Considering buying a leather jacket? This investment purchase needs some thought. Here are my tips on what to look for when buying this classic item.
Taking note of the leather is really important as this can vary dramatically. Some are quite thick, thin, hard, super soft, shiny, suede and have a texture and all of these play a part on how it sits, wears and ultimately its versatility. Going for a leather that has a subtle texture means the jacket is going to wear well with time. Leather naturally creases, softens, get scratched and fade, and the right leather will take this in its stride and make up part of the character of the jacket.
Deciding on whether to buy a cropped jacket or one that ends on the hips can be tricky. With experience, I can argue you need one of both, but for the one off purchase it really does depend on your body shape and what you want to mainly style it with. If you’re buying a leather jacket to work with dresses then a cropped jacket is really flattering, but if you want to wear them with jeans then the longer length works best.
Make sure to check the colour of the hardware. A mistake here could cause a perfect leather jacket to be left sitting in the wardrobe because it doesn’t match the rest of your accessories. If you find a neutral hardware, ie black. Then you’ve found the holy grail. Buy it now.
4. Shoulder Alignment
The shoulders should line up perfectly and create structure. Unless you’re going for an oversized boyfriend style, in which case I’m presuming you’ve already ticked off finding the perfect leather jacket, then make sure the shoulders don’t sit too wide. And if they sit too narrow then you need to up a size a because its likely you wont be able to move your arms.
Brands will constantly change up details on leather jackets to differentiate their designs, but nothing beats a classic lapel. Avoid anything too trendy, like a drape, shearling or fur (unless its removable) or the no collar collar unless you want a more mature style.
Always check to make sure its lined. The lining should also be non descript and not compete with the jacket. I hate when brands insert a bright colourful lining on a perfect black jacket. WHY?
Some back detailing can have folds that make it more biker styled while others can taper in creating a more polished shape. Neither is right or wrong, but always a good idea to check out the back and make sure it’s in line with what you want.
Its all in the details. Too many and it will date, too little and it borders on boring. Zippers, stitching and hardware can make or break your jacket choice. Just make sure its classic and flattering. I made an error of buying a jacket with padding on the arms that added extra bulk and made me look like a rugby player… not ideal.
Photos by Ana-Suntay Tanedo