How to Buy a Leather Jacket for Men in 2019
I have preferred leather jackets as a style statement over any other outfits. A leather jacket gives personality and character to an individual and exudes a confident aura, especially in men. They can be worn for any occasion if you know how to pick the right style.
Buying a leather jacket is a lifetime investment because it is meant to serve its purpose throughout your life. You need to know the different kinds of leather available and the styles before choosing a jacket for yourself.
Designed by Irvin Schott in 1928, this jacket style is the staple pick for most men because of its design and stylish look. Bikers choose this jacket over any other because of its features specially designed for riders.
I am fond of this jacket because it has an asymmetrical zipper in front that opens up to a large lapel, shoulder epaulettes, zipper on the sleeves cuffs and an adjustable waist belt. This jacket style is perfect for casual events, and you can pair it up with jeans.
Developed in England during the 1960s, this jacket style is every racer's favourite. It was specially designed for the English riders who raced through pubs in their pre- WW-II motorbikes.
What I like about this jacket is the mandarin collar with a latch and a main centered zip along with zipped sleeve cuffs and pockets. It will look good especially if you have broad shoulders.
There are many variations to this basic design, but the overall style of the jacket is minimal.
Named after its purpose, the flight jacket was specially created for pilots to protect them against the freezing winds in the cockpits. It is lined with shearling for warmth and has a centered zip.
Because of its inner lining, this jacket may give a little bulky look, so it is better if you only wear a t-shirt inside. I have used this jacket during winters in London, and it has served its purpose of keeping me warm as well as look stylish.
One of the favourite styles among men, this jacket has a versatile look and is shorter than most jacket styles. This was also originally designed for pilots to overcome low temperatures above.
It has a hip-length with ribbed cuffs and bottom and a centered zip. I usually wear this jacket for casual events and looks great with jeans and sneakers.
This design is inspired by the attire of fencers, and the most distinctive feature of this design is the two asymmetrically curved shaped front zips that run through the length of the jacket. You might find just one zip in some.
The collar is a turtle-neck and is best suited if you have a slim body. The jacket is body-hugging and can be a high-end fashion statement if you have the physical built to carry it off. It has a more semi-formal look.
Mentioned below are the details of the different kinds of leather you find today. Knowing the characteristics of each leather will help you choose the perfect one for you.
Cow leather is the most common kind of leather used in the industry. The availability and the versatility of cow's leather make it the top choice among manufacturers. There are many types of leather even under this, depending on the grain, durability, etc.
- Calf - The skin of a young cow within the age of 6 months is chosen to make high-end quality products. It has a soft and smooth surface and is very durable. It is mostly used in shoes because it is lighter, fine and tighter grain.
- Kip - A 6-month to 1-year-old bovine, Kip leather is more durable and slightly stronger as compared to a calf. It is mostly used to make gloves because it is soft and more flexible.
- Cow - A mature female over 2 years old. The leather is not that thick as of steer and bull. Cowhides are lighter and usually have marks.
- Steer - A mature male over 2 years old. It has a consistent grain and is thicker than cowhide.
- Bull - Mature male over 3 years old. The skin is thicker, heavier, larger and is wrinkled. It is low quality and mostly used for belts and hats.
Lambskin leather is comfortable and extremely soft. It is lightweight and is the most luxurious of all leathers. It is a fine-grained leather mostly used to make Chanel handbags. It is also used to make products for warmth because it insulates better than other leathers.
Horsehide is less porous and is also stiffer than cowhide. The jackets made of horsehide is without noticeable grain structure and is smooth.
Horsehide is highly durable and has a fine-grained texture. It also has a bright luster and shines due to the many oils used during its tanning process.
Goatskin is relatively smooth and soft with a pebbled grain structure. Its price is economical and is tougher than cow skin. It is water resistant, more flexible with a high level of comfort. It is not very heavy, and the stiffness is between lambskin and calfskin.
Pigskin is very similar to cowhide with a soft and supple feel. Large hair pores are a characteristic of pig leather.
It is water resistant and is comfortable to use. Pigskin is mostly artificially grained and is lower on price compared to others. It is also more tear resistant compared to goat or lamb leather.
Deerskin is a little expensive; however, it is very durable with high tensile strength. It is light-weight and is one of the toughest leathers.
High-end handbags and wallets are made using deerskin because it is very soft and comfortable to use. It is easier to care unlike other leathers and is also highly stretchable.
Products made of full-grain leather are the most durable and more expensive. Full-grain leather is the strongest part of the animal's hide right under the hair.
