While leather jackets are often associated with a more fresh, edgy style, trench coats are known to be the all-time classic, traditional English coat, and although they look absolutely different at first glance, leather jackets and trench coats share more in common than just being two essentials in every closet.
Whether you are looking to find the best fit for you out there or trying to learn more about these iconic pieces, we researched every detail to help you decide which one fits the occasion, your style, and personality the most.
Surprisingly, both jacket styles appeared and became popular during the World Wars. Leather jackets offered a sturdy, practical option that could easily adapt to different weather changes as well. The first brown leather bomber jackets were worn by German fighter pilots and became part of their official uniform during the Second World War. These leather jackets were made from sheepskin or lambskin, which was durable enough to protect the pilots and soldiers from extreme weather conditions.
On the other hand, English and French officers created trench coats for private purchase during the First and Second World Wars. Because of their sturdy and waterproof, yet light, material, it was the perfect coat for officers. Later, the length of the coats changed and got a bit shorter, and became more popular in other countries as well, such as Belgium, the Netherlands, and Greece.
After the World Wars, both of them became popular for different reasons: While the first leather biker jackets were created and opened a new, edgy and fashion-forward way to leather jackets, trench coats were known as the luxurious, high-end choice.
Throughout the decades, the style differences of the two coats have become more and more noticeable. Leather jackets started evolving in the world of movies, campaigns, and rock bands, which gave the classic leather jacket the ultimate “cool” vibe. Besides bombers, biker and oversize leather jackets appeared as well, and, nowadays, there are endless design options from studded and colorful leather jackets to seamless and embroidered pieces. No matter which design you choose, you can be sure to make an edgy, modern first impression with a high-quality leather jacket.
Going in an opposite direction, trench coats kept their luxurious reputation. Just like trench coats couldn’t have been worn by any other soldiers (only officers) during the World Wars, they were still a symbol of wealth in the following years. With their length, sturdy material, and masculine style (whether it is a double-breasted, belted or oversize trench coat), they have a vintage, formal flair to them.
Although they are very different in style, leather jackets and trench coats share their most important quality: They are both timeless, classic designs that shouldn’t be missing from any wardrobe.
The Price Range & Brands
For two classics like leather jackets and trench coats, it is understandable how the price range can be quite high. Because of their popularity, there are endless brands carrying both styles, ranging from as low as $25 all the way up to over $5,000. While the high street brands and prices offer short-term options that can be worn for one or two seasons, investing more money in either of these two styles will result in a coat that you can wear for decades. For well-known and trusted leather jackets brands, we have to mention Brunello Cucinelli and Yves Saint Laurent, where vintage biker jackets can cost anywhere from $3,000 up to $6,000. If you are looking for a middle price range, check out Schott NYC, a brand known for their vintage leather jackets, around the prices of $300–$600.
For trench coats, the obvious and most famous choice is definitely Burberry, where you can choose from various colors, lengths, and styles (such as studded, leather insert, or lace detail trench coats), with prices around $1,000–$1,800. Other brands, such as Marni Vêtements also carry amazing trench coats in the same price range.
Overall, leather jackets and trench coats both offer a special type of versatility. With leather jackets, you can easily give a cool edge to any outfit, whether you are looking for something to match your sweater and jeans combination or would like to switch your suit blazer to something more interesting. With trench coats, you will instantly have a more traditional, elegant style that you can match both with casual outfits and formal looks. Because of their simplicity, no matter which design you choose you can always make it adapt to your personal style with little details and accessories.