Balenciaga Leather Moto Jacket

About a month ago, I wrote that I was on the hunt for the perfect leather motorcycle jacket. At the time, I was pretty much set on this number – the classic Rick Owens blistered leather jacket.

While we were in London and had a few hours to kill, I decided to poke around and try on a few jackets and re-visit my Rick Owens favorite. While I was hemming and hawing at Harvey Nichols, the salesperson brought over a few other jackets to try, and insisted that I put on the classic black Balenciaga moto style. I’ve always admired this ย jacket on others but thought it was too cool for school on me…well, maybe it still is! Regardless, I ended up leaving the Rick Owens on the hanger and taking the Balenciaga home.

Bal Jacket front

Balenciaga Leather Biker Jacket

Some details – the back with a little waist and you can see a hint of the elbow stitching.

Jacket Back

The shoulders. I have wider shoulders and try and avoid epaulettes. However, these were surprisingly sleek and unobtrusive when I tried the jacket on. However, they are a wee bit annoying if you’re going to be hanging a bag with metal straps from your shoulders (like a classic Chanel flap).

Shoulder Stud

A quick note about fit – these jackets are meant to be quite fitted and originally both my first Harvey Nichols salesperson and the Balenciaga rep were pushing for a size 34 (the smallest). However, as I mentioned earlier I have wider shoulders for my frame, and ultimately decided to go one size larger for comfort.

A size larger also allows me to wear layers easily and is overall more comfortable. I can zip the jacket up if needed, though I expect to usually wear it open. I do have a very slight preference for a very shrunken look which the 34 had – however comfort won out in the end!

The sleeves are also quite long on me, the Balenciaga rep mentioned that it was the “look” but also said that many women get them altered. I’m still debating!

Bal Moto Jacket Worn

Below are a few other leather jackets I found that were very strong candidates, and all at much friendlier price points as well!

Screen shot 2013-09-15 at 1.57.59 PM

one ($895), two ($595), three ($197)

1. BLK DNM leather jacket. At $895, this is still pricey but with beautiful leather and a lot of great details. To me this is a bit of a combination of Balenciaga and Acne versions.

2. Mackage leather moto. Friends who have Mackage coats have always had great feedback and this jacket has great reviews and very cool details (but still streamlined enough for an office environment).

3. Hinge quilted jacket. I almost bought this one during Nordstroms’ anniversary sale and now it’s back on sale for 40% off! At under $200 this jacket is a great deal, really lovely details and I love the peplum in the back – super flattering. I would have purchased this but I don’t need multiple leather jackets in my closet!

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  • Adele
    September 16, 2013 at 9:27 am

    The jacket looks amazing on you & the leather looks lovely & supple, great choice!
    Have a wonderful week Katherine xoxo

  • Prรชt-ร -Porter P
    September 16, 2013 at 9:28 am

    For whatever they cost it’s not worth altering it, esp.since it’s usually not cheap to alter leather or zippers. This is a good choice over RO if you want to layer, since RO tends to cut small under the arms. Even I have to size up in RO and I practically weigh in negative digits!

    Ps. If anyone wants the Bal moto jacket, Grey The Blog is selling hers.

    • Katherine
      September 16, 2013 at 9:42 am

      That’s what I’ve been thinking…the long sleeves don’t bother me except for perhaps when I’ll be eating…then I can just take it off, lol!

      Thank you for the heads up! A great price for that jacket!

  • Jill
    September 16, 2013 at 9:42 am

    This jacket looks so good on you, and I’m glad you let us know which one you decided on! I am seriously considering the Hinge jacket, it seems like it would go so well with my Hermes scarves! Great post and thank you for sharing the information with us.

  • megan
    September 16, 2013 at 9:56 am

    i’m debating on a bal jacket too … i’ve never tried one on, though, and would be getting it second hand, so kind of risky!

    • Katherine
      September 16, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Megan go to a Barneys or local shop and try it on! I liked it more than I thought I would ๐Ÿ™‚ If you have any questions about sizing feel free to email me, I can share my experience.

      • megan
        September 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        haha- you’re forgetting I live in Tennessee, aka no Balenciaga. The closest would probably be the Nordstrom in Nashville and I’m not sure they would carry it. Story of my life ๐Ÿ™ LOL.

