‘Please bury me next to my baby in my leather jacket, jeans and motorcycle boots. Goodbye.’ – Sid Vicious
The leather jacket is a classic menswear staple that oozes a certain sense of rebellion and rock ’n’ roll glamour. However this should not mean that it should be limited to guys who wear a uniform of ripped jeans, a white tee and a spiky hair cut.
The leather jacket has in this day and age has been elevated to a contemporary, luxury piece that is as versatile as ever. You’re just as likely to see someone throw one on over some tailoring as opposed to the classic grunge-punk aesthetic so often associated with them. In the spirit of this we have selected a range of leather jackets available right now that can suit a diverse range of styles.
MKI Classic Varsity
Starting off on the more affordable side of things is the MKI Classic Varsity in black. MKI is a UK based label known for their Ivy League style and affordable basics for men without compromise on quality, and this jacket speaks to these motifs. The body of the jacket is constructed from heavy weight Melton wool, full cow leather sleeves, and a satin lining.
Although this isn’t your typical full leather jacket, it’s still a great jacket that adheres to the boxy, cropped silhouette that you expect from a leather jacket, sticking to the iconic varsity jacket look. It’s also very hard to ignore this jackets price point - £169 for a jacket with these materials and silhouette is very hard to find; trust us, we have searched high and low.
Paul Smith Leather & Cashmere Bomber
Now for a more luxury take on the classic leather sleeve varsity from celebrated British designer Paul Smith. This leather & cashmere bomber in navy is collegiate style with a sartorial elegance you’d expect from one of the masters of English tailoring.
This Italian made jacket is understated in its construction; however the attention to detail is definitely there. Extremely soft lambskin sleeves accompany a premium cashmere blend body. This is definitely a piece for those who value genuine craftsmanship and fabric quality over flashy details. The simplicity of this bomber is where it wins. The dark navy tonal colour palette selected for the sleeves, body and cuffs provides an alternative to the standard black that is everywhere, yet is also dark enough to still provide that dark and understated aesthetic that leather jackets provide.
At $1162.50 this bomber definitely isn’t the most affordable option on the market however if you value fit, construction and heritage then this jacket is absolutely for you.
Schott Perfecto 613 Leather Jacket
Moving on here is the first of classic leather jacket silhouettes we have selected, this being arguably the most accessible of the selection. The Schott Perfecto 613 Jacket is about as classic as they come. Made in the USA from 100% steer hide leather, with all the iconic details you would expect. An asymmetrical collar, zipped pockets and polished metal fastenings abundantly applied, and a very important element for us – a belted front. This is what really transforms a great Biker Jacket in our opinion.
This jacket is probably one of the most timeless pieces you can have in your wardrobe, and has been sported by everyone from actor Marlon Brando in his youth, to contemporary stars such as musical artist and tastemaker Kanye West. The diverse audience this jacket has garnered over the years speaks directly to its essence as a staple garment every guy should own.
Coming in at $710, this jacket is about as authentic as they come, and is a worthy investment to keep in your rotation for years to come
Acne Studios Gibson Leather Jacket
From classic to contemporary, time to inject some Scandinavian minimalism into the mix. Acne Studios is now a cult label in menswear, and damn do they know how to produce an amazing Leather jacket.
The Gibson Leather jacket from Acne Studios is a perfect example of how the Swedish House takes a classic garment and creates a simplified execution, while still maintaining the feeling of quality and presence of a garment. It is constructed from an ultra soft 100% cow hide shell, alongside details such as tonal suede patching to the back of the jacket – this attention to detail is where Acne pieces really stand out. Other than that, this jacket really is as simple as it looks, but this is where its strength lies. The almost deconstructed look of the jacket lends it to diversity hard to find with other motorcycle style jackets, meaning this looks equally good with denim ad sneakers as it does a pair of tailored trousers and some derbies. The slightly oversized notched lapel gives it the classic rock n roll look of a biker, yet this is in contrast to the slim fit of piece and its simplicity.
Saint Laurent Classic Biker Jacket
Finally we arrive at the pinnacle of the leather biker jacket. We saved the best and most luxurious option for last.
Creative Director Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent is an expression of his own opinions on men’s style, and this jacket is one of the most impeccable pieces of the ready to wear line. The signature style of tight black jeans, a white tee, a leather jacket and a pair of suede boots never seemed so exciting, until Slimane showed the world how amazing it can look when you elevate usually basic menswear staples to luxury garments with a sense of finesse and effortless cool that no one else had.
A standout garment, the Classic Biker in black from Saint Laurent is probably the most aspirational piece of leather outerwear for any guy. Made from start to finish in Italy by Saint Laurents master craftsmen, this jacket screams effortlessly luxurious style and nails every contemporary and classic detail you could want from a leather biker jacket. Made from some of the softest leather available and cut in such a way that it sits perfectly, this truly is an exceptional effort from the French powerhouse. Every button and zip is engraved with signature Saint Laurent branding, the attention to detail here is immaculate. Truly this is the ultimate execution of a leather biker jacket.
Not for the faint of heart, this jackets price tag absolutely reflects its production. Available for a cool $3899, this piece definitely isn’t for everyone however if you are considering investing serious money into a standout piece that you want to keep and wear for the rest of your life, we cannot stress how perfect this jacket is.
So there it is - Contemporary Contents picks for the best leather jackets available right now for Spring.
Written by Chris Harrison