Few types of clothing symbolize the masculine look like a leather jacket. From edgy to bad-ass to sexy, leather jackets run the gamut as an overall fashion statement.
But they’re more than that – as we’ll cover while discussing the best leather jackets for men, including the John Varvatos Slim-Fit Leather Blazer Jacket .
We’ll cover other topics, including how to care for your leather jacket, types of leather jackets, and more.
Let’s begin with some leather jacket buying tips.
Table of Contents
- Quick summary
- Before you buy: 7 Things to consider when purchasing a leather jacket
- The 14 best leather jackets for men 2020
- 8 Tips for wearing a leather jacket
- How to take care of a leather jacket in 8 steps
- 6 Types of leather jackets and who they suit best
- Leather jackets vs. other types of jackets
- 5 Useful leather jacket accessories
- How we chose these products
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
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|John Varvatos Collection Slim-Fit Leather Blazer Jacket||Check on Amazon →|
|The Leather Factory Sword Black Genuine Lambskin Biker Jacket||Check on Amazon →|
|Cole Haan Smooth Leather Collar Jacket||Check on Amazon →|
|Flavor Brown Leather Motorcycle Jacket||Check on Amazon →|
|Viking Cycle Angel Fire Cowhide Motorcycle Jacket||Check on Amazon →|
|Calvin Klein Leather Open-Bottom Jacket||Check on Amazon →|
|Decrum Cafe Racer Real Lambskin Brown Leather||Check on Amazon →|
|Levi’s Deer Faux Leather Sherpa Bomber Jacket||Check on Amazon →|
|Landing Leathers WWII Suede Leather Bomber Jacket||Check on Amazon →|
|Fjackets Lambskin Leather Jacket||Check on Amazon →|
|Landing Leathers Air Force A-2 Bomber Jacket||Check on Amazon →|
|Decrum Bomber Leather Jacket With Hood||Check on Amazon →|
|Wantdo Faux Leather Jacket With Removable Hood||Check on Amazon →|
|Laverapelle Genuine Lambskin Leather Jacket||Check on Amazon →|
Before you buy: 7 Things to consider when purchasing a leather jacket
There’s plenty to think about before purchasing a leather jacket. Leather jackets vary widely regarding cost, style, color, material, and more. Some important points to remember include:
No matter how good a leather jacket looks, or how much it costs, it’s not the right jacket for you if it doesn’t fit properly. The question is, what’s the right fit?
Length, for starters, is an important consideration and pay attention to sleeve and waist length. A leather jacket’s sleeve length should extend beyond your wrist line; if it does, it will look too large or for your frame.
Also, the sleeves should have a fitted look without being too tight.
Similarly, your jacket should end at your waistline. The right length will accentuate your frame.
Pay attention to the armholes, as well. In general, the higher the armholes the better the fit – but you don’t want them to be too, high either. But a lower armhole often is a sign of a jacket that’s either too big or poorly cut.
Meanwhile, the jacket’s shoulders should line up as close as they can to the points of your shoulders.
We highly recommend that you try on a leather jacket before purchasing it. Leather jackets aren’t inexpensive, and taking the time to try it on to get a true sense of its fit and feel are important.
Again, leather jackets don’t always come cheap. A quality new leather jacket can cost $500, and more, and in many cases a higher price tag does indicate a better quality leather jacket.
That’s not to say you have to break the bank to buy the best leather jacket – because there are many cool men’s leather jackets available for less – but you may have to spend more to get more.
It’s always a good idea to have a price range, or budget, in mind before you shop for high-quality leather jackets. Get a sense of how much the best leather jackets cost and decide how much you’re willing to spend.
Brown and black are the most popular color choices for leather jackets although certainly not the only ones. Black is a bit “edgier” than brown; brown tends to give off a softer look, feel, and vibe.
Black is often the first choice of many men, but the color you choose depends largely on what best fits your lifestyle.
Something else to consider: the color of your leather jacket should match the color of your shoes and your belt. Don’t worry about matching it with the color of your sneakers or trainers, however.
4. Type of leather
Leather is leather right? While it may seem that way to the casual customer, the fact is that not all leather is the same and the type you choose is crucial when selecting a leather jacket.
