Whether it’s Michael Jackson’s famous jacket from “Thriller” or Marlon Brando’s biker jacket from “The Wild Ones,” these leather beauties have been a symbol of fashion since the very beginning.
However, for someone ready to buy a leather jacket for the first time, things can get quite confusing, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a jacket.
Therefore, to make things easy for you, we are going to take you through the essentials of buying your very first leather jacket, starting with the different types of leather jackets out there.
Given the popularity of leather jackets, it is pretty surprising to know that there are only 5 common leather jacket styles!
Remember the Marlon Brando reference we gave at the beginning of this article? That’s what caused a biker jacket to become the generic image of a leather jacket.
Also known as the Schott Perfecto, this particular jacket style is made using superior quality full-grain leather and is priced slightly towards the expensive side.
However, you will find an impressive range of high-quality biker jackets on LSS at a reasonable price.
The flight jacket is a military-style jacket usually designed for pilots but can be worn by anyone who wants to keep themselves protected from the wind.
It is designed with a placket covering the front zipper, two flap pockets on the front, ribbed cuffs and hem, and is cropped at the hips. Some varieties of the flight jacket are insulated, while a few come with fur around the collar, but that totally depends on the usage and, of course, the weather conditions.
If you’re looking for a stylish flight jacket, do check out this navy-blue flight jacket in leather on our website to jazz up your wardrobe.
If you’re looking for a jacket to give your outfit a minimalistic look, you should go for racer jackets.
Made using high-quality leather, these jackets have a center front zip, a band collar, and two zipper pockets on the side.
And that’s all the detailing to give it a classic jacket look!
But, to stay in the game and to make your outfit pop out, you can get a conventional racer jacket in vibrant colors, like this crimson leather racer jacket, with slight detailing on the shoulders and sleeves for added variety.
Don’t get baffled by the name; it has nothing to do with bombing!
To put it simply, a bomber jacket is a flight jacket and a racer jacket combined. The front zipper and ribbed cuffs and hem give it the look of a flight jacket, while the waist pockets make it look more like a racer jacket. The only detailing that differentiates it from the two is a zipper pocket on the sleeve.
Have a look at this form-fitting, wine-toned bomber jacket with quilted shoulders from our collection. It perfectly fits the criteria of minimalist chic fashion.
If you’ve ever witnessed fencing, I’m sure you noticed the asymmetrically placed zippers. That’s what inspired the designers to make the fencing jacket!
They are quite different from the other 4 jacket styles; however, you will find fencing jackets at high-end designer stores at insanely high prices.
So, if you’re going to a fashion event or are just a jacket enthusiast, this unique jacket style would be an ideal pick to stand out from the crowd.
Now that you know the basic leather jacket styles available out there, let’s get to the main topic of concern - What to look for when buying a leather jacket?
Buying a leather jacket is like buying a new phone or gadget. You need to know what to look for, where to look for (online or outlet), what is trending, etc.
Following, we have rounded up a few things you should consider before buying a leather jacket:
The first thing to consider when you decide to buy a leather jacket is obviously the skin of the jacket. Although cow, sheep, lamb, goat, and calf skins are the most commonly used, many people also go for avant-garde skin types like crocodile, deer, and kangaroos. But, as they are exotic in nature and hard to obtain, they are overpriced, as compared to the other types.
So, if you’re buying a leather jacket for the first time, our suggestion would be to go for cowhide, lambskin, or calfskin for starters.
Cowhide jackets are extremely durable and not very expensive, while lambskin jackets are quite soft but pricey. Mostly premium quality jackets are made using lambskin. However, if you want durability and softness combined, go for calfskin jackets, which are, as you must’ve guessed, even pricier than lambskin.
Now that you have decided which animal skin jacket you want, it’s time to move on to the next thing to consider...
Like everything else, leather also comes in various types and qualities; full-grain, top-grain, and corrected-grain, to be precise.
Full-grain leather is considered superior-quality leather because the skin is sent for manufacturing with only the hair removed. This means that it is not sanded or buffed, which keeps the original features of the leather intact, like oil absorption and durability, plus all the blemishes and scars. Not to mention, this type of leather is the most expensive!
Top-grain leather comes in second due to the fact that the top layer of the skin is sanded after removing hair, giving it a finished look. The sanding or buffing is a requirement because top-grain leather is usually used for making handbags and shoes, which need to have an immaculate and unblemished look. Although it is used in manufacturing luxury goods, the price is still relatively lesser than full-grain leather.
