Classic and Cool: The Leather Jacket

classics with cool: the black leather jacket

black leather jacket styles

Emmanuelle Alt doesn’t limit herself to just one style….

Flip through just about any of those 10-Items-Every-French-Woman-Has-In-Her-Wardrobe type articles, and a black leather jacket is almost guaranteed to be on that list. Whether or not you subscribe to the concept of “French” style, it’s hard to argue with the Cool Factor that the right leather jacket brings to an outfit. (And no, it doesn’t have to be black.) A simple style in non-distressed leather doesn’t need to be relegated to casual wear either; it can also add polish to office and evening outfits.

I’ve been on the hunt for just the right black leather jacket for a couple of years now. While I prefer a moto-style jacket, I don’t want a lot of hardware, buckles, or belts, and with my frame need to avoid bulky styles, and too-large collars and other design elements.

Perhaps in the middle of this sweltering summer a leather jacket isn’t the kind of “cool” that’s foremost in your mind, but with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale on it’s a good time to find one marked down. These are new-for-fall styles, and prices will go up after the sale. There are one or two that meet my criteria and I may bite….

Do you have a leather jacket in your wardrobe? How do you style it?


Affiliate links in this post may generate commissions for See complete disclosure policy here.

Images of Emmanuelle Alt via Pinterest here, here and here

Stay in touch.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for See my complete disclosure policy here.


  1. July 22, 2015 / 6:00 am

    Lots of great choices here – my eye is now drawn to the brown and cognac jackets. xox

  2. July 22, 2015 / 6:15 am

    Some great choices here, but my eye was especially drawn to the quilted jacket, centre of the second row — and turns out it’s Mackage, the same label as the two black leather jackets I already own. How’s that for consistency?! And it’s Canadian as well!!

  3. July 22, 2015 / 8:23 am

    I do have one leather jacket. It’s pretty textured and very low sheen. I’ve actually gravitated more towards suede, as my face has gotten more textured (wrinkled). It helps offset my complexion.

    • Leslie in Oregon
      July 24, 2015 / 12:01 am

      I’d go for suede too. I think it looks much better.

  4. KPL
    July 22, 2015 / 9:07 am

    I have many black leather jackets, one that I bought 35 year ago. It’s been my go-to jacket forever. Highly recommend.

  5. July 22, 2015 / 9:51 am

    So funny you posted this, I have been on the hunt for a black leather motorcycle jacket as I am not satisfied with the military style one I got las year. I have a black wool one that I love and would like to find it’s match in leather. The one in the fifth row down is close. A definite wardrobe staple for cool girls.

    Accidental Icon

  6. Liz in Paris
    July 22, 2015 / 11:09 am

    I’m exactly the same and have been looking for one for at least two years. Either they have millions of zips and buckles, or they’re too tight on the bust and too loose on the waist. I really like EA’s blazer/tuxedo style one on the left of your pic. If I found one like that I’d be all over it.

  7. July 22, 2015 / 11:42 am

    Emmanuelle Alt looks fantastic in all three styles. I have a dark blue (well it was dark blue but has faded) Isabel Marant biker-style, a 50th birthday present from Mr That’s Not My Age, that I’ll be wearing again come autumn.

  8. Wendy in York
    July 22, 2015 / 1:18 pm

    I’ve found that ,as I’ve got older , leather, is too harsh against my skin & just doesn’t flatter me . Handbags are still fine !

  9. Janet
    July 22, 2015 / 1:37 pm

    I have seven, including the ubiquitous motorcycle style with pockets & zippers. I wear them with tight jeans & white tees & heeled boots in the winter or sandals in the summer with lots of bracelets, big earrings & red lipstick, and I always feel deliciously bad-ass. Oh, and I’m in my 60s, just for the record. In case anyone thinks there’s an age-limit on badassery.

    • July 22, 2015 / 5:11 pm

      +1! Love this, ” and I always feel deliciously bad-ass. Oh, and I’m in my 60s, just for the record. In case anyone thinks there’s an age-limit on badassery.” 🙂
      My INC. moto jacket makes me feel that way.

    • Valerie
      July 22, 2015 / 5:21 pm

      Love it, Janet. Love it.

  10. July 22, 2015 / 2:53 pm

    I made a black leather moto jacket about 3 or 4 years ago. It’s the best investment in money and time I’ve ever made since I wear it 3 seasons in all but the coldest weather. It’s my all time favorite piece. The only hardware on it are the fabulous Swiss made Riri zippers I used for the main zip, the pockets and the sleeves. It always makes me feel put together and chic.

