Unless you have particularly strong taste for gold-plated shirts or diamond-encrusted watch, a leather jacket is likely to be the biggest investment you’ll ever make in your wardrobe.
Splash out on a good one so that your future grandkids might end up wearing it one day. Then again, don’t start thinking you can get a great piece simply by throwing a lot of money. Before buying a stylish leather jacket this winter to bring a dashing look, check out our tips.
Find Your Style
A leather jacket isn’t just an item of clothing rather it’s an extension of your character. Keep this in mind. By far the most famous is the double riders. A true staple of rebel attire, several decades’ worth of under-nourished rock stars have proven just how great it looks. For a sportier look, the motocross (also known as the café racer) jacket studs and epaulettes for a streamlined fit. Its naturally figure-hugging cut means this style should really only be worn over a T-shirt or other slim under layer. For an edgier and more gothic lean, try a fencing jacket with its asymmetrical zip and high collar.
Choose A Good Fit
Without a good fit, all the money you would pour into good quality leather and a stylish cut can go in vain. A good jacket should look and feel like a second skin, so you need a fit that suits your frame. By and large it should sit close to the body with room for a sweater underneath so you can add some layers if needed. There should be enough room to move your arms freely. The sleeves, meanwhile, should come down no longer than the wrists, while the rest of the jacket should sit at waist height.
Pick The Right Skin
Taking the time to select the right skin for your jacket is a decision you will thank yourself for every time you put it on. This crucial choice will dictate everything from looks to comfort, to performance and long-lasting durability. The most important choice is what animal you want your leather to come from. Be aware that the lighter the hide used, the less durable it will be making it more susceptible to tearing.
Consider The Grain And Tanning
Raw animal hide comes in various thicknesses and these are divided into various cuts. Full-grain leather uses the entire hide, including the outer layer of skin in its original state. Only the very best quality hides are suitable for creating full grain leather and that’s reflected in its price. Due to its thickness, it is rather stiff and over time will develop a natural patina, gaining a unique kind of beauty with age.
The last thing to consider is the tanning and finishing process applied to the hide. Chrome tanning is very quick, and produces a soft, uniformly colored leather with strong weatherproof credentials, while vegetable tanning is the century-old practice of treating leather and is what most good quality jackets will opt for.
Unless you’re stacking serious pocket change, buying a leather jacket is likely to be a major investment. While it is technically possible to replace things like zips, buttons and buckles if they wear out, doing so is neither cheap nor easy, so save yourself the headache and make sure the hardware is up to scratch. Remember that a good quality jacket will be stitched densely and evenly and should have no loose ends or potential points of weakness.