How to Style a Leather Jacket For Men

How to Style a Leather Jacket For Men

How to Style a Leather Jacket

A quality leather jacket is a classic piece of men’s outerwear fashion. Whether it was the biker gangs of the 50s, or the punk bands of the 70s, this item of clothing has stood the test of time. Clothing Manufacturers know what items are popular, which is why something as popular as a leather jacket will always be around in the world of fashion. Clients always want something different though. As you’ll see, there are many variations of the classic leather jacket and many ways you can style it.

Here’s how to style it.

The leather jacket is a key piece for any man’s wardrobe. It’s a hard-working fashion staple that has become a cult classic. Like those who are best remembered for wearing it, this item is bold and exciting. Here are some ideas of what to wear with this men’s outerwear piece and How to Style a Leather Jacket

Are Leather Jackets in Style?

You may be reading this thinking, are leather jackets cool? Well, fortunately for you, of course, they are. However, making sure your leather items are well looked after is paramount to keeping them fresh all the time. Many people suggest that you should soften your leather to keep it in mint condition. The leather jacket is a timeless classic that will probably always be in fashion. Just remember the style tips below and you won’t ever look out of place.

The Classic Leather Jacket

Leather jackets are perfect for creating a classic and cool look. Whether it’s after-work drinks or a weekend away, this one has always got your back. Simplicity and a good fit will help you nail this style.

The Classic Leather Jacket

bomber jackets are a piece that you need to have in your wardrobe, perfect for the club or for the pub

What to Wear with a Leather Jacket

Leather jackets require some simple pieces to wear with them. Think plain t-shirts and jeans to get the greaser look and finish it with some plain trainers. An outfit even Danny Zuko himself would applaud.

The trick to wearing a leather jacket is making sure that you don’t bulk it out underneath. The jacket itself should fit comfortably, almost like a suit jacket, and fit your body shape. Shirts are a fantastic partner in crime for your leather jacket and can be styled accordingly to turn the leather jacket into a blazer. Throw some Chelsea Boots into the mix and before you know it that black leather jacket has gone from casual to smart casual in an instant.

What to Wear with a Leather Jacket

leather biker jacket can be dressed up or down and is an essential item to have in your wardrobe

The Biker Jacket – How to Style a Leather Jacket

During the 20th Century, black leather jackets became a staple item of clothing for the rebel biker. Nailing this classic style isn’t as hard as it looks. However, there are still certain tips and tricks that you should take into consideration.

Often spotted on the streets, the biker jacket makes for a stylish, yet simply do it all jacket. Biker jackets have made a huge comeback in recent years and it is easy to see why the youth favourite of the 1950s has made a return. By combining a pair of classic blue denim jeans with a plain white T-shirt, the heritage style of the 50s is an instant classic, a quintessential black leather jacket and boots. This proves that even a timeless style such as this is very simple to pull off.

The Biker Jacket

Biker jackets require some plain pieces to accentuate the jacket, simple monochromatic t-shirts are always a winner
PHOTO CREDIT: New Kiss On The Blog

How to Wear a Biker Jacket

If you’re wondering what to wear with a biker jacket, then keep it safe with a simple top and some heavy-duty denim motorcycle jeans. Choose iconic trainers like Converse or Vans if you’re not going to wear boots. Whether the boots are polished or beaten, they’re still a great addition to a biker outfit.

Marlon Brando’s performance as the leader of a biker gang in the 1953 film The Wild One is one of the best-known biker styles. Wearing a classic Schott Perfecto jacket, £349.90, with a pair of selvedge denim jeans and some heavy leather boots Brando creates a simple and timeless style.

How to Wear a Biker Jacket

Youth culture in the 50s brought about some fashion trends that have lasted far longer than the pomade in their hair.
PHOTO CREDIT: My Small Scale Research Project

The Varsity Leather Jacket 

The varsity jacket is a casual but stealthy way to incorporate your leather into a more athletic look. The iconic two-tone design means that part of the jacket is leather, with the rest being a different material, such as cotton. It’s also great if you’re looking for something a little sharper than a hoodie, without having to think about it too much. To help keep you on your A-game, here are some key pieces to style with your varsity jacket.

