Yo, Vinnie!

The right leather jacket, une femme believes, is a versatile and indispensable item in anyone’s wardrobe. Last year in Paris my very basic 3/4 length black leather jacket served me quite well in all but the heaviest downpours, and looked right at home on les rues Parisiennes. I love the instant shot of attitude and subtle masculine element that a leather jacket adds to an otherwise feminine ensemble, and some of these below would be a great balance for the ruffled blouses and florals that seem to be hot items for fall.

A good leather jacket will last for years. Styles can range from classic to edgy, but the best are versatile and can be dressed up or down.
Office-worthy AK Anne Klein, $299. Would also look great with jeans. (Not loving that skirt, though.)

Classiques Entier, $348. I’m on the fence about this one. I like the shape and pockets, but think those buttons at the top are a distraction.

For beautiful leather and classic, sublime styling, look to Cole Haan. $695.

Bluefly.com also has a great selection of Cole Haan leather jackets (at a discount!) like this one, $537. Another in walking length. While I like this length, it does limit your utility to outerwear. Kenneth Cole Reaction, $299.

Great color, great style! Ellen Tracy, $998.

Cole Haan, $477. I’ll bet those seaming details make this one look fabulous on.

Similar collar detail, an edgier look. Andew Marc, $357. Can’t you just picture yourself zooming around Paris on a scooter wearing this jacket (and a fabulous scarf, bien sur)?

No scooters here. This one is the real deal; requires a Harley-Davidson, and oodles of attitude.

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  1. I just had a weird moment. People have told me I look like Marisa Tomei in the past and I’ve been like, “Whatevs.” But when I saw that photo of her, I thought, “Hey! Where did you get that picture of me from the ’80s!” I think it was just the hair.

  2. What..no boots? I had a black leather skirt in college and thought I was the bomb in that. — perhaps a black leather jacket is in my future – though I have a very soft spot for a brown leather one my father had when I was young…baseball style, I thought it had a lot of oomph.(and I am with you on that Anne Klein skirt)

  3. We’re in sync again. I’ve got a great little black leather jacket but I saw another one this weekend that I keep thinking about — an updated retro-bomber one in a soft distressed grey. Not convinced the bomber is the right deal for my short (and not-so-defined)waist, but it was not bad on . . .
    But I gotta exercise some restraint, I thought, ’til you came along and got me thinking again. Hmm!

  4. I’m drawn to the higher end like Cole Haan (and love those collars) b/c leather tailoring really counts, expecially when the coat breaks in.
    A quality leather jacket looks even better with wear- great syle boost!

  5. I got very, very lucky and found a simple-but-beautiful Banana Republic thigh-length black leather jacket at Goodwill for $15 a few weeks ago. A little leather conditioner, a little stitching in the lining, and it’s good to go. A classic, and my wallet’s happy!

  6. The Ellen Tracy jacket is my favorite. That leather looks like butter.

    I haven’t had a jacket for years. The last one I had was a black leather swing coat with formidable shoulder pads.

    Do you find you get a lot of opportunity to wear your leather jackets in L.A.?

  7. Wendyb – that’s funny, because when I saw that pic, I thought for a moment, “hey, that looks like Wendy B!” I think it’s mostly the dark hair, the red lipstick and the spunky attitude.

    Toby – boots are on deck.

    Materfamilias – well now it’s my turn to enable…go for it!!

  8. LBR – yes, doesn’t that one look yummy? Wish I had a spare grand hanging around. Actually, it gets pretty cool here in the evenings during the winter and spring, and I do get a lot of wear out of my jackets.

    Duchesse – many years ago a friend of mine had his dad’s old Air Force leather jacket. I so coveted that jacket, even thought it was probably six sizes too big. The leather was so broken in and fabulous.

    anon – great find! You should be proud of your bargain spotting skills.

  9. Ashe – I went back to look at that Andrew Marc again this afternoon (love to torment myself, dontcha know?) and it was all sold out. 🙁 Not surprised, it’s a great style.

    Couturecarrie – I have to admit that one is my favorite. Très chic!

    Thomas – well, if Blake can rhyme “eye” and “symmetry,” yours will hold.

  10. Deja, There is so much leather here in paris, but all bomber style mostly. THe weather has been nice and cool, a light sweater and a light trench are perfect. My vanity in the shoe department has got the best of me; I am a virtual cripple at this point!Will write more on the blog…Karen