Here’s a question we haven’t discussed in far too long: When can you wear leather jackets to work? I’ve been thinking about this since Fortune had a big article about how women CEOs are often adding leather jackets for speaking engagements (or congressional testimony!) to add a bit of a youthful edge — but how does it translate if you’re on the younger/less established side of things?
I’m curious to hear what you guys think here, and what you think the boundaries are. Is a drapey leather jacket in a pastel color different than a moto jacket in a shiny black? If the leather has a worn look to it, does that push it to the more casual end of the spectrum?
I don’t think we’ve ever talked about leather jackets specifically, although we discussed leather skirts and the office a loooong time ago…
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Some specific leather jackets to consider for the discussion, including a reader favorite (the pink one, now down to $38 in some colors!):
For my $.02, I would advise anyone starting a new job to wait at least 2–3 weeks to get a sense of the office culture before you wear a leather jacket to work — and even then I’d probably only wear it after I saw another midlevel/junior person do so. (As readers have pointed out in the past, that’s the best gauge for how to determine what to wear to work — not by looking at the CEO/senior partner/other senior VIP.)
That said, I think it can be a fabulous look for a lot of workwear staples — adding a leather jacket adds polish and personality to a sheath dress, trousers, or (know your office!) jumpsuits.
Readers, how about you — what is your office like (conservative, business casual, very casual), and would you wear leather jackets to work the way you would a blazer or sweater? Do you think “any leather jacket goes,” or are there style boundaries you adhere to? When can you wear a leather jacket to work?
Photo via Deposit Photos / xcai.