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How to Look Cool in a Leather Jacket Over 50

How old is too old to wear a leather jacket? If you’re struggling with this question, you’re missing out on one of the best clothing investments you could make. Here’s why a leather jacket is a fantastic addition to your wardrobe at any age.

Why Buy A Leather Jacket?

tan faux leather jacket

1. They’re Modern and Youthful

The best way to think of a leather jacket is as an edgy alternative to a classic blazer. Leather has a rebellious vibe, giving you a more youthful look. This tan faux leather jacket from Amazon isn’t expensive and looks modern.

 

Leather Jackets Black

2. You Can Wear Them with Everything

A leather jacket is a hard-working wardrobe staple you can wear with casual clothes or work into a dressy ensemble.

Wear it with jeans, a cute top, and a pair of suede booties, or slip on it with a pretty dress and tall boots to look urban and on-trend.

 

3. Leather Jackets are Comfortable

Gone are the days of thick, heavy, stiff leather jackets that made you feel part of a motorcycle gang.

Today’s leather and faux jackets are thin, lightweight, soft, and more elegant than ever before.

I own three leather jackets, all as comfy as a sweater.

This burgundy leather jacket is a great example of how to wear a leather jacket over 40.

It’s thin, buttery, and very tailored. There is a limited amount of hardware or detail. It is sophisticated.

 

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4. They Transition Well

A leather jacket is great year-round because you can wear one as an outdoor coat or an indoor layering piece.

I wear this tan faux leather jacket with a thin sweater and black jeans to transition from summer into fall.

5. Leather Jackets Look Classy

Quality leather jackets have a smooth, luxurious texture, giving your outfit an upscale look. Be sure to invest in a known brand like Coach, Andrew Marc, Eli Tahari, or Theory, which are among my favorites.

Faux leather is less expensive but can be just as fabulous. Nordstrom usually has a good selection of faux leather jackets.

Unique details like Chanel-like quilting, shoulder epaulets, or an unusual type of collar also make a leather jacket look upscale and expensive. 

My beautiful brown leather jacket looks classy because of its braided military-style collar.

 

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6. Leather Jackets are Timeless

A friend of mine has been wearing her black leather jacket for over 15 years, and it still looks fabulous. This is the power of a great leather jacket. Yes, they are an investment,  but you can always get one on sale. Visit sites like Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth to see an amazing selection of leather jackets that are heavily discounted.

7. They’re for Everyone

The last great reason to own a leather jacket is they are ageless. They look fabulous at 20 or 70. However, if in your heart, a leather jacket isn’t for you, that’s fine too. Attitude is everything when it comes to wearing a leather jacket!

 

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How to Wear a Leather Jacket at 40, 50, 60

Choose an Elegant Style

As a mature woman, you may not want a biker look -something cropped short with a lot of hardware or any other leather jacket with an extreme look. That’s fine because a sleeker, more understated leather jacket will always look fabulous.

Try Colored Leather

Black is always the most popular color for leather jackets until you hit 40. After that, it can be aging since black exaggerates facial shadows and wrinkles. Instead, try. burgundy, emerald, navy,  tan, or brown leather jacket.  Colored leather is often more  flattering than black. Of the three leather jackets I own, none are black. 

Pair Your Leather Jacket With Something Chic

A short, fitted black leather moto jacket with a short skirt, tank top, and heels may look cool in your 20s, but it can look rather raunchy at 40+.  A more grown-up look would be a burgundy leather jacket over a neutral-colored sweater dress and boots.

Burgundy leather jacket with black jeans and scarf

For example, I’m wearing my favorite Burgundy leather jacket with a gorgeous silk scarf to soften the biker look of leather and add a luxurious touch.

Do you own a leather jacket? How do you wear it? Do you like black leather or are you a fan of colored leather. Drop me a comment and let me know how you style yours.

