The essential leather jacket guide (for men & women)
Versatile, fuss-free and innately cool, it’s no wonder leather jackets are a luxury style staple. Once synonymous with a rebel lifestyle, leather jackets were the uniform of troubled youth; think Marlon Brando in a battered biker.
But it’s not just men that have a long-lasting love affair with leather. Since the 1970s, pioneering style icons such as Debbie Harry and Madonna have demonstrated the eternal allure of a leather jacket. Whether zipped and buckled, or cut with a slim silhouette, there’s a leather for everyone.
With this in mind we spoke to the style experts at Bicester Village in Oxford for the best possible advice on investing in the right leather jacket. This is what they had to say.
Today, it seems the leather jacket is a pre-requisite for ‘model off-duty’ style. Case in point, Kate Moss; a leather devotee. Slung over skinny jeans, a loose tee and ankle boots, Moss exudes that nonchalant air of rock and roll chic with ease. Recreate the look with a classic biker from Belstaff or Sandro; both offer authentic cuts with subtle tweaks for a flattering silhouette.
For a luxe take on the classic aviator, reference Cara Delevingne who favours a shearling-lined, pilot-style leather. If wearing your aviator with an oversized fit, be sure to balance it with skinny jeans to avoid looking swamped. An aviator that cinches at the waist is flattering for all body shapes; wear with a girly tea dress and bare legs for a low-key weekend look.
If black feels too heavy, be inspired by supermodel of the moment, Gigi Hadid, who likes to mix up her look with a coloured leather. Soft pastels or bold, saturated hues add a pop of colour to an outfit in an instant. Maje have an irresistible collection of coloured bikers in buttery soft leather; cherry red is the perfect cover up for a breezy summer day.
And for the guys
The beauty of a leather jacket is its unisex appeal. For a truly authentic leather biker, men should look no further than Belstaff. First launched in 1924, the label is loved by Hollywood celebrities on and off screen; from Steve McQueen in The Great Escape to the cast of Ocean’s Twelve and The Aviator in more recent years. Exceptionally crafted from the finest leather, these jackets will naturally age, creating that much desired ‘lived-in’ look.
For a classic biker look, Belstaff’s Four Pocket leathers are your go-to. Wear with slim leg jeans rolled at the cuff and utility boots for a Brando-inspired look. Diesel’s L-Gibson-1 leather jacket is cut with a slimmer silhouette for a modern spin on the traditional biker.
For a streamlined silhouette, head to Hackett and shrug on their Nappa Moto jacket. Crafted from the softest nappa leather, this biker has been created in collaboration with Aston Martin. Wear with desert boots and a cotton shirt for a casual, everyday outfit.
The style advice was given by Bicester Village in celebration of Bicester Village’s partnership with etiquette experts Debrett’s and the launch of the Guide To British Style, a beautiful pocket-guide to the season, dress-codes and much more.