How to wear and style a leather jacket

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First worn as a bomber jacket in the early 1900s, the leather jacket has been a staple of men’s style for over 100 years today. But knowing how to wear a leather jacket presents a risk of leakage for many.

This makes sense considering that the leather jacket has played its part in many roles since his aviator origins: on the big screen with Marlon Brando in The wild, and center stage in the ’70s when punk bands (think the Sex Pistols) took the leather jacket as a ransom.

Real hell for leather, brands now offer a plethora of styles of jackets, imbued with subcultural references and contemporary trends. Preppy boys, cowboys, punks, bikers and mods are all familiar with the delicacies of leather, as well as today’s athleisure enthusiasts.

So with all this choice, how do you wear a leather jacket today? Read on for our simple yet comprehensive guide to wearing the fashion item whatever your personal style or occasion.

Leather jacket with prints, patterns and details

An eclectic mix of embroidery, studs and details defines the new men’s fashion leather jacket. The jackets are richly adorned with hand painted flowers, military markings sewn in gold and accented with studs. These details are visible on the arms and chest on the leather, creating a quasi-tattoo on the body.

The biggest trend in jackets, however, is the appliqué on the back of the leathers. Embroidered words, a phrase or an animal, a bird or plants soften the sturdiness of the men’s leather jacket.

Wear the look with a neutral outfit, devoid of other prints, letting the flamboyant jacket be the focal point.

Leather biker jackets

The leather biker jacket – an asymmetric moto jacket with a lancer’s front – roars to a punk rock tune for a mix of biker and badass. Big on details – metallic hardware (consisting of zips, buttons and snaps), as well as front pockets and shoulder cuffs, the biker jacket is designed to pack a sartorial punch (in the face) like a look relaxed.

An all-black style – with ripped denim and a vintage wash tee – reinforces the rock rebellion, while the plaid shirts give off a ’90s vibe and inject color into an otherwise monochrome affair. Pair with boots (biker or Chelsea) or a derby with a creeper sole for a new-wave punk spirit. Accessorize with metallic jewelry. Sneakers are also on the game, but make sure they’re the understated type (white is best) as opposed to the latest Yeezys.

Leather jackets with hoodies

Riding the athleisure train doesn’t always mean windbreakers and shell (and Lycra) jackets. The leather perfecto jacket is an essential outer garment, worn as a definite luxury when paired with sweatshirts.

The hoodie – in soft cotton jersey and zipper – completes the tracksuit over black sweatpants; Cuffed hem and slim fit for a comfortable street style. Opt for a leather duffel bag as a fashionable functional accessory to tie into the jacket.

Finally, keep your feet tidy with active sneakers or low top leather sneakers. The first – when you hit the gym, the second – the best for days outside.

University and aviator leather jackets

Not everyone wants to look like they’re part of a group or just getting off their Harley. Consider the preppy look, then. The varsity-inspired bomber jacket is classic and collegiate, but with leather sleeves that add a bit of flair to your day.

When it’s not leather, it’s wool – super warm and naturally luxurious. Black and navy are a subtle color combination and keep the jacket minimal and chic.

Wear the varsity jacket with slim blue jeans and charcoal knit, closing the top button for an open A-line shape (and Italian sprezzatura). The grimy accessories make this preparation less sporty: fingerless gloves, black Wayfarers and even a sleek leather case for functional style.

Minimalist leather jackets

Parisians are in a class of their own when it comes to style. Simple, But elegant. In a true minimalist design, the wide-collar leather jacket (like a Harrington with a shirt-inspired collar) is a stylish outerwear option for dressing day or night. The jacket – with its collar nod to evening wear – looks best crafted from lightly textured leather (like calfskin). It should fit and sit like a piece of seam.

Stick to a dark palette – black and white – with a touch of gray or brown, to soften the monochrome. Play with layers of knitwear or a crisp button-down shirt alternating between slim black jeans or wool pants, depending on the temperature. Chelsea boots or leather laces keep the Parisian sophistication.

Leather jackets with shirt and tie

The leather jacket also has a job to do in the modern office. Stick to the uniform bomber jacket for work (not the biker) and consider beige or brown suede instead of a polished black. Finally, avoid heavy embellishments and padding, letting the weight and fit of the suede hug the shoulders.

All zippers and buttons should blend together and pockets should be kept to a minimum. Likewise, choose a minimalist collar and cuffs – nothing too ribbed (it will look more collegial than corporate).

Now add a shirt and tie combination and avoid pulling the jacket up to the top. Goodbye, stuffy work look.

How to wear a leather jacket FAQ

What should i wear with a leather jacket?

A classic look involving a leather jacket is to pair it with a plain white t-shirt and black jeans. However, due to its versatility, you can experiment by pairing it with a variety of looks.

How should a leather jacket look?

The size of your leather jacket is completely up to you. We always recommend going for a more tailored fit, however, some men prefer an oversized vintage look.

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