Reader Question: A Cool, Timeless Leather Jacket? (I Found 25 To Drool Over)



I received an email from Laura.  She wrote:

I’m turning 30 next month (!) and my parents want to get me a nice present.  I am thinking about asking for a leather jacket, but I’m overwhelmed by the options.  It’s a big investment and I want to make sure it’s something I love now, but will still be awesome and wearable for seasons/years/decades to come.  Do you have any tips for choosing one?  I really like the looks of this one: Coach slim leather moto jacket (oxblood) [pictured above], but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a little bit fashion challenged.  I’d love some insight, and thought it might be something your other readers would be interested in too.

Hi Laura!  Happy Birthday!  A leather jacket is a great idea.  I know there are a ton of readers who have extolled the mom-friendliness of leather jackets over the years (“it just wipes clean!!”), and in the style department it can’t be beat.  But shopping for a leather jacket is both overwhelming and….tricky.  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Make sure it fits your shoulders

The leather jacket should be nice and fitted – almost tight –  in the shoulders.  This is the best way to ensure you don’t look like you are being swallowed whole by your leather jacket.

2. Watch the Shine

So many leather jackets are really, really shiny.  Also, the hardware (zips, snaps, etc.) can be really, really shiny.  A little shine is OK, but too much makes the jacket look either cheap, or fussy.   In either case, it detracts from the cool factor.

3.  Keep the Interesting Details in Proportion to Yo’ Self

If you are a tiny little thing, padded shoulders and quilted sleeves and a million shiny zippers are probably going to be too much.  Don’t get me wrong – I love these details, but keep everything in proportion.  Watch the shoulder detail, in particular.  Anything that sits right on top of the shoulder can easily make one look like a linebacker.

4. Check The Drape

No matter the shape of the jacket (or heck – the material – this applies to faux-leather, too)….the jacket should drape nicely.  I understand that some leather jackets need to be broken in….but…..unless that jacket is also a STEAL, from a price perspective, I’d personally pass on it.  If I’m going to drop the kind of cash we’re talking about, I want to walk out with perfection, not have to work up to it.  You know?

Ok – with the above parameters in mind, I rounded up 25 amazing leather jackets.  At all price points!  (It will surprise no one, however, that my very favs are also the most expensive.  It’s a particular talent of mine.  A “gift”, I tell my husband.)   In any case, I started by trolling all of my favorite stores for leather jackets and rounded up a bunch (I originally had over 80 on the list), and then culled down to the 25 you see here.  In the notes, I tried to state why a particular jacket made the cut.  Once I found a few that were perfect, the rest fell away quickly.


If you are reading in a reader, you might need to click on over to The Mom Edit site to see the shopping widgets. Sorry for the inconvenience!


Over $1000


From $500 – $1000


Under $500


Laura, I hope this helps!!



ps.  Shopbop is having a huge sale.  And OOOOO…some Vince cashmere is 30% off.  (Be sure you filter by size – many pieces have only one size left.  Annoying.)


  1. Boo! I can’t get the 500-1000 options to load on the mobile site. I’ve tried a few times and can’t get it to work.

    BUT I have a Vince Scuba Drape jacket in grey and it’s AH-MAZING! I’ve also tried in the Helmut Lang jacket -swoooooon – but haven’t pulled trigger. Can’t really justify the CPW in South GA.

  2. Great post- thanks! I have been lusting after a leather moto jacket for YEARS but just haven’t found the right one. I’ve had that Madewell one pinned for awhile but have been waiting for a handy discount code before going to try it on/tempt fate. That Trouve one at Nordstrom looks like it could be a contender, though…

  3. I have a great leather moto jacket from TopShop that has made it through 3 years of motherhood so far. Also, I bought it for cheap on EBay. I’d recommend staying away from anything with a “buttery-soft” finish if parenthood is in your future- it won’t wipe clean after sticky, greasy hands are all over it.

Leave a Reply