A Leather Jacket Is the Ultimate Investment Piece—10 We Can't Shut Up About


(Image credit: @hoskelsa)

The leather jacket is a classic wardrobe staple that belongs in every person's closet. The ultimate layering piece, a cool leather jacket can do everything from elevating a T-shirt and jeans to making a slip dress look more casual. It's a hero piece that can do it all. Depending on where you live, it can be a year-round layering piece or a transitional jacket to wear on repeat in the spring and fall.

While black moto jackets have been popularized in the past and will never go out of style, we're seeing more shapes and colors adopted by the fashion set. From cropped styles to blazers to trenches to bomber jackets, the outerwear piece adds a cool-girl element to any outfit. If you're after editor-approved styles, look no further. We've narrowed down our top 10 favorite options at a range of price points. These are sure to be staples in your closet for the next five to 10 years, if not forever. Keep reading to shop our edit of the best leather jackets for women, all handpicked by a fashion editor.


(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Saint Laurent)

What to Look for When Leather-Jacket Shopping

Weight, materials, hardware, and pocket placement are all things to take into consideration when shopping for a leather jacket that will last you. I think that the hardware and finishings, like a zip closure, are what can make or break a great leather jacket, so those are details I always look at first.

How to Care for a Leather Jacket

Care for a leather jacket just like you would a pair of leather boots or a leather handbag. If the leather comes untreated, you'll want to use a leather conditioner to shield it from rain, snow, and moisture. This nontoxic $20 bottle comes highly recommended by Amazon shoppers who rely on it to protect new leather and breathe new life into dry and old leather, and the leather-conditioning wipes are great for on-the-go care.

While there's no science to it, the general rule of thumb is to use a leather conditioner occasionally or whenever you start to notice fading. Using it restores oil to the leather and prevents excessive dryness and cracking, but avoid over-oiling your leather. Spring for a set of wooden hangers instead of thin wire hangers to maintain the shape of the jacket's shoulders, and be sure to store your jacket in dry conditions with some space to breathe to prevent mold.


(Image credit: @annelauremais)

Best Overall Leather Jacket: AllSaints Balfern Leather Biker Jacket

AllSaints pretty much has the market cornered when it comes to classic leather moto jackets, and its Balfern Leather Biker Jacket is exactly what comes to mind when we think of an investment leather jacket. It's a motorcycle style with plenty of hardware on the zippered pockets, buckled belt, and snap closures, but it's the buttery-soft leather and lightweight feel that have Nordstrom shoppers who describe it as "one of the best" and "love at first sight" truly and deeply in love. Given its classic moto silhouette and luxe hardware, this is our best overall pick for a leather jacket that's trendless and therefore timeless.

Best Affordable Leather Jacket: Levi's Dad Bomber Jacket

You probably shop Levi's for its denim, but this is your sign not to overlook the outerwear, especially the leather outerwear. This Faux Leather Dad Bomber Jacket has been one of the most popular styles among Who What Wear editors and readers alike for the past several years because of its easy shape that's oversize but not too oversize and its irresistible under-$100 price point. Amazon shoppers love the fit and quality, which they say is surprisingly realistic despite the fact that it's actually faux leather.

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Best Luxury Leather Jacket: Saint Laurent Oversize Leather Bomber Jacket

If you're looking to make a more significant investment, there's nothing chicer than Saint Laurent's utility-inspired bomber jacket. It debuted on the fall/winter 2023 runway, where it was styled to perfection alongside a delicate slip skirt and aviator sunglasses. The term investment definitely applies here, but this specific style with its perfectly lived-in distressing that rivals even the rarest vintage find has served as the blueprint for all the other trendy leather jackets that have followed suit this season.

Best Black Leather Jacket: Madewell Washed Leather Oversized Motorcycle Jacket

Madewell is quietly home to one of the best classic leather moto jackets, but we're doing anything but whispering about it because everyone needs to know just how good it is. It comes in a range of colors, from black to cream; metal finishings, from silver to brass; and fits, from regular to oversize, so you'd be hard-pressed not to find a style that suits you. Madewell shoppers can't stop raving about this style and insisting it's a flawless, regret-free purchase. According to the site, 648 shoppers added it to their bags in the last week, so the hype is certainly real.

Best Suede Leather Jacket: Nour Hammour Nyla Shearling Jacket

Paris-based label Nour Hammour is a fashion-industry favorite for luxurious, classic leather jackets that keep things pared back. Its Nyla Shearling Jacket evokes a classic aviator style with its cropped shape made from tan shearling with a contrasting fuzzy collar and understated hardware that gives it a minimal look and feel.

Best Petite Leather Jacket: Topshop Faux Leather Biker Jacket

Finding a leather jacket worthy of the investment is one thing. But finding one that also comes in petite sizing? Well, that's a whole other endeavor. Luckily for you, we sourced this beauty from Topshop that's fully in stock in both petite and straight sizing. Plus, it's currently discounted in Nordstrom's epic Cyber Monday sale. Now, we'd say that's a win-win.

Best Distressed Leather Jacket: Mango Leather Jacket With Worn Effect

Distressed leather jackets are all anyone can talk about this fall, and chief among them are Mango's worn-effect styles that none other than Gigi Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski have both been wearing around NYC on repeat. Their lived-in effect and oversize fit make these the next best thing to sourcing a vintage style from the '90s.

Best Vintage Leather Jacket: Worn Vintage Boxy Leather Jacket

If you've ever stared at a photo of Hailey Bieber and wondered where she gets her cool leather jackets, well, it's your lucky day because Moda Operandi just launched a few exclusive styles with Worn Vintage, a Bieber favorite for genuine vintage outerwear. Now, it's never been easier to shop for cool vintage leather.

Best Leather Blazer: Loulou Studio Davao Leather Blazer

French designer Chloé Harrouche of Loulou Studio knows a thing or two about Parisian chic, and this leather blazer is a testament to the effortlessly cool style she exudes. It's made from the most buttery-soft, supple leather and is cut in a languid, double-breasted shape that makes it ideal for layering over knitwear.

Best Shearling-Lined Leather Jacket: ACNE Studios Velocite Leather-Trimmed Shearling Jacket

For the coldest months of the year, a shearling-lined jacket is a must. ACNE Studios' Velocite Jacket is so chic and cozy—it's no wonder why Kendall Jenner, Bieber, and Alexa Chung are fans. It's cut from black shearling for a loose fit and has buckled leather straps along the hem and cuffs so you can adjust the shape. 

More Leather Jackets We Love

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.