        • Katherine
          September 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm

          Agh I’m sorry! Maybe Nordstrom can transfer it in for you, I know they used to carry them at least.

  • Diva In Me
    September 16, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I’ve always love a good leather jacket but the weather here is hot throughout the year. I guess for now, I will not invest in one yet till I really need it in future.

  • Lara
    September 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I love that jacket! It looks really good on you. I’m glad you found a jacket that suits you.

    • Katherine
      September 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Thank you Lara!

  • kp
    September 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Love love love the long sleeves. Please keep them. I think the size up was a wise decision. It’s a great choice and looks fantastic on you!

    • Katherine
      September 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Thank you so much, you make me feel better about staying with the long sleeves!

  • Cassie
    September 16, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    LOVE your new jacket! The details are great and it looks fantastic on your frame ๐Ÿ™‚

    I put myself in the category of happy Mackage jacket owners. I’ve had it for 4 years, it wears beautifully, and I still get compliments on it.

  • Lucy
    September 17, 2013 at 4:19 am

    Ohh what a fabulous jacket. It looks great on you and the long sleeves does seem to complete the look.

  • Rachel Ashley
    September 17, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I love this jacket!!! It is fabulous!

    Rachel Ashley

  • Desert heels
    September 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Hi Katherine,

    This Balenciaga jacket is absolutely gorgeous. I have tried it on too and I ran into the same sleeve length situation so I decided against it.

    I have to be completely honest, (I apologize for my brazenness, as this is exactly what I would tell my best girlfriend) the jacket fits you beautifully but the sleeve part is giving me a heartache. Even if this sleeve “look” is in trend at the moment, if you are looking for “the one”, that Balenciaga piece that you’ll cherish forever, shouldn’t it be perfect in every single way?

    You should be able to eat, sleep and live in it, free of compromise, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s definitely fabulous, no doubt about that. If you love it, keep it. but if there’s any uncertainty… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Katherine
      September 17, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      Thank you for sharing your honest opinion! I really appreciate it and thank you for sharing your experience with the jacket as well. I am fine with the sleeves now but will ponder for a bit…my good friend bought the same jacket at the same time as me (after I texted her the photo!) and did the same sizing larger trick and now we are debating with each other, lol.

  • SC
    September 17, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Even from the pictures, I can tell that the leather on the Balenciaga is thick, buttery, and luscious. *drool* What a great purchase! I actually have the Mackage jacket linked in your post. I love it. ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Marlene @ chocolatecookiesandcandies
    September 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Much as I adore RO jackets, I have to say the Balenciaga jacket looks amazing on you. You’re so right to go the next size up. I can’t imagine not being able to zip up a jacket. That’ll just drive me bonkers especially when it’s freezing cold outside. The sleeves on my RO jacket are long which is a pain when I’m trying to tell the time or eat. I’ve used my Hermes CdC bracelet as a “stopper” . Pretty crazy, I know. Thankfully, I’m able to pull them up because of the knitted underside. After looking at your Balenciaga jacket, I’m loving it more and more. I have 2 leather jackets and I don’t really need anymore. Ah…the temptation!

  • pink horrorshow
    September 17, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    I’ve always liked the Bal jacket, but I’ve never tried it on. I think it was a good choice for you and I like the long sleeves but since you cropped the photo, for petite girls you have to be careful..esp if you wear flats because they can just look overwhelming on our frames. I got a Cรฉline leather jacket in Paris and the sleeves are made to be just a little short, which is something I have to get used to!

    Speaking of Paris, I stayed at the Mandarin Oriental on Rue Saint Honorรฉ (right next to Hotel Costes) and it was amazing! It’s new, like 2 years old so it’s very clean and their attention to detail is great. My parents and I like to always stay around Place Vendome so the location is perfect and right on the street with high end boutiques and a fairly short walk to the Lourve, D’Orsay, and Champs Elysees. If you want other recs for anything, let me know!

    • Katherine
      September 18, 2013 at 9:50 am

      So glad to hear good feedback on the MO! They were just doing their soft opening last time we stayed in Vendome area. I’d love to try it one day, I’m going to be trying out the Left Bank on our next trip but the time after that I’ll remember MO!

