What to Wear with a Brown Leather Jacket

by Jamie Wilson

Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA

Want to try something a little different? Bored of the classic black look? To help figure what to wear with a brown leather jacket, what ones are best and why you should sometimes switch up your black one, we have the complete guide right here for you.

So you’ve worn your black leather jacket to death. You’ve channeled every celebrity you can think of, be it rock ‘n’ roll god, heart-throb actor or motorbike rider. You’ve worn all the shapes, you’ve rocked every cut and (you think) you’ve walked a pretty stylish walk.

But all of a sudden you find yourself in a rut. A style rut to be more precise, and that’s the worst kind of rut. Cries of “I’ve got nothing to wear!” ruin every morning whilst piles of clothes have turned your bedroom into some sort of floor-drobe. You my friend, have reached peak ‘classic’ and you need a style shakedown. So why not try something new? Be daring. Be bold. And go for a brown leather jacket. I dare you.

How to Wear a Brown Leather Jacket

So you’ve got your leather jacket, but you’re suddenly aware you’ve actually got to dress it up with something. You’re completely thrown! What shoes should you wear with brown leather? What colours go well with a brown leather jacket? Have no fear, my friends, because help is at hand. Check out below for some ideas on what to wear with a leather jacket.


A brown leather jacket is basically the perfect piece to match with a casual outfit. This can be debated, but it shouldn’t be. Whether you’ve slipped on a simple white T-shirt and chinos, or jeans and a jumper, any outfit is automatically improved with a classic leather jacket, especially if it’s got a nice shearling finish as well.

Sunday Stroll

Channel your inner workman/lumberjack and style your jacket with the hardiest of wardrobe companions. A denim or checked shirt is great matched with the rich tones of your jacket, and gives you a rugged, understated finish. Who cares if your hands weren’t made for manual labour? Doesn’t mean you can’t copy the style. Just be wary of building sites… they might invite you in to help.

Smart Chic

Despite how well it can add a boost to casual looks, a decent brown jacket can still work with more formal styles. It just depends on how you dress it up. First rule of thumb – don’t bulk out the pockets with any excess keys/change/phone/other crap. You’ll only ruin the line of the jacket, and you want the overall look to be sleek and streamlined.

Then you can try out the more traditional formal styles, with your jacket helping to give them a stylish twist. Something as basic as a slim fit jumper, Oxford shirt and jeans can be livened up with the less conventional leather jacket, while still working with the piece.

Choosing the Best Brown Leather Jacket

A leather jacket is all about the attitude, and a fashionable brown leather jacket is even more so. Black is simple: it tends to speak for itself. But with brown, you kind of have to do the talking for it. You have to style it and make it live up to its full potential. Read on below so you know what to be looking for when it comes to leather jacket shopping.

The Fit

The military wore them baggy and oversized, John Travolta wore his short and slim fitted and Marlon Brando wore his belted up and with a peaked cap. They knew what worked for them, and finding out what works for you is the most important part of buying a leather jacket.

As with everything in life, always know all your options. Whether you go slim or baggy, the most important thing to remember is to ensure that the jacket ends at your waist and that the sleeves aren’t too long, whatever the fit you’re going for. No one wants to look like they have spaghetti-like arms or disproportionate legs.

The Fabric

When buying and investing in a leather jacket, it’s essential that it looks as rich and buttery as possible (weird way to describe it, but you should get what we mean). You need to feel the leather of the jacket you’re buying to know the value of the investment. So a brand you trust is always a good idea

You want your jacket to look effortless and leave people wondering who the handsome guy in the room was. And nowhere is that more important than with brown leather, which can have a tendency to look quite cheap and plastic-y if you’re not careful. So think about how much you want to spend because forking out may well be the better option, no matter how much you love a bargain.

When browsing for your investment, whilst also touching and stroking each and every jacket, make sure you also look at it up close. Look at all the different zips and buckles that might be part of the design.

What is essential is that the zips look durable enough to last. Avoid plastic looking decoration and opt only for the best. It’ll be worth it ten years down the line or even fifty, when your children are digging around in your wardrobe looking for things to ‘borrow’ which of course you’ll never get back. Details matter, especially on a piece of outerwear that everyone is going to see.

Brown vs. Black Leather Jacket

When it comes to choosing between a brown or black leather jacket, most men will go for the easiest option – black. A black jacket is cool, I’m not disputing that at all. It’s effortless, versatile and will give you that instant sense of style. But brown, why not give it a go?

A brown leather jacket is often overlooked by the fashion folk in favour of its brother in black. But the secret with a brown jacket is that it can be just as versatile as the black variety and sometimes even more stylish. And, even better, it helps you to stand out against the leather-clad crowd.

Your leather jacket can be used to tone down the more fashion forward pieces in your wardrobe, making them more wearable and also making you more willing to rock your latest addition. It can act as a sort of safety blanket that you know looks good on top, ensuring that what lies beneath will too, by default, look equally as awesome.

History of The Brown Leather Jacket

You know what most people don’t realise? The brown leather jacket actually came first. Yep, there’s a little pub fact for you to impress your mates with later.

The flying jackets, or “Bombers” as they were nicknamed, were worn by members of the military and aviators during the Second World War, having already been adopted by the German aviation in the First World War. They were brown and insulated and were worn just to keep the pilot warm and protect them, rather than to look good.

So then the 1950s came around when leather jackets became a symbol of rebellion, a mark of the badass and definite misbehaviour of the wearer. As the uniform of rockers, think Debbie Harry and the Ramones, teenagers across the land adopted the jacket as their armour against the outside world that just didn’t understand their angst.

And how could anyone forget James Dean, never seen without his trusty leather jacket and obligatory cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth. Leather implied you were non-conformist, which tends to be, romantically of course, the only way to live.

Many men’s fashion style classics seem to in fact come from regulation military wear, which is ironic considering that the men wearing them at the time wouldn’t have thought anything of the fact that their jackets may be cool one day. They just didn’t want to freeze their asses off thousands of metres up in the sky.

Then of course, in the late 1970s came the film “Grease” and with it, two of the best gangs around: The T-Birds and their female counterparts, the Pink Ladies. Now I’m not knocking the ladies jackets at all because they were pretty amazing. But those T-Birds, in their leather jackets, all slicked back hair, combs in pockets and a cigarette tucked behind the ear. They were the ones to be. Or the ones to be around. And you know why? Because their leather jackets breathed badness. But in a good way.

They were high school kids, still living with their mum’s who still did their laundry. But they wore leather jackets, so that made it all ok. They were still badass even if they did pair their jackets with incredibly high waisted, belted trousers. That look could come back into fashion… you never know.

What to Wear with a Brown Leather Jacket

  • Ensure your jacket fits you perfectly, ensuring it’s long enough in the arms and torso.
  • Choose your shade of brown wisely. Go for lighter tans if you want a cleaner, preppier look.
  • Make sure you’re choosing quality leather or a well made vegan design.
  • Play around with formal and casual looks, dress up a classic outfit with your rugged brown jacket.

On that Note

Although a brown leather jacket may not be the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about a worthy Spring investment, but hopefully we’ve changed your mind. Take the plunge for yourself and see what I’m talking about. Allow its versatility to prove its worth as you pair it with blue jeans, black jeans, chinos and shorts; T-shirts, buttoned shirts, logo sweatshirts, and hoodies. Whatever the item, your jacket will undoubtedly go with it.

Feature image from Pinterest

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