Varsity jackets, traditionally, are a baggier fit so will require a little more styling. It is recommended some slim jeans, a plain hoodie and a clean pair of trainers in order to give you the American Jock look. Skinny jeans simply won’t work as the jacket will make your legs look too thin so slim or slightly baggy jeans are best. Of course, you don’t have to wear trainers, but this classic athletic look requires some runners to give it that authentic feel.

The Varsity Leather Jacket

Leather varsity jackets require slimmer cut jeans as they are designed to fit loosely

The Flight and Bomber Jacket

The aviator and bomber jacket have been around a long time. However, like a good wine, these iconic pieces of men’s fashion have only got better with age. Originally for military pilots, bomber jackets have a rich history within men’s fashion. Today they are seen as a staple item of men’s outerwear fashion. So, if you’re struggling to think of a jacket to buy this winter, here’s is a great place to start.

Aviator jackets require very few layers underneath as they’re extremely warm underneath. Simple t-shirts and some black jeans are probably going to be your best bet as they won’t make your outfit to baggy. Military jackets require military boots. Trainers aren’t going to work as they weren’t around during the 1940s so Dr Martens will be your best bet. The jacket is going to be the focal point so make sure the colours you wear are simple.

The Flight and Bomber Jacket

Military jackets mean you need to wear some military-style boots and slim jeans

The Brown Leather Jacket 

The brown leather jackets are a classic, historically worn by air pilots in the army it has now transcended into a timeless favourite. There is just one rule that comes with the brown leather jacket, and that is, don’t introduce another shade of brown. Keep it clean and simple to avoid air pilot chic.

Wearing a brown jacket requires dark selvedge jeans to go with it. Light blue jeans will make the jacket appear too dark for the outfit and make it stand out for all the wrong reasons. You need dark jeans too accentuate your brown leather jacket. Wear it with some brown boots or hi-top trainers and you’re all ready to go.

The Brown Leather Jacket

Brown leather jackets require darker denim and some brown trainers to match.

Leather Jacket Styles

Although there are now thousands of leather jackets variations for you to choose from, there are some classic items of men’s clothing that just can’t be beaten. The Schott Bomber Jacket is undoubtedly the ultimate in leather outwear fashion for men.

Schott has been producing the highest quality jackets ever since the early 20th Century. They were the first clothing brand to ever put a zipper on a jacket, and have been at the forefront of outerwear innovation ever since.

As this is a heritage piece it’s going to look best when teamed with a simple and classic outfit. Try wearing a plain black T-shirt as your under layer. This will create a smooth all-black attire and give the jacket that extra sleek look. Combine the look with a pair of black jeans and some black shoes for the ultimate biker punk style.

Leather Jacket Styles

Wearing all black is a great way to show off the cut of your jacket. Whilst making it the centrepiece of your outfit.

Types of Leather Jackets

The style of your leather jacket is something very personal. Everyone is different; we all like different things and likely expect different qualities from our selection. Whether you’re into the biker style, or you’re after something a little preppy like a varsity jacket, you can rest assured that there’s something out there for everyone. Check out some of the best leather jackets for men below so you’ll be all clued up if you’re wondering how to buy a leather jacket.


Probably the most popular style of leather jacket going, the biker style was pioneered by the American brand Schott. They were the first to invent the modern biker jacket, the Perfecto, that’s just as, if not more, popular today as it was in the 1920s. With the ability to take you from a casual to a formal setting in no time at all, it’s no wonder why the biker jacket has been so popular.


The bomber jacket is a style that was initially seen during the First World War Pilots would wear a leather jacket; typically lined with shearling, to keep them warm whilst they were up in the air. Over the years the bomber jacket has had its fair share of variations, but you can’t beat the classics.

