The #1 Thing You Should Spend On in Your 30s

A leather jacket has been a wardrobe staple of ours forever and is the most versatile piece we own. Whether teamed with denim and a tee, over a slip dress, layered with knits in winter or casually draped over a cute dress in summer, a great biker jacket will give your look an instant edge—working for casual daytime dressing as well as it does for evening.

We’ve ended up buying quite a few over the years in search of the perfect one, and we have now both invested in our dream leathers. Since we reached our 30s and realised just how much we wear them, we thought it made sense to spend on one that will last—this is the one piece that’s worth investing in.

Leather looks better with age, so potentially you can still be wearing yours in years to come. We love the idea of still wearing our current favourites in 20 years’ time—rocking a vintage number from our 30s when we’re in our 50s or 60s is a pretty cool idea, no?

There’s a lot to consider when purchasing a leather jacket—they are a significant investment—but if you buy well, it can last you for years. Read on to get our top tips.

1. Analyse the actual leather


A Style Album

On Lou: Balenciaga biker; Chloé Silk-Blend Georgette Midi Skirt (£1125) (£563); Malone Souliers shoes.

The type of leather you invest in is important. You want leather that will get better with age. If you plan on wearing yours regularly, it will no doubt pick up the odd scratch and fade with time—this will all add character if you choose right. Getting the balance between too thick and too thin is important; a lambskin leather we often find is a good option.

2. Know the signs of a perfect fit


A Style Album

On Em: Coach Icon Moto Jacket (£995); Sandro Floral Dress (£290); Saint Laurent sneakers.

Make sure your leather jacket fits well on your shoulders and sleeves. Ideally, you want to leave room for a knit underneath. Try on lots of different styles to make sure you find the right one for your shape. If you’re petite, a cropped style will most likely work better, if you’re tall, a longer version. Leather jackets are expensive to alter, so buying one that fits perfectly is a must. We recommend investing in a classic, slim-line biker shape for ultimate longevity.

3. Pick a middle ground on detailing and hardware


A Style Album

On Em: Whistles jacket; Endless Rose Lace Dress (£49); Tom Ford sunglasses.

We prefer styles without too much hardware and a shape that doesn’t make us look like we’re about to hop on the back of a Harley Davidson. Some styles are quite bulky—we suggest avoiding these, as they can look unflattering, even on the slightest frames. It’s about investing in somewhere in the middle: You don’t want a dull jacket, but you want to keep padding and hardware to a minimum. You can get some great coloured leather jackets now, but we’d always recommend sticking to black.

4. Decide on your budget up front


A Style Album

Of course, everyone’s budget is different; we say buy the best one your budget will allow. If you’re looking to make your leather an essential part of your everyday wardrobe, it’s worth saving and waiting for the right one. Real leather will age better than faux or Vegan, but you will pay the price; look to sites such as The Outnet and Vestiaire Collective for designer leather at discounted prices. As moto jackets never go out of fashion, you may pick up a bargain from last season.

5. Shop from our edit below.

AllSaints leathers always look slightly worn in—saving you some time.

The high-shine, stiff finish of this leather is good for minimalists.

Officially the best affordable version we can find.

To be worn with the prettiest of dresses every day.

The little pocket means you can go hands-free on a night out.

Next up, the grown-up uniform we stick to.