Cowhide is an ideal choice for anyone shopping for leather jackets because it’s hard to beat cowhide due to its all-around blend of strength, durability, and toughness.
Sheepskin is soft, lightweight, and very smooth. It’s also stretchable and adapts well to a man’s unique body shape. It’s a good choice for men and women.
Goatskin is a warm, breathable, and comfortable type of leather. It’s less flexible than sheepskin, but more durable.
Lambskin has a soft, supple texture, as well as thinness and flexibility that’s unmatched by most other types of leather. Calfskin is much like lambskin, and also featured in high-end leather products.
Suede is the inner surface of animal hides and another popular leather used in the construction of jackets. It’s made from several types of animal hide.
- Faux leather
Faux represents artificial or synthetic leather. Its advantages include being more affordable than real leather, it’s durable, it requires little maintenance, and it has a realistic look, in most cases.
Another factor to consider is the leather’s grain:
Full-grain leather is the top layer of the hide and includes all of its grain. It makes for an attractive, classic look that gets better the more you use it.
Top-grain is leather that’s split from the top of layer of an unblemished hide. It’s sanded and refinished to get rid of scrapes and other blemishes.
It’s easy to get confused by the “genuine” leather label because it sounds as if it’s, well, exclusive somehow. While it’s real leather, it ranks lower in the leather hierarchy regarding grade and quality.
Less expensive belts, shoes, and jackets often consist of genuine leather.
Bonded represents the bottom end of the leather and consists of the “scraps” leftover after processing other types. It’s often bound together with latex or polyurethane.
Many high-end leather jackets include detailing that help set them apart from the rest – from pockets to zipper details to seams, and more. Also, more expensive jackets tend to have heavy-duty zippers that stand up to heavy use.
The quality of a jacket’s lining can also separate the best from the rest. You should select a lining that comfortable, breathable, and durable.
Many top-end jackets have different types of lining in their body and sleeves. Sleeves may feature a silkier fabric that makes it easy to slip a jacket off and on.
7. Body type
The shape of your body influences what leather jacket you choose. If you have a shorter torso, for example, you may want to choose a jacket that makes your body look longer. Or, you could choose a shorter jacket to draw more attention to your body’s lower half.
A key part of dressing well, leather jacket or not, is selecting clothing that helps give your body a proper sense of proportion.
Let’s move on to our reviews of the best leather jackets.
The 14 best leather jackets for men 2020
- Luxury look and feel
- Welted side pockets
- Excellent suede leather
The best leather jacket for:
Men who don’t mind spending the extra money
Let’s be clear from the start: a leather jacket by John Varvatos isn’t for you if you’re trying to pinch pennies. Jackets such as their Slim-Fit Leather Blazer cost a lot, but with the higher price tag comes a luxury product stands apart from the rest.
Many celebrities wear Varvatos jackets, including some big-name rock-and-rollers, and they come in various styles that magnificent, especially if you’re willing to spend equivalent kind of money on the rest of your wardrobe.
Made from 100% suede, the Slim-Fit Leather Blazer features notched lapels, welted side pockets, and hook-and-loop closures.
Indeed, Varvatos features buttons over zippers, which some critics say takes away from its luxury reputation but, if nothing else, it gives their jackets an edgier style that few companies can match.
- Premium suede leather helps gives this jacket an excellent look and feel.
- It’s an excellent choice for men with slim builds without being too tight or too loose.
- Many celebrities sport Varvatos leather jackets with style.
- Not for everyone’s budget.
Sometimes you have to pay more for nice things and that’s the case with the John Varvatos Men’s Slim-Fit Leather Blazer. You get what you pay for, but in a good way, because Varvatos makes some of the best leather jackets in the world.
- Plenty of pockets
- Comfortable lining
- Stand collar with throat tab
The best leather jacket for:
Men who want to sport a stylish leather jacket without spending too much
The Leather Factory’s Lambskin Biker Jacket doesn’t quite qualify as a budget jacket, but does fit into a comfortable price range that’s neither too cheap nor too pricey.
And, it’s a quality jacket, which is all that matters.
It features four exterior pockets as well as two in the interior, which gives it a more casual feel overall and, clearly, plenty of storage space.
There are other things about this jacket that we like and think you’ll like, including snap buttons on its hem that makes it easier to get a nice fit around the waistline. The lining consists of 100% polyester and is very comfortable.
