5 Effective Tips for Styling a Leather Jacket
Leather Jacket Styling Tips
Leather jackets have been around for nearly a century and have represented many different things over the years. In the 1930s, they were part of military and police uniform and signified authority. Over the next 40 years, they became a symbol of nonconformity for motorcycle gangs, outlaws and other rebel types.
Everyone from hippies to hunks donned a black leather jacket at some point. Now, the classic black leather jacket can mean anything to anyone. More importantly, any man can pull one off if he knows how to style it.
So, if you’re wondering how to wear your jacket — and honor those who have done so before you — here are some tips to help you look your best in your leather jacket.
Related: Leather Jacket Care Guide
Tip #1. Consider the Setting
Leather jackets are incredibly versatile, which means they’ll complement practically any outfit. As a result, you can easily wear yours from the office to the bar if you know which accessories suit each setting.
For instance, when you dress for work in the morning, you might accessorize a leather field jacket with a striped sweater, slacks and a leather belt with matching shoes. This combination will create a smart, sophisticated look that’s sure to impress any boss, not to mention the cutie in the adjacent cubicle.
On the other hand, if you’re heading out for a night on the town, you might accessorize by layering a hoodie underneath your jacket and donning a baseball cap, sunglasses, skinny jeans and a pair of Converse.
Read also: Leather Jacket Outfit Ideas for Fall
Tip #2. Wear Slim-Fitting Clothes
Regardless of the setting, your leather jacket will pair well with slim-fitting clothes. Because most styles of leather jacket are rather stiff and boxy, wearing oversized shirts and trousers underneath will only create a disjointed look. In other words, you’ll still turn heads, but for all the wrong reasons.
Therefore, it’s best to make your jacket pop and improve your self-image by wearing more form-fitting clothes like skinny jeans, snug t-shirts, snug button-ups, and straight-leg slacks. Of course, you can break this fashion “rule” if you want to create a biker grunge look with a loose shirt and ripped jeans.
However, the jacket should still fit snugly, so take some chest, shoulder, waist and sleeve length measurements to ensure it fits your specific build properly.
Tip #3. Layer on Warm Garments
Spring is finally here, but there may still be a chill in the air. On those cooler evenings, accessorize your leather jacket with warm garments like scarves, hats, gloves and even boots. These items will add instant intrigue to any ensemble and keep you warm until summer.
You might also experiment with warm tops like knit sweaters and flannel button-ups. However, if you really want to make a statement and look like the “Knight Rider” version of David Hasselhoff, wearing a turtleneck underneath is the ultimate way to accessorize your jacket. While any style of jacket will work with this look, a shearling-collar aviator is a sure-fire way to take it up a notch.
Just remember to avoid layering anything over your leather jacket. While it might make sense during the winter, you’ll end up looking like the Michelin Man, and no one will have the chance to gaze upon your jacket in all of its shiny glory.
Tip #4. Accessorize with Leather
When it comes to accessorizing a leather jacket, you can’t go wrong with adding more leather. Whether it’s a wallet, messenger bag, belt, cap, watch, shoes or even pants, donning more of the same material within the same outfit is sure to make a statement.
Of course, you should still match the texture and color of each item with one another to ensure a cohesive look. In other words, if your jacket is black, stick with black leather accessories. At a bare minimum, your jacket, shoes and belt should all be the same color or at least have very similar color tones. For example, blacks cannot go with browns. This is a topic we have touched on in our job interview watch guide.
Tip #5. Choose Quality Over Quantity
No matter how you choose to accessorize, it makes good fashion sense to choose quality over quantity. While there is a wide range of accessories to choose from, adding too many to your outfit can result in a busy or crowded look. In these instances, your hardware will outshine your jacket.
However, the seasoned gentleman knows that wearing fewer, more luxurious accessories is a tasteful choice. Instead of wearing rings on multiple fingers, he’ll wear one larger ring on his thumb. And, rather than don a hat, scarf, earmuffs and gloves, he’ll choose one or two items and step outside with his head held high. A common accessory men wear is none of the than the wristwatch. It tells time and it doesn’t tend to attract too much attention. Here are some recommendations for entry luxury watches for those of you who are interested.
These more subtle accessories add meaningful personality to your outfit without overwhelming passersby.
Confidence Is Everything
Ultimately, it’s not what you wear but how you wear it that matters. If you can confidently walk out the door in baggy pants, loafers and a bomber jacket, then you’ll look fly as hell and everyone will want to dress like you, even if you’re committing a fashion faux pas.
After all, every trend must start somewhere. So be bold and bend the rules! Maybe the next leather jacket fashion trend will start with you.
Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded, where he writes about cars, fitness and other topics. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates!
(The article was written by Oscar and edited by the UMO editing team. Please contact the editing team if there’s any mistakes in the article.)
Other Style & Fashion Tips
Style Tips for Tall & Skinny Men
Style Tips for Short & Hefty Men