This type of leather jacket is a great addition to any man’s wardrobe as it offers you a plethora of options with styling as is well suited to any time of year. Many would know the bomber jacket in its nylon form, but you can also pick up smooth leather or a suede version to mix things up; easily making it one of the best men’s leather jackets.


The western is probably one of the lesser-known leather jacket styles, but it’s just as versatile and stylish as it’s more popular counterparts; however, the furthering of men’s fashion knowledge over the past few years has led to increased awareness, with Western’s slowly becoming commonplace in most men’s retailers.

When styling, think of the western jacket as you would a denim jacket as it’s pretty similar in terms of silhouette. Suede versions have become particularly popular as they offer a sleek and slightly more formally suited alternative to a leather jacket.


The origins of the varsity can be traced back to the bomber jacket with both being virtually indistinguishable in terms of shape and build. Many of you will instantly picture American college students when thinking of a varsity jacket, and you wouldn’t be far wrong. During the 1950s, the varsity jacket was worn by the sportsmen at the universities as a sign of support and school spirit.

Nowadays, you don’t need much school spirit to sport a varsity jacket. More appropriate for a casual setting, the varsity jacket will keep you snug and stylish no matter the weather.


As with many items of clothing we’re still wearing today, the Aviator jacket has its origins in the airforce. Where the bomber jacket changed over the years to become a sleeker and streamlined shape; the aviator jacket stayed, more or less, the same.

The quintessential aviator leather jacket is made from shearling and in a dark brown colour, making it the ideal statement piece. To our joy, it’s made a bit of a comeback in recent years with most retailers, both high-end and high-street, now offering their own spin on the style.

Read Jacket Styles Every Man Should Own

What Material Leather Jacket Should You Buy

Full Grain Leather

This will be the most common type of leather that you will find when you’re looking at leather jackets. Full-grain leather is one of the better options as the grained appearance won’t highlight any scratches or marks.

If you’ve got a little more cash to splash, the quality of the leather will typically improve alongside your budget. If you’re trying to shop on a budget, there are great cost-effective options out there if you know what you’re looking. It’s also worth considering faux leather – which has improved exponentially over the past decade.


This is a very popular material to use when it comes to leather jackets. Suede is brushed leather, which mainly comes from lambs; to achieve a softer, suppler feel to the material. It’ll generally be a slightly heavier alternative to leather, as the chemicals used in making it suitable for use add a little weight.

Because of its brushed effect, suede isn’t the best material to wear during a downpour; in fact, any sort of water will ruin it so it’s best to take extra precaution when you’re wearing a suede leather jacket. You can, of course, treat it to make it water-resistant, but always check the care label so you don’t damage the material.


Commonly used for rugs or carpeting, as well as jackets and coats, shearling is a very warm and practical material. Shearling is the skin from a recently sheared sheep, so you have the raw leather underneath with the wool on the outside.

The wool is worn on the inside of the jacket, conserving heat close to the body. The outer skin can then be dyed to whichever colour and can be brushed to make suede. Shearling is probably one of the warmest options available when it comes to leather jackets, but can be a pricier option as well.


Now we get to the priciest options available for a leather jacket, the exotic skins. These can differ greatly depending on the animal used, with everything from alligator to eel on offer, but we’ll focus on the two most common exotic skins that you’ll come across.

One of the more popular options, alligator skin is incredibly durable and noticeably beautiful, but a lot thicker than its cowhide counterparts. This skin is obviously much harder to obtain, so you can pay through the roof for an alligator skin leather jacket with some charging upwards of £60,000.

Ostrich leather is another material that’s commonly used for leather jackets. A little cheaper than alligator or snakeskin, it gives a beautifully unique grain that’s popular with many. The leather itself comes from the main body of the ostrich and graded by the number of bumps that are on the leather.

Read: How to Shop for a High-Quality Leather Jacket

How A Jacket Should Fit

When it comes to something like a leather jacket, you don’t want to spend a lot of money for the jacket to be misfitted. Be sure to try your jacket on with the pieces you plan to wear it with so you can really get a feel for the fit.

