Ahh, the leather jacket. Some women wear them as armor, strong against the world. Some wear them ironically, paired with the loveliest tulle dress she can find. Some use it as a throwback to an iconic time. That’s what we love about fashion, isn’t it? It can transform us. Transform us from mild-mannered office worker to badass lady of steel … all by slipping into a perfectly fitting leather jacket. Which, by the way, is the ultimate in fall outerwear.
Today, we’re going to look at a few different styles of leather jackets, to suit your moods. While the traditional mental images of leather jackets are strong and tough, they can also be ladylike, soft – or bright and sassy. Each look is shown with a basic t-shirt and jeans combo, so you can see how each jacket changes the mood.
Let’s start with one of my favorite styles, ladylike. Soften the edginess of leather by choosing a jacket with decidedly princess-y details: puffed shoulders or a peplum waist. The details take a tough look and make it more daytime appropriate, all while creating a beautiful shape (hello waistline, thank you peplum!). Bonus lady-points if you can snag this style in a blush color.
my jacket is from h&m, circa 2011
If you’re feeling in need of some armor, I’d like to suggest a more traditional jacket – quilted with some zippers. Traditionally, this style is called the moto jacket (inspired by motorcyclists) and has a rough and tough feel to it with supple black leather and contrasting silver hardware. I would encourage you to take it one step further and look for a moto jacket with some quilting – that texture tends to soften the edge a bit while retaining the attitude of the cut and showcasing the hardware.
my jacket is from zara circa 2013
My fashion girls will feel me when I say this: RICK OWENS. Rick Owens, Rick Owens, Rick Owens. Now, let’s all let our a collective sob at the over $2000 price tag for one of his absolutely perfect pieces of wearable art. If the name Rick Owens is new to you (and you have no idea what we’re all sobbing about) then let me relate it to you this way: Olivia Pope. What makes her outerwear collection so amazing is the draped collars. While draping works lovely on a thick winter coat, it adds a ridiculously luxurious look to a leather jacket. (This style is also known as the waterfall jacket, in case you’re Googling later). It’s universally flattering. If you’re going to invest in one style, allow me to urge you to pick this one.
my jacket is via target (current in store, nov. 2014)
Last, I want you to think out of the box a bit. A leather jacket collection should absolutely begin with a great black piece, no doubt. But if you’re an all-black-errythang kind of girl, think about going the colored route. That could mean something as subtle as brown or grey or maybe even tan… or you can go the way I did (inspired by Emma on Once Upon a Time) and source a bright lipstick red collarless jacket to brighten up every look in your closet. If you want to get really crazy, look into color-blocked leather jackets.
my jacket is via express, circa 2012
What jacket speaks most to your style? Would you wear a colored leather jacket? If so, what color?