Over the years, I’ve owned three leather jackets—one a roomy black car coat; another a beyond-tight red blazer; the third a black motorcycle jacket I bought from a church rummage sale. These jackets remarkably tracked not only some of my fashion phases, but more tellingly, my internal states—the car coat coincided with my freshman and sophomore years of college as I attempted to channel an urban sophistication counter to my country upbringing; the blazer was a senior year of college impulse purchase after I dyed my hair a fiery red and nervously contemplated the great unknown beyond dorm walls; and the motorcycle jacket followed a rough-break up, and a phase of wearing scuffed Converse sneakers, black eyeliner, and punk-rock-blasting headphones. Leather, after all, is tough—literally a second skin—and a thicker one at that.
All these coats have since moved on to other owners—as none of them fit my elongated body or tastes particularly well—and all three only fit my meager budget (all being under $75). This year, with some of my birthday spoils—I invested in a new leather jacket—one that fits me now—and should age with me gracefully. By one of my favorite “this-surprisingly-fits-off-the-rack” designers Elie Tahari, my new leather jacket is buttery-soft and cashew-colored with minimal detailing save for a flattering peplum ruffle. And better yet, the sleeves are long enough at 27”! Since I’ve always recommended a leather jacket as a versatile, year-round staple to my clients, I’ve compiled some of my favorite styles and styling recommendations for talls below—complete with a vegetarian, ethical faux-leather option.
Long Tall Sally Zip Leather Biker Jacket, $239.00: This taupe leather jacket is edgy without being trendy, and would unquestionably offer long-enough sleeves and torso fit. Since biker/motorcycle jackets are on the more ‘utilitarian’- side, try pairing one with a feminine floral dress; ruffled top and close-fitting jeans; or sequins. That’s right, sequins—leather provides a surprising-yet-spot-on juxtaposition for a dose of glitz.
Elie Tahari ‘Ingrid’ Ruffle Jacket, $298.00: Though Tahari doesn’t deal specifically in tall clothing, his cuts frequently boast longer sleeves and torsos—and he’s an expert in achieving streamlined femininity in his separates. This jacket is one part angular silhouette; one part girly charm—and it would go splendidly with a jewel-toned bandage dress or a black dress pant, fitted oxford, and strappy heels.
Tall Girl Faux-Leather Jacket, $79.95: As a vegetarian option, try this re-imagined cargo jacket in a remarkably leather-like faux leather. In universally-flattering black, this jacket is quintessentially boheme-cool, and would be stunning with a tucked-in slouchy tee, denim pencil skirt, and ankle boots OR worn nonchalantly over a simple cotton tank and silky, printed shorts with flat sandals.
Happy shopping tall lovelies, and email me with any questions as to how to style a leather jacket or blazer!