Lastly, we have the corrected-grain leather. As the name suggests, this type of leather is corrected or buffed off to remove any signs of blemishes or imperfections. And, to give it a more original yet refined look, it is embossed with artificial grain. This is the most common type of leather used in making handbags, shoes, jackets, and furniture.
So, depending on your budget and usage, you can decide which leather quality you would like for your jacket.
Have you seen the decorative stitching that runs along the border of a jacket or around pockets? That’s topstitching. It gives the leather jacket a voguish look and is something that customers actually look for when buying a jacket.
But did you know that the thread used in topstitching is something to consider when you’re out shopping for jackets?
If you want long-lasting topstitching, go for jackets that use premium quality German thread; but, the premium quality thread would add to the price. However, if you’re on a budget, you can get jackets with regular thread topstitching. Also, you can get a leather jacket with little or no topstitching, depending on how much you’re willing to spend.
The lining of a jacket plays a vital role when it comes to comfort. If you’re going to wear your jacket, it must be comfortable inside out, and that’s why you should pay special attention to the lining.
Low-quality jackets use a cheap synthetic lining that is easily tearable, dry, and unbreathable, offering nothing but discomfort.
So, for winter jackets, make sure to get ones with tafetta or cotton lining for a warmer feel. However, if you want a jacket for other seasons, go for something with a breathable lining, usually made of silk-like fabric.
A jacket not only keeps you warm but also acts as a fashion symbol. And that’s why you should know how to carry it. This is where the length comes into the picture.
A hip-length jacket with jeans is a big no; however, it goes well with a dress. But if you want to pair your leather jacket with jeans, go for a full-length one.
The ideal jacket size is the one where the shoulders line up perfectly. A size too big doesn’t do justice with the fashion style, while narrow-fit shoulders would restrict your arm movement.
So, if you’re looking to buy a perfect leather jacket, make sure the shoulder alignment is on fleek!
Leather jackets come in all sorts of collar designs, but if you want the one that looks perfect, go for the one with folded lapels. That’s the basic collar style for jackets and works well with every style.
However, if you’re opting for a trendy jacket with a fur collar or drape, make sure it’s detachable. Alternatively, you could also go for a collarless jacket for a mature and graceful look.
The detailing on a leather jacket is also an important factor to consider before you buy one. Too much detailing gives you a showy or snazzy look, while too little detailing is plain boring.
So, what should you go for?
Unless you prefer special kinds of zippers or topstitching, always go for something that has the perfect amount of detailing to make it look contemporary and flattering.
Talking of detailing, we cannot ignore the zipper quality.
Cheap jackets often have the YKK zipper, which is quite common but is made of lighter metal. On the other hand, RiRi zippers are sturdy, smooth to zip up and have a shinier finishing, making them look appealing.
YKK zippers tend to break off easily compared to RiRi zippers, which is why there’s a huge difference in the price.
If you’re not on a budget, we would recommend getting a leather jacket with RiRi or other heavy-weight zippers for an aesthetically pleasing jacket.
Enough talking about the jacket’s front! It’s time to move towards the back.
While the front side of a jacket is adorned with shiny zippers, topstitching, or other detailing, the back is relatively simpler. Some jackets do have folds at the back to make it look like a biker-style jacket; however, most jackets have plain backs to balance out the front detailing.
There are certain jackets with text on the back, but I would not recommend them if you ask me.
Although there’s no hard and fast rule for back designing, you should always go for what goes with your preferences.
Another detail that is mostly overlooked is the positioning of the armholes and the length of the sleeves.
If you want a leather jacket that fits well and looks good, you should ensure the armholes are positioned higher. If they are on the lower side, the jacket will not fit properly and won’t be a pleasant sight.
The sleeves, on the other hand, should neither be too tight nor too loose, so you can easily raise both arms. Also, they should end at the base of your thumb or just where the wrist ends. Short sleeves give the idea of a jacket a size too small, while sleeves longer than required give a shabby appearance.
Last but not least is the jacket style.
Like we mentioned earlier, there are 5 different jacket styles. Each style goes with a different kind of fashion. For example, wearing a leather jacket with jeans gives out a more casual look, but if you opt for a racer jacket, it indicates minimalism and grace.
Hence, buy a leather jacket that compliments your personality and goes with your fashion sense.
If you’re still with me, you are now ready to buy a leather jacket!
But remember, keep all the tips in mind before you head out to buy a jacket for optimal comfort and the perfect fit.
After all, if you are spending money on a leather jacket, it should be worth it!
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