The Best Leather Jackets Are a Confidence Boost You Can Wear
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Here’s a brief hypothetical that illustrates the raw power of the best leather jackets for men: Let’s say you’re going to a party. You aren’t even dressed yet, and your anxiety is already begging you to stay put, hoodie up, and introduce your old pal Thai food to your new boo Disney+. What are your options? You could gorge on a bunch of CBD on your way out the door—only, let’s be honest, that stuff is all a bit suspect. You could guzzle some good ol’ fashioned liquid courage the moment you arrive, but you also don’t want to write off the entire next day in bed mainlining Advil and Gatorade. So instead, you do the only reasonable thing left: you slip on an immaculate leather jacket, give yourself a couple of Fonz thumbs in the mirror (“AYY!”), and then proceed to charm the living daylights out of everyone you encounter for the rest of the evening.
That’s just what the best leather jackets for men do. They make you stand a little taller, speak with a little more conviction, and seem altogether more alluring. They are like the pill Bradley Cooper takes in the movie Limitless, only they unlock genuine cool instead of psychotic ambition. Of course, confidence of that magnitude doesn’t come cheap. But if you’re ready and raring to invest in one, we’ve pinpointed 27 of the very best leather jackets worth your hard-earned dough. Whether you’re looking for an easy-wearing gateway or a galactic-level flex, all of these jackets will keep you feeling like your very best self for years and years to come.
The Leather Jacket You Were Already Thinking Of
Before a bunch of trad menswear sticklers yell at us, here it is: the jacket Marlon Brando wore in The Wild One. It’s also the leather jacket you’re probably thinking of when someone says “leather jacket”. Schott’s been making the appropriately named Perfecto jacket for generations right here in the U.S. using top quality leathers and sturdy hardware.It looks great with a plain white tee and jeans atop a Harley, of course. But it’s ridden so far beyond its motorcycle associations that you can wear one even if you don’t know how to ride a bicycle. Throw it over a hoodie, wear it over a button up and proper trousers. Or go full leather lad with calfskin pants and burly boots.
The Best Cockpit-Ready Leather Jacket
Golden Bear is an OG in the outerwear game, slingin’ some of the finest leather jackets on the planet from its San Francisco factory for going on 80 years now. This gorgeous bomber jacket is as classic as it gets, rendered in supple, subtly distressed brown leather, with a couple of handy front pockets and an attachable shearling collar for those days you feel like throwing on your aviators and going full Maverick.
The Best Low-Key Leather Jacket
Here’s a fun thought: That trusty flannel overshirt you can’t stop wearing? The one with the roomy chest pockets, that looks good over hoodies and oxfords and everything in between? What if it was made from leather? Ralph made that dream a reality, crafting this devishly good-looking button up out of a feathery light suede. Is it actually just a suede shirt? Debatable. Is it a light jacket that looks like a shirt? We’re rolling with that. Consider it the leather jacket for people who don’t wear leather jackets.
The Gaudy-Good Leather Jacket
If Nicolas Cage had been cast in Uncut Gems, this is the type of jacket he’d be wearing. It’s slick, a touch tacky, and not for the timid—which means it’s perfect for 2022. It’s best served with a garish silk shirt, dancing shoes, and flashy pants, all ready to bust a move. Sunflower’s is made from eco-friendly faux leather, but we have a feeling Cage would still approve.
The Best Eco-Conscious Leather Jacket
If you’re trying to live sustainably but still need your leather fix, Deadwood is for you. The Swedish brand crafts classic jackets using high-quality upcycled and deadstock leathers. This sharp suede number is minimalist, modern, and a pinch more approachable than your standard leather moto.
The Best Anatomically-Correct Leather Jacket
Vanson’s impossibly badass Bones racer jacket is an honest-to-god icon: it’s been reinterpreted by Supreme, referenced by Kapital, and was once nearly banned by the American Motorcyclist Association for its supposed “outlaw” connotations. But it’s not just about the looks. Fashioned using extra-tough cowhide and heavy-duty hardware, it’s designed for the road and built to last. And given that Vanson cuts and sews every jacket by hand—yup, all those bones are intricately stitched on one at a time—it’s a relative bargain for the price. Throw it on over a white T-shirt and jeans and let it do all the talking.
The Hog-Wild Leather Jacket
This one goes out to Ewan McGregor and Ewan McGregor only. Belstaff’s legendary Trialmaster jacket was perfect in waxed cotton, but this all-leather rendition has us shifting the goal posts back. And when you’re riding your hog, flying down the highway, the smell of leather pairs really well with gasoline.
The Leather Jackets to the Stars
Let us now begin a procession of celeb-approved jackets of similar design in varying price points. The first and foremost is this Tom Ford classic. You’ve seen it on guys like Tom Holland and Ryan Reynolds. It’s buttery, it’s cut like a damned dream, and it’s nicer than any piece of clothing you own (probably).
Then there’s this joint from Todd Snyder. Outerwear is among Todd’s (many) strong suits and the “Dylan” jacket is another A-list favorite. You’ve seen it on Tom Holland (yes, again), Hasan Minhaj, and tons of other very famous guys—and now they can say they’ve seen it on you, too.
And finally, there’s this eerily similar number from Banana Republic. Yep, the mall brand mainstay makes a real convincing dupe worthy of a spot on this list in its own right—and managed to lop off thousands of dollars in the process. Don’t let the low(er) price fool you, though: It’s made from super supple goat suede that skirts the usual break-in period.