There are few modern pieces of clothing that are as undeniably iconic as the leather motorcycle jacket. In this article we’re going to show you five of our absolute favourite biker jackets some of the best brands in the world. In our opinion these are some of the best biker jackets around, but hit us up on Instagram with any others you think should make the list!
The classic biker jacket has a long history almost 100 years in the making. It was born out of necessity in the 1920s, and became a fashion staple in the 50s. Now, everyone from high-street brands like AllSaints and Reiss, to specialists like Schott and Belstaff, to luxury designers like Saint Laurent and Tom Ford all produce their own takes, meaning there are endless options and something for every budget and taste.
We’ve compiled our list of our current top 5 leather biker jackets – we’ll give you our take on them from a design and quality perspective, and we’ll finish off with few tips on how to find a great deal and pick these items up for much less than the listed retail price.
Saint Laurent L01
The first jacket on our list has been famously worn by musicians like Kid Cudi and Bruno Mars. It’s been worn by professional athletes and actors. The L01 from Saint Laurent is a modern classic, beloved by fans and fashionistos and everyone from Jeff Goldblum to G-Eezy.
This is a sleek high fashion take on the traditional biker jacket, that came out of Hedi Slimane era Saint Laurent, when he infused the label with a modern sense of rock n roll chic. We love this jacket for a few reasons, the first being the fit. It fits slim giving it room to stretch as leather tends to do, and lets the jacket become like your second skin, as a great leather jacket should be. The L01 is slightly cropped compared to the traditional biker jacket, adding to that more contemporary look, and we also love the symmetry of the 2 straight zippers compared to the traditional zipper layout.
Overall what’s so awesome about the L01 is that it strikes that delicate balance between not being too heavy in details like extra straps, studs or zippers, but it’s not so simple that it loses the edge of the classic motorcycle jacket. This makes it really versatile and something you could easily wear with a t-shirt and ripped jeans, or dress up it up with a pair of dressier pants and a button up shirt.
Schott NYC Perfecto
The Perfecto from Schott, is literally the iconic leather motorcycle jacket. After Marlon Brando wore this jacket in the 1953 film, The Wild One, young people across America flocked to the jacket trying to emulate Brando’s effortlessly cool character Johnny Strabler. It changed the course of fashion, it changed how people dressed, and Schott’s Perfecto is still as iconic as ever, and still a staple in pop culture. Kanye West even wore a Schott jacket at his wedding, but of course he did customize his a little bit.
If you’ve had the chance to try one of these on, you already know the quality is exceptional. Not to mention, you can pick these up for a fraction of the cost of the ones made by designer brands. One thing we really like about this one is the shape of the lapels, which are slightly slightly smaller and tighter to the top of the jacket, and not many other brands have really emulated the look in this way. The asymmetrical zipper pocket, belt, and the epaulets are some of the iconic features that have made this jacket a staple since the 50s. This is the one to get if you want a motorcycle jacket that is as classic as it gets, as well as an american made high quality jacket that’s going to have some long-lasting durability.
The one shown in the main picture below is the 118, and many regard this as the de facto biker jacket, but within the Perfecto style there is another version called the Raven, that we really like. It doesn’t have the epaulets or belt, and the zippers are black, so it has a really clean tone-on-tone look. This would be the one to pick up if you want a toned down more unassuming version of the biker jacket.
Celine Classic Biker Jacket
In 2018, Hedi Slimane made his move to Celine, and he brought with him his classic biker jacket. Celine’s leather biker jacket is next on our list, and this is a good option if you like the design of Saint Laurent’s L01, but want something a bit more edgy.
It borrows from the L01 that amazing slim fit and symmetrical zipper layout, but adds in elements from another Hedi era Saint Laurent jacket, the L17. From they L17 they took a few things like the belt and the bigger angled zipper, which gives the jacket a bit more of that old school Perfecto vibe. Also, the leather has a bit of a rougher vintage look, almost like something you’d see on Bruce Springsteen in the 70s. Like the L01, this is the kind of jacket you could work in and wear simple and casual with jeans and sneakers, but you could also style this with some monk straps and pinstriped dress pants for that very Hedi Slimane rock n roll fashion look. There’s already been a few variations in the Celine biker jacket since Hedi took over, and this one so far is our favourite.
Mackage Fenton Leather Moto Jacket
The next jacket on our list is made by Mackage. This is sort of a hidden gem, because it’s not a brand you automatically think of when you think of leather jackets. They’ve really made their mark with their stylish heavier down Winter jackets, but their Fenton Classic Leather Moto Jacket is something that’s really worth checking out.
The beauty of this jacket is its simplicity. There’s no epaulets, and no belt, so it has a little less heavy feel than something like the Perfecto. It’s also not quite as slim and cropped as the L01, so it has a bit more of any everyday look, compared to Saint Laurent or Celine’s more rock n roll vibe. Think of it like the biker jacket that almost anyone could pull off.
If you want something that’s basically in the tradition of the classic biker jacket, but your overall look is a little more clean and polished, this would be a great option. Mackage was actually founded on a background in the leather trade, and you can tell the attention to detail in the quality and the evenness of the leather grain, as well as the craftsmanship in the Fenton jacket.
AllSaints Conroy Leather Jacket in Oxblood
The last jacket on our list is a bit of a bonus, This is the All Saints Conroy Leather Biker Jacket in Oxblood.
Allsaints is one of the rare younger brands that has actually emerged and developed a look that is super unique, and, although we do prefer some of the earlier styles, especially around 2009 to 2012 when they were first coming up in North America, there have been a few staple items that have lasted through the different changes over the years. This jacket has been one of those iconic pieces.
What we love is that it has enough of the traditional biker elements to make it a classic, but they’ve added things like the quilted shoulder panelling, and a more relaxed crinkled leather that gives it that look that is very recognizably allsaints.
Unfortunately, as of now it looks like they are discontinuing this jacket, but keep an eye out, because sometimes they bring certain styles back, or you can always check outlet stores or look for a used one on Grailed or eBay. If you can pick one up you will definitely have something that is really cool and very unique.
So these are our top 5 leather biker jackets. Of course all five are are going to vary quite a bit in price, and no matter which one you choose, a good quality leather jacket is an investment piece and will likely be one of the higher priced items in your wardrobe.
The classic biker jacket has a long history almost 100 years in the making. It was born out of necessity in the 1920s, and became a fashion staple in the 50s.
The good news is you don’t have to pay full retail price. Because these items are timeless, you can take your time and wait to find a great deal. Keep checking the outlet stores, and check out Grailed and eBay for second hand options. Allsaints always has sales going on, and keep an eye on sites like Ssense, Farfetch and Matches Fashion. If you get lucky, sometimes you can find these discounted by up to 50% or more off.
Join the Collective
We hope you enjoyed this article on our favourite leather biker jackets for men. Radial is a collective dedicated to all things iconic, stylish and cool. We share a passion for great design and aesthetics, and love sharing our thoughts, ideas and opinions with you.
You can get involved by subscribing to our Youtube Channel, RadialTV or follow us on Instagram @radialmag for more content in the realm of art, design, pop culture, music, tech and more. We love the interaction of the comments and discussions that start from these articles and videos.