Here’s a brief hypothetical that illustrates the raw power of the best leather jackets for men: Let’s say you’re going to a party. (Remember those? We’re post-COVID in this hypothetical.) You aren’t even dressed yet, and your anxiety is already begging you to stay put, hoodie up, and introduce your old pal Thai food to your new boo Disney+. What are your options? You could gorge on a bunch of CBD on your way out the door—only, let’s be honest, that stuff is all a bit suspect. You could guzzle some good ol’ fashioned liquid courage the moment you arrive, but you also don’t want to write off the entire next day in bed mainlining Advil and Gatorade. So instead, you do the only reasonable thing left: you slip on an immaculate leather jacket, give yourself a couple of Fonz thumbs in the mirror (“AYY!”), and then proceed to charm the living daylights out of everyone you encounter for the rest of the evening.
That’s just what the best leather jackets for men do. They make you stand a little taller, speak with a little more conviction, and seem altogether more alluring. They are like the pill Bradley Cooper takes in the movie Limitless, only they unlock genuine cool instead of psychotic ambition. Of course, confidence of that magnitude doesn’t come cheap. But if you’re ready and raring to invest in one, we’ve pinpointed 18 of the very best leather jackets worth your hard-earned dough. Whether you’re looking for an easy-wearing gateway or a galactic-level flex, all of these jackets will keep you feeling like your very best self for years and years to come.
The Best Cockpit-Ready Leather Jacket
Golden Bear is an OG in the outerwear game, slingin’ some of the finest leather jackets on the planet from its San Francisco factory for going on 80 years now. This gorgeous bomber jacket is as classic as it gets, rendered in supple, subtly distressed brown leather, with a couple of handy front pockets and an attachable shearling collar for those days you feel like throwing on your aviators and going full Maverick.
The Best Low-Key Leather Jacket
Here’s a fun thought: That trusty flannel overshirt you can’t stop wearing? The one with the roomy chest pockets, that looks good over hoodies and oxfords and everything in between? What if it was made from leather? COS made that dream a reality, crafting this slick, oversized layer from lush lambskin. Consider it the leather jacket for people who don’t wear leather jackets.
The Best Leather Jacket for Dominating the Dancefloor
A little bit Matrix, a little bit Uncut Gems, right on the money for right now. This jacket is slick, a touch tacky, and frankly, not for the timid. It’s best served with dancing shoes and flashy pants, ready to bust a move as soon as the clubs reopen post-COVID.
The Best Eco-Conscious Leather Jacket
If you’re trying to live sustainably but still need your leather fix, Deadwood is for you. The Swedish crafts classic jackets using high-quality upcycled and deadstock leathers. This sharp suede number is minimalist, modern, and a pinch more approachable than your standard leather moto.
The Best Anatomically-Correct Leather Jacket
Vanson’s impossibly badass Bones racer jacket is an honest-to-god icon: it’s been reinterpreted by Supreme, referenced by Kapital, and was once nearly banned by the American Motorcyclist Association for its supposed “outlaw” connotations. But it’s not just about the looks. Fashioned using extra-tough cowhide and heavy-duty hardware, it’s designed for the road and built to last. And given that Vanson cuts and sews every jacket by hand—yup, all those bones are intricately stitched on one at a time—it’s a relative bargain for the price. Throw it on over a white T-shirt and jeans and let it do all the talking.
The Best Shearing Leather Jacket
At some point or another, everyone goes through a shearling coat phase. Settling on exactly the right one, though, is paramount—it means the difference between looking like Tom Hardy IRL or looking like Tom Hardy as Bane. (Just to be clear: The latter is a bad thing, nerds.) Acne’s version is the right one. The shearling is fluffy and plentiful, the leather is rich and pebbly, and the whole thing is filtered through a tasteful Scandanavian lens to keep it from looking the least bit costume-y.