $100. It’s made from patent (not real) leather that can be wiped clean for easy care. Plus, since it has an oversized fit, it should work well as a layering piece and fit comfortably over hoodies and sweaters.
Price at time of publish: $60
Material: Polyester and polyurethane shell; recycled polyester lining | Size Range: XXS-XL
Sandro Leather Moto Jacket
By contrast, if you’re willing to invest, Sandro’s Leather Moto Jacket is a sound choice. It feels like the French girl’s spin on the classic moto jacket with its cropped, boxy fit and off-center zipper. It’s casual enough to pair with your favorite pair of jeans and a worn-in graphic T-shirt but also has a luxurious appeal that makes it appropriate to throw over dresses and tailoring.
Price at time of publish: $670
Material: Lambskin leather shell; polyester and cotton lining | Size Range: XS-XL
AllSaints Elora Leather Biker Jacket
The Elora Leather Biker Jacket from Allsaints is best for those looking for a cropped version of the traditional moto jacket. And still, it forgoes the typical silver for brass, which offers a warmer look and feel and can more easily be styled with gold jewelry and accessories.
Price at time of publish: $499
Material: Lambskin leather shell; recycled polyester lining | Size Range: 0-12
Best Size Range
Universal Standard Leeron Leather Moto Jacket
Universal Standard is a size-inclusive brand that offers every wardrobe staple you could imagine in sizes 00 to 40. Example: this leather motorcycle jacket, which has a slightly cropped fit and comes in four finishes. Make it your new uniform with a pair of jeans and a crisp, white T-shirt.
Price at time of publish: $598
Material: 100% leather; 100% polyester lining | Size Range: 00-40
Levi's Vegan Leather Moto Jacket
Levi’s makes a fitted vegan leather jacket to hug you in all the right places. The polyurethane material mimics buttery leather, and design-wise, the style leans minimalist. It includes zippers on the sleeves, small shoulder straps, and an asymmetrical zipper to close in a subtle, dark silver finish but forgoes the standard buckle belt.
Price at time of publish: $128
Material: 100% polyurethane | Size Range: XS-XXL
Best Oversized Vegan
Sophie Rue Oversized Vegan Leather Moto Jacket in Black
If you’d like to see yourself in a more oversized fit for room to layer sweaters and sweatshirts in brisk weather, there’s this vegan leather jacket from Sophie Rue. This style doesn’t overlook the signature details, from a buckle belt to zippered sleeves, belted waist, shoulder straps, and several front pockets.
Price at time of publish: $214
Material: 55% polyester, 45% PU | Size Range: XS-XL
Best for Winter
The Arrivals Moya V Shearling Jacket
In really cold temperatures, you’ll need to opt for something with robust insulation, like, say, a shearling-lined leather motorcycle jacket. The style from The Arrivals is so replete with warmth, the brand promises, having been field tested by the maker and approved for temperatures as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit. To top it off, the leather has been treated to be water resistant, so you can even brave sleet or snow in this pick.
Price at time of publish: $1,298
Material: Leather, shearling | Size Range: XXS-XL
Best With Fringe
NastyGal Real Leather Extreme Fringe Biker Jacket
Have fun in fringe with this style from NastyGal. It’s made from leather, lined in polyester, and has a slightly oversized fit for a laidback look. And still, it has the hallmark characteristics of the moto jacket, what with its buckle belt, wide lapels, and shoulder straps.
Price at time of publish: $355
Material: 100% leather shell; 100% polyester lining | Size Range: 0-10
Mauritius Leather Christy Moto Jacket
Distressing is another way to put a spin on the leather motorcycle jacket—just take this star-spangled number as an example. It’s made from leather that looks as if it’s seen years of age for that veteran biker look, while the stars still allow you to stand out from the crowd, be they in biker jackets themselves or not.
Price at time of publish: $298
Material: 100% lambskin shell; 100% polyester lining | Size Range: S-XL
Meet the Expert
Alison Bruhn is a New York City-based personal stylist.
What to Look for in Motorcycle Jackets
Bruhn says this wardrobe investment piece can cost far upwards of $500. That said, when motorcycle jackets are having a moment (as they are right now) that’s the best time to invest since there’s often a wider selection of styles at various price points. If you want a more traditional style at a lower price point, Bruhn recommends shopping vintage items or something on consignment, as these pieces are often discounted but still boast great quality. Vegan leather jackets are also more affordable, as they’re made from easily manufactured polyurethane.
The quality of leather can vary, so it’s worth paying attention to the modifiers within the description of any jacket you’re interested in. Top-grain leather, for example, is very durable and uniform in appearance, while full-grain leather contains more imperfections, despite being the highest quality grade leather that money can buy, according to a blog article posted by the leather goods company Buffalo Jackson. Full-grain leather is more prone to imperfections from the get-go because it hasn't been treated to look perfectly glossy.
Like all garments, the way a moto jacket fits is also important. However, the original fit when you try a jacket on for size is perhaps more pertinent, as “this is one piece that can’t be altered easily,” Bruhn points out. It’s worth keeping in mind that fitted jackets are likely to get looser with wear since leather is so flexible, so achieving the perfect fit can be quite difficult as it involves some estimation. Oversized jackets, on the other hand, are more relaxed as they offer a bit of breathing room and work well for layering.
What is a moto jacket?
“A moto jacket is an abbreviated term for a motorcycle jacket, which gets its inspiration from jackets worn by motorcyclists, giving this style of outerwear a sleepy, sexy, cool, and rock ‘n roll vibe,” Bruhn says. Although moto jackets are typically made from high-quality and durable leather, they can also be made from suede, denim, and wool. Since moto jackets were traditionally designed to protect motorcyclists from the elements, the jackets should feel weighty and robust enough to block out the wind and cold.
What do you wear with a moto jacket?
The beauty of a moto jacket is that it’s very versatile. “Throw it on with a treasured pair of jeans, boots, and a T-shirt for the ultimate Kate Moss effect,” Bruhn says, alluding to the supermodel’s ’90s- and Noughties-era obsession with the style. “Or, dress it up over a little black dress for a night out.”
Are moto jackets still in style?
According to Bruhn, moto jackets are always in style to a point. Leather is classic, but if you’re one to defy expectations, you can opt for a moto jacket in a less traditional fabric.
Why Trust Byrdie
Contributing writer Jessie Quinn has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Journalism from Academy of Art University. Despite her California roots, Jessie has had a life-long obsession with jackets and has the coat collection to prove it. While she loves a trendy style, Jessie’s favorite outerwear designs err on the side of timeless, with motorcycle jackets on the top of her list. When researching the best leather motorcycle jackets, Jessie turned to her background in fashion and love for outerwear to inform her research. She considered everything from style and fabrication to construction and fit to source the best leather motorcycle jackets that deserve a permanent spot in your coat closet.