7 Timeless 1950s Leather Jacket Outfit Looks & Style Ideas

The 50s were a stylish era of neat little suits and swinging skirts. Many of the jackets were cropped, and in the winter, many women wore fur coats. Leather jackets were one of the features of the 1950s and came in various shapes, all of them timeless and stylish.

The 1950s are making a comeback, especially the retro coats and jackets in different fabrics, all classical and inspirational. Most of the 50s jackets were short, and if not part of a suit, were designed for casual wear.

At this time, it became fashionable for women to wear pants, and the jackets were paired with them.

1950s Leather Jackets

In the 1950s women had smaller waists, and a lot of women were size 6, whereas now we are size 12 or 14. When you try on Grandma's wedding dress, you realize how much things have changed.

The bolero was also a fashionable look and doesn't seem to have made a return for a while.

However, once winter came a dressy leather jacket with a belt was favored by many men and women. The leather jacket trend has changed a lot.

1. Cropped Belted Leather Jacket

1950s Cropped Belted Leather Jacket

The cropped leather jacket with a belt was the perfect design to go with the new slightly wide-legged pants. Ladies wearing pants was a new concept that came into fashion following the war, some people loved it, while many men hated it. I guess no one knew it was here to stay.

2. The Sleek Streamlined Leather Jacket

The Sleek Streamlined Leather Jacket

The sleek leather longer lined jacket was made to go over a long skirt for the office. The 50s was also the first era of the wife who worked full time. Prior to the 1950s, when a woman got married, she gave up work and stayed at home usually with the children arriving in a timely manner.

So the new leather jackets were designed to keep out the cold when traveling to and from the office.

3. The Bomber Jacket

The Bomber Jacket

Were designed for the war, and originally worn by the fighter pilots. However, designers liked the look, and in the 50s they were reinvented for women to wear, some were heavily padded and designed for winter in a cold climate, many with fleece lining them.

Others were lighter with no lining. At this time leather was recognized leather bomber jacket as a natural product that could be worn all year round.

4. The Biker Leather Jacket

Many women needed transport to get to work, and after seeing Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, the Vespa became popular as a means of transport. Of course, this required a leather jacket to protect the women from cold and rain.

The zip-up leather biker jacket for women was designed and made, with matching leather gloves, allowing women to drive themselves to work, and then hang up the jacket in the cloakroom until it was time to go home. In the 50s, the traffic was manageable in all the major cities of the USA.

5. Men's Leather Jackets

Leather jackets had always been popular for men and during the 50 some new cutting edge designs arrived on the scene. James Dean starring in Rebel Without a Cause in 1955 is released from juvenile detention and attends the local high school wearing a very smart short leather jacket with lapels.

Natalie Wood starred opposite him wearing full-skirted 50s dresses. Both these fashion trends gripped the world, and all young men wanted a James Dean leather jacket. Many then realized that a leather jacket could be used to shape a character, and give the star the right 'cool' effect to carry off the role.

6. The Flight Jacket

The Flight Jacket

The Fonze in Happy Days, played by Henry Winkler in the late 1950s early 1960s era always wore his leather jacket, and it sometimes had a fleece collar.

Fonzie's leather jacket is now housed in a museum in the USA. If you want to see it, go to the Smithsonian Institute or look on the website.

At the time it was a classic look, and many young men chose to adopt it, and leather jacket sales skyrocketed, even though the TV series wasn't released until later, the 50s jacket remained popular with men.

7. The Authentic Leather Moto Jacket

The Authentic Leather Moto Jacket

This jacket originated in the 1950s and has a flattering form-fitting cut. They were originally designed for bike riding, and are sometimes quilted for additional warmth. This jacket is similar in style for men and women and makes the perfect addition to the winter wardrobe of the wearer.

If you are planning a weekend away on the back or front of a Harley Davidson, you are going to want the quilted or padded version to stop the wind from going through you. Ralph Lauren makes an affordable version of the Moto Jacket that you will want to check out before you buy.

With a plain flattering style of Moto jacket. you can wear it all weekend where ever you go as it looks extremely smart and is comfortable.

The 1950s Lifestyle Jacket

The 1950s Lifestyle Jacket

During the 1950s the world was changing fast, especially for women, a whole new exciting life was opening up. This meant many new and different fashion trends.

Leather Jackets have fortunately never gone away, and are always reinvented for a new generation of men and women who find them equally exciting.

The era before the 5os mostly had to make their own clothes, otherwise, new fashion trends were not available to them without the cost of retaining a dressmaker.


The 50s was also an era of fabulous movies where many of us gained fashion knowledge and started to plan our own looks.

Watching on the small screen is never quite the same. So when planning our next leather jacket we should look to the 1950s for inspiration, as that is where we will find it. Check PalaLeather's classic leather jacket collection for men and women.

Whether we want an outdoor jacket or an indoor jacket, it started in the 50s, so go to the library and check out some old editions of vogue where you may well find the perfect 1950s leather jacket.