by Jennifer Smith June 23, 2024 7 min read

As we grow up, our fashion choices change due to the changes our bodies go through, our evolving style sense, changing trends, and even due to stereotypes that conform a certain style to a certain age bracket.

Leather jackets are highly versatile, comfortable, and stylish, but admittingly one of those garments that people over 40 tend to wear less. The reasons for this are multiple, which we will discuss later. But the main purpose of this blog is to equip you with several style choices so that you can keep rocking a leather jacket even after you turn 40.  

Key highlights

  • Busting the myth that leather jackets can be worn till a certain age
  • Well-suited leather jacket styles for men and women over 40
  • Outfit ideas with a leather jacket if you are above 40

Myth: Leather Jackets Are Only For the Youths

Whether it was Marlon Brando in "The Wild One" or punk rockers in the 70s, leather jackets have been a staple in youth cultures for decades. These associations have created a perception that leather jackets are inherently youthful or rebellious.

Some classic style leather jackets, like the moto jacket or the studded jacket, have a more edgy look. Some fashion buffs may think they are less flattering or appropriate for older body types. Also, the fact that fashion marketing often focuses on younger demographics creates advertisements featuring young models in leather jackets, which can reinforce the idea that they're not for older people.

However, the reality is that leather jackets are a timeless piece that people of all ages can wear. Leather jackets are a worthwhile choice even after the 40s. Here's why:

  • Versatility: Leather jackets come in a variety of styles, from simple and minimalistic designs to dressier ones. This means there's a leather jacket out there to suit any personal style.
  • Quality and Investment: With leather being a highly durable material, which is also resistant to wear and tear, a good quality leather jacket is an investment piece that can last for years.
  • Confidence: The most important factor in rocking a leather jacket is confidence.  When you wear it with confidence, it doesn't matter how old you are.

Leather Jacket Styles For Men Over 40

Here’s a list of men’s leather jackets that a man over 40 can opt for:

Classic Cafe Racer Jacket

The simple and sleek design of cafe racer jackets makes them a befitting choice for a grown man whose style is now vintage and sophisticated. You can opt for a buttoned or a front-zipped racer jacket. 

Suede Jackets

Known for its refined look, a suede jacket perfectly aligns with your cool, suave look as a mature man. A suede jacket offers a softer look and feel as compared to traditional leather. 

Field Jackets

With their boxy silhouette, front pockets, and shirt collar, field leather jackets are functional and stylish, ideal for casual wear.

Bomber Jackets

You can easily rock a bomber jacket after 40. The relaxed and sporty style jacket lends itself to day-to-day outfits and allows enough layering due to its comfortable fit. 

Leather Blazers

If you want to add a touch of refined style to your casual looks, a leather blazer is a go-to option. As a man over 40, you can opt for a simple black leather blazer or a brown one in a tailored fit. 

Big and Tall Leather Jackets

Finding the perfect jacket fit can be a challenge, especially for men with broader builds. Many brands now offer inclusive sizing and styles that cater to a wider range of body types. Men with a larger build can go for a big and tall leather jacket

Leather Coats or Shirt Jackets

Other sophisticated leatherwear options for a suave mature look are leather coats (long or mid-length) and shirt jackets which offer warmth and style for colder weather. 

Leather Jacket Styles For Women Over 40

Once you enter the fifth decade of your life, you can pick the following styles of women’s leather jackets:

Moto Jackets  

While some might argue about moto jackets only being appropriate for younger women, those over the age of forty can also go for them. The quintessential motorcycle leather jackets with a mandarin collar and a front zip can be a highly versatile option, and you can choose one in an appealing color, like rich brown or burgundy. Instead of the edgy Brando style asymmetrical jacket, try opting for a biker jacket with a shirt collar for a sophisticated look. 

Faux Leather Jackets

There are several appealing designs of faux leather jackets which can be a voguish option for mature women who love to experiment with their looks often. Instead of an expensive real leather jacket, go for a few stylish faux ones. 

Leather Blazers

Blazers are popular with the grown-up female demographic, so a leather blazer can be the perfect final layer to elevate your outfit and add a touch of sophistication.

Leather Trench Coats

When curating your wardrobe after the 40s, keep a stylish leather trench coat in your wardrobe for a timeless and classy finish to fall and winter outfits.

