Since 2016


April 27, 2023 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.


Everyone should own at least one leather jacket, though choosing modern styles isn’t always the best option. A vintage leather jacket has a timeless quality that costs a fraction of the price of a new garment. A mint-condition older style will also have some unique benefits you won’t find in a new leather jacket. Of course, you can’t just grab any second-hand model off the rack and expect the best look and feel. The following tips on how to choose a vintage leather jacket are designed to show you what to look for and what to avoid.

Leather Quality

One of the first things to look for in a vintage leather jacket is the leather quality. Leather comes in various types, textures, and grains, which aren’t all created equal. Some types, like cowhide or bison, offer increased durability, while others are softer and more delicate. The texture you choose is personal since some prefer a jacket that is as smooth as silk while others favor strength over feel.

When it comes to grain, there is nothing better than full-grain, due to its supple feel and almost flawless look. Of course, full-grain is also the most expensive type, even for a vintage piece. Top-grain is a bit thinner, slightly less breathable, and doesn’t feel quite as soft, but it is cheaper and still looks fantastic. You may be tempted to try faux leather, but this should be avoided. Though it looks similar to genuine leather, it is a synthetic substitute that lacks thickness, breathability, smell, and durability.


Some vintage leather jacket styles are timeless, fitting into the modern age perfectly without losing their older appeal. Consider styles like aviator flight jackets, leather blazers, bombers, trench coats, or moto jackets. These classic styles maintain their appeal, even decades after production, so they’ll never go out of style.

PHYSICAL - The Admiral Moto

PHYSICAL - The Suede Double Rider

PHYSICAL - The Technical Bomber


A few features stand out among vintage leather jackets that you may want to watch out for. First is the color since black and brown are the most common in older apparel. The hardware is also something to consider, with older-style zippers maintaining the vintage look. If you plan to wear your leather jacket in cold weather, be sure it also has a liner for extra warmth.


 A leather jacket needs the right fit to look good. Choosing a tight-fitting vintage leather jacket will restrict your movements. On the other hand, an oversized jacket will give you a sloppy and unkempt appearance. You may be able to go up a size or two to accommodate the layers needed for warmth on a cool day, but anything beyond this will be far too large. If buying a new jacket with a vintage look, you can even order a custom piece designed to fit your body perfectly.


The distressed look of a vintage leather jacket adds to its appeal, so purchasing a garment that’s been lovingly worn is completely normal. The downside to vintage pieces is that some of them go beyond slight fading in the coloring. Check for damage, including cracks, tears, or frayed spots in the leather, loose or torn seams, and zippers that no longer work or are on the verge of breaking.


New leather jackets can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the type, material, and brand. If you can afford it, a high-quality leather jacket with a vintage feel is a fantastic investment that will last for decades if well cared for. For those on a budget, a second-hand model will save a great deal of money. In fact, vintage leather jackets can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 without sacrificing quality or durability.

vintage leather jacket

Final Word

Vintage leather jackets have several benefits. They are affordable, with a unique look that accentuates any style. They are also eco-friendly since you’re reusing a garment that someone else has discarded. There is a wide range of options available if you know where to look, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a vintage coat to match your personality.

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