BASICS

Everything You Need To Know About Finding The Perfect Moto Jacket

Finding The Perfect Moto Jacket

Do you have a moto jacket in your closet? I think the moto jacket is one of those modern wardrobe essentials that fits beautifully into every woman wardrobe regardless of age. It may seem trendy to some of you, but it is actually a classic piece you’ll wear for years to come. As an example, how long have I been talking about the moto jacket?? It’s been years and dozens of posts. A moto is also the perfect third layer for fall that I often talk about that can pull your whole look together.

But, perhaps, my absolute favorite feature of the moto…? You can wear it at any age, whether you’re 22 or 82…and during most seasons too!

I thought it would be really helpful to break down exactly what you should look for in a moto jacket in this post…to make shopping simpler… everything from the fit to design, to preferred brands, to the little details.

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The Moto Jacket

For those of you who don’t know, the motorcycle or moto jacket is basically just an edgier take on a classic leather jacket. They usually have a shorter hem, more zippers or hardware, and are leather, faux leather, or suede. It’s important to note that anyone, at any age can wear a moto jacket. It’s a simple way to add edge and modernity to your wardrobe. That said; you are definitely bombarded with options. Which jacket should you buy? What should you look for? What details and brands? Keep scrolling for the complete scoop. I’m sharing my favorite brands for every budget below.

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Black AllSaints Moto Jacket

Before I get to the helpful style tips, I want to talk about this gorgeous AllSaints moto jacket. AllSaints is known for their super high quality leather jackets. This one is called the Balfern and has really modern, edgy design details like a belt at the waist and silver hardware. The fit is also SO good! It is an investment, but, again, you’ll wear it for YEARS.

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JACKET | TEE | JEANS | SIMILAR | BOOTS | SUNGLASSES | FOR LESS | EARRINGS | BRACELET

Styling A Moto Jacket

Styling a moto jacket is a lot easier than you think! If you’re interested, I shared FIVE ways to wear your moto jacket in this post. For this look, I kept it pretty simple by sticking to my fail-safe fall outfit formula…a tee, jeans, and booties!

White Tee

I’m wearing a basic white tee by Caslon. A white tee is another wardrobe must-have…if you need to update yours, this Caslon tee is only $19, comes in a ton of colors, is super soft, lightweight, and breathable (60% cotton, 40% modal).

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Perfect Jeans

On my bottom half, I’m wearing a pair of flared Mother jeans. Do you remember these jeans I featured earlier in the summer? Well, this version is super similar but a slightly darker wash, perfect for fall and winter! Mother denim is super high-quality, durable, and the fit is always amazing. I love the raw hem and perfect length (I’m 5’4” for reference).

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Edgy Booties

Remember these? I wore a version of these black Steve Madden booties all over Europe last year! I wore them so much, that I decided to order a new pair this year. I love the chunky platform lug sole, rounded toe, stretchy fabric around the ankle, and block heel (2.5”). They’re really comfortable and easy to walk in. (They can be trickier to get on and off. I wouldn’t recommend these for wider feet.)

Now.. on to everything you need to know about finding the perfect moto jacket for YOU!

 

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#1) Budget

The first thing we should address when it comes to buying the perfect moto jacket… is budget. These popular jackets come in a huge range of prices…anywhere from under $100 to thousands of dollars. Consider how much you will wear your moto jacket and then decide how much you should budget for the purchase. Again, I think this is a key piece in your wardrobe and I would recommend spending a bit more on your moto jacket if you can afford it. It’s definitely an important investment piece.

Don’t forget to think about the cost per wear when you are setting your budget.

 

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#2) Material

After you set your budget, you then to need to think about the fabric. You can choose between real leather, faux or vegan leather, suede, and even knit. There is no wrong answer here. It’s up to you and what you prefer. Obviously, your budget will dictate which material you end up choosing for your moto jacket. Real leather will be the most expensive option, but I think it’s worth it because of quality and it’s easier to care for. You can simply wipe it down if you spill something on it.

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#3) Design Details

There are so many subtle design variations on different moto jackets. You’ll see jackets with gold or silver hardware, extra zippers, gold or silver zippers, belts, collars, draped collars, etc.…

I strongly suggest that if this is your first moto jacket purchase, keep it simple! Minimal hardware = Maximum versatility. Less is more. I’d look for a moto jacket with minimal hardware, simple zippers, and a classic collar.

