How to Choose a Leather Jacket
If you’re about to make the best decision you’ve made all week i.e. you’re thinking of purchasing a leather jacket, how do you know what to go for?
Choosing to purchase a leather jacket is a big investment, but if you choose the right leather jacket for you, you aren’t just investing in throw away fashion, you’re investing apparel that will last you a lifetime.
- What colour of leather should you go for?
- What style of leather jacket will suit you best?
- What styles are in fashion at the moment?
The list of questions is endless, but luckily for you, we’ve put together a simple guide to help you choose the perfect leather jacket for you.
Which type of leather is best for leather jackets?
One way to determine which leather jacket you want to go for is by knowing what type of leather you want. Because not all leather jackets are made from the same hide. In fact, there are multiple different types of hide that leather jackets can be made from:
- Cowhide. This type of skin is the most popular choice for manufacturing leather jackets because it’s tough and durable and affordable. Your leather jacket may be stiff at first, but remember it’s a skin, it needs to be worn in. The more you wear your leather jacket and warm it, the more malleable the leather will become over time. Eventually you’ll create a jacket that fits you like a glove.
- Calfskin. This type of skin tends to be incredibly soft but isn’t often made into leather jackets as it is also very expensive. It is usually made into gloves or smaller items to make it more affordable. Side note - make no mistake, calfskin leather is just as durable and long lasting as cowhide.
- Lambskin. Lambskin gives a much smoother, softer and lighter leather jacket. Plus it is more supple from the off, and you can wear it all year round. Lambskin leather jackets tend to be a little bit more expensive than cowhide leather jackets, but if you can afford to pay more for your leather jacket, definitely consider a lambskin one - the softness of the leather is incredibly tactile and comforting. However, be aware that lambskin isn’t as durable as cowhide, so you need to pay more care and attention to looking after your leather jacket if you want it to last a lifetime.
- Suede. Suede leather jackets are luxuriously soft with a velvety texture to them. Suede comes from the underside of the hide and as such it tends to be thinner and more delicate than the tough outer leather. Two things to note - one, suede won’t last as long as leather and two, don’t let your suede leather jacket get wet as it will stain and when it dries it dries hard.
What are the most popular leather jacket styles?
There are so many different types of styles of leather jackets, narrowing down the one that will not only suit you best, but you’ll love for years to come, can be tricky.
There are many different styles such as:
- Double rider - this is a classic American style of leather jacket. Typically this jacket will have a zipper that runs angled across your body, it has wide lapels and can have a flared collar. It can also feature ornamentation on the cuffs such as tassels or extra zips, and sometimes it can have a waist band.
- Bomber jacket - this leather jacket is typically waist length and more often than not it will have a liner. Typical bomber jackets are shearling jackets with a soft suede or leather outer with a fleece lining. These leather jackets are perfect for cold temperatures as they are designed for warmth and comfort, not just style.
- Moto jackets - these leather jackets tend to be more for men than women, though there’s no reason why a woman can’t wear one. These leather jackets tend to be the smartest style of all, they also don’t tend to feature a collar, and they are generally quite a snug fit.
How to tell if a leather jacket fits you well
You want your leather jacket to fit somewhere between snug to reasonably loose. The fit that you go for will not just be down to your personal preference, but what suits your body type too.
In general though, you want your leather jacket to be loose enough that you can move your arms around freely and loose enough to allow you to wear a layer or two underneath it (leather jackets aren’t always designed for warmth), without being baggy.
To test to see if a leather jacket fits you well, try the jacket on, then wrap your arms around your chest, giving yourself a hug. Then lift your arms all the way above your head and wave them around. You’re checking to firstly make sure there’s enough give in the leather jacket to hug yourself and secondly, when you wave your arms around, that the jacket doesn’t pull at the back.
Finally, ensure that the leather jacket sleeves are long enough to reach your wrists, or stop before your wrists. You don’t want them any shorter, and you definitely don’t want them any longer so that they cover your hands.