Affordable Leather Jackets for under $400
Leather jackets are expensive. And that makes sense, because instead of the jacket being made of material grown out of the ground, it’s instead made from material that used to eat things that had already grown out of the ground. It’s that extra step that gets you. Every single time.
More than a few of you have emailed in asking for affordable leather jacket suggestions. Matt wrote that he’s “finding it difficult to find something that doesn’t look like it was either designed for a middle aged overweight guy or a wannabe biker badass.” What you want is something trim, doesn’t have a huge flappy bomber collar, and try to stay away from too much thick elastic around the cuffs or waist band. These seem to do the trick:
The stunningly good & often on sale: Banana Republic 4 pocket – $398.00
I’ve never had any strong desire to own a leather jacket. I do now after putting this one on. It looks that good. Much better in person than in the pics online. Yes there’s four pockets on the front, but somehow they all work together. Probably because the top pockets are the only patch pockets with the lowers being besom. Smooths it out when you go from upper to lower torso. Feels great, fits great, moves well. Plus it’s BR so it’ll go on sale a lot.
The On-Sale cheapo: Ben Sherman Military Leather Jacket – $179.50 (reg. $359)
Ben Sherman leans young and slim, and despite the ribbing at the cuffs and hem, this leather jacket seems to follow that mantra. Even though that elastic/fabric ribbing is there, at least it stops a few inches short at the front on the hem. The way the parallel vertical stitching runs with the zipper down the front is a great detail.
The Minimalist: Kenneth Cole Motorcycle Jacket – $398.00
There’s not a lot going on here. Which will please some. It does however come with a removable vest which the model is wearing. Look closely. If you remove the vest, it’ll certainly change how the jacket looks and the collar won’t get as high. Wait for a sale.
The Made in the USA Splurge: Schott Retro Cafe – $460 & Fitted Cafe – $510
Over the $400 mark, but made in the USA from a heritage company. Buy one of these and you better have a bike. Or hell, at least know how to ride.
The Non-Pleather leather free Moto Jacket: Calvin Klein Zip Front Moto – $149.50
Again, looks much better in person than it does online. Non-leather or faux leather, but instead a nice thickness of nylon. Not super heavy duty, not windbreaker thin either. Reinforced shoulders, minimal zippers, and handpockets that blend in. Fits slim. They only had a small (I’m a medium) and that’s why the shoulder is bunching like that.
All right leather-heads. Who makes your favorite leather jacket? Suggestions go below. And one note: With leather of any kind, the cheaper it gets (and all of these are inexpensive), the quality of the hide dips. Here’s an explanation from Saddleback Leather Company.