It also has a stand (unfolded) collar with a throat tab that helps to protect the neck.
The Lambskin Biker Jacket comes in seven sizes, ranging from extra-small to XXX-large, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding one that fits your body size and shape.
- The lining helps to keep you warm while being very comfortable.
- It will soften over time without losing durability.
- The two interior pockets inside make for even safer storage.
- Sizing tends to run a bit small.
The Leather Factory’s Lambskin Leather Jacket has a cool look, a nice feel, as well as a variety of practical features. That’s nothing new from Leather Factory, which makes some of the best affordable leather jackets.
- Soft leather
- Very pliable
- Doesn’t feel bulky
The best leather jacket for:
Anyone looking or a classy leather coat for late fall and early spring wear
If there’s one thing you can count on with Cole Haan’s products is that they’ll blend craft, style, and engineering to create an elegant design. That’s certainly true of their Smooth Leather Collar Jacket, which looks good, feels good, and keeps you comfortable.
This jacket consists of 100% lambskin that’s soft, pliable, and has a luxurious feel without bulkiness. Instead, it offers a natural fit that adapts to your body’s shape and contours.
It’s also warm enough to wear during the late fall and early spring when temperatures may be a bit cool.
The jacket’s collared and come with welt side-entry pockets for easy access and storage, and also feature a full-length front zip closure. You’ll also appreciate the comfort of its polyester lining.
- It’s conservative yet stylish for all kinds of casual wear.
- You can get it in black and java colors.
- The zippers are well-constructed and very durable.
- Some say the seams aren’t as sturdy as on other jackets.
Another jacket that combines function and design nicely is Cole Haan’s Smooth Leather Collar Jacket. It’s stylish, comfortable, and warm enough to wear in colder temperatures.
- Removable hood
- Multiple pockets
The best leather jacket for:
Motorcyclists looking for a functional, stylish leather jacket
OK, so the Flavor Brown Leather Motorcycle Jacket isn’t just for bikers, but it’s a jacket the many bikers love because of its many features.
For one, it features a removable hood that comes in handy depending on the weather, while the jacket offers excellent wind-resistant, another plus for men cycling on the open road.
The hood attaches to the coat with a zipper that allows you to wear the jacket with it attached, but also as a standing collar jacket.
It also comes with two hand pockets for extra warmth, three chest pockets, and two small internal pockets. In other words, you should have no trouble storing all of your essentials, including your wallet, phone, and important cards.
The zippers, made of a durable metal material, will last a long time.
- Rib cuffs and hem are comfortable against the skin and also offer wind-resistance.
- The removable hood enables you to attain different looks.
- 100% polyester lining is comfortable.
- Doesn’t fit men with larger frames as well.
The Flavor Brown Leather Motorcycle Jacket is a hidden gem among more recognizable brand names and jackets. It’s worth the investment.
- Adjustable fit
- Classic design
The best leather jacket for:
Men who love the motorcycle/racer look
Whether you’re a motorcycle enthusiast or want to look the part, Viking Cycle has a quality jacket for you. Their Angel Fire leather jacket – made from premium cowhide – looks good and delivers all the functionality you need.
It also makes it easy to get a good fit thanks to an adjustable waist belt and zippered cuffs. It only takes a few adjustments, if any, to get the fit and feel that you desire.
Moreover, it provides plenty of storage options thanks to multiple external and internal pockets. From your keys to your glasses to your wallet, you’ll have plenty of options for keeping them safe and secure.
- The zippers are heavy duty and built to last.
- The premium cowhide is very durable.
- The zippered cuffs make it easy to get the exact fit you want.
- Its odor is a little strong out of the box.
This classic leather jacket from Viking Cycle helps you to wear the motorcycle look proudly, even if you don’t own a motorcycle.
- Simple yet attractive design
- Open bottom
- Stylish and functional
Best leather jacket for:
Men who appreciate a minimalist design backed by a strong brand name
Calvin Klein’s ascension to its iconic status began when they introduced designer jeans many moons ago. They’ve expanded since then, obviously, and products such as their Leather Open Bottom jacket for men fit into a long line of superior products.
