How to Style a Leather Jacket – Men Style Guide

A 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. 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.

Are Leather Jackets in Style?

You may be reading this thinking, are leather jackets cool? Well, fortunately for you, of course they are. 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

Leather 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 in an instant.

What to Wear with a Leather Jacket

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

 The Biker 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 simple 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 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 that 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’s 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 to 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 focus 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 jacket is 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 have 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 centre piece of your outfit.

 History of Leather Jacket Styles

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 was adapted to protect those in planes from the harsh conditions. A sheepskin lining became a strong feature of the aviator leather jacket.

Following it’s 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 have been around since the Second World War and were 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 jackets wearability, from film stars to football players, everyone and anyone has 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

On That Note

The leather jacket is a staple item of men’s fashion. Whether you’re going for a 70s punk look, or just want to spice up your winter wardrobe, this jacket is perfect for you. Although the sheer amount of styles can be rather daunting, it’s worth it to take some time and effort to find the right one for you. So, follow the tips and tricks in this style guide and you’ll be styling some great leathers in no time.


Top Picks That we Hope you Like


  • The Bradford Exchange
    In the silence you hear the plunk as your lure hits the water. Within moments, he strikes, and with a leaping splash the trophy-size battler breaks the surface. He's hooked and so are you! This custom-crafted fishing art leather jacket is for those who appreciate these special moments, realizing that a bad day fishing is better than a good day on land. This exclusive fine apparel design from The Bradford Exchange showcases striking full-color largemouth bass artwork by wildlife master artist, and tournament fisherman, Al Agnew. The vivid panorama practically jumps off the back, artfully balanced by another of Agnew's fishing images, embroidered on the front.The Gone Fishing leather jacket for men is designed in the rugged, classic bomber style for timeless appeal, and features a waist-length full cut with knit cuffs and waistband for a perfect fit. The collar can be worn up or down, and the interior, satiny polyester lining adds greater breathability and comfort. This fishing art leather jacket makes a prized wardrobe catch for any seasoned angler, or the perfect fishing gift for a friend or family member. More than just a nibble is expected for this unique leather jacket, so don't wait to reel yours in. Order now!
    $133.90  from The Bradford Exchange Online
  • The Bradford Exchange
    In 1900, the third vehicle that Henry Ford built was a truck, and for over five decades, the F-series has proven itself on the job. Its rugged looks, durability, strength and total performance has made it an American favorite. In fact, the F-150 has been the top-selling truck for over 30 years. Now, you can show your passion for an American icon with this custom-designed Built Tough Ford Truck Men's Leather Jacket, exclusively from The Bradford Exchange.This classic black leather bomber jacket features striking full-color images of three different F-series trucks along with the Ford name across the back shoulder. An embroidered patch of the BUILT TOUGH Ford Truck logo stands out on the front for added boldness while a Ford logo zipper pull adds the perfect finishing touch. The waist-length, full cut along with knit cuffs and waistband provide an ideal fit as the polyester lining adds greater breathability and comfort. High demand is expected for this Ford truck apparel, so be sure to order now!
    $134.57  from The Bradford Exchange Online
  • The Bradford Exchange
    Declare your passion for the land of the free and the home of the brave with the American Pride Men's Jacket, a handsome custom-designed aviator jacket exclusively from The Bradford Exchange. This authentically detailed bomber jacket is quality crafted of distressed leather in a rich dark brown color with custom patriotic designs. An antiqued applique patch on the back shows off a powerful bald eagle in flight, the proud stars and stripes of our American flag, and a banner with the words AMERICAN PRIDE.Embroidered on the front of this men's leather jacket is the phrase PROUD AND FREE and an Old Glory patch is emblazoned on the left sleeve. The custom styling includes a detachable faux shearling collar, 2 front-zip breast pockets and 2 front flap pockets along with additional side-entry pockets. Cuffs with snaps, a knit hem and black woven lining provide comfort while a hanging loop on the back adds additional style. Strong demand is expected, so, don't delay. Order now!
    $299.95  from The Bradford Exchange Online
  • The Bradford Exchange
