by Jennifer Smith June 20, 2023 5 min read

Key Takeaways

  • When buying a leather jacket, it is important to check the quality of the zipper or buttons. Good quality zippers or buttons will be durable and function properly, while low quality ones can easily break or malfunction, reducing the jacket's life.
  • Zipper fastening is easier to use and offers more functionality than button closure, as it takes more time and effort to fasten or unfasten the buttons.
  • YKK zips are made of durable metal. They are the best choice for your leather outerwear. 

Buying a leather jacket is a well-thought-out process. With so many things to check, it might confuse a new buyer. You need to be sure that the leather is real and will last long. You must also check the perfect stitching, size suitability, and hardware. Especially the type of zippers used in a jacket say a lot about its quality. Cheap jackets would mostly have plastic or low-quality metal zips that get stuck in between. 

In this blog, we will discuss everything about leather jacket zippers and give you some additional facts about the hardware used in a leather jacket.

Zippers, Buttons, and More: Brief Guide to Leather Jacket Hardware


Zippers, buttons, snaps, studs, and belt buckles come under the umbrella of leather jacket hardware. These details add life to your jacket if they are of good quality. Inferior standard hardware is mostly a telltale sign of a suspiciously low-priced jacket. Cheap jackets are usually made with low grade leather and use buttons and zippers that rust quickly. Investing in a premium jacket for men or women with sturdy hardware made of brass, nickel, or stainless steel saves you the money to buy a new jacket again and again. 

While studs and belt buckles are optional details in a leather jacket, the buttons and zippers make the front closure of a jacket. There are different types of jacket buttons and zips that you can opt for while customizing your leather jacket. 

Types of Leather Jacket Buttons

There are several jacket button types based on the material they are made of, shape, size, and color. Low grade buttons made of thin material wear out quickly, so make sure they are made of nickel, stainless steel, or brass. Buttons can be in any shape, but round ones in a medium size are easy to use as buttoning and unbuttoning already take more time and effort than zipping. 

Regarding colors, leather jackets usually have black, silver, gold, or copper shaded buttons. You usually get a few extra buttons with a leather jacket for ease of replacement. Unlike the edgy look of a jacket with zipper, buttoned closures give a clean cut look. 

Leather Jacket Zipper Types

When it comes to jacket zipper types, you can get them in different materials, such as brass, nickel, aluminum, stainless steel, or cheap plastic ones that you must avoid. Choose the type of jacket zipper wisely, as it is frequently used. Nothing beats the rugged YKK zippers, which are rust proof, sturdy, and last a lifetime. YKK zippers are a sign of a jacket that is of optimum standard. 

A wonderful feature of YKK zips is that they are self lubricating. It means they get even better and smoother with use, aiding your leather jacket in aging well. 

Front Closure with Zippers or Buttons?


If given a choice to choose the fastening option for your leather jacket, would you choose zippers or buttons?

The answer depends on your preference and whether or not you want it to be a snug winter jacket. Zips are easy to use, as you only need to zip or unzip them as needed. In contrast, it takes more time, and some struggle to button or unbutton your jacket. 

Zipped jackets have the edge over buttoned ones when it comes to style. The zipper makes a jacket look modern and gives it a sporty feel. Outerwear with zipped closures are more versatile in terms of layering, as you can easily wear them over or under other garments. They provide a better shape, making them suitable for women who want a flattering silhouette. 

Zipped outerwear are a fall and winter season essential. You can stay warm and snug when you wear them completely zipped till the collar.

An advantage of buttoned jackets is that if a button comes off, you can easily replace it with a new one without much effort. The same is not the case with zippers where you are require to replace the whole zipper. Buttons do not defect as frequently as a zipper, especially low-quality ones. 

Checking Zippers for Leather Jackets?

It is important to check the zipper of the leather jacket before buying it to ensure it is functioning properly. If buying a jacket for men or women online, check the description where the details about the zipper are mentioned, as you won’t be able to check it manually before shipping. If the jacket has YKK zippers, you can rely on the brand. Here are a few ways to inspect a jacket zipper:

  1. Check whether the zipper pull is secure and strong enough for frequent use. You can tug it lightly to see if it seems loose.
  2. The zipper should be made of durable metal, and the zipper teeth should be evenly spaced. 
  3. Edges of the zipper should not have any signs of wear and tear. 
  4. Run the zipper up and down a few times to check whether it runs smoothly and doesn't get jammed.

Where are Zips Used in a Leather Jacket?


The front closure of the jacket is the most important part where a zipper is used. However, it is not the only part. The jacket can feature zipped pockets on the outside and the inner lining. Zipped pockets in a jacket can be small in size for very small objects, or they can be a few inches wide. Some outerwear styles have zippers on sleeve seams which help you fit the sleeve. 

Customizing Leather Jackets with Zippers

Choosing the hardware of your jacket is not always an option, especially if you are buying a ready-to-wear jacket. Here is where customizing a jacket becomes a blessing, as you get a completely personalized piece of clothing, and even get to look at it before shipping.

At Leather Skin Shop, you can pick the type of zippers or buttons you want in your custom leather jackets. You can go for single or double zipper styles or buttoned fronts any specific detail you want for your jacket hardware. Once completed, we share the images of your custom jacket before shipping so that you can take a look and make any changes.


Can you repair a broken leather jacket zipper?

If you want to fix a broken leather jacket zipper yourself, use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the stopper at the bottom of the zip column. Remove the zipper pull to fix it, or replace a faulty zipper pull with a new zipper pull if it is damaged beyond repair. Fix it back into the zipper teeth and run it up till the collar and down a few times.  

Why are there two zippers on some leather jackets?

The two zipper feature in a jacket elevates its functionality. As you can zip and unzip the jacket from both sides, you can sit comfortably without opening the whole jacket. You can also let some air in by pulling down the zipper from the top if you are feeling hot. 


Hardware in a jacket, including the zipper, is one of the features that might not contribute to its style, but it cannot be ignored if you want your jacket to last long. Depending on the style you want or your personal preference, you can go for any type of fastener. Keeping the above-mentioned pointers, you can inspect the zipper and buttons in your jacket to ensure its durability.

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