Yes, I choose to wear fake-leather jackets. No, I’m not a vegan. OK, now that that’s out of the way, I’m going to make a case for the faux-leather (or pleather, if you will) jacket.
When it comes to shopping, I usually ask myself two question: Do I love it? Will it make me broke? If the answers are, respectively, yes and no, then I’ll happily Add to Cart. These qualifiers were even more dominant back in 2004, when, at the age of 14, I landed my first job and first started shopping for myself. At the time, it was extremely rare that I’d ever spend my hard-earned income on clothes over $100, and a leather jacket—despite being hailed by every editor as the item worth investing in—rarely clocks in under that budget.
Even though I’m now 25 and have a little more disposal income at the ready, I’ve already spent over a decade browsing the racks of fast-fashion stores and searching online retailers for next-level faux-leather toppers, and I have absolutely no desire to change. Here’s why: Not only is the pretend version a fraction of the price, but in many instances, it’s absolutely impossible to tell the difference. I can tell you right now that I’ve received countless compliments on an $80 faux-leather jacket from Nasty Gal (similar here) and a heavy PU version from Topshop (similar here)—more than I’ve ever had from some of the more expensive cover-ups in my wardrobe.
Sure, they don’t last for all of eternity like leather lovers claim their jackets will, but when have I ever bought something and loved it for more than a few seasons? Never, that’s when. So it really doesn’t make sense to commit $500 for luxury fashion when you’re not even sure whether you’ll like bomber jackets, the color black, or hell, any kind of jackets, in the following months.
I’m going to close with a story that really highlights my commitment to fake leather. Recently, a beautiful, butter-soft, (real) leather jacket landed on my desk as a gift from a new fashion label. After barely a minute’s notice, I thanked the PR, bundled up the gift, and sent it straight to my sister in London because I knew she would appreciate it more. Yep, I’m that satisfied with my current rotation of faux-leather pieces.
If you’re with me on this (and not in a Stella McCartney, $1, 000 vegan leather kind of way), I suggest checking out these online destinations for the best fake leather: Free People, Nasty Gal, ASOS, Topshop, Boohoo, Atmos&Here, Dorothy Perkins, and Silence + Noise. Now click through the gallery to start shopping.