    For those who ride hard, there's nothing like the open road. The freedom, joy and adventure it brings is beyond compare. Now, ride strong with a motorcycle jacket that'll have your back through the curves and bumps ahead with the Biker's Blessing Men's Jacket, a custom-designed apparel exclusive from The Bradford Exchange. This stylish men's jacket comes in bold style with the complete Biker's Blessing printed on the interior nylon lining.Crafted in rugged yet supple black leather, this exclusive motorcycle leather jacket features a bold applique patch on the back of a majestic eagle atop a LIVE TO RIDE crest against a faded image of the American flag. Adding to this men's leather motorcycle jacket are two sets of zippered front pockets, two side pockets and two chest pockets, plus a full-length front zipper and zippers at the cuffs; all have brushed silver-tone hardware. For added comfort and protection, your jacket has padding at the shoulders, neck and lower back. Strong demand is expected, so order now!
    $199.95  from The Bradford Exchange Online
    100% Rayon. Side Pockets. Half Elasticated Cuff. Inside Pocket. Metal Logo Trims. Polyurethane Coating. Dry Clean Recommended. Imported
    $164.99  from Perry Ellis
  • John Varvatos Star USA
    Dual chest pockets and a shirttail hem accentuate the hybrid styling of a sleek, zip-front shirt-jacket crafted from supple sheepskin leather. Color (s) : black, dark brown. Brand: JOHN VARVATOS STAR USA. Style Name: John Varvatos Star Usa Leather Shirt Jacket. Style Number: 5202875. Available in stores.
    $698.00  from Nordstrom
  • John Varvatos Star USA
    Dual chest pockets and a shirttail hem accentuate the hybrid styling of a sleek, zip-front shirt-jacket crafted from supple sheepskin leather. Color (s) : black, dark brown. Brand: JOHN VARVATOS STAR USA. Style Name: John Varvatos Star Usa Leather Shirt Jacket. Style Number: 5202875. Available in stores.
    $698.00  from Nordstrom
  • Versus
    Long sleeve leather and stretch-knit jacket in black. Signature lion head detailing throughout. Press-stud closure at stand collar. Zip and press-stud closure at front. Zippered pockets at waist. Press-stud at sleeve cuffs. Partially lined. Tonal stitching.
    $725.00  from SSENSE
  • Julius
    Long sleeve nubuck leather jacket in black. Stand collar. Concealed zip closure with press-stud placket at front. Seam pockets at waist. Raglan sleeves. Rib knit cuffs and hem. Fully lined. Tonal stitching.
    $630.00  from SSENSE
  • Rick Owens
    Long sleeve grained leather jacket in black. Band collar with press-stud closure. Offset zip closure at front. Zippered pockets at body and sleeves. Epaulet shoulders. Zippered expansion panels at cuffs. Zippered pockets at fully lined interior. Silver-tone hardware. Tonal stitching.
    $1,016.00  from SSENSE
    Crafted in panels of black smooth leather, LOEWE's high-top sneakers are detailed with an ultra-padded tongue, collar, and perforated insets. 1"/25mm midsole (approximately) . Plain toe. Rubberized logo at wide padded tongue. Dot-perforated padded inset at quarter panels. Webbed pull tab at perforated padded collar. Pull tab at back. Black textured midsole. Black flat laces. Lace-up style. Lined with mesh. Rubber sole. Available in Black. Made in Italy.
    $850.00  from Barneys New York
  • The Bradford Exchange
    They are among our country's finest - ready to serve and defend us at any cost. Now, you can show your allegiance to the U.S. Army in rugged, stylish comfort with the U.S. Army Men's Jacket, available only from The Bradford Exchange. Meticulously crafted of custom-washed, distressed dark brown leather, this officially licensed classic-style U.S. Army jacket boldly displays an intricate applique patch of silver-tone American eagles flanking a central image of Army soldiers in action, along with our Stars and Stripes and a bust of a bald eagle.The images are further enhanced with the U.S. Army emblem and a banner with the words THIS WE'LL DEFEND on the back. Additional design details above and below the patch add to the distinctive look of this men's leather jacket, including UNITED STATES ARMY in golden embroidery and three antique, brass-finished metal stars. The jacket's superb styling includes an American flag patch on the sleeve, two front flap pockets, two front slash pockets, an inside wallet pocket, antiqued metal snaps on the cuffs, and a warm and comfortable faux Sherpa fleece lining. Strong demand is expected. Order now!
    $249.95  from The Bradford Exchange Online
  • Kamik
    Take on brutal wintry conditions in maximum style and 100% waterproof warmth with Kamiks Mens Griffon Leather Pac Boots. Ultratough buffalo-leather uppers are seam-sealed to keep feet totally dry in wet conditions. 200-gram Thinsulate Insulation provides a comfort rating down to -25F, ensuring your feet remain warm in frigid conditions. Moisture-wicking Boa linings and removable Kamik comfort EVA insoles move sweat away from feet so it dries quickly. Ground-gripping Genesis outsoles. Imported. Ht: 8. Avg. wt: 3 lbs./pair. Mens whole sizes: 7-13 medium width. Color: Brown. Size: 11. Color: Brown. Gender: Male. Age Group: Adult. Material: Leather. Type: Boots.
    $99.99  from Cabela's
  • Barneys New York
    Barneys New York's red-brown burnished leather lace-up boots are styled with a cap toe. 1"/25mm heel (approximately) . 5.25"/135mm shaft (approximately) . Cap toe. Stacked heel. Stitched welt. Dark brown round laces. Antiqued brasstone hardware. Lace-up style. Lined with leather. Stitched leather sole. Available in Red-Brown. Made in Italy.
    $495.00  from Barneys New York
  • John Lobb
    John Lobb dark brown smooth calfskin Lopez penny loafers are styled with an apron toe. 0.75"/20mm heel (approximately) . Apron toe. Stacked leather heel. Tonal topstitching. Slips on. Leather and rubber sole. Available in Dark Brown. Made in England.
    $1,300.00  from Barneys New York
  • Giorgio Armani
    Giorgio Armani dark brown leather apron-toe penny loafers. 0.75"/20mm heel (approximately) Debossed logo at vamp Slips on Leather lining Rubber sole Available in Dark Brown Made in Italy
    $595.00  from Barneys New York
  • JF J.Ferrar
    Our jeans have the slim-fit and skinny leg you want, with a bit of stretch for comfort. extra slim fit sits lower on the waist zip-and-button closure 5-pocket styling flat front skinny leg cotton/spandex washable imported
    $24.99  from JCPenney





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