Universal Standard Leather Moto Jacket Review

Alison in a black leather moto jacket, black and cream striped tee, gray jeans and white sneakers walking a small brown and white dog

Since I was in 8th grade I have been on the hunt for the perfect leather moto jacket.  Soft buttery leather, something that works with not against my shape, not too cropped but not too long, a style that can zip up when it's cold but also looks great as a topper over lightweight dresses.  I think I may have found it; below is my Universal Standard leather moto jacket review.  Thank you to Oscar for being my date for this photoshoot; isn't he the best accessory? 

Alison in a black leather moto jacket, black and cream striped tee, gray jeans and white sneakers walking a small brown and white dog

jacket | shirt | jeans | sneakers | necklace | sunglasses | bag

In 9th grade, I found a pretty fantastic leather moto jacket at Express of all places.  It was on clearance but I still had to pay my mom back in installments.  I wore the heck out of that jacket all through high school and still have it in my closet.  It's funny, back then I found it so timeless but now I put it on and see the shoulder pads and dolman sleeves it looks like the epitome of the late '80s/early '90s.  I keep trying it on, hoping the dated details will fall in line with the “what's old is new again” fashion cycle.  It never works; it likely won't be worn again unless I attend a costume party.

Woman walking away from the camera in a black leather jacket and gray jeans while walking a dog

Jacket: Leeron Moto Jacket c/o Universal Standard (XS) | Top: J. Crew (old; similar) | Jeans: Authentic Stretch High Rise Skinny Button Fly c/o Everlane (32 Ankle) | Shoes: Adidas | Necklace: Modern Monogram Pendant c/o Jenny Bird | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bag: ALLSAINTS (rented through Rent the Runway Unlimited-use code RTRDC22F051 for $100 off new subscribers’ 60-Day Trial of Unlimited ($50 off each month).

Alison in a black leather moto jacket, black and cream striped tee, gray jeans and white sneakers walking a small brown and white dog

Last year I found a petite moto jacket from Topshop and it was pretty great.  I should say is pretty great; it's still in my wardrobe.  However, it's from Topshop so one can't be surprised by the heavy lower-quality leather.  It is also insulated, so while it's a cute jacket to wear on a crisp fall day, it's not one that can be made part of an outfit and worn indoors.  Also, the sleeves are a tad snug; no way I can wear it over a sweater.  

I wanted classic moto styling, no weird “feminine” updates that make the piece look dated more quickly or cheap.  I didn't want detail overkill – sure there will be zippers and snaps, but I didn't want studs or superfluous hardware.  And I'd love to have a jacket that is so soft I can push up the sleeves; even if they're the right length for my petite frame, I still love the look of a jacket with the sleeves pushed up, with or without the under layer showing at the hem.  So when I saw the Universal Standard “Leeron” leather moto jacket I got super excited.  Universal Standard was kind enough to send me one.

Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen in a Universal Standard leather moto jacket, Everlane jeans, and an ALLSAINTS snakeskin print purse

And dude, this jacket is nice.  Like niiiiiiice.  It's super soft buttery leather, not too shiny, clearly looks luxe.  The hardware instead of being silver is black which makes it look a bit more elegant and easy to wear with any metal of jewelry.  What I love is the Universal Standard leather moto jacket is a true moto jacket – it has a proper belt at the bottom.  It has two zipper pockets and a small pocket with a snap flap that is just the size for your lipstick or something of similar size. The collar snaps down, no wonky collars popping up yet you can still zip it up against the cold.

Alison in a black leather moto jacket, black and cream striped tee, gray jeans and white sneakers walking a small brown and white dog

I have a large bust and many jackets tent out from my bustline.  This one is soft enough that is has a bit of drape.  The sleeves are long for me, but the leather is so soft I can push up the sleeves and still be comfortable (tip: push up the sleeves with them slightly unzipped, then zip them closed when they are at the right location.  This will help them stay up).   The jacket is lined in a soft polyester knit; this jacket is NOT insulated and best for fashion or days above 50 degrees.  However, I can fit a sweater under this coat which makes it more practical than my heavier moto jacket from Topshop.  I'd say the only thing that makes this jacket not perfect is the sleeve length.  

Alison in a black leather moto jacket, black and cream striped tee, gray jeans and white sneakers walking a small brown and white dog

As for the rest of the look, this is a pretty standard out and about look for me.  The striped top is a cotton sweater I got from J. Crew eons ago. When I wore this sweater last time, reader Lee found this sweater from LOFT which is similar; I've also linked to it above.  I find striped tees to be so useful in a wardrobe.  Imagine if I wore this same look with a solid tee, it wouldn't look as cohesive and like an ensemble.  Stripes look great with plaid, leopard, dots, and florals.  And those old rules about horizontal stripes making you look larger need to be broken; your body is the same size and shape no matter what you wear so choose clothes that are fun and make you feel great.  I have a large bust and own several striped tops and love them!  Anyway, I searched the ‘net for some great striped shirts and share my picks below:

Shop My Picks for Striped Shirts:

The jeans are from Everlane; I initially reviewed them here and have worn them here and here as well.  They are by far my favorite jeans for style, fit, and how they keep their shape all day.  When I got them they only came in this color (Washed Black) but now come in blue.  If button fly isn't your jam, Everlane has this same denim (the Authentic Stretch) in a zip-fly and it comes in a variety of colors and washes.  Everlane has some denim up to a 35″ waist; while the button fly only goes up to 33 (for reference I am wearing a 32 and I usually wear 12/14 in jeans), the zip fly goes up to 35.

Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen in a Universal Standard leather moto jacket, Everlane jeans, and an ALLSAINTS snakeskin print purse

And the bag is why I currently like my Rent the Runway Unlimited membership.  RTR has struggled the past few weeks – they shut down completely and had to do some work on their infrastructure.  I wasn't surprised, the last few weeks orders were delayed and selection was minimal.  I got word this week that Rent the Runway is back and running… but I'm cautious.  I rented this bag two months ago and am glad I didn't send it back yet.  I've been using this bag almost every day – it's a great way to rock the skin print trend this season, is a really great size, and the colors seem to go with everything.  I may end up buying it from Rent the Runway since through them I can get it at a discount.  I did place an order this week to replace the items I sent back before the fiasco, we'll see if they come quickly and how everything is working.  From my end, the site looks exactly the same.  I hope they have beefed things up to again provide a great product and experience.  By the way, if you want to try Rent the Runway Unlimited, us$100 off new subscribers’ 60-Day Trial of Unlimited ($50 off each month) using code RTRDC22F051.

Shop the Look:

24 Comments

  1. Lee
    October 10, 2019 / 4:22 pm

    Hi Allie–how cool to see my name pop up in your post! That loft short sleeve sweater is a good one. And, thanks to your post today, it’s making me realize that I need to play around with it to use it as the weather cools off some. Always nice to find ways to wear our clothes longer! Oh, that Oscar, he’s a cutie!

    • October 13, 2019 / 6:31 pm

      Thank you again for the suggestion!

  2. October 9, 2019 / 10:36 pm

    It looks FANTASTIC on you! You’re really rocking it! It’s too bad about the sleeves – they look long even on the website model…

    • October 13, 2019 / 6:31 pm

      They are long, I think it’s a missed opportunity. I wonder if they’ll replace it with a new version like they have in the past with other items they carry.

  3. Jax
    October 9, 2019 / 1:05 pm

    I can’t say I don’t relate to this post, haha! I feel like I’ve been looking for the perfect classic black moto leather jacket for my whole life too. I flirted with a leather version of a jean jacket (back in the early 90s and I think it was from Express too!) during and after college but could never find a good jacket that fit my body. I think I have a similar shape and size to you — I’m 5′ 1″ and am busty too. I also have bigger upper arms and muscular calves.
    I got all obsessed (my husband can attest to how many jackets were purchased, tried and then returned) about 5 years ago again. You should see my Pinterest board for leather jackets! I ended up getting what I think is the perfect jacket, but it’s sadly too warm for the Bay Area. 🙁 It only cost me $100 (it was on sale) but it’s thick but good leather and it’s quilted inside. On the rare occasion that it’s windy and cold here, there’s nothing like this jacket to cut out chill and damp. I’ve even worn it to our typically cold Giants baseball games (people bring blankets and fleece to those). If I could only get a thinner, non-quilted version of this jacket, same style and fit otherwise, I’d be set.
    As it is, I flirted with the Madewell washed leather jacket. I really love the thinness and the style, but it’s just too short for me. I like that sort of rumpled, soft style. I have a longer torso and I hate exposing my weak spot — my tummy. This, I think also rules out the Universal Standard jacket for me. I just prefer it to be just a bit longer — preferably at my mid-hip. I do love the black hardware on the US jacket.
    I ended up getting at separate times one black jacket from Lucky Brand and one rust red version (the kind that was really in a couple years ago because of Meghan Markle). I like both of then and they were on good sales — the leather quality is good, soft, not too thick. I like the styling of the rust red just a bit more, but the color is not as versatile — it’s actually quite difficult to pair that color with different color combinations and you have to be super careful with the shoe color too! I just don’t love either like I love my thicker Volcom one or the way the Madewell looks, even though they fit me the best so far.

    I did find a perfect, minimal and modern jacket from Zara 5 years ago, but it was just a bit too tight across the chest when zipped up. Had to return it with much regret. Zara’s sizing often runs a tad too small, esp, for outerwear.
    I have looked at more expensive leather jacket brands like All Saints, Maje, Doma, etc. — the kind that Jeanne Damas or Sofia Coppola would rock, but they usually are not made for body types like mine. I still perk up when I see a really good jacket on tv — for example, Aya Cash’s on You’re the Worst.