The CK leather jacket consists of 100% imported leather and features the stylish yet classically simple design for which the company is known. It includes a stand collar, open cuffs, and the kind of sophisticated design you expect from Calvin Klein.
It also has an open bottom, easy-to-access hand pockets with zipper closure, a single flat chest pocket, and interior pockets.
- It has a 100% polyester lining that feels great.
- Two interior pockets allow you to store important items discreetly.
- The single-entry hand pockets with zipper closure enhance the jacket’s sleek, sophisticated look.
- It may feel a little stiff at the start.
If you appreciate everything Calvin Klein has to offer then you’ll love this leather jacket.
- Lining is very soft
- Great, weighty cowhide leather
- Great value for money
The best leather jacket for:
A man looking to get that action hero style down
Your first thought upon trying on Café Racer’s Real Lambskin Brown Leather Jacket will likely be something like: ‘wow, I feel like Han Solo right now.’
This 100% genuine cowhide leather, naturally distressed jacket combines a little bit of that biker style with a real superhero/action hero vibe. And it works just great.
The stitching, zippers and snaps are great quality and sturdy; the inner lining is made of soft viscose which allows the jacket to be both brilliantly light and easy but also keep you warm and cosy.
It’s also a much thicker jacket than many others you’ll find in its price range, making it feel much more formidable and authoritative. It’s a modern, fitted look, with a mandarin collar.
All in all, a great leather jacket for a very reasonable price.
There are a few things to note, though:
Arm holes are a little low for some, but you can mitigate that (if it’s an issue for you) by leaving the jacket open.
And you are strongly advised to consult the sizing chart, as many reviewers have reported issues with fitting – probably a product of the fitted style.
- The leather is nicely weighted and great quality, so it feel strong and manly
- Lining is incredibly soft and feels great on your skin
- Stitching is great quality, so it lasts a long time and is a good investment
- Arm holes aren’t ideal
- Fits can be pretty challenging
A high quality leather jacket without the exorbitant price tag – it’ll help you tap into your inner Han Solo and feel confident and comfortable.
- Sherpa-lined body
- Plenty of pockets
The best leather jacket for:
Anyone who loves the Levi’s brand
Levi’s is known, first and foremost, for its denim, but that doesn’t mean they’re other products don’t deserve high marks, as well. Like their Deer Faux-Leather Aviator Bomber Jacket, for instance.
The latter has all of the quality craftsmanship, and ruggedness customers have come to expect from Levi’s. It also has a Sherpa-lined body for added warmth when the weather turns cooler.
There are also plenty of stylish features, including a stand-up color with adjustable zipper detailing, snap epaulets on the shoulders, and rib-knitting on the cuffs and hems.
You’ll also appreciate its pocket space: the jacket features a left chest pocket, two chest flap pockets, and an interior welt pocket with a snap closure.
Meanwhile, the faux leather is water-resistant while providing extra protection from the elements.
- It’s machine washable.
- Classic Levi’s design.
- Sherpa lining is exceptionally warm.
- Some wish the cuffs were zippered.
The Levi’s Faux-Leather jacket has classic styling, and the Aviator Bomber look that so many love. The Sherpa lining will keep you warm.
- Vintage look
- Removable lining
- Soft feel
The best leather jacket for:
Men seeking a suede leather jacket with a vintage design
Hats off to Landing Leathers for their vintage WWII bomber jacket design. It’s minimalistic but also classy and sophisticated enough for everyday wear, casual outings, etc.
It comes with some cool features, including a roomy enough fit in the chest and waist that’s not too baggy. It features a zipper front closure and a stand collar, as well as two exterior and interior pockets that offer plenty of storage.
The premium suede leather offers a soft feel with raglan sleeves that fit a variety of body shapes. It also features a removable insulated polyester lining that provides extra warmth when you need it. Indeed, you can wear it for almost any season.
- It features a rib-knit waist and cuffs that enhance its overall fit.
- You can easily remove the polyester lining when you don’t need the extra warmth.
- It’s a classic look and comfortable feel available at a reasonable price.
- Sizing may run a bit small.
The Landing Leathers suede leather bomber jacket is an updated take on a vintage design that is a great fit for many men.
- Real lambskin leather
The best leather jacket for:
Men who want a versatile lambskin jacket
Another excellent all-around racer jacket is the Lambskin Leather Jacket by Fjackets. It’s ideal for everyday wear, whether it’s for work or other activities, and consists of 100% real lambskin that’s durable and should give you years of use.
