Since 2016


February 21, 2020 8 min read

by Sarah Makhluf

Sarah is a freelance content writer from Boston, MA. She loves traveling, fashion, and the beach.


A great, high-quality leather jacket is timeless, versatile, and never goes out of style. There's nothing wrong with a faux leather jacket if you really love it, but nothing would compare with a real leather jacket. Whether you're into a traditional biker jacket, like something from Schott NYC, classic moto jacket, or a loose-fitted leather puffer, buying the perfect leather jacket has proven to be a challenge for a lot of men. There are so many options among leather jackets for men. Who sells the best leather jackets? How will you narrow down a store depending on your personal style, budget, and leather preferences? We're diving into the wholesale leather industry and giving you an inside look at how, where, and when to purchase the best men's leather jacket.

How leather jackets became popular

The best leather jackets will be the one long-term relationship you'll never want to let go of. How exactly did they go from military uniforms to the runway? Read on to learn a bit of history about leather jackets, how they have evolved, and what styles are still the most sought after today.

  • World War I - In the early 1900s, brown leather flight jackets were used by aviators and members of the military. During World War I, most airplanes didn't have a closed cockpit. The flight jackets were crafted mostly from heavy-duty leather with high wraparound collars, wind flaps, snug cuffs, and tight waists. They were lined with fur as well to help protect pilots from the freezing temperatures inside the open cockpit. By 1917, the US Army established its own line of aviation clothing.
  • World War II - During WWII, the leather flight jackets became known as the "Bomber Jacket." Leslie Irvin designed the first in 1926. You may recognize the Irvin flying jackets. He created the thick sheepskin flying jackets during the early years of the war. The cabins of the aircraft were uninsulated. So, a thick, warm, well-made flight jacket was crucial to withhold the frigid temperatures in the cockpit.
  • Irving Schott - We must give credit to the one and only Irving Schott, who famously designed the first motorcycle jacket and sold it for $5.50 at a Harley Davidson store in Long Island, NY, in 1928. The Perfecto jacket would soon become an iconic piece of apparel. It symbolizes excitement, danger, adventure, and it gave bikers more reason to ride.

Quality leather jackets on the Big Screen - Without a doubt, Hollywood played a significant role in the massive popularity and demand for leather jackets. The image of Marlon Brando in a Schott One Perfecto jacket in The Wild One (1953) is burned into our memories. It gives us flashbacks of what life was like for the hell-raising biker gangs in the 1950s. With a jacket synonymous with such an image, it's no wonder men wanted a taste of danger. Another world-famous biker jacket belongs to John Travolta's character in Grease. Danny Zuko's slicked-back hair and T-Bird logo emblazoned leather biker jacket soared into fashion history.

The most popular styles

There's a trifecta, if you will, of the most common men's leather jacket styles. Each has its distinctive mark in history. Check out the most popular black leather jacket styles below. While there are plenty of other leather jacket styles to choose from, like trench coats, field jackets, leather puffers, and more, the three below are what made leather jackets the fashion staple we know today.

  • Moto

The moto, also sometimes called a cafe racer jacket, was invented to help protect men riding at accelerated speeds while trying to beat their competitors during a race. Opposed to the biker jacket, the moto is thinner and usually more flexible. The coat sits very close to the body.

  • Bomber

It's the OG of men's outerwear. The flight jacket has a cropped fit and usually a central zipper with fitted waist and cuff bands. Today, bomber jackets come in a slew of different colors, materials, and embellishments. What was once used to protect brothers in arms, is now one of the most memorable pieces of men's clothing to ever hit the shelves.

  • Biker

This "bad boy" jacket is a cropped leather jacket, usually in black. Initially worn by, you guessed it, motorcyclists. You will often find biker jackets adorned with studs and asymmetric zips. The zippers were that way to allow riders to lean over their bikes without the zipper digging into their abdomens.

Where to buy a leather jacket

Which style is best for me?

Not sure which black leather jacket speaks to you the most? Choosing the right style not only for your taste but also for your body type is essential. For more petite guys, we recommend going with a bomber jacket. The cinched cuffs are more flattering on men with shorter arms, and the cropped fit helps to elongate the torso. If you fall more on the big and tall side, a fitted moto jacket will compliment your body shape the most. With that being said, it's your leather jacket, and ultimately, the most important thing is how you feel wearing it. A jacket that fits well no matter the shape, color, style, or material will look flattering on your body.

Try not to purchase a jacket that's too big to avoid looking like a kid playing dress-up in dad's closet, and one that's not too small, or you may get some serious "fat guy in a little coat" vibes when Chris Farley tried to squeeze into a tiny jacket in 'Tommy Boy.' All jokes aside, you should feel like a million bucks when you're wearing your leather jacket. It should give you a boost of confidence and make you look forward to getting dressed. If you're not sure which style speaks to you, go into a store and try some on in person.

