Here's How To Shop Leather Jackets Affordably

I can't live without a leather jacket. The classic topper is my wardrobe staple for spring, fall, and even those rare, non-freezing winter days. I have amassed about 10 or 12 in my personal collection. I know, it seems excessive, but I have a pricy Mike & Chris leather hoodie living amongst a few $10 thrift shop scores. So when I found out that Belstaff is producing "Hollywood Rebels," a leather jacket range inspired by iconic films, I shrieked with joy — until I saw the prices.

The collection starts at $695, which is steep, but then again, I have paid a healthy chunk for a leather jacket before and it is a staple that can last decades with proper care and can remain timeless depending on the how you style it and with what. So the cost-per-wear makes it super affordable.

Belstaff is also producing a limited edition, 1000-copy newspaper that touts rebel icons of the film world. That's as cool as the jacket, right? If you are a millennial currently scratching your head and going "What's a newspaper?" never fear — the content will also live online.

WWD noted that the Georgina parka was inspired by the one Angelina Jolie donned in The Tourist. It's below and fab!

The Phoenix black leather topper took its inspo from the one that Kristen Stewart slapped on in Twilight: Breaking Dawn.

Belstaff also has a display in its stores featuring jackets that it created and were thus worn in films like The Aviator and Iron Man.

So if an Angie-inspired parka or a K. Stew-like cropped leather topper is not in your price range, don't fret. You got this. I got this. We got this. I have curated my own leather jacket collection via smart shopping.

Here are my four foolproof tips!

1. eBay Is Your BFF

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I nabbed my Mike & Chris leather hoodie on eBay. I know some shoppers have concerns about the authenticity of certain items due to rampant counterfeits. You just have to vet the seller and the piece, which takes a minute, but I promise you it's worth it. My M&C leather hoodie has been worn into the ground and it's not even beat up-looking... yet!

2. Spend Some Serious Time Browsing Thrift Shops


Not every leather jacket needs to be fresh out of the box or off the runway. Weathered and vintage leather jackets are already lived in and comfy. Plus, you can use them to dress down an outfit or add some coolness to your street style. When I hit a thrift shop, I immediately gravitate to the leather jackets and will spend an hour looking at them or trying them on. The sizes for older jackets run smaller, but I get such pleasure out of imagining them with pieces I already own. You have to invest time and patience in the process, since the trade off is that you are saving a lot of money.

I have a ratty, black leather jacket that is beat up as hell, but many years ago, at a small show in New Jersey, Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance was like, "Dude, where did you get that jacket? I need it!" A thrift store score, yo! Vintage finds will last forevs!

3. Do Discount Stores, Too

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If you have patience and time, and must have something BRAND NEW, then scour those discount stores, like Ross, Marshalls, and Nordstrom Rack. They get the runoff, slightly (and maybe unnoticeably) damaged items, overstock, and older season inventory. Yet I managed to pick up a brand new, cropped Elizabeth & James leather blazer for like $60, thanks to a little shopping savvy and strategy (aka I fingered pretty much every rack in the store).

4. Remember Your Relatives + Their Closets


Relatives' closets are also treasure troves for cool items like vintage leather jackets. My mom had a cedar closet that she used to store a few '70s leather jackets she no longer wore. Of course, you need to ask and make sure it's cool to check stuff out, but you might be able to repurpose and rescue a leather jacket that hasn't been worn in a decade-plus and is on its way to the donation bin. I did.

So, if you want a new or a vintage leather jacket, you don't need to shell out loot cakes every time. Just shop smart and look equally as stylish!

Images: Belstaff (2); Getty (4)