When describing his friend and colleague Albert Einstein, Leopold Infeld classified him as a minimalist of sorts. Einstein kept his hair long to minimize trips to the barber; he went without socks because he could; he neglected suspenders altogether. And though not a stylish man, Einstein proved to live intuitively by a tenet of the style world: “One leather jacket solves the coat problem for many years.” (Einstein and the Theory of Relativity.)

On the scale of luxury purchases, the leather jacket sits somewhere between an uncontracted smartphone and a downpayment for a luxury car. But done right, the jacket will outlast them both. With high cost comes high quality; and over the years, marks of use will be welcome additions in the hide. Scratched zippers, faded spots, a nick or two — they’re all worthwhile, welcome wear that tells a story of experiences more elevated than those told by a cracked phone screen or dented bumper.

Our Picks:
Billy Reid Morgan Jacket ($1,795), Schott Cowhide Fitted Motorcycle Jacket ($750), Alexander Wang Padded Cotton-Twill and Leather Jacket ($695), Belstaff Weybridge Jacket ($1,995), Rick Owens Slim-Fit Hooded Jacket ($2,665), Coach Bleeker Leather Racer ($998), Saint Laurent Classic Racing Jacket ($4,750), Acne Studios Abel Dark Brown ($1,750), Vince Coastal Blue Bomber Jacket ($995), Isaac Sellam Experience Leather Blazer ($2,217), Neil Barrett Paneled Hooded Jacket ($1,869), All Saints Armoury Leather Bomber Jacket ($685)