The leather biker jacket - Styled By Sally

The leather biker jacket

I swear as soon as April hit, the women in Melbourne either snapped up a new black leather jacket or dragged their old ones from the wardrobe. I did the latter.

I’ve only ever owned one black leather jacket, which was a blazer style bought from Oxford about 5 years ago. It was when peak shoulder pads made a return and I loved it. Here’s me below from a feature story in The Age in 2010!


This season I decided I needed a new black leather jacket in my wardrobe, and decided it would be the biker style. I’d been seeing them pop up on Instagram from all variety of retailers from the high street to high end. I was keen to explore my options.

So let’s just say that by the end of that week, I had not one, but two black leather biker jackets hanging in my wardrobe. Whoops. The first is a delightfully pebble-textured jacket from Melbourne designer Life With Bird. Their new pop-up store in my building was to blame. What I like about this jacket is that even though it’s the biker style, the zips and hardware are black. It doesn’t have the heavy-duty biker look about it which means I’ll hopefully wear it season after season. This was my investment jacket.


Later that week I was editing a client’s wardrobe when I spotted a very nice black leather biker jacket and asked ‘is it new?’ and ‘where did you buy it?’ When she told me Just Jeans I then followed up with, ‘is it real leather?’ The answer was yes. I was rather impressed.

At my earliest convenience (i.e. that afternoon) I popped into my local Just Jeans to inspect the jacket- it was great. Just enough biker-style zips, a rather lightweight leather and a perfect fit. It was mine.

Just Jeans biker jacket pictured below.


Now which of the above two jackets do you think I’ve had more wear out of? I’m sure most of you are thinking the more expensive, designer version. In fact, the cheaper Just Jeans jacket has been an absolute winner. This is for a number of reasons.

1. The Life with Bird jacket is rather heavy

2. Our weather hasn’t been super cold, so I’ve opted for the lighter weight jacket on most occasions apart from a few chilly evenings

3. I work indoors, so the Just Jeans jacket is a comfortable weight to wear in heated shopping centres

4. I’ve recently returned from a long weekend in Brisbane where the Just Jeans jacket was perfect in the evening

How to choose a leather jacket for your shape

The Biker

The traditional biker style consists of lots of zips on the collar, wrists, side and chest pockets and may also have a detachable belt. The style is also characterised by quilted elbows and epaulettes on the shoulders. This can equal a lot of bulk. If you’re top heavy – broad shouldered, big busted, solid upper arms and bigger in the tummy – the biker jacket is a tough style. It suits petite women with smaller busts.

Shop the biker jacket at Zara (pictured below) Just Jeans, ASOS

The Waterfall

This is a great style that suits all body types. The drape front falls softly over a big bust and is a great cover up for the tummy. Quite a lot of these styles also have the stretch/elastic panel in the arms which is great for providing movement and allowing some extra room for a bigger upper arm.

Shop the waterfall leather jacket at Portmans (pictured below) Just Jeans


The Crop

This is a neat style that works well on petites who don’t want to feel too overwhelmed by leather. A good style to wear over dresses and longer tops. Avoid the crop jacket if you are very big busted.

Shop the crop leather jacket at White Suede (pictured below)


The Bomber

A traditional leather jacket that comes and goes in and out of style, but is a good staple style to keep stored in the wardrobe. Whether you choose this in black or tan, it’s style that is simple and classic. The bomber can be good for fuller figures as there aren’t too many added bells and whistles. Just avoid a wide waistband that hits at the widest point, the stomach.

Shop the bomber leather jacket at ASOS, Whistles (pictured below)


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