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23 thoughts on “How to Look Cool in a Leather Jacket Over 50

  1. Years ago, I bought an Eddie Bauer leather Gasoline leather jacket. I loved it, and I wore it with everything. Unfortunately, I grew out of it. (it was a small).
    I have tried to find another one but have yet to find it.
    I agree with you that leather is timeless and a good investment.

  2. Hi Deb,
    I have at least five leather jackets in my closet.
    On the discussion of age appropriateness, at what age is it getting to look like trying to be younger? I don’t want to look ridiculous at over 70 now. However, my style is classic with a bit of an edgy side. Otherwise, I feel matronly. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Pat, I think leather can be appropriate for over 70. My girlfriend’s mom is in her mid 70’s, and I’ve seen her wear a leather jacket, but I would go for an excellent, lightweight, soft leather and probably not black as it can look very harsh and brutal. It also depends on the style. Instead of a short-cropped moto jacket with lots of hardware, I would go for something very minimal and streamlined with almost no hardware. This jacket is sleek and sophisticated and comes in many colors. I prefer suede as we get older. It’s softer and more forgiving. It’s less harsh against aging skin and hair. In the end, it’s all about how you feel. It would help if you felt confident and “owned the look” to pull it off. I hope that helps!

  3. I purchased several leather jackets, all different styles, at thrift stores. A super cool moto jacket, a more tailored brown croc-style leather, a classic black, and just last week, for less than $20, I found a full-length leather jacket from Stockholm. It’s beautifully made, clearly for freezing weather, and fits like a glove. You must be mindful of outdated styles when buying thrift, but unique pieces can be found.

  4. Deborah,

    I have three faux leather jackets in my closet, and I love how stylish they look; I’m over 60!
    I agree that they are great transition pieces and can elevate your look.

    Hugs,
    Robin

  5. Hi – I have had a short black foo-leather jacket for years. I just wore it to see a live performance of Murder On The Orient Express. It pairs well with a black suede pencil skirt. The theater is known for being cold, so a turtle-neck sweater worked well. Very classy.

    1. Hi Slyvia. It sounds like you put together a very sophisticated outfit. I think turtlenecks with pencil skirts are always so classy. Audrey Hepburn made this look famous, so you are in good company!

  6. The biggest mistake we can make as we age is to stop being true to ourselves. Those awful questions are what I mean: too young, too old? It’s time to be Goldilocks and ask ourselves, “Is this just right for me?” If you like it, it looks good on you, it works with your existing wardrobe, and it’s within your budget, then it’s just right.!

    If you loved leather jackets in your youth (before the word “pleather” existed), there’s nothing wrong with traveling that road again. There may be a few sizes, styling, and color adjustments, but why not wear them?

  7. I have a butt-length, black leather blazer from several years ago. It fits perfectly and is in perfect condition. I’ve worn it belted to be a bit more stylish, but the short styles seem more current. Should I shorten it?

    1. Hi Ellensue, I don’t think altering a leather blazer is worth it. The moto-style has been trendy in the last couple of years. It’s not just a short blazer; it’s a different look. The market is flooded with them, and I think you’d be better off to find one on sale and spend the money on that than to spend the money on trying to shorten the one you have. If you dont think you will wear the one you have, why not put it on eBay?
      Cheers, Deborah

  8. I was very disappointed when I saw your article on buying a leather jacket. I am a member of PETA, and I also read this blog, but I am very much upset that you would talk about buying leather. Never buy leather! Never kill animals for their skin! This is a terrible way to dress yourself, and look stylish. Anyone who wears leather is not a friend to animals, and does not care about the pain and suffering that an animal goes through for their skin. NEVER BUY LEATHER!

    1. Hi Margaret,
      I hear your passion, and please know that I do love animals. We all have different political views, and I’m sorry if this article offends you. I am happy to print your comment and suggest to those who do not choose to wear leather that these tips can also be applied to non-leather goods. Thanks for writing in and awakening me to other views!

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