Everyone's always looking for that perfect leather jacket—the one that doesn't look cheesy, too trendy or cost $800. Which is difficult enough in itself. Lofty boutiques and high-end shops like Barney's Co-op have long carried great leather pieces by Mike & Chris that are exactly what you're looking for... but can cost as much as $900.
And then there's that whole moral dilemma of wearing leather for some—like me, the shameful vegetarian with a beeeeautiful, buttery soft Ben Sherman leather jacket I picked up in London last autumn—yet you still crave the look of a simple leather coat over a feminine dress, or over a flannel, T-shirt and skinny jeans that gals like Agyness Deyn has popularized.
But here are a couple of cruelty-free, wallet-friendly alternatives I've dug up for you, that look better than those Target and H&M shiny plastic "leather" finds. Observe:
My favorite would be this "Super Bad Bomber Jacket," pictured here, in black by OBEY. It's a bomber style jacket in PU leather—which is a synthetic leather made from polyurethane. This piece has what most faux leather jackets usually lack: heavy rib cuffs and neck, detailed pockets, hems and, most important, a non-plasticy feel or sheen to it. There's even a polar fleece lining to keep you as warm as a real leather jacket would. The bomber jacket style is a cut that seems to be perpetually hip, so you'll be able to wear it for years. And it's totally affordable at $80.
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Our second jacket is the motorcycle jacket, which definitely has a more trendy cut, and has been favorited by many of the young and rich of Hollywood and beyond, like Kelly Osbourne, Kate Moss and again, Agyness Deyn. The cropped motorcycle jacket look has popped in places like Topshop and the Gap, but I've never seen one as affordable as the piece available at BonaDrag.com for $75. It's a vintage-style cropped jacket with 3/4 length sleeves and plenty of zippers. Wear it over something frilly and femme or play up the motorcycle theme with graphic Tees and jeans.