Look, we love leather just as much as the next person. From Apple Watch bands to tote bags, leather exudes both class and elegance.
The problem is that leather might not be your favorite material choice—especially regarding sustainability and environmental impact.
So, how can you rock the leather look without actually wearing real leather?
Good news: Vegan leather is here to save the day!
One of our favorite looks involves the classic vegan leather jacket. But before we dive into some iconic outfits you can create, let’s talk about vegan leather jackets and the history behind some of the materials.
What is a Vegan Leather Jacket?
Vegan leather jackets are, as the name suggests, an alternative to traditional leather jackets. The vegan leather itself is often made from polyurethane but may also come from many different sustainable sources, including pineapple leaves, recycled plastic, or apple peels—like this Considered Apple Peel Leather Band for Apple Watch from Anne Klein.
The history of vegan leather dates back to late 19th century Germany through the two World Wars, when traditional leather was in short supply. Instead, German manufacturers began developing alternatives—the first made from a layered and treated paper pulp known as “Prestoff”. The material was used in anything from luxury vegan handbags to belts.
Moving into the 20th century, products made from Prestoff showed durability issues. To resolve this problem, the U.S. Rubber Company developed the first synthetic leather that broke into the mainstream: Naugahyde.
Fast forward to today, and you might ask yourself: “Are synthetic and vegan leathers the same thing?”
The actual term “vegan leather” is a relatively new phrase, gaining popularity at the turn of the decade in 2010. Designers began embracing synthetic leathers as an alternative to animal products, and the materials they used were then called “vegan leather”.
Vegan leather also goes by other names, including PU leather, pleather, and leatherette.
In 2022, vegan leather is accepted as any material that mimics the look and feel of real leather without animal products.
Vegan Leather vs. Real Leather
So, how does vegan leather truly stack up against its traditional alternative?
Let’s start with durability. Though traditional leather is often viewed as a highly durable material, vegan leather can compete as a true alternative. Initially, materials used to create vegan leather ran into durability issues. However, since then, manufacturers have found ways to create truly long-lasting pieces that stand up against the test of time—especially when they’re cared for!
Regarding styling, with the right vegan leather products, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference. Don’t worry about the look—you can get amazing vegan leather products that mimic traditional leather, giving you an edgy look you’ve always wanted without the added environmental impact.
Lastly, sustainability is the most important benefit of vegan leather over real leather. Some believe that real leather is sustainable, but this is not true. In fact, leather is linked to serious sustainability issues stemming from deforestation, gas emissions, and water and land overuse. It also has a high contribution to global warming and pollution.
Styling Vegan Leather Jackets: Our Favorite Outfits
Now that we’ve got the lowdown on vegan leather and its numerous benefits, let’s dive into some looks!
The good news is that women’s vegan leather jackets can contribute to many timeless looks. Depending on what else you have in your wardrobe, you can use the same vegan leather jacket to create several different outfits for any occasion.
Below, we’ve put together three of our favorites to help you get started.
Who doesn’t love a 70’s vibe outfit?!
We certainly do, and it appears that most of the world agrees with us—retro fashion is back, and 70’s styles are again at the forefront of modern fashion.
For those who want to hop on that train, we’ve got an amazing look featuring one of our favorite vegan leather jackets: The Vegan Leather Jacket With Patch Pockets.
To truly embody the 70’s vibe, you’ll want to layer the jacket on top of your favorite plain white turtleneck. Then, for the ultimate throwback bottoms—a pair of bell-bottom jeans.
For this outfit, we recommend a vegan leather belt to help create a defined waist, and a pair of Metal Square Frame Glasses. Last but not least, the boots. The Andie Boot should do the trick, and it will work with a pair of skinny jeans if you aren’t feeling the bells.
This is the kind of outfit you’ll never want to take off and will have you standing out from the crowd.
If a moto jacket is more your thing, we’ve got a great vegan leather moto jacket look. This moto moxie look is about creating an edgier outfit that will turn heads.
Let’s start with the Collarless Vegan Leather Quilted Jacket—it’s a timeless classic that can be layered over just about anything in your wardrobe. We’ve also got a petite version available if necessary.
For this outfit, we’re going with another turtleneck—they’re just so versatile! This time, we’ve got The Seamless Turtleneck, with a sharp snake print to add some flair to your look.
Next, we’ll go with the Slim Leg Compression Pant. The all-black top and bottom help create an edgier look.
How about accessories? You can’t have a vegan leather moto jacket without some kind of chain-style bracelet or watch band. We love this Chain Link Bracelet Band With Premium Crystals for Apple Watch users. The gunmetal color pairs perfectly with the monochromatic black look.
No need to stray away from black for the boots—we’ve got the Kierra Bootie as our final piece to complete the outfit. It features a small 2-inch heel to add extra height and chain link detailing to match your watch band.