The leather jacket has a very prominent history that reaches more than a century. That’s why there is no doubt that this is one of the toughest types of clothing that you can own. From the 1900s movie, The Wild One, flight jackets have been the trend. In the 1970s, punk bands wore leather jackets as the uniform of hedonism.
A lot of brands are now offering more styles of leather jackets than ever, so there’s never been a better time to invest in one. However, this jacket is considered by many to be the fool’s jacket of choice, since it’s a fact that leather often falls into the wrong hands. Styling a leather jacket often comes with confusion. So, is there any cheat sheet that you can follow to carry off this rugged essential? Yes, there are certain ways that you can wear a leather jacket in the right way.
1. What’s your style and fit?
Leather jacket styles can be seen in classic bikers, take for example, Marlon Brando. Where it is exemplified by a cropped fit, large lapels that are fastened to the jacket with poppers and a cross-body zip. Or other options such as the cafe racer (a cropped fit with a straight zip, no collar, and minimal details), the leather bomber ( a bomber jacket that’s leather), and the shearling coat (such as Tom Hardy’s).
However, no matter how nice the style you have picked, the fit is crucial. Like cafe racers and bombers, they look best in a close, slim shape, while bikers and shearling either best suit for a slim or a slightly oversized fit, relying on what season it is and what way you prefer to style it.
Take note that you should be able to fit at least a sweatshirt beneath as a layer, and most importantly avoiding anything that drops below your belt line, unless it’s a shearling overcoat.
2. Would you really wear a brown leather jacket?
When you’re thinking of wearing a leather jacket, consider first the color. Although there are a lot of beautiful pieces out there in shades that are not only in black, you should really be aware of it. A leather jacket is a head turner but if you’re not going to pick the right color, you might end up getting the wrong kind of head turn.
You don’t want to look like a caramel candy, except if you can afford to spend on high-quality suede, shearling or the best leather in dark brown. But if you can’t, then we just suggest that you stick to the classic black.
3. Do you have the budget?
This might be the biggest mistake that you should try to avoid, is to settle with something that is made out of cheap, shiny leather, or far worse is a jacket that’s made from synthetic fabrics, the frightening plastic fabric made to look like leather.
Leather is expensive by its very nature. One tip is if you can’t really afford that piece yet, then it is just way better to visit a vintage shop. This would depend on you if you are not yet ready to shell out a big amount of money. Just be patient in looking for that perfect jacket in cluttered second-hand stores. You’ll be amazed that they have a great number of quality jackets that are still in good condition in a shockingly cheap price.
4. What other pieces are you going to partner with your leather jacket?
Beware of this one! This is a very tricky part because even if the most good-looking and perfect-fitting can be destroyed by a poorly decided pair of jeans or some dodgy shoes. Make the jacket as the central and most important element of your whole outfit. Secondary and other pieces should complement, rather than disturb the whole look.
We suggest that you stick to a monochrome since it’s the best. Go for slim jeans, black leather boots, or thick-soled derbies, and a simple t-shirt or shirt as possible. Don’t be scared to pop some color or pattern if you like, but just remember that the best leather jacket styles are normally the most simple. One more thing, please try to avoid stonewashed jeans or plaid shirts.
5. Can I wear it for a formal event?
The dressed-up leather jacket is a look that’s hard to pull off, but with the right styling, you can ‘wow’ people with it. Since you already have understood the idea behind minimalism or “less is more”, your formal look can be attained by swapping boots for patent leather derbies, switching black jeans for pleated wool trousers, and your basic white or black t-shirt for a white dress shirt with some buttons done up. Remember the rules for the jacket and its methods above because it will just stay the same, you’re just stepping up the pieces around it. Also, never wear a tie on this look in case you are thinking of it right now.
6. Are there any other leather outerwears I can wear aside from the jacket?
Now that you have understood the leather biker, bomber, and racing jacket styles and inspirations, it’s doesn’t necessarily mean that your love for leather should also be extended into other shapes and styles of outerwear.
Try to ignore those leather blazers and trench coats unless you want to copy the guy from the movie, Matrix.
Author Bio: Ivandrea Ollero is a daytime writer for Northern Menswear Streetwear, an online streetwear fashion brand that offers a wide collection of clothing and style for men. Ivandrea passionately writes content on the latest trends in the fashion industry.