Grab a tape measure and measure, in inches, the diameter of the thickest part of your chest. For instance, you may measure a 40-inch chest, this means you should buy a size 40, or, a 42. You may need to give a little leeway up a size due to style and brand’s difference in sizing.

How To Take Care Of A Leather Jacket

If you’ve invested a few quid into a leather jacket, you’ll want to look after it to ensure it’s got the longest life possible. This isn’t a tricky process, all you need is a few pointers to steer you in the right direction.

Related: How To Care For A Leather Jacket

Waterproofing Your Leather Jacket:

    • Invest in a leather protecting spray, but always read the label to make sure that your jacket is compatible.
    • Spray a light coating all over the jacket and let it air dry while hanging before wearing.

Apply a Leather Conditioner

    • Conditioning a jacket will keep the leather soft and supple and prevent excessive cracking.
    • Again, make sure you find a conditioner that’s suitable for your leather jacket, as you don’t want to ruin it.
    • Take a white cloth (coloured or dyed cloth may transfer onto your jacket) and dab a small amount onto the cloth.
    • Apply in circular motions, work the conditioner into the leather then hang your jacket to air dry before use.

Polish Up Your Leather Jacket

    • Apply the same way as you would a conditioner.
    • You’ll only want to do this rarely, as it can damage the leather with excessive use.
    • Don’t polish suede or brushed leathers, as this will permanently damage your jacket.
    • Don’t use shoe polish as an alternative, this can also lead to permanent damage.

Storing Your Leather Jacket

    • You should always store your leather jacket properly, hung up on a decent coat hanger.
    • Ideally, a wider hanger will be used to avoid creasing or misshaping.


Back in the early 1900’s leather jackets were issued for pilots in the army! as they needed a warm but tough jacket that wouldn’t restrict them. Withstanding high altitudes and day to day wear; we can see why the leather jacket established itself as game changer early on.

As the temperatures dropped in the skies; the jacket adapted to protect those in planes from the harsh conditions. A sheepskin lining became a strong feature of the aviator leather jacket.

Following its military background, the leather jacket became the symbol of the teenager. The new youth that was never noticed before. These jet black jackets identified those wearing it; as one of the gang, by their brothers also wearing them or by the seniors that disapproved of them.

Bomber jackets around since the Second World War and in fact military issued.
PHOTO CREDIT: Bowers Fly Baby

Motorcyclists adopted the jacket for its resistance as a sturdy but movable item. That could resist the elements and the odd mishap on the road. The explosion of the American teenager was only the beginning of the leather jacket as a symbol of rebellion. As the music on the jukebox took a faster and angrier turn; the leather jacket remained on the backs of those topping the charts. When The Ramones, The Sex Pistols and The Clash raged through the airwaves, the leathers protected them.

As music genres began to expand so did the wearability of the jacket; from film stars to football players; everyone and anyone have a style that suited them. From the nineties until now almost every music scene features some kind of leather.

From the 50s to the 70s, leather jackets have always been popular in youth culture.
PHOTO CREDIT: Google Images

How to Style a Leather Jacket

  • Style is important, biker or bomber are the most popular so pick the one that suits you best
  • Although quality leather jackets are expensive they will last forever
  • Your leather jacket is good enough for dinner or the club. So make sure you get as many uses out of it as you can
  • A leather jacket is an essential item to have in your wardrobe.
  • For a casual look, pair one easily with a T-shirt, black jeans and a pair of trainers.
  • For a more elevated look, team a leather jacket with jeans and a pair of Chelsea boots.
  • Care for your leather jacket with conditioning treatments to ensure that it keeps its natural feel and tone.

How To Wear and Style A Leather Jacket For Men

The leather jacket is a trusty, practical and eternally stylish piece to have in your wardrobe arsenal. No matter which type of material you decide to go for, you can rest assured that you can always wear a leather jacket no matter what the season. It’s seen its fair share of remakes and models, but what we can all agree on is that it will be here for a long time to come. Wondering where to buy leather jackets? Follow the link to check out the full selection.