      You are right about the sleeves and petite girls. I cropped out the photo because I was wearing fuzzy slippers, LOL. But this is probably a heels jacket.

  • DSK Steph
    September 17, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Your new jacket looks great on you!!

  • Alyx
    October 1, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    I love it! I recently got a Whistles jacket ( and the sleeves are too long on me too. I roll them up once, which was awkward at first, but now the roll has kind of broken in and it looks fine.

    • Katherine
      October 2, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Thanks Alyx! That Whistles jacket is awesome! The price is not bad either, especially as I’ve always found that Whistles has good quality ๐Ÿ™‚

  • UrbanJungleFashion
    October 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    That jacket looks AMAZING on you!

  • Anna
    October 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Your jacket looks amazing!!!

    I want to purchase this jacket but am so stuck on the sizing..I still can’t decide between the 34 or the 36. I was wondering about your measurements and how tall are you because I don’t want the sleeves to be too long. I was thinking just get the 34 and not zip it up but I do know they run small. Any feedback would be great!!


    • Katherine
      October 9, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      Thank you Anna!

      The sizing is difficult…I could have done either 34 or 36 but went with comfort. Shoulder width is the most important thing – do you have wider or narrower shoulders? I have wider so went with the 36.

      I am 5’1 ๐Ÿ™‚ If you don’t need to zip I might go with the 34, but the 36 was more comfortable for me!

      • Anna
        October 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm

        Thanks so much for the tips!! Just ordered from Barney’s and it’s on it’s way.

        I decided to go with the 36 as well. I want to layer it and comfort is a big thing for me as well.

        • Katherine
          October 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm

          Good luck with the jacket! Let me know if the 36 works out. If not you can always get the 34 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Daniel
    October 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I bought this leather jacket and absolutely love it and its gorgeous thick soft leather. It is yummylicious

    • Katherine
      October 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Hi Daniel, awesome to hear! Enjoy your jacket!

  • Anonymous
    October 18, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Hi, Kat! I’ve been away travelling for a while and now trying to catch up with your blog. I love Bal moto jackest and have a couple myself and my problems are the sleeves – too narrow and the shoulders (they make my neck look short, LOL!) But that said, I still love them to bits and during my recent trip to SF, I actually wore my 2010 Higgins everyday for over a week and now the sleeves feel better and the leather look super great! I guess I have to do the same with the black one.. wear it and break in! By the way, yours looks fabulous and the color is perfect! The sleeves should not be a problem, in my opinion.. they look cool that way! Congrats on your new jacket ๐Ÿ™‚

    MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES (a fashion and life-style blog)

    • Katherine
      October 18, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Thank you so much! I had to Google Higgins, I wasn’t sure what it was and found out that it was a gorgeous color – and then found your blog of course! You look beautiful in it!

  • Anonymous
    November 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I really want this jacket! Do you find it heavy? Also, is it stiff or is the leather really soft?

    • Katherine
      November 24, 2013 at 12:16 am

      It is heavy, the leather breaks in and is then quite soft!

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  • Eric Murphy
    February 4, 2014 at 1:52 am

    Very cool black biker leather jacket,

  • Liddy
    October 12, 2014 at 4:05 am

    Love it! My girlfriend has the Bal Moto with black zippers, which I prefer, but cannot get anywhere. Might be from a few years ago. Does anyone know?

  • Tracy
    February 5, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Hi, I am planning to get the jacket thru online boutique. I am not sure about the size,and i can’t try it out too as we don’t have a balenciage boutique here. I usually wear a UK size 8 or IT 38 or IT40(depending on cutting too sometime) Do you think this Balenciaga jacket size FR34 will fit me fine?

    • Katherine
      February 5, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Hmm….I think 34 would fit depending on how tight you like your clothes…I would feel more comfortable with a size 36 on you though to be honest. But 34 would be a nice shrunken look.

  • Andrea
    March 24, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Love this!! Are the shoulder flaps sewn down?

    • Katherine
      March 24, 2015 at 9:08 am

      Yes by a little grommet, but there is still some flexibility if that makes sense…

      • Andrea
        March 24, 2015 at 10:10 am

        What’s a grommet? Lol thanks

        • Katherine
          March 24, 2015 at 10:57 am

          I meant a little metal stud that “holds” the flap down if that makes sense..