It has other useful features, too, such as a functional zipper closure, tailored and quilted pockets, and it looks as stylish as celebrity wear.
Another plus? Fjackets has a strong reputation for customer service; if there’s something wrong with your jacket, they’ll take care of it courteously.
- It’s made from premium quality lambskin.
- The zippers and pockets help enhance its overall look.
- The quality of the stitching and materials is top-notch.
- It may be too thin for winter wear.
Fjackets designs and produces leather jackets that look good and are available at a reasonable price. Their lambskin leather jacket is a great option for many men.
- Vintage design
- Insulated lining
- Ribbed cuffs
The best leather jacket for:
Men who want replica design of a classic military leather jacket
Landing Leather lands another excellent product on our reviews with their men’s Air Force A-2 Flight Bomber Jacket.
The latter copies the style and standards of the original A-2 flight jacket while also including an insulated polyester lining that provides an extra bit of warmth.
This jacket’s leather exterior is supple and has plenty of nice features, including dual entry pockets with snap closure that can hold your daily essentials and a box-stitched shoulder epaulet. It also comes in regular and big and tall sizes to fit most body shapes.
Finally, the lining features an imprinted World War II American flag, a plus for any military buff.
- It fits most body shapes and sizes.
- It includes ribbed cuffs that help the fit and helps keep you warm.
- Authentic look and feel of a traditional WWII bomber jacket.
- Check sizing carefully; may run large.
With nearly 2,000 Amazon reviews and a 4.5 overall rating, the Landing Leathers Air Force A-2 jacket is a popular choice among many men.
- 100% lambskin
- Sharp detailing
- Removable hood
The best leather jacket for:
Men who prefer leather jackets with detachable hoods
It’s hard to go wrong with Decrum’s Leather Bomber Jacket. From its 100% hand-waxed lambskin leather to its excellent detailing, it’s a jacket that can suit virtually every man’s tastes.
And, yes, it has a detachable hood, which many men like, but it looks great without the hood because of its standing collar.
It also features a variety of cool details, including decorative seams, parallel zipper pockets, snap buttons, patch pockets, and more. The hood has an attractive look, as well, which isn’t the case of all hoods attached to leather jackets, and also helps keep you warm.
Its multiple pockets help create plenty of storage space, as well.
- It’s lined with a soft viscose material for added comfort.
- The zip closure and multiple pockets help highlight the jacket’s exterior.
- You can wear it for casual gatherings, sporting events, parties, hanging out, etc.
- Not always a great fit for taller men.
Decrum’s leather bomber jacket has a strong reputation for good reason. It’s an excellent design consisting of 100% lambskin leather.
- Padded lining
- Detachable hood
The best leather jacket for:
Men looking for a less expensive yet durable leather jacket.
While some men may turn their noses up at anything faux leather, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a high-quality faux leather jacket. Wantdo’s leather jacket with a removable hood is one example.
The 100% polyester Wantdo jacket has a stylish, classic look and provides excellent water and wind protection. And it’s suitable for a variety of activities, from motorcycling to hiking to racing and more.
You’ll appreciate this jacket’s padded lining that enhances wind protection while keeping you warm when temperatures drop. It has a knitted hood that’s detachable, while there’s also rib cuffs and rib bottoms that help seal in warmth.
It also includes multiple pockets, including two zippered hand pockets and two zippered chest pockets, for easy storage.
- It features a full zip front and a hoodie drawstring to get the best fit.
- The detachable hood provides warmth and a different look, but you can remove it and go with the traditional stand collar instead.
- It comes in two versions – thick and thin – to help cover all the seasons.
- Some reviewers complain about the quality of the zippers.
Wantdo’s leather jacket is one of the best you’ll find in the faux leather category. It’s warm, comfortable, and water-resistant.
- Premium stitching
- Suitable for all-season wear
The best leather jacket for:
Men on a budget
You don’t always have to pay top dollar to get an excellent leather jacket and Lavarapelle’s Lambskin Leather Jacket is proof of that.
While Lavarapelle isn’t necessarily a household name, it makes excellent hand-crafted jackets that it delivers directly from the factory to your doorstep.
