The leather jacket: a sort of Schrodinger’s coat. It exists simultaneously as both the coolest and the most unequivocally uncool garment on the face of the earth.
Get it right, you’re Marlon Brando. Miss the mark, and that effortless street cred is nowhere to be found.
But the leather jacket doesn’t have to be a quantum paradox. The key to ensuring you look badass rather than, well, just bad and an ass, is confidence.
And confidence comes naturally when you know you have the perfect leather jacket to begin with.
With that in mind, we got up close and personal with some of the best options on the market and detailed our findings below.
We were looking for high-quality materials and construction, a great fit, and timeless style appeal.
From all-time classics of the genre to modern essentials, these are the best leather jackets for men in 2021.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
AllSaints milo biker jacket
With its modernised strain of rock ‘n’ roll moodiness, AllSaints is well known for delivering some of the coolest leather jackets around. With its slim cut, notch lapels, epaulets and asymmetric zipper, the milo is an updated version of a classic biker jacket and one of the east London label’s bestselling styles. The leather is soft, the fit is trim and it’s positively brimming with attitude.
Reiss pivot leather aviator jacket
Reiss’ sleek, upscale take on capsule wardrobe essentials makes it a great choice for those looking for a traditional leather jacket with a contemporary twist. This removable shearling-collar option is an updated version of a classic aviator jacket and features a cropped fit, ribbed cuffs and hem, and oversized press-stud pockets. The leather is thick, yet soft and supple and it’ll pair seamlessly with anything from jeans and a T-shirt to dress trousers and a fine-gauge roll neck.
Schott NYC perfecto motorcycle jacket
Without Schott NYC, the leather jacket as we know and love it today probably wouldn’t exist. The American brand’s perfecto jacket, created for Harley Davidson in the 1940s, is the original biker jacket, written into the history books by the likes of James Dean, Marlon Brando and The Ramones. It has been imitated thousands of times, but never bettered. So, if you want the real deal, a Schott NYC perfecto is the only way to go.
Saint Laurent slim-fit leather biker jacket
The biker jacket has been a Saint Laurent staple since Yves Saint Laurent first released his take on the style back in the 1960s. This high-fashion spin on one of the most iconic jackets in history is perfect for anyone looking for something really special. Cheap, it is not, but when you consider it’ll probably be worth even more when it’s inevitably inherited by your grandchildren, the price becomes a little more palatable… sort of. Call it an investment if it makes you feel better.
Belstaff trailmaster panther 2.0 motorcycle jacket
This belted beauty from Belstaff is a leathery twist on the brand’s famous waxed-cotton motorcycle jacket. It’s a distinctly British style that features an adjustable stand collar, four bellow pockets, a belted waist and thigh-grazing cut. We think it’s a great option for anyone who likes the idea of owning a piece of leather outerwear but doesn’t want to look like they’re cosplaying Danny from Grease. This is a much more grown-up and sophisticated alternative to those uncouth American biker jackets. The sort of leather jacket James Bond might wear.
Mango chest-pocket suede jacket
A suede overshirt is the perfect garment for adding a little texture to your transitional wardrobe. This one from Mango has the added benefit of being at the more affordable end of the leather-jacket spectrum too. It’s an understated option that’s heavy on the minimalist styling, allowing the material itself to take centre stage. Our favourite thing about this jacket, aside from the price, is its versatility. It can be dressed up or down very easily to cover a wide range of social settings, making it exceptional value for money.
Next signature leather racer jacket
The cafe racer is a minimalist leather jacket style that shares its name with a type of powerful, lightweight motorcycle popular in the Fifties and Sixties. Much like its namesake, it’s a stripped-back style that’s famed for its good looks and simplicity. This version from Next has a quilted lining, boasts Italian leather throughout and comes in at just a shade over £100. A great way to pick up an iconic leather outerwear style at a wallet-friendly price.
Baracuta suede g9 harrington jacket
The Baracuta g9 harrington is a classic jacket that has remained more or less unchanged since it was born in the 1930s. This suede version offers a premium twist on one of the most iconic jackets of all time and is perfectly suited to slot right into your day-to-day life. It’s well put together, stylish, versatile and, of course, is lined with Baracuta’s signature fraser tartan.
The verdict: Men’s leather jackets
A classic biker jacket is a must-have for any style-savvy guy and this one from AllSaints offers high quality materials, a flattering fit, phenomenal attention to detail and a price tag that isn’t too crazy as far as leather jackets go.
Once you’ve got your jacket sorted, check out our edit of the best shirt brands for men.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.