how to buy the perfect leather jacket

fashion, love of the day

I am somewhat of a leather jacket connoisseur, finding my collection over a dozen deep and always searching for the next amazing and can’t live without piece. I have been shopping for a new biker / motorcycle style in black for a while, and was disappointed when I brought the winning jacket home, and felt that it was too heavy, awkward and unflattering. I gave it another spin and tried to wear it to work, and took it off seconds after I was at my desk. I couldn’t move my arms or type comfortably, I felt very restrained (and that I looked like a boy).

(rika “nova” black and red leather jacket)

Here are some shopping tips to make sure you bring home the right jacket:


Is it too boxy? I find jackets to be the most flattering when they nip in a bit at the waist, instead of just hanging straight. This keeps them feminine, and more versatile, since now it is something you can throw over a pretty dress. Make sure the shoulders hit right at your shoulders, and not below. Because of the construction of the jacket, this will just cause your shoulders to look massive. Do you have just a little bit of room in the arms? I am usually not wearing heavy layers under my leathers, just a tee or lightweight knit piece, so I prefer the arms to be more fitted. Regarding sleeve length, often the sleeves are too short for me. I am obsessed with Zara leathers, but every time I try one on, the sleeves in the size that fit properly end up being about an inch too short. I do like sleeves that have a zipper detail. Any excuse for hardware is a good one, and I like the idea of unzipping and rolling up a sleeve to expose some arm candy.


Are the zippers sturdy? How is the stitching? If you fall in love with your jacket and have need a seam or zipper repaired, it is going to be extremely expensive.  Look at the lining- is it a higher quality material?


Do you have a strong tendancy towards gold or silver? Just like with a handbag, this should be taken into consideration, especially if it is a lot of hardware. Do you want studs, spikes or other embellishments? If you already have a few leathers, this might be fun, otherwise if you need an everyday pieces you are going to find yourself limited in what you can pair it with. Also consider if it has an attached belt that closes at the waist. This can be a cute detail, but since a leather jacket is more casual and you will likely be wearing it open most of the time, this could result in an awkward piece of hardware just dangling from your waist.


How much money are you willing to invest? My favorite  designers who always offer perfect leathers are Balmain, Celine, Iro, Balenciaga and Rick Owens. For options under a thousand, look at Veda, Doma, Zara, All Saints, Theory and Joie.

iro barby leather jacket, 1248

veda julian leather jacket, 880

valentina shah jacket, 1125


topshop leather moto jacket, 310


Need more leather jacket inspiration? Click on over to my pinterest board, dedicated to leather jackets


3 thoughts on “how to buy the perfect leather jacket

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