Picture a celebrity who looks great in a leather jacket. Are you doing it? Is it Donald Glover? Probably not, but I’m here to tell you that he is our new leather coat king—the James Dean of 2019. The Tom Cruise in Top Gun for the Coachella era. He does dressed up in tawny caramel, dressed down in sherpa and deep brown, and makes even this kooky, colorful leather bomber look ridiculously cool.
Our guy DG makes an excellent case for choosing a leather jacket that’s anything but classic black, doesn’t he? If you’re just easing into your new bad boy phase, you can’t go wrong with a classic coat, it’s true. But we’re not here today to go hard in the paint for the obvious choice. No, SG is here to Coach Taylor-pep talk you guys into becoming the Donald Glover you wish to see in the world. If you’ve already got one leather jacket hanging on your coat rack, it’s time to graduate your outerwear to the unexpected, non-basic leather jacket.
The Arrivals, one of SG HQ’s favorite low-key luxe outerwear brands, has so many good leather jackets it’s honestly hard to single out just one. If you’re Donald Glover, though, we’ve gotta imagine you’re heading straight for this forest green biker in lightweight pebbled leather, one of their seasonal offerings.
This is a bossy move if you’ve already got your essentials on lock—mix it up by wearing this one over your favorite floral and graphic print button-down shirts once spring starts to show.
You can’t talk about leather jackets without talking about Schott NYC—their iconic Perfecto 618 biker jacket is the stuff of legend. (See Brando, Springsteen, et al.) But the artist-about-to-be-formerly-known-as-Childish Gambino move here is to switch up the retro vibes with a leather trucker-style jacket trimmed in shearling.
And hey, why not lean into the brand’s bad boy history and the jacket’s casual silhouette by wearing it a with a white tee and some faded Levi’s? No acting or singing lessons required.
If you’re looking to ease into a Donald Glover-worthy leather jacket, this buttery Bonobos bomber jacket with soft knit hems and cuffs is actually a super-subtle shade of “espresso brown.” Try it with your classic khaki chinos and a pocket tee for the world’s most sophisticated weekend look.
Men’s personal stylist and the blogger behind The Essential Man, Peter Nguyen, often suggests the bomber style to clients looking for something different. “Especially if it’s a more modern cut that’s slimmer, not so puffy, and void of any patches. It’s got the same advantages as a racer—you can dress it up and look appropriate for work.”
Ever-so-slightly different than a bomber jacket, the aviator is a long-time Style Girlfriend favorite. Originally it was the aviator or pilot’s jacket that was rendered in leather, outfitted with snug knit cuffs and, like this one, trimmed with a cozy shearling collar.
Bombers borrow a lot of those elements now, but we’re still keen on the original. This one from Vince is just delicious—and yes I know it’s black but it’s so far from basic. Let it be the star of your late-winter wardrobe and throw it on over your best cashmere sweater and black jeans.
Gucci Leather Bomber Jacket, $4400
Looking for something truly swaggy to spend your tax return on this year? How about Gucci’s cobalt blue and soft cream varsity-style bomber. Too much? Just enough? Who’s to say—oh right, I am and I say if you can throw down on an epic, unforgettable leather jacket to wear with your fourth pants and a hoodie you should absolutely do it. Donald Glover would be proud.