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Once seen as something only bikers wore, the leather jacket has officially broken free of the shackles it was once confined to. Leather jackets have always been on our radar, as the uniform of 1950s heartthrobs and cementing itself into pop culture, courtesy of The Matrix.
With winter 2023 fast approaching, we're seeing the staple emerge again —this time, in new and interesting silhouettes. Yes, the classic biker and bomber leather jacket will never lose relevancy, but 2023 is far more interested in taking leather to new heights. Expect offices filled with babes wearing leather blazers, floor-length leather trench coats gracing street-style lists, and plenty of options that aren't black.
As the air gets crisper and cooler and the weather becomes a bit more unpredictable, leather jackets aren't just cementing themselves as a wildly practical wardrobe staple, they also ooze sexiness and cool-girl energy. And with oversized clothing continuing to have a huge moment in 2023, larger-than-life leather jackets might just be the best way to jump on board.
Ahead, we've rounded up the X best leather jackets out there — from bright blue vegan takes to floor-length leather trenches that have even caught the eye of Zoë Kravitz.
The Leather Blazer
At the intersection of cool and sleek lies the leather blazer — a bonafide wardrobe staple. While blazers were once considered to be strictly officewear, the leather version proves that the blazer deserves a spot in your wardrobe, even if it's just for a brunch date.
Pair it with wide-leg trousers for an office look that doesn't compromise on personality, or pair it with an LBD and cowboy boots for a cocktail-fuelled weekend. Another alternative is taking a note from Hailey Bieber's book, who was recently spotted sporting the trusty blazer with a pair of mid-rise straight blue jeans and a cropped white tee.
The Leather Bomber Jacket
To inject a grungier, punk-rock essence into your wardrobe, you can't look past the leather bomber. We've always loved bomber jackets for their unique yet flattering silhouettes, but in 2023, we're predicting a serious revival of this old favourite, with a leathery twist.
For an effortlessly funky weekend look, pair a leather bomber with baggy pants and a sheer crop. Or channel your best 'Intimidating Hot Girl' energy with a maxi skirt, chunky boots and dark aviator sunglasses. Opt for a colour like dark green or brown for the ultimate '90s flashback.
The Leather Trench Coat
In this Catwoman-inspired number, Zoë Kravitz single-handedly proves that the leather trench coat doesn't just belong in The Matrix. Anything that's good enough for the ethereal Ms Kravitz is certainly good enough for me. With a leather trench from Sanint Laurent, a black fishnet top, and iconic oval shades, we're considering this as evidence of why black is best.
To style the leather trench, you really don't need to do much. Just let the trench do the talking. It oozes elegance without compromising on edge. If you want to make a statement, consider sporting a longline trench that almost skims the ground. Want something a bit more timeless? Pick one in a buttery leather that hangs just below the knee and wait for the compliments to roll in.
The Brown Leather Jacket
When you hear the words 'leather jacket', it's an almost natural instinct to reach for the blackest jacket on the rack (darker than my soul, thanks). But brown leather jackets are having a hot moment in 2023, and it's not hard to understand why. Not only is it actually more flattering than black against a wider variety of skin tones, but brown leather jackets also instantly elevate a look with a retro feel.
Really lean into an autumnal colour palette and team a brown leather jacket with orange, chocolate and creamy tones, or pair it with black for an understated, yet visually-interesting, look.
The Long Leather Jacket
As Cake once famously said, "I want a girl with a short skirt and a looooooong jacket." Channel your '90s It Girl fantasy with the longest of leather jackets that'll instantly make people ask, "Where did you get your jacket?".
But first, a few establishing rules: sport one that skims your ankles and don't be afraid to experiment with interesting textures and finishes. Team it with knee-high boots or low-cut Dr. Martens, faux fur, and itty bitty dresses for a high-contrast finish. This trend is particularly well-suited to tall girls, who may never want to look at short jackets again.
The Leather Motorcycle Biker Jacket
Ah, the classic biker jacket. This style is probably what immediately springs to mind when someone says the words 'leather jacket'. With a pronounced collar and zip, biker jackets are usually more fitted and feature customisable belts and studs (lots of 'em). While they were popularised by 1950s rock 'n' roll hooligans, this style of leather jacket has steadily cemented itself in many wardrobes. Tough, yet feminine. Edgy, yet classic.
There's no better match than a biker jacket and distressed jeans. But if you want to modernise this bad boy, consider teaming it with flared or wide-legged pants or a tiny dress and stockings for a grungier aesthetic.
The Faux & Vegan Leather Jacket
For vegan and animal-conscious babes, you're in for a treat. Because animal leather is so expensive, there's a slew of vegan options that aren't just incredibly chic — but are also more affordable. So, whether you're doing it for the animals or for your wallet, there are plenty of options to choose from.
The downside of vegan and faux leathers is the impact on the environment (since most are made from plastic-derived materials like polyurethane). If you really want to elevate your faux leather jacket game, opt for a leather jacket made from materials that won't make the planet sad. Think: Piñatex pineapple leather, cork leather, leaf leather, grain-based leather, cactus leather, and fabrics made from recycled bottles. If that sounds overwhelming, don't fret. Some brands have become known for producing ace vegan leather jackets, like Budapest-based brand, Nanushka and cool-girl pioneer, Stella McCartney.