Do's and Don'ts: Leather Jackets

Blazer, bomber, or moto, you need to know how to wear it right. Check out our guide to to leather jackets.

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Complex Original

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The thing with leather is that it can be super awesome or incredibly hideous. We love leather here at Complex, but we believe there are right and wrong ways to wear it—specifically, the leather jacket. Leather, which can be buttery smooth or tough, luxurious or badass, comes in many different silhouettes. The goal is to be the cool guy in the room exuding James Deanery, not the sleazy dude exuding douchebaggery. Let us guide you in the right direction in choosing the perfect leather jacket. We've provided the Do and Don't examples for the three popular styles: the blazer, the bomber, and the motorcycle. Check them out below.


Go simple and fitted with a straightforward collar. Avoid bulky fits, weird finishes, and superfluous zippers that's on the euro steez.


Stick to minimal details like epaulets. Don't go detail-crazy with chest pockets, lower pockets, and sleeve pockets. OD'ing on pockets will make you look like a tool. Also, for the love of God don't EVER ever ever buy a leather jacket that has that plasticky sheen if you're working with any bells and whistles whatsoever. There's an unsightly bubble at every stitch point.


The motorcycle jacket is already a tricky silhouette (it has to hit right at the hip) so keep it classic and minimal. Don't go avant garde a la The Matrix or you'll look like a vampire biker. Plus, a leather jacket should be an investment piece and you'll quickly tire of anything too fashiony or trendy. Plus, it makes no sense to us that these sleeves on the right are are loose and unfinished.

Want to check out some more silhouettes? Peep our previous post on leather jackets for our favorites of the season.

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