As much as we'll miss our breezy cotton poplin tops, one of the excellent advantages to cooler weather is finally having an excuse to break out one of our favorite transitional outerwear—the leather jacket in all of its dangerous, underground, subculture-originated glory. And even though it's gone completely mainstream, where even the girliest girl today can throw on a moto jacket and no one would bat an eye, it, surprisingly, still hasn't lost the same edge that Marlon Brando embodied when he wore his Schott leather jacket in his role as Johnny Strabler in The Wild One in 1953, or James Dean in his leather on- and off-screen uniform. Badass musicians, too—like Steve McQueen, The Ramones, The Beatles, Debbie Harry, Madonna—made sure to pave the road to rock 'n roll success with leather.
But once it trickled into high fashion, the leather jacket was rebranded into a luxe item on the runways at Balenciaga, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Gucci in the early 2000s where it topped too-pretty dresses. Now, thanks to both its mass appeal and the power to make any outfit substantially more cool (see: Gigi Hadid, above), it's become a staple in everyone's closet—including the A-list's. So as we ready our wardrobes for the elements with the jacket that was once used as protection for bikers (well, still is), it would behoove us all to find as many ways as possible to wear the versatile piece, which led to this. From Cara Delevingne's It-Brit punk aesthetic to Claire Danes elegant, prim-and-proper look, scroll through to check out (and copy) 12 celebrity-approved outfits that revolve around the leather jacket.
1. Kate Bosworth
Decorate yours with cute patches and pins for a look that's still somewhat badass, yet completely endearing, which works when it's layered over an outfit of the same darling nature—flirty micro-floral print top, tapered pants, and metallic loafer heels.
2. Jaime King
What do you get when two iconic pieces—a little black dress and a black moto jacket—meet? An instant hit.
3. Suki Waterhouse
For an elevated take, skip the moto or the bomber and reach for a leather longline coat, styled with a LWD and strappy heels, for an evening out.
4. Claire Danes
Of course Danes would find the most elegant way to style her moto—with it effortlessly draped over her shoulders and styled with a coral Victoria Beckahm midi dress, a black clutch, and neutral sandals.
5. Cara Delevingne
It-Brit cool manifests in the form of Delevingne who wore hers with a bandana, a simple gray knit, distressed black skinnies, and sneaks. Model off-duty perfection.
Ever the fashion risk-taker, BadgalRiRi got even badder with a graphic tee and her waist-high Manlolo Blahnik boot chaps that she finished with a leather jacket exaggerated to extreme proportions. For real-world application, size up on leather jacket (or shop the men's department) and then layer one statement piece after another.
7. Kristen Stewart
The leather jacket is a quintessential transitional piece in more ways than one—it helps you transition from summer to fall and winter to spring, and it can transition a daytime ensemble (of a tee, a striped mini, and checked sneaks) into an appropriate going-out outfit.
8. Karlie Kloss
When you're a cat lady (and proud of it!), showcase your love with a feline graphic tee. It might seem like a sartorially uncool move at first (to others, of course), but you can change it with the simple addition of a leather jacket.
9. Alexa Chung
Temper the sweetness of a girl bubblegum pink dress with your hardest moto jacket.
10. Jessica Alba
Up the shine with a slinky metallic foil slip dress and then bring it down with a moto jacket. It's sexy, glam, and tough all rolled into one look.
11. Rose Byrne
Got a black-tie affair to attend? Do away with the shawl or your plus-one's tux jacket and instead drape your leather jacket over your breathtaking tulle gown.
12. Gigi Hadid
You'll be the toughest kid on the block when you force others to respect your personal space, with the help of a moto jacket prickled with scary-looking studs and spikes.