A great leather jacket for men doesn’t have to break the bank; in fact it’s quite possible to get a durable style upgrade on a budget. Today, we’re looking at the best bang-for-buck leather jackets across a variety of styles and price points.
Whether you’re biking in the countryside or strolling downtown, a leather jacket is one versatile piece of outerwear you’ll be especially glad to have as the weather turns colder.
Overall, a real leather jacket is a lifetime investment. But how do you find the one that fits you best among the many styles and brands in the market today?
If you’re not careful, information overload could quickly lead to analysis paralysis, leaving the question of “what are the best leather jackets?” unanswered. Moreover, if you don’t have unlimited funds, you may always be left wondering what could have been had you just shelled out a little more.
But fear not, we’ve got 7 outstanding (and affordable) men’s leather jackets on sale across a range of styles and price points. We also include a quick buyer’s guide for you in today’s article.
7 Affordable Men’s Leather Jackets to Make You Look Like a Badass
We’ve done the heavy lifting for you by combing through the options and presenting to you the best leather jackets for any style and budget.
The FLAVOR men’s genuine leather motorcycle jacket is, as its name implies, made of 100% genuine pig’s skin leather. It is also lined with polyester which makes it a strong and durable jacket without spending a ton. The jacket’s filling is also 100% cotton, offering great insulation without excess bulk–making it a great outer layer.
FLAVOR’s leather jacket has a removable hood that can be added or removed depending on the weather or the look you’re going for. It has two hand pockets for keeping your hands warm and three chest pockets to store your essentials. Adjustable cuffs and hem offer a form-fitting seal, serving to further maintain interior warmth.
It pairs well with slim-fitting jeans and moto boots for a stylish casual look. And with five different colors available, you can tailor your purchase to your wardrobe.
Landing Leathers’ Flight Jacket is well constructed, and made to the same high standards as the original A-2 leather military jacket developed during WWII.
It is made of a super-supply nappa leather, which gives the jacket outstanding comfort and mobility. This jacket has polyester filling which offers great insulation against cold weather. The ribbed cuffs and hem also help in maintaining warmth. The soft polyester and cotton jacket lining is imprinted with the US flag gives this jacket a patriotic finishing touch.
Strong YKK zippers are used to ensure smooth and trouble-free closure. The snap storm flap over the zip closure enhances the jacket’s insulation properties.
This Landing Leathers vintage leather bomber jacket doesn’t have a ton of embellishments, but that’s ideal for the man who values simplicity.
If you’re chasing an edgy look on a budget, don’t discount faux leather jackets like the ones offered by Chouyatou. Not only do they look and feel great, but with care, yours should last you well beyond what its price tag implies.
The Chouyatou has a vintage stand collar with a functional belt appropriate to its racer roots. It comes in a dizzying array of colors owing to its PU leather construction, lending itself to many styles and wardrobes.
There’s also a cool zip design detail added to the cuff, which adds to this jacket’s edge. Lastly, the two functional pockets on the outside and one internal pocket enable you to easily store your valuable items. Overall, Chouyatou makes a strong case for cheap leather jackets.
Keep the cold at bay with this Levi’s Faux Leather Bomber Jacket. The whole body of the jacket and collar is sherpa-lined for outstanding comfort and warmth. And with a water-resistant imitation deer leather shell, it’s great for wind-breaking and keeping you dry in wet conditions.
It has a stand-up collar and snap epaulets on the shoulders for the classic aviator look. The adjustable zipper detailing adds to the stylish features.
You will not be short of storage, as this jacket has a total of six exterior pockets and an interior hidden pocket to keep your valuables secure. This jacket is available in black, brown, and navy hues offering a variety of color options for you to choose from. What’s more, the jacket design is also available in suede variations.
Made from quality lambskin leather, this classic mens brown leather jacket from Tommy Bahama offers a perfect fit you can rock for a lifetime.
