Are you thinking of adding a leather jacket to your wardrobe? You are certainly not alone! Leather jackets have reigned the world of casual fashion since the early 20th century. Over the decades, they have transformed from an accessory for bikers to a fashion statement for all.
A solid, essential leather jacket will not only last you forever, but it is also timeless and highly adaptable, making it a no-brainer when it comes to constructing your slim wardrobe. Aside from the suit, a leather jacket is one of the most significant expenditures a man will make in his wardrobe. Putting on a correctly fitting leather jacket, like a suit, has a transformational effect. There is no other way to put it: You will be feeling like a badass.
But, purchasing a leather jacket isn’t as easy as entering just any store and buying whatever pleases your eye.
Instead, there are various considerations you must keep in your mind to ensure that you don’t make a wrong investment. After all, when chosen correctly, a genuine leather jacket will be your companion for years to come!
Don’t worry. We are here to guide you through the process of purchasing a leather jacket the right way. Here are the things you have to consider.
1. Leather skin and grading
Time has proven that leather jackets are not fads. Hence, you need one that can withstand usage for years to come. This is why the first thing you must keep in mind is the quality and the type of leather used in the jacket. This will ensure that you don’t have to update your jacket collection frequently.
Begin with identifying what animal skin you wish your leather to be made of.
Leather can be obtained from sheep, cow, goat, lamb, kangaroo, deer, crocodile, and calfskins, to name a few. The decision must be based on budget and functionality. While cowhide is known for its durability and comfort, lambskin is considerably soft but expensive for starters.
Once you have decided on the skin, you need to gauge the grading of the leather. Available types include corrected leather, top-grain leather, and full-grain leather.
In full-grain, the entire hide is utilized in its natural state, thereby ensuring better durability. Corrected leather is processed and hence is the lowest in quality. The ideal balance is achieved by top-grain leather thinner than full-grain but more durable than corrected leather.
2. Leather Finishing
The goal of leather finishing is to adorn the leather by giving it a certain color and sheen. It aids in the protection of the leather. The look, feel, and strength of leather are all affected by how it is finished. There are three types of leather finishes: aniline, semi-aniline, and pigmented. The finishing of the leather is a determinant of its quality and value for money. There are two types of finishing you will come across when out leather jacket shopping; aniline and semi-aniline.
Aniline leather refers to a final product whereby the jacket retains the natural form of the hide, with all its blemishes and marks intact. Since it preserves all features, it is generally quite expensive and is also susceptible to damage from sunlight and water.
On the other hand, many choose semi-aniline finishing where the marks and blemishes of the hide are removed via light pigmentation. Compared to aniline finishing, this type of jacket is much more rugged and hence durable.
A leather artisan is someone who manufactures, crafts, sews, fixes, repairs, works with, and/or restores leather and leather material objects. They like working with their hands and use specialized equipment to manipulate, shape, and mold leather into a range of finished objects.
The best testament to a quality jacket is its craftsmanship.
Since leather jackets are not cheap, ensure that you pay your money’s worth by assessing the jacket’s stitching. A good one will have even stitching from strong polyester threads, and no loose ends would be sticking out.
Look at the number of panels at the back. The lower they are, the better the craft since quality makers highlight the leather by keeping panels to a minimum. Also, the hardware included in the leather should be aligned with the quality of the jacket. For starters, heavy and stiff buttons or zippers are required to ensure collective durability.
Moreover, many people prefer the addition of decorative stitching on seams and pockets. But, this tends to increase the price of the jacket as well.
4. Jacket Style
In other types of outerwear, the maximum you need to do is worry about the cuts and the color of the jacket. But, with leather, you need to first filter your options based on jacket styles before reaching that stage. After all, leather jackets have a world of their own!
And each style has a diverse collection. So, if you want a leather blue jacket, you will find it in various styles. Hence, pick a style and then worry about elements like color, buttons, and embellishments.
Among the various types of leather jackets available, here are some you can try:
- Biker Jacket, which is a cropped leather jacket featuring asymmetric zips and studs. This is usually paired with slim-fit jeans.
- Field Jacket, which is comparatively longer than a biker jacket. It comes with multiple pockets and hence offers better functionality during winters.
- Bomber Jacket, which features a distinct cut, a fitted waist, and center zip.
- Flight Jacket was initially made for pilots but is now popular among stylish civilians due to its shearling lining and signature sheepskin collar.
- Racer Jacket, which is the tamest style on the list. This minimalistic style helps accentuate broad shoulders.
5. The right fit
Fitting matters in every piece of clothing that you wear. The right fit can make any outfit look eye-catching, and that is exactly the type of aura you should aim to give off with any look you come up with.
For leather jackets, you need to make sure that the shoulder seam of the outerwear lines up as close to your shoulders as possible. Do not go for jackets that hang too low since this will ruin the rest of the fitting.
When analyzing the armholes, see how high they are. The higher, the better the fit will be. This is because low armholes mean that the leather jacket will shift from its place with every movement. This is usually an indication of a poor cut or wrong size.
Opt for sleeves that are well-fitted but not immensely tight. These days, most people wear jackets with sleeves that end at the wrist. And as for length, this is up to you.
You will find cropped as well as long jackets. Long jackets tend to long better on taller people, and usually, the safest option is choosing a length that covers your waistband.
It’s time to shop!
With these five considerations, you are ready to begin leather jacket shopping!
Your leather jacket, if picked correctly, will stay with you for years. So, don’t rush into the decision. Carefully assess a given option on the mentioned points and decide whether it is worth it or not.