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Move over little black dress. If there's one wardrobe basic every woman over 50 wants now it's a little black leather jacket. Slip it off the hanger, onto your shoulders and you're Joan Jett, Deborah Harry, Foxy Brown and Sandy in Grease all rolled into one. In other words: a little tougher on the inside a lot cooler on the outside. Whether you're classic, edgy or just a little bit trendy there's a leather jacket that's right for your body, style and budget. Here's what to look for, with some major celebrity inspiration:
1. Find a black leather jacket that is you
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Biker-inspired black leather styles lead the pack but there are other options and hybrids that tweak the format. For example, some biker jackets are beltless and have no sleeve zippers. Here are your best bets (as shown above):
- A biker (a motorcycle jacket) is waist length, belted, with a diagonal zipper and a flared collar.
- A moto (a racer) is sleeker, more fitted, with a straight front zipper and a banded collar.
- A bomber (a flight jacket) zips up the front but has ribbed trim at the waistband and wrists and a softer, slightly blouson fit.
- A blazer is sharply tailored but in leather, shaped at the waist and hip to below-the-hip length.
- A belted blazer is a long wrap that defines the waist but covers the hips.
2. Real or faux?
This is a matter of conscience, price and practicality. If a leather jacket is on your wish list but the cost or guilt over cows and lambs deters you, try far more affordable faux. Of course, ethics aside, you might score a vintage leather jacket online, but fake leather (sometimes called “vegan") is now so authentic in feel and look you'll have to read the price tag and label twice. Faux leather — a synthetic fabric that is usually a blend of polyurethane and rayon or viscose — is animal and wallet-friendly and, unlike real leather, many are water-repellent.
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