Leather Vests

You may have gone past the thirties, but a stylish well fitted leather vest will still look great over jeans, dresses and skirt outfits.

How to Choose and Style Leather Jackets After 40?

If you have decided not to give up leather jackets after turning 40, here are a few tips to slay them like a pro:

  1. Consider the fit: Always opt for a well fitted jacket. Don’t go for anything too baggy or tight. Refer to the leather jacket size chart before ordering a leather jacket.
  2. No compromise on the quality: Make that leather jacket of yours an investment in your style. Show your class in a premium quality personalized leather jacket in a suitable style.
  3. Pick colors wisely: Black and brown are the safest bet, as it seems easier to learn how to wear a black leather jacket over 40. But an overview of your wardrobe will help you decide if any other colored leather jacket is worth buying.
  4. For men: Keep the bottoms slim fit and the footwear choices simple with a leather jacket
  5. For women: As leather jackets have a naturally edgy vibe, balance them with more classic or feminine accessories, such as long thin scarves, crossbody bags, clutches, jewelry, belts, and hats. 

Men’s Leather Jacket Outfits Over 40

After choosing your classy men’s leather jacket, try styling it in the following ways: 

The Rugged Grown Up Man

Create an irresistible look with a plain white t-shirt, grey distressed straight leg jeans, and a vintage brown leather racer jacket. Complete your rugged look with dark brown desert boots. 

The Classic Dapper

You are past your thirties, but this stylish outfit will let everyone know that you are still very much a dashing man. Pair a grey button down shirt and dark wash slim fit cotton pants with a black leather shirt jacket. Choose black Chelsea boots to round off this polished look.

The Put-Together Look

Another dressy casual look for a man desiring to wear a leather jacket is to go for a plain t-shirt, dark wash blue jeans, and a brown leather blazer. You can wear brown Chukka boots with this outfit.

The Ageless Fashion Buff

Your fabulous fashion sense doesn't have an expiration date! After 40, it's time to refine your style and show the world your unique flair. Wear a black chambray shirt over white jeans, and top it off with a minimalistic black and white biker jacket. Infuse more style with white sneakers and a stylish pair of sunglasses.  

The Field Jacket Outfit

Try another subtle yet sleek weekend look with a green henley shirt, beige chinos, and an olive brown bomber jacket. Round off this look with plain white sneakers. 

Women’s Leather Jacket Outfits Over 40

Looking for female leather jacket outfit ideas after turning 40? Here are some inspirations to kick off:

High Waisted Bottoms For The Curvy Queen

Many plus size women over 40 struggle to find flattering outfit pairings. An outfit base with a plain blouse tucked inside high waisted bottoms, such as a midi skirt, or wide legged pants, can be layered with a stylish plus size leather jacket for a feminine and flattering look. 

Wear It With A Dress

You can wear a floral blouson dress and a petite leather jacket to create a relaxed and voguish look. Keep up the grace with white leather mules with this outfit. 

Casual Leather Jacket Outfit After 40 

Your t-shirt and jeans choices may not have been as edgy as they used to be in your thirties, but you can still create an on trend look with an oversized leather jacket

Pair a striped collared shirt and black jeans (mom jeans) with a slim fit leather jacket and complete the look with platform heels and an elegant shoulder bag. 

The Ageless Fashionista

Create an effortless yet catchy look with a black tank top tucked in black flare pants, and layer it with a brown blazer. Layered neck chains and black pumps finish off this look with style.

Perfect with a Coat

For a dressier look, try wearing a green silk blouse, a black pencil skirt, and black pumps. Complete the smart casual look with a belted mustard leather coat.

Leather Vest Outfit

Women over 40 can easily layer their casual outfits with leather vests. Team up a beige turtleneck, blue or black skinny jeans or wide legged pants, and a black leather vest. If you want to look more fashion savvy, swap the vest with a cropped leather jacket.

Summing Up Leather Jacket Styling Above 40

Entering your fifth decade doesn't mean you have to forgo appealing fashion choices. In fact, developing a refined sense of style can guide you toward making the right wardrobe decisions at this stage of life. Our guide to styling leather jackets for men and women over 40 aims to empower individuals to confidently embrace this timeless piece, ensuring they can enjoy both comfort and style effortlessly.

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