Common brands/stores that sell leather jackets

Most popular free-standing stores for quality leather jackets for men:

We can't walk into a mall or a major department store in the fall and winter without that familiar musty, sweet scent of leather wafting through the men's outerwear section. The stores mentioned below are a great stepping stone on your leather jacket journey. If you're new to the leather world, head over to a store and start to dabble. Try on new colors, styles, and explore different kinds of leather. We recommend doing this even if you plan to buy a jacket online.

  • Nordstrom - Nordstrom is excellent for men who can fit into most standard US sizes and are looking for a store with plenty of options. They sell top quality jackets from plenty of different brands and have a vast range of price options as well.
  • Wilsons Leather - With stores spread all around the US, your chances of having a Wilsons Leather store in your area is more likely. They have been in the leather business since 1899 and, in their glory days, were the go-to leather shop for men in America. Today, WL still upholds its high-quality standards and more affordable prices.

Most popular online brands:

If there's one thing we can learn about the success of e-commerce stores, it's that people love buying stuff from the comfort of their own home. Yes, you can purchase jackets from these outfitters in-store as well, but unless you live in the middle of NYC or LA, chances are there won't be a free-standing shop anywhere within 100 miles. Online shopping allows us to try brands and jackets that we may not have otherwise been able to if we were stuck shopping at our local malls.

  • Belstaff - Luxury leather jackets are what they do best. This company, which hails from the UK, was founded in 1924. Needless to say, this company knows its leather if they've managed to stay in business for nearly a century. A Belstaff jacket may cost you a pretty penny, but most of the online reviews say it's money well spent. Their jackets are unique, well made, top quality, and long-lasting.
  • AllSaints - Their jackets are timeless, classic, and edgy all at the same time. An AllSaints leather jacket should last for years, and they have an excellent selection to choose from. These jackets fall right in the middle between being borderline affordable and expensive. The jackets run, on average, around $500. It's no doubt they’re known to be more of a luxury brand, and owning an AllSaints leather jacket is something to desire.
Custom made leather jackets

Custom made leather jackets

Haven't been able to find your perfect high quality leather jacket in-store or online? Have you ever thought about having one custom made? A bespoke leather jacket is the best way to ensure the style, color, and fit you desire without having to search through racks of standard size jackets.

Who should consider going custom?

Anyone who doesn't fit into the XS-XL mold that standard US sizing offers to men. Big and tall men and petite men are far too often overlooked. When you order a custom real leather jacket, each is made to order, meaning the width, arm length, torso length, and shoulders will be tailored precisely to fit your body.

If you're a guy who is looking for something more unique. Do you have your dream jacket designed in your head? Having a jacket created just for you allows you to let your creative juices flow. Have you always wanted a red moto jacket or blue biker jacket? How about a patchwork leather jacket or one adorned with embroidery? With custom leather jacket retailers, anything is possible.

A man on a time-crunch. Don't have time to go to multiple stores and try on leather jackets? We get it, life is hectic. Trying to balance our personal and work lives sometimes means we don't leave much for self-care and shopping trips. If you know your size and which jacket you want, order a custom made one online and have it delivered to your doorstep.

PHYSICAL - The Admiral Moto

PHYSICAL - The Suede Double Rider

PHYSICAL - The Technical Bomber

How do I get a custom leather jacket made?

We invite you to take a peek at our selection of custom-designed real leather jackets here at Independence Brothers to find the perfect fit. Each of our jackets are hand made using the top-quality full-grain leather of your choice. We help you bring your visions to life. In under five minutes, you can choose all the major and minor details of your new jacket.

We have your step-by-step guide on all things custom

Step 1: Choose your color, style, material, hardware, and lining. This is the fun part!

Step 2: Grab the measuring tape. You may need an extra hand to help you measure your waist, chest, arm length, and shoulder width. Jot them down on a piece of paper as you go so you can refer back to your measurements later.

Step 3: Place your order. Let us know all of your requirements so we can get to work on your custom jacket.

Step 4: Sit tight. All of our jackets are hand made to order, which means it may take us a couple of weeks to get each seam, snap, and button perfect.

How to buy a custom made leather jacket

Thanks for reading! We would love to hear your thoughts on the article. Are you looking to buy a new leather jacket? I hope you can use this piece as a guide for your next purchase to find the best place to buy leather jacket. Having a game plan before making a big purchase, like a leather jacket, will not only save you time but also money and hassle in the long run. I believe in being a smart shopper. I like researching brands before I buy and hearing about other customer's experiences with the store. If you have any thoughts on leather jackets, we'd love to listen to them. Drop us a comment below or share this article with someone you think will enjoy it.

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