    • July 22, 2015 / 5:18 pm

      So weird. I clicked on Nancy K’s name to find out more about anyone who can make a kick-ass leather jacket for herself — but the link took me to my own Blogger page. Huh? Wonder what’s up with that?!

      • July 22, 2015 / 5:19 pm

        Oh, and btw, I tried the same thing with Petite Silver Vixen (below), and I get taken to her blog. . .

        • une femme
          July 22, 2015 / 6:22 pm

          Weird, it must be a Blogger issue. I can visit the non .blogspot blogs, but get my own dashboard when I click on the Blogger ones.

    • une femme
      July 23, 2015 / 5:37 am

      Nancy K, wow you MADE one? Color me Very Impressed!

  11. July 22, 2015 / 3:05 pm

    Emmanuelle certainly has a great eye for a leather jacket. Love all 3 of those styles. I’ve a couple of leather jackets and the style of them for me does dictate how I wear them. I find waterfall style on me works really well with pretty much anything – maxi dresses, skirts, jeans. They’re smart enough for an office outfit whilst retaining a certain softness of look that you wouldn’t get with a moto style one. Some great styles you’ve chosen to showcase.

  12. Robin
    July 22, 2015 / 3:08 pm

    I recommend the three-quarter sleeve jacket by Rebecca Minkoff. It’s feminine and chic and very wearable in all seasons!

  13. July 22, 2015 / 5:07 pm

    I have two black ones: a moto, and a blazer, and one red faux leather raincoat shaped like a trenchcoat.
    I’ve been wanting a brown, or camel color leather jacket for a couple of years.

    I wear them with blouses, skirts, jeans, slacks, and T’s.

    I hope you find the perfect leather jacket!

  14. Kathleen
    July 22, 2015 / 6:36 pm

    I found my “had to have” (Vince) black leather jacket at the NAS preview and can’t wait for some cooler SoCal weather or a trip north to give it a spin!

    • Kathleen
      July 22, 2015 / 6:38 pm

      oops…. it was Trouve

  15. y.k.
    July 22, 2015 / 6:45 pm

    after much dithering – really, years of hemming& hawing, i bought a rick owens leather jacket (super early 50th). it is the best purchase ever – absolutely no regrets.

  16. July 22, 2015 / 9:53 pm

    I have never owned a leather jacket but always wanted one – just never had the guts to outlay so much money on an item of clothing! I am also very undecided as to which style i prefer, and prefers me, more to the point. Now that I am 55 I think I should be making my mind up soon!

  17. Susan
    July 22, 2015 / 11:39 pm

    I finally bought a black leather, moto style jacket for this winter and pair it with skinny jeans/ankle boots and a scarf. However, I find it quite restricting and I think I prefer softer more fluid type fabrics. Also, not sure if this look makes me a bit ‘muttonish dressed as lamb’ (I am 58), because my 24 year old niece was wearing a very similar outfit to mine.

    • une femme
      July 23, 2015 / 6:29 am

      Susan, my thinking these days is that there is no “age limit” on most styles. If you love wearing it, and it suits your personality and lifestyle, then it’s Ageless. 🙂

  18. July 23, 2015 / 4:29 am

    I have 2 – one biker style and one quilted – and they go great with shorter skirts, tights and short boots. While mine are faux leather, I do wonder if buying used leather would be more environmentally conscious, because the pleather ones don’t last (they puncture easily) and eventually add to the waste stream.

  19. Marguerite
    July 23, 2015 / 6:53 am

    I have three lamb skin jackets in black. Two that are blazer style and one that’s shorter with a front zip and stand collar. The shorter one I bought in San Fran at Fog City Leather. I mention this because if you have fit issues with off the rack, this is the place to go. They do custom work, alterations and repairs to leather and even fur, I believe. Super nice people, too.

  20. July 24, 2015 / 5:27 am

    When we were in NYC this spring I saw SO many people in very cool black leather moto style jackets I came home and immediately started hunting for one. I wanted something with a little edge, but I didn’t want a lot of zippers and buckles etc… Plus i wanted one with thin leather because I’m in Texas and rarely need anything heavy. I ordered and returned a ton of coats but finally found one that I love. It’s the Veda Dali jacket. Love it. It does run small, though… I’m usually a size small but needed a medium unless I was going to wear it as an only layer-LOL.

  21. July 25, 2015 / 5:17 am

    I adore Emmanuelle Alt’s style – she always looks so cool. I have a few moto jackets now but I think I want to add a rich burgundy to the mix. I wear these jackets all the time in the fall and layer them under winter coats for more warmth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

powered by chloédigital