In fashion, some items stand the test of time better than offers. Pieces such as an LBD, a black blazer or a white tee are timeless and worth investing in; as is a leather jacket. Throughout the year, they’re always available, whether you’re shopping with a designer budget or looking for a high-street bargain, faux or the real deal.
While the classic biker style continues to prevail, with chunky zipped pockets and ribbed arms, we’ve also seen many brands create their own versions, from laser cut collar detailing to flattering wrap styles, so regardless of your height, shape or weight, there’s one for everyone.
When looked after – we’d recommend dipping a soft cloth in warm water and dish soap to clean – they can last years and be worn with dresses, jeans, skirts and jumpsuits for smart or casual occasions. The longevity means it’s often worth investing in one, spending more than you may on trend-led pieces throughout the seasons.
We’ve put nine to the test, across a range of prices, to find out what your money can get you and if it's worth it. We judged them on fit, comfort, look, price tag and practicality (no one likes a fake pocket that’s purely for decoration), to see how much bang you get for your buck.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
All Saints Dalby biker
Butter soft with a distressed feel, this gun-metal black number has all the features you’ll need in a leather jacket. While an investment, it’s still within the price range of other high street shops, but as a brand well-loved for its leather offerings, it’s not hard to see why. Our reviewer put a size 14 to the test and found it to be super soft, fully lined, which we loved as it kept us warm when caught in a downpour, and deep pockets to fit an iPhone 11, AirPods and a face covering, so you can forgo a handbag.
Buy now £298.00, All Saints
Asos Design ultimate faux leather biker jacket
Very friendly and made with faux leather, this jacket is great if you’re looking for a classic biker style. It has a glossy finish to it, and details such as zip pockets, wide lapels and silver poppers on the collar to round it off. If you can get past the slight plastic look, it’s cheap and cheerful and fits true to size (our reviewer wore a size 10) without breaking the bank.
Buy now £35.00, Asos
Topshop black leather fitted jacket
We loved the vintage Nineties feel of this hip skimming jacket that did away with the usual shiny zips and large lapels seen on traditional biker styles. It does still have pockets, discreetly at the front, which didn’t fit a whole lot, so when wearing this, a handbag or jeans pocket will be necessary. This non-stretch piece maintained its shape and the slight peplum shape was flattering on an hourglass figure.
Buy now £195.00, Topshop
Free People no other moto jacket
This oversized statement piece is a great find if you’re after a more eco-conscious piece, rather than a real leather jacket. For vegan leather, it’s remarkably soft, with the studs making it stand out from the plain black styles usually seen with studs only on the lapels. Should you prefer a slightly more fitted style, we would recommend wearing a size down, as it is slouchy, but makes for a comfortable cocoon that will see you through colder months. The studs are a sturdy design too, which won’t fall off nor loosen, which is expected considering it is one of the most expensive jackets within our round-up.
Buy now £368.00, Free People
Reiss piper leather jacket
If you’re loyal to a denim jacket in spring, simply make the switch to this style in colder months. It’s designed with the classic features of the former, with double breast pockets, large gold buttons and a button-up rather than a zipper. It’s a smarter piece than the rest, which is ideal if you’ll be heading back into the office over the coming months, but it’s also versatile enough that it can be worn on the weekends too. Owing to the cut, we found it might not be best suited for someone tall, as it could look awkwardly cropped.
Buy now £375.00, Reiss
Zara faux leather biker jacket
While black tends to be the go-to colour for leather jackets across high end and high street brands, this camel shade is ideal if you gravitate towards a more neutral palette. It has all the features you would expect – from metal zip fastenings, belt and buckle to shoulder tabs and front pockets. And it’s impressively insulated too, adding a bit of weight but just enough to keep you warm on windy days, but light enough to hold when we needed to take it off. The pockets are very small however, a closed fist is all we could fit in ours and the fake pocket at the front feels a tad unnecessary but overall, it’s a great budget find that isn’t black.
Buy now £49.99, Zara
River Island double zip faux leather biker jacket
Shiny metal zips can sometimes cheapen a budget jacket so if you’re looking for a more muted style that still retains pockets, lapels and adjustable cuffs, we loved this option from River Island. The thinner zips add a minimal look, while the unfussy simple design lines on the back make it a flattering fit for all body shapes. Falling at hip height and fitting true to size, you may want to size up if you like to layer a leather jacket over chunky jumpers and knitwear.
Buy now £60.00, Asos
Mint Velvet black faux leather jacket
We loved this expensive looking jacket that sits in the mid-price range, not cheap but an affordable investment piece. If you are small in height this will fall just above the hips, but if you’re on the taller side, it will look a little cropped. There’s a slight asymmetric shape to it which we found was flattering. The detailing of gold studs, zips and quilted panels on the cuffs means this is in keeping with the biker style, but it doesn’t overpower the rest of the material.
Buy now £99.00, Mint Velvet
Mango wrap leather jacket
This style is brilliant for those with a shorter stature (our reviewer is 5ft1in) who may shy away from the cropped designs that flood the leather jacket market. Falling just below the hips, with a relaxed wrap waistline and V-neck, it’s ideal if you have a bigger bust too, or simply want a style you can cinch in at the waist or wear undone for a relaxed fit. The simple silhouette compliments the pale, off-white shade, and while there are no pockets, it would look just as smart with a tan handbag.
Buy now £169.99, Mango
The verdict: Leather jackets
If you’re shopping on a budget, Zara’s faux leather biker jacket will keep you warm in the colder months, is easy to clean and will add a pop of camel colour to your wardrobe. However, the All Saints Dalby jacket is hard to fault and truly an investment piece that will last you years. With roomy pockets, smart detailing that doesn’t cheapen the design and sumptuously soft outer and inner fabric, it’s well worth parting with your cash for.
If you’re looking to make more eco-friendly choices, take a look at our guide to women’s sustainable fashion brands
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