In recent times, the leather jacket has gone from being worn by bikers and military pilots to becoming a staple in the wardrobe of any well-dressed man, able to be worn a host of occasions, both casual and smart.
They’re also not cheap, so a leather jacket is a real investment, which means that it’s important to get it right!
There are many different styles of leather jacket, but here are some of the most popular:
Probably the most iconic leather jacket is the classic biker jacket, popularised in the 1950s movie The Wild One by Marlon Brando.
Recognisable by its flared collar and large lapels, this is probably the jacket that springs to your mind when you think of leather.
It’s one of the more casual styles you can go for and many examples will have lots of zips, buckles and other additional features, although these aren’t necessarily required!
(Check out this gallery from Vogue to see some of the best biker jackets of all time.)
The most popular style is the bomber jacket, probably due to its simplicity. Bomber jackets usually have a zipped front and pocket, with an elasticated cuff and bottom and are easy to wear with most outfits.
Also known as a pilot’s jacket, as the name suggests, these jackets were initially designed to be worn by fighter pilots during World War I, and as such, usually are lined with shearling to help keep the pilots warm at high altitudes.
This also means that you’d be pretty mad to wear one of these in the summer, but they’re a fashionable way to keep warm during the colder months, even if they are a bit too flashy for some.
Similar to those worn in motorcycle racing, a racer jacket is very stripped back, with just a small, simple collar with a plain bottom and cuffs, unlike the elasticated ones of the bomber jacket.
The only danger with these jackets is that they’re usually quite fitted, so they will highlight any extra pounds that you might be carrying!
In terms of the actual leather being used, how do you know it’s of a good quality? According to Lakeland Leather, one of the UK’s leading leather clothing specialists, cheaper jackets often use leather which has been ‘corrected’, which means that it has been sanded down or had synthetic grains and other treatments pressed into it.
They say: “This gives the leather an overly smooth and plastic feel when compared the genuine, untreated leathers, which are softer and more uneven and make each garment unique.”
Of course, this is all down to personal preference, but try to physically feel the leather before making a purchase to judge how it feels. You’re looking out for a softer, grainy, oily feeling, as opposed to slick and smooth.
Of course, there are also lots of cheaper faux leather options out there if you don’t want to shell out for the real thing, but they’re not quite the same!