How to Style a Moto Jacket

By Taylor Jarrett
how to style a black leather moto jacket

ed. note: Next up in our new Pulling It Off series? Stylist Taylor Jarrett shows me that I really can wear a leather moto jacket — I’ve always been a little afraid of their tough girl vibe! Click through for Taylor’s tips on making it your chicest piece this fall…

The moto jacket: timeless, chic, edgy. This is a staple piece that will elevate a wardrobe in the most effortless and versatile way. Fresh out of bed? Pair it with ripped jeans and a neutral crop top for your coffee shop run. Business meeting? Dress it up with a silk skirt or a pair of wide leg trousers, tuck in a mock neck, and throw on your moto over the top. And every stylist knows that draping one over your shoulders is guaranteed to bring vibes so cool that even your jacket will have trouble keeping you warm. (insert hair flip emoji)

*photos by kristen kilpatrick, shot on location at mañana at south congress hotel in austin


This look is chic, versatile and sexy; and can be easily dressed up or down. Ripped jeans are a little more sophisticated in black and are perfect for a morning spent grabbing coffee and running errands. Pull on a pair of power trousers to crush an afternoon meeting. My vision when putting together this outfit was to show off every woman’s edgier side: she can be rock ‘n roll and beautiful all at once!

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Tip #1: Start with the essentials

A black moto jacket is the perfect piece to kickoff your fall shopping, since you can build so many different looks around this one fab item. It’s easy to pair with anything and will always be in style. Consider investing in a  high-quality black moto, since it will definitely stay in your wardrobe for many years to come!

Tip #2: Try it in COLOR!

A black moto is classic — it’s an essential — but why not take it a step farther by shaking things up this fall? Try a new take with an airy blue or intense red dyed version of the classic. Zara or Topshop are great sources for these fun colors!

Tip #3: Make it personal

Adding buttons, chain stitching and patches are all easy and affordable ways to introduce a personal touch to your moto jacket. Try stopping into your favorite vintage shop or army surplus to pick through their collection of vintage patches.

Tip #4: Get the fit right the first time

Buying a quality leather moto can be expensive, and I stand by the fact that it’s a worthy investment. But this means that you probably won’t want to make any further investments in tailoring to get it to hang properly. How to nail the fit that works best for your body type? Spend time shopping different styles from a variety of retailers to get a sense of the differences in their cut. Spend a Saturday afternoon trying on jackets in a physical store and checking them out in a full-length mirror. Take a pair of jeans and a skirt or a dress to pair with potential jackets, and have fun finding your perfect match!

Tip #5: Get creative with outfit pairings

Jeans, leggings, skirts, trousers: the options for bottoms that pair perfectly with a moto jacket are actually quite unlimited! Elevate any outfit, whether you’re on your way to a spin class or a date, by throwing on your moto and banking on its undeniable cool factor.

Tip #6: Embrace the vibe!

Whether you cashed in your paycheck on the Saint Laurent version, or you made a major score on the sales rack at Zara, you can take your look from zero to one hundred with a few edgy accessories. Complement your moto jacket with a cool vintage western belt or try this updated version by Rachel Comey.