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“A black leather jacket is not a personality,” a naysayer might tell you—and yet it’s still one of the only garments that has ever come close. And if there’s anywhere where that is more often the case than not, it’s New York City.
Just ask the leather-clad celebrities who have been living the dream there this week: Daniel Radcliffe wore a sleek Prada bomber jacket with ribbed knit cuffs—lending it just a kiss of indie sleaze—to the premiere of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story in New York City, elevating his otherwise very simple outfit of a black T-shirt and black jeans into a perfectly appropriate evening-ish look. Winston Duke went a bit more high-octane for a recent NYC screening of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in a heavy-duty John Varvatos trench that’s technically a deep shade of navy called “cadet blue”…but the black turtleneck and round wire-frame shades still very much ground it in this theme. And then there’s Katie Holmes, an incredible dresser, whose Khaite calfskin shirt-trousers set makes the case for investing in not only a sturdy leather button-down but also maybe a matching pair of pants. All are outfits that become outfits thanks to a single very cool coat.
A black leather jacket is always going to make a bit of a statement—but don’t let that daunt you. Just remember, now that we’re deep in the cut of shoulder season, when temperatures are cooling down, your social calendar is piling up and you need something to wear to that thing. So, sure, even if a black leather jacket isn’t exactly a personality, it can undoubtedly make an outfit. Here’s your sign.