Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Moto Jacket For You

The KEY Details To Look For…

The moto jacket is a modern wardrobe essential that I think every woman should have in her closet regardless of age. It may feel trendy, but it is actually a classic piece you’ll wear for years to come. It’s also the perfect third layer that I often talk about that can pull your whole look together. What I love most about the moto jacket is that you can wear it at any age and during any season.

So… let’s jump right into the five tips for picking out the perfect moto jacket for YOU!

(If you prefer to watch the video version of these tips, you can watch that here.)

Affordable Jackets, Fashion blogger Erin Busbee of wearing a black and faux fur moto jacket, Levi's 711 skinny jeans, black heeled booties, and a white v-neck sweater from JCPenney in Telluride, Colorado

#1 | Set Your 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. 

Moto jacket outfit ideas, how to wear your moto jacket, Erin Busbee in NYC for New York Fashion Week 2017 wearing nicole miller blooming floral print dress in black with black leather moto jacket by Joie, topknot in hair, black mid-calf-sam edelman boots and black sunglasses

#2 | Consider the 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.

The advantage of leather or even faux leather over suede is that it’s a bit easier to care for. You can simply wipe it down if you spill something on it.

Suede moto jacket by BlankNYC on fashion blogger Erin Busbee of Busbee Style paired with Express white blouse and distressed jeans with beige Vince Camuto booties and Chloe sunglasses in Telluride, Colorado

#3 | Color

The third thing you need to consider is 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 blush.

Perfect moto jacket, fashion blogger Erin Busbee of featuring a gray moto jacket with jeans and a white cami in Telluride, Colorado

#4 | Fit is Key!

Now that you figured out your budget, material, and color, it’s time to focus on the fit of your moto jacket. 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.

One of the most frequent questions I get about fit is whether or not 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. 

Suede moto jacket by BlankNYC on fashion blogger Erin Busbee of Busbee Style paired with Express white blouse and distressed jeans with beige Vince Camuto booties and Chloe sunglasses in Telluride, Colorado

#5 | Length

Now, let’s talk about the hemline or length of the moto jacket. When in doubt, the fail-safe length is a jacket that falls to where your hip and leg meet. I often refer to this as your leg joint. If you buy a moto jacket to wear mainly with dresses, you may want to purchase one that is a bit more cropped and falls to your natural waistline. That length is most flattering with dresses. If you plan to wear it with blue jeans it would be better to get one that is slightly longer than your natural waist. I like my moto jacket to cover the top of my jeans.

If your moto jacket hits at your natural waistline, but you still want to wear it with jeans, here’s an easy style hack: extend the hemline by wearing a shirt that is longer than the jacket. For example, I might wear a camisole or fitted tank under my moto and leave it out to cover the top of the jeans. 

Women's fashion blogger, Erin Busbee, shares tips on how to style a moto jacket

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

BONUS Tip | Brands

A lot of times, finding the right moto jacket for your body type has a lot to do with the brand. Depending on where you shop… fit, prices, and even styles of jackets are completely different. For petite women who want a higher-end jacket, a brand like Iro Paris is perfect. Their jackets run narrow through the shoulders and are a bit short. Typically I wear size 38 with this brand. Another high-end brand that is great for petite women is Joie. Like Iro, their moto jackets run narrow through the shoulders and have shorter sleeves.

For a medium-range or budget-friendly jacket, two of my favorite retailers are Topshop and Nordstrom. Always remember that Topshop is a UK brand so their clothing comes in UK sizes. Therefore, a UK size 6 is a US size 2. Some of my favorite Nordstrom brands are BlankNYC, City Chic, Nic+Zoe, and Eloquii. If you’re curvier or plus-sized, City Chic, Nic+Zoe, and Eloquii have some great Springtime options!

Leather Moto Jacket, Fashion blogger over 40 Erin Busbee of featuring the Chelsea28 black leather jacket from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2019 styled with the velvet leopard bodysuit, Topshop jeans, and Charles Davidson python print booties from Nordstrom in Telluride, Colorado

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 compliments you in every way. 

Do you have a moto jacket? What is your favorite brand?? Please share in the comments below.

PS: If you want more style inspiration, you might want to order or download my Style Made Simple guide here. If you use this link to sign up for my email list, you will get 40% off the guide!

Thank you for stopping by…

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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 nearly 700,000 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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