Over a couple of years spent editing and curating my closet, I’ve come to see that some items clearly have way more longevity than others. These are pieces I find myself repeatedly going to by default, wearing with everything, and never tiring of. The one item I’ve worn most since I got it a year and a half ago is, without a doubt, my leather jacket. If my closet had such a thing as a wardrobe workhorse, this would be it: it’s the easiest way to add a bit of edge to any look, and it goes with absolutely everything — be it jeans and a tee, a cocktail jumpsuit, or even a wedding dress! I’ve gotten such great use out of mine and have truly worn it in all seasons: I’ve thrown over my shoulders during cooler summer nights, worn it over cashmere in the fall, and I’ve even used as an in-between layer during the winter. Click through to see how I’ve worn it on the blog, my tips on choosing the best one, and some of my favourites on sale now at Shopbop!
1. Buy real leather, and the best one you can afford
If it’s not an ethical issue for you, I’d definitely recommend opting for a genuine leather piece. Nothing quite compares to the natural material that softens and conforms to your body with wear. There are also numerous grades of leather, and of course, more expensive doesn’t always equal better. I’ve found that a thicker, slightly more structured leather tends to wear better. A more substantial lining that’s not flimsy is important, and the quality of hardware (zippers, buttons, etc) is also a good indicator of what kind of quality you’re purchasing. The right leather jacket can last you for years and years and get better with age, so take these things into account!
2. Veer on the classic side
One good byproduct of spending a significant amount of money on a piece is that it forces you to think long term, so that you really get your money’s worth. While my best advice for choosing a leather jacket would be to just go with one that best suits your personal style, I know that this might not be realistic since not everyone has theirs clearly defined (and even if you do, it could always change). As such, I’d recommend picking one that is generally more classic. Mine is a simple cut with minimal hardware, and a flattering length that hits right at my hip. It’s not too loose or tight, and has enough room in the sleeves for me to comfortably wear sweaters under it.
3. Shop sales strategically
Although I don’t like the idea behind Black Friday madness and what it can bring out in people, I do think that sales like this can be an opportune time to think very strategically about one or two items you would purchase anyway and make use of a discount or two – especially when it comes to classic pieces where prices don’t usually get reduced. Shopbop has an excellent tiered sale starting today until the 29th, which is perfect for “investment” purchases such as this one. Right now, with code GOBIG16 you get 15% off orders of $200+, 20% off $500+, and 25% off $800+! They also happen to have a great selection of leather jackets, and free shipping and free returns (even to Canada) makes it super easy to order a few to try on. Scroll down to see my top picks.
My top classic leather jacket picks from the Shopbop sale:
1. Madewell Washed Leather Motorcycle Jacket ($498 $423.30) | 2. June Vintage Moto Jacket ($685 $548) |
3. Oak LA Rider Jacket ($480 $408) | 4. Doma Classic Leather Jacket ($938 $703.50) |
5. Mackage Lisa Pebbled Leather Jacket ($790 $632) | 6. VEDA Dallas Leather Jacket ($935 $701.25)