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#4) Color

Next, you need to consider color. When the moto jacket first came out, black, gray, and maybe burgundy were the only options. Now, there is every color of the rainbow from white to blush to olive green, and even red!
Just because you have more color options doesn’t mean you should go for the brightest, boldest color! Consider a neutral, versatile color that you can incorporate into your wardrobe seamlessly. If you’re looking for the most versatility, I recommend going with a black moto jacket. Out of all the colors I have, this is the one that I wear the most. However, look at your wardrobe as a whole and see what color best compliments what you already have in your closet so that you can get the most use out of it. My two other most versatile colors are taupe and white.

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#5) Fit

Now that you figured out your budget, material, and color, it’s time to focus on the fit of your moto jacket. One of the most frequent questions I get about fit is whether to buy a looser moto jacket or one that fits closer to the body. While the benefit of a looser jacket is that you have enough room to zip it up, I recommend a more fitted moto jacket. Don’t worry about zipping it up! A tailored jacket simply looks more flattering and as you can see, I hardly ever zip up my jackets. If you’re wearing your jacket open, add an additional layer like a scarf for more warmth.

Hemline

Moto jackets usually have a shorter hemline… so, it should hit at or a little above your hip. There are so many styles out there now that are oversized and longer. If that’s what you’re more comfortable in, you can try an oversized moto jacket instead. But for a classic look, go with a moto jacket that hits you right at the hip. If you want to wear a moto jacket mostly with dresses, I would go with a cropped version that falls anywhere from your natural waist to your hip bone. I like mine to fall below the top of the jeans by at least two inches. If you’re tall, the oversized jacket might work better. If you’re petite, you might be able to find a cropped moto that works best on your frame.

Shoulders

It’s important to note that the shoulder seam should sit pretty high on the shoulder. A seam that is outside the shoulder will make your shoulders look more slumped. You also want to make sure that you do the arm test before you commit to buying a moto jacket:

1) Put your arms straight out in front of you.
2) Lift up your arms overhead

This test will make sure that your arms are comfortable in each position. It also tests how much room you have in the moto jacket and lets you know if it’s too tight. But, please DO consider that real leather will stretch.

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Best Moto Jacket Brands

Now you’re ready to purchase your perfect moto jacket! I’m sharing a few of my favorite brands and a few choices below.

Luxury: AllSaints, Rag & Bone, IRO, Joie

Budget-Friendly: Blank NYC, Levi’s, Topshop, Mango

I hope that these tips will help you to make the best decision when you purchase a moto jacket. This purchase shouldn’t be an impulse buy. Do your homework so that you can find a jacket that not only checks off all your preferences but fits and flatters you.

Are you on team moto?? What is your favorite brand? Please share in the comments below.

Huge thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to receive some incredible style resources.
Thank you SO much for stopping by!

Erin Busbee signature

How To Manifest Anything, Fashion blogger Erin Busbee of Busbee Style wearing an orange and blue Staud Ina dress with white sunglasses walking around in Telluride, Colorado
Erin Busbee
After a decade in TV news, a desire to help women "look pretty" sparked a career pivot. I started my own wardrobe consulting business, styling "real" women for many years. In 2014, I changed direction again, using my TV background and styling expertise to launch this website and my YouTube channel. We are now a community of well over 1 million dynamic, vibrant, amazing women over 40... who know that age isn't something you need to hide from. For us, life is just getting started!!
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10 thoughts on “Everything You Need To Know About Finding The Perfect Moto Jacket

    1. A moto jacket is more fitted, sleeker, and has a diagonal or off-center straight zipper. A bomber jacket is typically less fitted than a moto jacket and has a front zip. I hope that helps! ~Erin xo

  1. How do you feel about a moto leather vest … I am going through my own personal heatwave and I can’t imagine a jacket- but a vest might give the same vibe w out the heat.

  2. Erin, I’ve been absent for months from your channel and I’ve missed it and you so much! I’m in love with this light colored Moto! I love the necklace you’re wearing too! I’ve been a sick girl, but I’m on the mend and will be back to your channel! Much Love!

  3. Did I miss the link for the Gray jacket you have on? I have been looking for a light gray leather jacket for a long time.

  4. sandybeaudry@gmail.com
    Thank you for including plus sizes in this post. I hope i will beome a regular thing. I would also appreciate seeing shoes that include wide widths. I don’t think i have ever seen a single pair of shoes that come in wide widths. Those of us that need them woUld truly appreciate it.

    Love the blog, instagram and youtube channel. Great job.

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