This kind of leather showcases the natural markings on the animal's hide because they have not been sanded or buffed. It aims in retaining the original beauty of the hide, which becomes more attractive after years of wear and tear and develops a patina.
Full-grain leather is tough and strong because this layer of the skin has closely knitted fibres, which also makes it more resistant to moisture.
Every product made by full-grain leather is unique because of its natural markings.
Top-grain leather is second best in quality, after full-grain. The top layer of the hide is sanded or buffed to give it a more consistent look throughout and remove any kind of scars or blemishes on the hide.
Doing so decreases the durability of the leather since it makes it thinner and also the leather loses its natural pores and oils.
Top-grain leather is usually used for products that require a fine finish, flexibility, and consistent look.
This leather is cheaper compared to full-grain because it is easy to work with. It is also likely to crack later on if not handled with care.
Quality - Full grain is tough and durable since it uses the natural hide directly. It develops a character with age. It is also quite expensive.
Top-grain is less durable since the upper layer is sanded to remove any scars or natural markings. It is less expensive because it is easier to work with.
Appearance - Every product of full-grain leather has a unique outlook and develops a patina with time.
Top-grain gives a more uniform and finished look without any patina.
Schott Black Vintaged Leather Motorcycle Jacket
I was looking for a vintage-looking leather jacket, so I purchased the Vintage Leather Motorcycle Jacket by Schott. The jacket was exactly the kind I wanted with the faded look and soft calfskin.
The zippered pocket on the chest and the centre zip were smooth to use, and this jacket would look good with dark jeans.
What I didn't like much about this jacket is the black and white checkered lining. They should have chosen a sober looking lining instead.
Rick Owens Rotterdam Leather Jacket
The Rotterdam Leather Jacket is one of the best in Rick Owens's collection. It had a good body-hugging fit with its curved centre zipper.
The jacket felt soft and comfortable but what I didn't like was the crumpled look of the jacket.
The zipper was smooth, but the other downside was that the jacket felt a little heavier than most leather jackets.
Belstaff Black Leather Fenway Jacket
Belstaff is a renowned name in the leather industry. Their Black Leather Fenway Jacket is one of the best in their collection. It has a classic asymmetrical zip in front with logo patched on the side of the sleeve.
What I love about this jacket is the black coloured leather with a waxed glossy finish. But mind you, it is not very glossy like others, just the perfect shine.
Saint Laurent Classic Biker Jacket
The Classic Biker Jacket by Saint Laurent is one of the best I have tried so far. Made of soft lambskin the jackets feels soft and supple on the body.
With lapel collar and press-stud buttons, and two belt loops in the front bottom, this jacket gives you personality and character.
The only downside is the price, but you are getting a top-notched leather biker jacket with a timeless design. So if money is not a concern I would say go for it.
Acne Studios Black Leather Nate Jacket
Their Black Nate Clean Leather Jacket is made of lambskin with offset main zip closures.
It has notched lapels with press-stud buttons, all in silver hardware. There is also an adjustable belt at the bottom with zippered pockets on the sleeve and front side.
Undercover Leather Biker Jacket
From "THE GREATEST" collection by Undercover, this classic leather biker jacket has everything you are looking for.
Made from cowhide, it has a smooth and glossy finish. With its mandarin collar, silver hardware, zip cuffs, asymmetric zip closures and the "We made noise not clothes" print in gold, will make you look badass any time of the day.
This is the perfect pick for any biker, with four (2 on each side) belts on the front side of the hem giving it a tough look.
The Manila Black leather jacket by the British manufacturer James Grose is one of their best collections.
It features four zipped pockets and zipped cuffs along with an offset front zip closure. It also comes with a belted waist extension and has silver hardware.
The jacket has a slim-fit and is comfortable to wear it anywhere. It has a standard collar with press-stud fastenings that gives it a smart look.
Addict Clothes is a brand from Japan that features vintage-looking style jackets for men. The quality of the jacket is great and they offer made to order services.
It has silver hardware with thick offset zip in front along with three zipped pockets.
What I feel most uncomfortable with this jacket is its stiffness. The jacket feels stiff and has a boxy look. It has a very glossy look which I don't prefer much.
I love the Lightning No.391 jacket by Lewis Leathers. First introduced in 1958, this jacket became popular around the '70s and is still is till date.
It has a very tough look with its four zipped pockets in front and the 4 adjustable belts at the bottom. It also has zipped sleeve cuffs along with a zip pocket on the sleeve. This jacket will look good on both slim and broad built body.