Designed with four pockets, an adjustable collar, and a slim cut, it’s both stylish and functional for looking cool while staving off the cold. A relaxed floral print interior liner completes the casual vintage vibe that just begs to be worn.
This Fjackets ¾ length Black Leather Coat features quality lamb’s leather which is soft, lightweight, and comfortable for all-day usage. And with its modern styling, it’s a great grab-n-go top layer that matches almost any outfit without having to think about it too hard.
It has a combined zip and button closure which ensures maximum insulation during a cold night out. A high-quality and sturdy YKK zip is used in this jacket for a smooth, effective, and trouble-free closure. Breathable rayon lining makes the jacket smooth and soft on the skin, adding to your comfort.
The jacket’s collar can be worn in two ways, lying flat like a shirt’s collar or as a standing collar for added attitude and variety.
There is perhaps no more iconic leather motorcycle jacket than the Schott Perfecto. Made in the USA with attention to detail, it remains the gold standard for biker jackets nearly a century after its inception.
The rugged asymmetrical cut not only oozes character, but the fold-over zip-up lapels are great for keeping the wind off your chest when you’re out riding. Note that the Perfecto is not an armored riding jacket; even though the high-grade full-grain leather can take a beating and live to tell the tale. Still, it’s hard to argue these are anything but badass jackets, with their form-fit, snap epaulettes, and oversized nickel belt and buckle.
It pairs up well with the all-American classic outfit of blue jeans, boots, and white tee shirt. The Schott Perfecto might seem expensive for a decidedly casual jacket, but it’s an heirloom piece that will never, ever go out of style.
What to Consider When Buying a Leather Jacket
A quality leather jacket is usually meant to last a lifetime. But even if you’re not looking to pay top dollar, you’ll still want to make sure your jacket maintains its appeal with heavy wear–chances are good it’ll become one of your foundational wardrobe pieces.
Nonetheless, with this guide, we’ve simplified matters for you by highlighting the most crucial factors that you need to look out for before buying a leather jacket.
Obviously, this is the most important consideration. There’s a lot of leather blends present in the market today. Therefore, it’s imperative that you carefully check the material before purchasing a leather jacket. In general, you want to avoid most faux leather, as it tends to crack and flake off. This isn’t always the case (as seen in the reviews above), but it is pretty much always true that real leather is more durable.
Genuine leather sounds like a good thing, and it can be–but be aware that “genuine” doesn’t distinguish between real and fake leather. Instead, it refers to the lowest and least-dense layer of skin. It’s not as soft or hard-wearing, but it can be serviceable and stylish depending on how it’s tanned, cut, and cared for.
Full-grain and top-grain leather are better than genuine leather. The difference between the two is full-grain also includes the outermost layer of hide, which makes it the premium choice for leather jackets.
As for which animal it comes from, cowhide, buckskin, goatskin, and sheepskin are all solid choices for a long-lasting leather jacket.
The feeling of great leather is a blend between supple, yet incredible strong. It should easily follow the natural contour of your body’s movements without feeling like a strain. Good quality leather with subtle texture will age well creating with it a unique identity from the creasing, scratches, and natural fading of its colors.
And maybe this is just our weird preferences coming through, but quality leather has an amazing smell that reeks of rugged class.
To pull off a sleek, timeless look in your leather jacket you’d better get the fit that’s right for you. If it’s a size bigger you’ll appear awkward while an extremely tight one is uncomfortable on the torso.
Here’s what you need to look for for a well-fitted leather jacket:
- Check that the jacket shoulder seams match yours as much as possible. The jacket is too small if it feels really tight in the shoulder area and falls further to the neck. A bigger jacket will go over your shoulders down to the arms.
- Armholes that fit perfectly give you room to move your arms effortlessly. Better fitting jackets usually have a higher armhole. A jacket that’s a size larger, or whose armhole cut is poorly, tends to have a low armhole. Lower arm holes will drag the entire jacket when you move the arms.
