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The Versatility of Leather Jackets: How to Buy the Best Leather Jacket for You

Timeless, cool, and edgy—over the decades, leather jackets turned into one of the fashion must-haves. While some people like to associate leather jackets with a more youthful and hip vibe, with their different styles, materials, and shapes, they offer endless styling options from casual weekend outfits to formal, special occasion looks.

The Short History of Leather Jackets

Most people would be surprised to hear that the first leather jackets appeared in the early 1900’s, during the First World War. The traditional leather jacket that is nowadays known as a cool, edgy and timeless piece first served pilots and soldiers as a sturdy bomber jacket, and it remained in the military scene until the late 40’s.

After World War II., fashion designers and brands slowly started merging functionality with style, creating the classic leather jackets. Because of their very different, ”wild” side, leather jackets became one of the favorite jackets of movie stars and singers, and the trend kept growing throughout the century.

The Wild One Motorcycle Riding Scene

Marlon Brandon in the iconic The Wild One motorcycle riding scene.

Over the years, leather jackets became a versatile must-have clothing item for everyone: from the feminist movements in the 70’s and 80’s to the grungy club kids, everyone could find their perfect leather jacket match, and after 100 years of their appearance, leather jackets are still associated with an effortlessly edgy and cool style and are known as one of the staple pieces of every man’s wardrobe.

Is it Worth the Investment?

When you take a look at the general leather jacket prices, it might cause you a few concerns. A high-quality leather jacket starts around $500 and can range all the way up to $2,000-$3,000 depending on the designer, material, and collection. Of course, not everyone has to own a Saint Laurent or a Balmain, but investing and searching for the right fit for you is not only a good idea because of a fancy designer name.

What do we recommend? Leather jackets are timeless pieces and well worth the investment. Instead of trying to hunt down that elusive $50 leather jacket, be in the lookout for a high-quality leather jacket that has a great fit and it will stay with you for decades without the smallest flaw offering you endless styling options.

The very best thing to do is to not settle with the first one, before purchasing a leather jacket, do your research on different styles and price ranges to make sure that you find the one that matches your personal style the most.

Most Popular Leather Jacket Styles

When it comes to choosing the perfect leather jacket, there are plenty of alternatives, here are some of the most popular classic styles you will stumble on your search.

The Bomber Leather Jacket

The Bomber Jacket Leather

The bomber was the very first design of leather jackets. You can easily identify it by its clean design and crew neck cut—there are usually only a few, subtle pockets on the jacket, and instead of an asymmetric zipper or oversized collar, it has a minimalist shape.

The Biker Leather Jacket

The Biker Leather Jacket

The other most popular leather jacket type has to be the biker jacket. Unlike a bomber jacket, this design features more details, such as small silver studs, a ribbed arm design, and a larger collar. Because of its design, it has a more youthful vibe than the bombers and they are usually matched with casual clothing items.

The Suede Leather Jacket

The Suede Leather Jacket

The suede leather jackets are a twist on the traditional design, and although they are made from a softer material, you will find them mostly in the bomber and biker styles. Because of their material, it is definitely a bit more difficult to style them, but once you start experimenting, you will fall in love with this special design.

The Studded/Embroidered Leather Jacket

The Studded Embroidered Leather Jacket

If you are not a fan of over the top designs, you might prefer to stick to more traditional designs, but if you are ready to step out of the leather jacket comfort zone, or perhaps you are leather jacket collector and just want to expand your wardrobe, we recommend taking a look at studded and embroidered jackets.

These stylish leather pieces have become popular in the past few years, and thanks to a recent Saint Laurent’s collection, studded jackets are available at every high end and high street fashion store.

Leather Jacket Styling Tips

If you’d like to create an edgy and casual look, we recommend pairing your leather jacket with something more relaxed and fun. Because of their versatility, leather jackets can be matched with almost anything.

For a traditional, very basic yet timeless outfit, pair your jacket with a crew neck white T-shirt, your favorite jeans, and black or brown boots.

Styling Leather Jackets For Casual Outfits

Leather Jacket Casual Outfit

You can always experiment with patterned shirts, printed T-shirts or sweaters as well. If you’d like to create a contrast in your outfit, go for a cream or beige, soft jumper and ripped jeans: while the sturdiness of the leather will balance out the soft sweater.

Styling Leather Jackets for Formal Outfits

Leather Jacket Formal Outfit

While a traditional leather jacket is probably not the first thing to come to mind when picking out a formal outfit, a bomber or biker jacket can work really well with more elegant clothing items as well.

If you’d like to match your formalwear with your leather jacket for a special occasion, make sure everything is fitted well. Choose a white, cream or light blue, slim fit shirt and dark blue or black pants and you are good to go. Don’t be afraid to rock it just because it’s not a regular suit!

Styling Colored Leather Jackets

Red Blue Leather Jacket

Besides all the regular types of leather jackets, you can always find a few special, colorful ones on the market, such as pastel blue, green, burgundy or light brown. These are definitely more tricky to style than black ones, but we recommend experimenting with different color combinations.

If you generally prefer monochrome outfits, try to mix your colorful jacket with black, white, grey and beige, but if you love a bold, daring look, put together a color block outfit and make sure to wear it with confidence.

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