    But long story short, very happy for you on the US jacket. Perhaps, at some point, you may find a good, reputable leather tailor who could help you shorten the sleeves and make it 100% perfect for you! Sorry for the epic size comment, but this just hit some buttons for me :D.

    • October 13, 2019 / 6:32 pm

      Oh no, I can totally feel you. I went through a stage I think three years ago where I was on a MISSION. I bought three jackets on Poshmark… and sold all three again. I ordered several from Nordstrom… I thought I got it last year with Topshop but it was still wrong. It’s such a great item to have in a wardrobe but it’s so hard to find!

  4. Barbara
    October 9, 2019 / 10:48 am

    Any suggestions on a leather (or faux leather) jacket for taller women. I don’t feel moto jackets work on me. I tend to wear longer tops and need something that covers them and is more flattering on a tall, pear shape. I’m still wearing one I bought when my 29 year old was in a stroller!!!

    • October 9, 2019 / 12:13 pm

      I recently heard about The Jacket Maker https://www.thejacketmaker.com/ I need to get back to them, they offered to have me try their service and I think this is a genius way to get a jacket that fits us perfectly!

      I have had success with ASOS’ faux leather, they have a Tall moto jacket: http://bit.ly/2IBouwx they also have this real leather tall moto jacket: http://bit.ly/2OtZRWy ASOS has free shipping and returns.

      • Kate
        October 10, 2019 / 12:55 am

        I took a leap of faith and had a leather jacket made to measure this year, complete with hardware and accessories just the way I like it and designed to flatter my body size and shape perfectly. It was no more expensive than this Universal Standatd jacket and will last me forever – and better yet has been designed with appropriate seam allowances to be easily altered as and when my shape fluctuates. Best thing I ever did.

  5. Kelly Hesby
    October 9, 2019 / 9:53 am

    I adore you, however Oscar was really on his game in this photo shoot-kinda stole the show. Loved the jacket on you. Thanks for the honest reviews and East Coast take on the world..interesting for this Pacific Northwester.

    • October 9, 2019 / 10:18 am

      I totally used him to make this shoot more engaging! The camera loves him! Now that the temps are dropping, expect to see many Oscar in Outfit cameos! He has a nice collection of sweaters and fleeces, even a puffer vest!

  6. Beth
    October 9, 2019 / 9:34 am

    What about the sleeves. It doesn’t come in petite, right? The sleeves have zippers, so they can’t be shortened easily.

    Can you show a picture with the sleeves down or let us know how they fit?

    Thanks.

    I love your reviews – I wish you would do some madewell Jean reviews too ;)!

    • October 9, 2019 / 9:38 am

      The sleeves are so long they cover my fingers, I’ll share some more on Instagram Stories and in future posts. This won’t be the last time you see this. And yes, they do have zippers so if you want to shorten the sleeves you would have to do it from the shoulders.

      I LOVE the idea of Madewell… but it’s just not shaped for my body. I had a pair of Madewell jeans in this review: https://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/my-latest-trunk-club-review/ I keep trying, but they just aren’t shaped like my body 🙁

      • Jax
        October 9, 2019 / 1:10 pm

        I know I’ve commented before on the Madewell jeans. This is another example… even though I think we have somewhat similar body shapes and sizes, our opinions and feelings on jeans totally diverge. I adore my Madewell Lunar Wash ankle skinnies and feel like they do all that you didn’t feel on the pair you tried — they hold me in in a comfortable way. I feel like a winner when I wear them, they’re super flattering.
        However, I tried a pair of Everlane 32 ankles in that faded/washed black I like and while I liked the durable thickness and the stretch, I didn’t like the camel toe thing it was doing in the front. I almost kept them, because everything else worked and I could see them being a good pair of winter jeans. But I’m trying not to keep things unless they work for me 100%.
        Anyway, just an example of how personal fashion is and what might work for one person doesn’t for the other, even if they seem to be similar sizes.

  7. Krista
    October 9, 2019 / 9:22 am

    You’re making it very, very hard for me to not buy this jacket. Especially since it’s not insulated. Florida can be cool in the peak winter months. While I’ll never need a true “winter coat”, I often can (and do) wear a jacket over a t-shirt or thin sweater. And when I travel, well, my packable down jacket is hardly a fashion statement.

    I mean we do have a motorcycle. I could also wear it when we ride.

    • October 9, 2019 / 9:39 am

      I hate to do this to you Krista, but it is pretty fantastic. Like I just enjoy petting it. I don’t have it in my closet, I have it on the endcap of a rolling rack in my office so I can admire it from my computer. 🙂

      • Krista
        October 9, 2019 / 9:45 am

        You’re killing me, Smalls.

  8. JEM
    October 9, 2019 / 8:30 am

    I want to see that 80’s leather jacket from 9th grade!

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