- A properly fitted leather jacket has the sleeves resting where your wrist ends and not advancing to your palm. That would be oversized. If it stretches a little more, it shouldn’t go beyond where your thumbs start.
- Ideally, a leather jacket should be long enough to sit around your waist or just mask off the belt. As a rule, longer jackets suit taller men. Some jackets tend to feel slightly oversized but once appropriately layered, they come out fine with a comfortable fit.
- In general, you really can’t get a leather jacket tailored like other clothes–or at least it’s usually more expensive than its worth. Thus, it’s quite important that you try before you buy, or at least pick a vendor which honors returns.
Select the jacket piece that’s the best reflection of your personality. A leather bomber jacket brings out a confident, cavalier look while a rider-style jacket often has a rugged, edgy appearance.
Leather blazers are versatile and can be worn on any day of the week as they can be used for casual as well as official styles. They pair well with denim jeans for the ultimate casual look.
The materials used for lining leather jackets vary from taffeta to cotton to fleece and poly cotton. A jacket lined with heavy material offers more insulation and heat retention than one made of light material. Just make sure it’s not too bulky, though, as you’re generally layering leather jackets with one or more undershirts/sweaters.
You also need to look for a lining that’s in subdued tones. It usually doesn’t sit well to have a brightly colored lining that clashes with the leather jacket or one that tries to outshine it. There are exceptions, like floral and branded prints, but just avoid obviously unnatural combinations like neon yellow and a classic copper leather.
The length of the leather jacket you purchase will be determined by the style of jacket you settle for. A leather biker jacket is cropped and is usually shorter than the rest. The field leather jackets are the longest and are made such that they cover part of your thighs. Longer leather coats tend to work best with tall men.
There’s a ton of ways to spice up the basic leather jacket. It could be any combination of zip closures, tacks, studs, buttons, buckles, epaulettes, or other accessories. In general, it’s good to err on the side of minimalism, adding what you need to evoke the specific style you’re going for.
Just keep in mind that even plain leather jackets derive much of their visual distinction from functional stuff like zippers and buttons. Thus, it’s always something to pay attention to, even if you’re not going for bells and whistles.
When choosing a leather jacket you’ll want it to properly coordinate with the rest of your wardrobe attire. No one wants to have an awesome jacket whose color and hardware clashes with their wardrobe contents.
Black and brown are the most versatile colors that gel in well with most of the items you’ll be wearing. These colors are easy to wear for everyday rotation.
Repeatedly wearing a conspicuously colored jacket raises eyebrows with people wondering why you keep “recycling” the piece. Not so with a black or brown jacket that easily blends into the background and almost synonymously accentuates your look.
High-quality materials, skillful construction, details such as zippers and other embellishments, and proper cuts will all reflect in the price.
Cheaper, low-quality leather jackets commonly feature low-priced skins that are chemically enhanced for a better appearance. These kinds of corrected leather crack with time–the wrong kind of aging.
High-value jackets are often topstitched with tough threads that not only make the jacket sturdy but also add to its aesthetics. A heavy-duty zipper that will stand the test of time is another clear differentiator of a prized leather jacket. RiRi zippers cost approximately 10 times more than ordinary YKK zippers. Expect a leather jacket with such zippers to cost more but to last longer while remaining smooth throughout their lifespan–and possibly yours.
Finally, keep in mind that some brands are priced expensive simply to maintain a certain cachet. They may or may not feature top-quality materials and construction.
Leather Jackets for Men: Final Words
A good leather jacket is an essential wardrobe item for the cooler weather. Perfect for bike rides and versatile with a vintage touch that refuses to fade, the right jacket is a buy-it-for-life item. We’ve explored the best leather jackets at a variety of price points, and delved into what you need to look for when purchasing one.
What are you looking for in a leather jacket? Can you recommend other budget brands? Alternatively, what would you buy if money were no object? Leave us your thoughts in a comment below.