One of the smartest fashion investments and most critical pieces of any wardrobe is a leather jacket, a timeless fashion statement that projects an air of cool confidence and pairs well with almost any other piece you can imagine. A good, high-quality leather jacket can last a lifetime if taken care of properly, so it’s worth it to shop around and make sure you find the right one for you. However, some simple mistakes are easy to make when buying a leather jacket, so let’s go over the most important ones to watch out for.
Mistake #1: Poor leather quality
Perhaps the most important aspect of a leather jacket is the quality of the leather itself. Like any other organic product, there’s a wide range of available leather in all different qualities. Just because the tag says “100% leather” doesn’t mean that you’ll get a jacket made with high-quality leather that will be comfortable and last a lifetime.
Try to look out for full-grain leather, as that is the highest quality and most natural leather you can find. If you can’t find full-grain leather or find that it’s too expensive, try to look out for top-grain leather, which provides many similar benefits while generally being slightly less expensive. Additionally, the animal the leather comes from plays a part in quality, with sheepskin or deerskin leather considered to be good options, and cowhide leather is the most popular and durable overall.
Mistake #2: Neglecting fit
Many people who shop for leather jackets, especially men buying their first one, might think that leather jackets are a “one size fits all” type of item. This is not true! It’s critical to make sure that your jacket fits well before buying it, or else you might not portray the cool and confident image that you are going for.
There are a few different types of cuts for leather jackets, such as biker jackets, racer jackets, and bomber or flight jackets. In addition, they can be divided up into American or European style jackets, with European being a tighter fit, closer to a racing style jacket. Before making the purchase, examine each type and decide what aesthetic you are going for.
Mistake #3: Putting aesthetics over functionality
Since a huge part of a leather jacket is the fashion statement that it makes, it’s easy to neglect the actual purposes and uses you will need for the jacket in place of how cool it looks. For example, if you will be riding a motorcycle with the jacket on, you’ll want to make sure the leather is strong and thick enough to protect you in case of a fall. Another issue might be warmth - while a button-front leather jacket might look great, it won’t provide the warmth that a zipper-front jacket will in harsh weather.
Mistake #4: Choosing the wrong color
Many people assume that there are just one or two colors for a leather jacket that will look good with any skin tone. While there’s a grain of truth to this, it’s still important to make sure that you buy the right color for you. While leather jackets come in any color you can imagine, it’s best to stick to the black or brown neutral shades if you want the most versatility possible.
Consider your personal aesthetic, age, and complexion when deciding this. For lighter complexions, try a darker shade of leather, while darker complexions can be showcased nicely with a lighter shade or brighter colors on your jacket.
Mistake #5: Overlooking small details
Have you ever heard of “corrected leather”? If not, it refers to leather that has been polished or buffed down to smoothen the surface. Corrected leather is not always a bad thing, but can often have a less desirable appearance than normal leather.
Not researching and looking into small details like this and rushing into a purchase is an easy mistake to make. For example, always examine the inner lining for quality, as the best jackets should have a different lining for the body and arms to prevent tearing. Try the zippers, and see how they work, as small details like this can determine if the jacket is truly worth the money or if you’re paying too much for a poorly-built jacket.
Enhance Your Style With Leather
Leather jackets are an indelible facet of fashion, and have been for a long time. The classic look they provide isn’t going anywhere soon, so adding a stylish leather jacket is always a good investment into any wardrobe. Simply add a white tee and a pair of jeans, and you have a classic look that instantly increases your cool factor.
While they are simple and easy to pair almost any item with, it’s important to make sure that you buy one that is right for you, high-quality, and will last a long time. Follow these simple tips and you’ll avoid making costly mistakes and end up with the perfect jacket that you can keep for life.