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How to: Find Your Perfect Leather Jacket

Written by: Robert Charlton | November 5, 2014.

Apart from a watch or a suit there probably aren’t many more items a man could buy for himself that are more expensive than a brand new leather jacket. With it being such a hefty investment it goes without saying that it requires a little more consideration than your average wardrobe purchase. But why is the leather jacket seen as one of menswear’s most important garments?

leathers

It isn’t just the price that makes these type of jackets special, it’s their luxurious and perfectly soft material which is warm and tough in equal measure. These characteristics mean they have a habit of lasting for many years without losing shape, and a bit like jeans- they don’t really ever go out of fashion- only the cut and colours are subject to changing trends.

But of course leather jackets come in many shapes and sizes, some of which are age-old and timeless in their own right. Popular styles from year-to-year include waistcoat, bomber, fur-lined and “double rider styled jackets, the latter of which features an asymmetric zip.

One of the best things about buying a new leather jacket is the wealth of choice you will have when doing so. The leather jacket is one of the most sacred menswear items and most brands will feature one because no collection feels complete without. At Mainline Menswear some of our top brands have got a version they’d like you to see, such as: Hugo Boss, Belstaff, Diesel, Replay and more featured from the likes of Antony Morato and Money Clothing.

The leather look has always has rebellious connotations, mainly due to the famous association with rock star musicians and free-spirited bikers. But strangely it isn’t bound by skinny denim looks because it can also be bulked up for a sporty look by placing a simple t-shirt and hoodie underneath in a layered outfit.

Bomber jacket and fur-lined versions of the leather jacket are historically linked to “the aviator look” and whether or not pilots ever did wear these types of outerwear in their old fashioned cockpits or even still like to wear them, the look is much smarter, streamlined and inherently cool.

Why is leather so expensive?

Leather is of course made from animal skin so its much more valuable and much better quality than man-made materials, added to which it is resistant to weather, tough, practical and flexible. Skin quality depends on the animal it comes from so for example cow skin is among the tougher varieties, but it takes longer to wear in and is less supple. At the same time leathers from sheepskin for example might be very soft and flexible but they will damage and wear much more easily.

The process of making leather is very complex and the tanning and finish is what separates good quality from poor. The two main methods are chrome and vegetable tanning but there are many more which are utilised for different qualities such as shines, water resistance and smoothness.

For these reasons you will see an  increasing number of our leather making brands offer after care products to maintain the finish on the jackets or give them a spruce up after a few years of wear.

leather

Choosing the fit

Despite the heavy price tag you will undoubtedly be paying for these items, they can easily look cheap if you buy an ill-fitting model so it’s important to find the right fit to complement your profile, especially given how difficult it is to tailor or get leather jackets altered after purchase.

The waist and shoulders are key areas where the jacket needs to complement the wearers shape. Bigger frames will benefit from longer profile which is loose at the waist. Alternatively a slim figure will be best accentuated by short styles with perhaps an elasticated fit at the waist such as a bomber jacket cut.

Finally, it is worth noting that to get a leather jacket to fit the way it should do you should remember that when you stretch your arms out in front of you it shouldn’t be tight and at the same time the arms should stretch no further than the wrists. If you follow these basic rules you should have an item which will stand the test of time.

 

…If it looks as good with as a tie as it does with jeans- you know you’ve found our winner.

Shop our range of leather jackets at Mainline Menswear here

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