10 best leather jackets

Invest in a classic biker to see you through the transitional seasons

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The Independent Online

Purchasing a leather jacket is perhaps the biggest new season investment you will make. When it comes to wardrobe staples, this iconic style is something every woman should own, but quality and longevity often come at a price so expect to pay a little bit more. It’s well worth splashing out on a good leather jacket, though, as it promises to become a wardrobe hero. 

But be certain to opt for a style that suits both your personality and your frame. Make sure you choose a size that sits close to the body with just enough room to add some extra layers – there should also be space for you to move your arms freely and the sleeves should come down no further than the wrists. Generally, most leather jackets sit at the hips but cropped versions are great to team with high-waisted trousers or skirts. 

Hunting for that perfect leather jacket can seem like a bit of a minefield but to make things a little easier we’ve put together a list of the best around, in a classic biker shape. 

1. AllSaints Laurel Leather Biker Jacket: £398, AllSaints

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A brand best known for its premium leather and bikers, AllSaints has long caught the attention of the fashion pack, but this one is something special. One for rock chicks and fashionistas alike, it’s a buy-now, wear-forever piece that promises to never go out of style. It has a relaxed fit and exposed zip detailing, four zip pockets and a belted hem. It’s extremely well made – from the soft, supple leather (by far the softest of the bunch) to the blackcurrant lining and durable silver hardware, this one is worth investing in.  

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2. Asos Cropped Leather Biker Jacket: £150, Asos

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This cropped option from Asos is a great choice for those who prefer a nipped-in silhouette without having to sacrifice rock-chick style. The cut remains boxy, with a sturdy leather outer while the length highlights the narrowest part of your frame. We like the attention to detail here with added shoulder epaulettes, one asymmetric and two vertical zips, and a pin-buckle waist belt for extra definition. The material itself has a subtly crinkled effect that gives it a slightly vintage feel. We think it looks great with everything from off-duty denim to floral dresses. 

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3. Mango Leather Biker Jacket: £119.99, Mango

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Tailored with clean, sleek lines, this one is the ideal cover-up for round-the-clock dressing and looks just as good with tailored trousers as it does casual dresses. Cut from 100 per cent sheep’s leather, the outer is butter-soft and contrasted well with three exposed zip pockets, shoulder epaulettes and a press-stud collar. It also comes with loops on the waist, so you can add your favourite belt for a little definition. Lined in matching silky black fabric, this jacket sits comfortably over even the bulkiest of sweaters. Also available in red and petrol blue. 

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4. French Connection Lydia Leather Jacket: £295, French Connection

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It’s all in the detail with this next offering. This is a subtly cropped jacket with a boxy, structured fit that flatters most figures. The first stylish element to grab our attention was the revere collar, which sits comfortably against the torso for a lapel-like finish with silver metallic press-studs for decoration. The zip-fastening sits slightly off-centre, which makes for an interesting touch whether zipped-up or left unfastened – we also love the addition of belt loops at the hem, the mix of three zip pockets and a tiny flap pocket for extra style points and practicality. The long sleeves can also be unzipped for extra room or a turn-up. Inside, the jacket is fully lined with black cotton while the leather outer is designed to age well, meaning the older it gets, the better it will look.

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5. Whistles Navy Agnes Leather Jacket: £330, Whistles

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If you’re looking for an alternative to black but the idea of wearing pastels fills you with dread, then this navy option is a happy medium. This is really similar in design to the aforementioned French Connection option with a masculine fit, slim arm with zipper detailing and a collection of silver hardware zipper pockets – but it’s in the texture where they differ. Crafted from soft lamb leather, this one is super-comfortable and relaxed to wear . Inside you’ll find a silky black lining and the addition of a tasteful hanging chain loop. 

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6. Zara Leather Jacket: £149, Zara

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Autumn doesn’t have to mean head-to-toe black, so if you’re looking to add a shot of colour to your new season wardrobe this could be the one for you. Made from crimson red sheep leather, this is a serious statement piece. Despite the contemporary colourway, this jacket carries all the hallmarks of a classic biker with a revere collar, elbow patches, zipped cuffs and double belt-strap detailing on each side. The leather itself is amazingly soft and the contrasting black lining makes for easy layering. We think this would look fab as part of a sleek, all-black ensemble. 

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7. Stradivarius Leather Biker Jacket with Belt: £79.99, Stradivarius

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Finding a leather jacket for under £100 is no mean feat but we’ve done exactly that. Owned by the Inditex, as is Zara, the Spanish brand is renowned for its ability to produce high quality, super-stylish garments for a steal. Available in a range of colour options (black, dark camel, red, ecru) our favourite is this pastel pink, which makes it a great transitional piece, or a more girlish version for any leather newbies. Classic silver hardware details make an impact with an exposed zip finish and a belt buckle fastening for those that prefer a more controlled fit. Although this jacket is cut from sheep leather, the price had us questioning whether the quality would be compromised. To our surprise, it’s beautifully soft – so much so it’s sure to rival some of the more expensive options. 

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8. Somerset by Alice Temperley Leather Biker Jacket: £250, John Lewis

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Alice Temperley is best known for her sumptuously feminine, bohemian runway collections that we could only dream of owning. Luckily, however, she’s partnered up with John Lewis for an exclusive and affordable fashion collection. This duck-egg blue jacket is crafted from 100 per cent leather and offers a chic alternative to black. Accented with two gold-toned zip pockets, popper detailing on the collar and quilted shoulders, all the classic leather jacket emblems are there but somehow they seem more feminine. Lined in contrasting white, this is a bold addition to a wardrobe.

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9. Jaeger Leather Biker Jacket: £350, Jaeger

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A leather jacket might not be the obvious choice for those of you who prefer a more polished look, but luckily Jaeger has united the two. Cut from butter-soft leather, this option is made to sit slightly fitted to the body and also comes with a pin buckle belt for tailored definition. The classic hardware detailing is still there but it’s much more subtle than other offerings with the exposed zip and press-stud collar muted in gunmetal silver. We also love the quilted sleeves and contrast suede insert to the cuffs where most jackets opt for zips. Clean and classy, this is a great option that won’t go out of style any time soon.

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10. Uterque Leather Jacket: £275, Uterque 

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This creamy caprine leather option comes with gold metal hardware, which is great news for those of you who are averse to silver. The fit is slightly tailored but roomy enough to allow for easy layering, with a double popper belt for extra detail and adjustment. Accented with three front zip pockets and epaulettes on the shoulders, it has all the hallmarks of a classic leather biker, but the muted colour way means you can wear it whatever the weather – or occasion. Wear yours with a white tee and jeans or an edgy finish to evening looks. 

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Verdict

It might be the most expensive of the bunch but AllSaints’ Laurel biker wins hands down. When it comes to buying a leather jacket, it’s well worth splashing out, so if your budget permits this has to be on your wish list – it fits like a dream and promises to last you for years to come. If you’re looking for something more affordable, Asos’ cropped version ticks all the right boxes while Stradivarius’ blush-pink option is a great transitional, or more girlish, alternative.

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