Over 50? Here’s How to Wear a Leather Jacket at Any Age

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 midlife wardrobe, and how to one at 40, 50, and beyond.

Why Buy a Leather Jacket?


Leather Jackets - Red

1.  A Leather Jacket is Modern and Youthful

A leather jacket is considered a modern alternative to the classic suit jacket.  It’s like a blazer but more relaxed and edgier. This cool edginess is what gives it a youthful vibe. Notice I said youthful, not young.

A leather jacket won’t make you desperate to look young, so long as you choose one that’s more on the elegant side and you style it in a grown-up way. ( Tips on this coming up) What a leather outfit will do is give your outfit a shot of youthful energy.

Over 50? Here's How to Wear a Leather Jacket at Any Age


Over 50? Here's How to Wear a Leather Jacket at Any Age

2. You Can Wear Them with Everything

The wonderful thing about any classic piece, including a leather jacket, is a hard-working wardrobe staple. You can wear a leather jacket with the most casual clothes or work it into a dressy ensemble.

Throw it on with jeans, a cute top, and a pair of suede booties, and you will feel the frump melt away.

Slip it on with a pretty dress and heels, and you suddenly look very hip. A leather jacket’s magic power can transform any average outfit into something suddenly very calm.  

Over 50? Here's How to Wear a Leather Jacket at Any Age


3. Leather Jackets are Comfortable

The leather jackets we wore years ago have changed. Gone are the days of thick, heavy, stiff leather jackets that made you feel like you belonged to a motorcycle gang.

Today’s leather and faux leather jackets are thin, lightweight, soft, and buttery. They look and feel more elegant and sexier than ever before. I own three leather jackets, and they feel almost as comfy as wearing a sweater. This burgundy leather jacket is my favorite.


4. They Make Great Transition Pieces

It’s always hard to know what to wear as we transition from summer into fall and fall into spring. A leather jacket is ideal.

The new lightweight leathers I’ve been talking about are perfect for shifting into a new season when it’s chilly. I’d even say that leather jackets are great year-round because you can wear one as an outdoor coat or an indoor layering piece.

I love to wear my tan faux leather jacket with a thin sweater and a nice pair of black jeans or leggings + loafers, booties, or riding boots this time of year.

5. They Look Classy

Leather is luxurious, so if you aim to look classy and expensive, a leather jacket can help. Just be sure to go with a quality brand. Coach, Andrew Marc, Eli Tahari, and Theory are my favorites.

Faux leather is cheaper but can look chic, too, depending on the brand. Nordstrom usually has a good selection of faux leather jackets.

A unique detail will also make you stand out from the crowd, such as Chanel-like quilting, shoulder epaulets, an unusual type of collar, or rich, distinctive color. I have a lovely brown leather jacket with a braided military-style collar which looks very rich.

6.  They are Timeless

I have a friend who has been wearing her black leather jacket for over 15 years, and it still looks fab. This is the power of a great leather jacket. Yes, they can be costly, but they are always plenty on sale. Check frequently for sales, and visit sites like Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth, which carry fabulous leather designer jackets at huge savings.

7. Leather Jackets are Ageless

Over 50? Here's How to Wear a Leather Jacket at Any Age

The last great reason to own a leather jacket is ageless. It can look fabulous at 20 or 70. This is provided you like the look and feel of leather, to begin with.

If you are against wearing leather or don’t see the beauty of a leather jacket on anyone, then perhaps a leather jacket is not suited to your style personality.  However, if you are curious but nervous about wearing a leather jacket, go for it.

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

1. Choose an Elegant Style

Looking age-appropriate or Age-amazing, as I like to say, is partly about choosing the right leather jacket for you. The good news is – there are thousands of styles of leather jackets, so don’t worry about finding one to suit your esthetic.

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 to it. That’s fine because a sleeker, more understated leather jacket will always look fabulous.

Over 50? Here's How to Wear a Leather Jacket at Any Age

2. Try Colored Leather

Don’t go thinking that black is the only color choice when it comes to leather jackets. Black can be harsh on a mature woman, exaggerating facial shadows and wrinkles unless you have the right coloring. However, You will have no problem finding colored leather or faux leather jackets in many gorgeous shades such as emerald, navy, wine, tan, and brown.

There are lots out there,  and these can often be more flattering than black.  Of the three leather jackets I own, none of mine are black. I also own a suede moto jacket – great for women who are easing into leather or who want a more casual vibe.

3. Combine it With Something Chic

The second part of the perfect style recipe for wearing a leather jacket over 40, 50, 60 is styling it in a more elegant way than you would have when you were in your twenties. For example, you might wear a black leather jacket with a short skirt, tank top, and heels when you were in your 20’s, but at 40+, you’ll look more chic wearing something like a burgundy leather jacket over a neutral colored sweater dress with tall or flat boots.

There are endless ways to style a leather jacket, and it boils down to what feels right to you. The more elegant the leather jacket, the more paired down the look, the easier it is to pull off.

Please take a look at these over 40 Style bloggers and their favorite moto jackets. You’ll see that looking fabulous is all in the way you style your coat. Also, here are more popular ways to wear a leather jacket.

Burgundy leather jacket with Talbots scarf-1

This is my favorite Burgundy jacket with Talbots’s gorgeous limited edition artistic scarf!

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22 thoughts on “Over 50? Here’s How to Wear a Leather Jacket at Any Age

  1. Hi Deb,
    I have at least 5 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 a very fine, lightweight, soft leather and probably not black as it can look very harsh and tough. It also depends on the style. Instead of a short-cropped moto jacket with lots of hardware such as this one:, I would go for something very minimal and streamlined with almost no hardware. This jacket is sleek and sophisticated and comes in many colors: Personally, I would prefer suede as we get older. It’s softer and more forgiving. It’s less harsh against aging skin and hair. There are a lot of draped suede jackets that are very flattering such as this: This actually looks ok in black if you do want black and your coloring can pull it off. Here’s a leather version that’s nice too: In the end, it’s all about how you feel. You have to feel confident and “own the look” to pull it off. I hope that helps!

  2. I have several leather jackets, all different styles, that I purchased 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 that came from Stockholm. It’s beautifully made, clearly for very cold weather, and it fits like a glove. You have to be mindful of outdated styles when buying thrift, but there are amazing pieces to be found.

    1. Great idea Tamara because they can be expensive and lots of times there are items in thrift shops that have hardly been worn. I’m seeing a trend in this direction – sustainable clothing – for sure!

  3. Deborah,

    I have 3 faux leather jackets in my closet and I love how stylish they look on me and I’m over 60!
    I agree that they are great transition pieces and can elevate your look.


  4. 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!

  5. 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 adjustments needed in size, styling, and color, but why not wear it?

  6. I have a butt-length, black leather blazer from several years ago. 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 it is really worth it to alter a leather blazer. The moto style has been very popular in the last couple of years. It’s not just a short blazer, it’s a totally 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

  7. 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 absolutely do love animals. We all have different polical 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 be applied to non-leather goods as well. Thanks for writing in and awaking me to other views!

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