Since 2016


December 15, 2022 3 min read

by Monique Youzwa

Monique has been a full-time freelance writer for over 5 years, plus has a few fiction credits under her belt and is currently working on a novel. When not writing, she spends her time reading, playing video games, hiking, and camping with her husband and daughter.


Leather jackets have become a staple in most wardrobes, due to the versatility and style they have to offer. The downside is that these pieces can be expensive, with the high-end garments well out of some budgets. For most people, this leaves two options: purchasing a low-quality garment or sacrificing your budget.

Luckily, there is a third option you may not have considered. Rather than wasting money on inferior pieces, we’ve devised a guideline to buy a cheaper, high-quality, leather jacket that ensures you get the attire you want at a wallet-friendly cost.

Leather Materials

One of the main features that affect the cost of a leather jacket is the material used. Not all leathers offer the same texture and features, so when considering the price, you may want to factor in what you’re looking for in a leather jacket.

Lambskin, calfskin, and buckskin are the most costly materials, though they offer a softness that other leathers can’t compare with. They are also lightweight, though they deliver decent insulation for cold-weather wear.

Sheepskin and goatskin are slightly heavier, with a bit more insulation, though sheepskin isn’t quite as durable, and goatskin has a pebbled texture. These differences reduce the price of these garments, though they could still be somewhat costly.

There are also several exotic options, including alligator, kangaroo, snake, ostrich, and rabbit. These have the highest cost of all leather types, so should be avoided if you’re trying to stick to a budget.

For the cheapest material, cowhide is the best option, though it lacks softness and tends to feel stiffer. The upside is that cowhide has the highest insulation and durability of all leather materials.

Leather Grades

For leather jackets, there are three grades to watch for. These include full grain, top grain, and corrected leather. Full grain refers to leather that maintains the material’s natural look, with all the imperfections left intact. There is minimal processing involved, so the leather maintains its softness, breathability, and moisture resistance. Full grain leather is also the most expensive.

Top grain leather has been processed and sanded to give it a smooth texture and uniform look, with no scars, pores, or imperfections visible. It is slightly less durable than full grain, though it is easier to work with, can be imprinted with any design, and has a lower cost.

Corrected grain or genuine leather is the lowest quality of the three, which is why it is the cheapest option. It is stiff, with artificial coloring and textures added to replicate the natural look and feel of higher-quality leather. This grade isn’t as durable, either, so may not last as long as the other two grades.

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Liner Fabrics

The liner fabric can also affect the price, as well as the comfort and breathability, of your leather jacket. You can choose natural fabrics like cotton or go for a thicker quilted material for extra warmth. You can also leave the lining out if you want to save money, though the jacket may not be as warm or comfortable without it. If you stick with simple fibers, you’ll be able to keep the price low.


To help reduce the cost of a leather jacket, there are some detailing features to watch for. First, the more panels used to create the jacket, the more joints it requires, which raises the price. Other details, like embellishments and embroidery, also add to the overall cost. Dyed leathers are also more expensive, especially for less popular colors or those that are difficult to produce, like white. Even the tanning process can affect the cost of a leather jacket since chrome tanning is faster and cheaper than vegetable tanning.

Cheap but quality leather jackets

Final Word

Leather jackets are likely one of the most costly pieces in your wardrobe, but you don’t have to break the bank to afford one. Choosing the right features can help keep the cost down while still allowing you to have a garment you’re proud to show off.

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