The Lambskin Leather jacket features classic styling, premium stitching, two inside pockets, and a lining that comes with your choice of polyester, cotton, and fiber.
And it’s good for wearing during all seasons, although you may want to add an extra layer underneath during the winter.
- It has a clean, classic look that’s timeless.
- Laverapelle has a strong reputation for making durable leather jackets.
- It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t completely satisfied.
- The sizing runs a little small
Laverapelle makes quality, affordable leather jackets. Their Lambskin jacket is an excellent all-around product with a classic design.
8 Tips for wearing a leather jacket
A men’s leather jacket is a classic piece of menswear that will enhance your look, whether it’s formal, casual, or something in between. But how you wear it and pair it with other clothing can help you to take your style to the next level.
1. What to wear with a classic leather jacket
The classic leather jacket is one with minimal features. It can represent an understated style and the rest of your clothing should reflect that minimalism – and conservatism. You should try to strike a balance between casual and not too formal.
Keep your color palette simple with minimal leather jackets, as well; stick with black or white shirts, perhaps with a hint of grey or brown to soften the look somewhat.
A crisp button-down shirt with slim-cut black jeans is a nice look. Chelsea boots also help rock the look.
2. The biker jacket look
The biker jacket, as we’ll discuss in our section on types of leather jackets, represents a youthful, edgy style that reflects its motorcycle roots.
A biker jacket pairs well with slim jeans, but you can wear it with an Oxford shirt and knitted tie in more tolerant office settings.
3. Fit and layering
The fit is everything regarding leather jackets and pretty much every other type of clothing and footwear you can name.
While leather racers and bombers best suit men with slim body shapes, you do want to leave room for layers, depending on the type of climate in which you live.
Leave room for a sweatshirt if you live in colder regions, which is why a slightly oversized fit isn’t a bad thing. Whatever you do, however, don’t let the sweatshirt or another type of layering hang below the bottom of your jacket.
That said, a field jacket, which is a bit longer than other types of leather jackets, will keep you warmer in the elements. Field jackets pair well with fitted jeans and Chelsea boots.
4. Bomber jacket style
The bomber jacket is, among other things, very versatile. You can wear it with almost any type of clothing, although many style experts say the safest bet is to wear it with denim, simple t-shirt (white is good), or a similarly casual style of shirt.
A nice pair of Wayfarer sunglasses also look good with a bomber jacket and you can wear it with fingerless gloves for a grungier style.
5. Leather jackets with shirts and ties
The bomber jacket is a bit more suitable than the biker jacket for modern offices, although you can wear each with a shirt and tie.
Whatever you choose – and brown suede is a good option, as well – keep padding and embellishments to a minimum. You should also choose a minimal collar and cuffs.
Your jacket’s collar has plenty of significance, style-wise. A short, soft collar, for example, signifies a more rugged casual look and often found on jackets of a looser cut.
Short, tight collars represent a sleek, streamlined style associated with the world of motorsports, while full turn-down collars are common to longer leather jackets and trench coats.
In general, the more pockets, the more casual your leather jacket style, and a jacket that has more than two pockets is casual.
Details on pockets also represent a casual look. Dressier jackets tend to have the pockets sewn into the interior.
8. Leather jacket colors
Most leather jackets are black or brown. Wear black if your wardrobe has a lot of solids and sharp contrasts, while brown looks better with a more muted wardrobe that features textured fabrics and earth tones.
You can get leather jackets in brighter colors, but they’re less versatile and don’t work all that well for everyday use.
How to take care of a leather jacket in 8 steps
A leather jacket represents a sizable investment. To protect that investment, while ensuring you get years of use from it, takes a commitment on your part. Nothing too major, mind you, but something to keep in mind before and after you buy.
1. Practice preventive medicine
A leather jacket, not unlike the human body, responds well to preventive care. In the case of your jacket, preventive medicine may include a leather or suede protectant spray to protect it from water and rain.
Make sure to spot test your spray first to make sure it doesn’t cause discoloration.
It’s best to apply a protectant while your jacket is new and, preferably, unworn.
Also, keep in mind that no protectant makes your jacket 100% waterproof, even if the product makes that claim. It will make it water-resistant, however, and should keep doing so for several weeks until you need to re-apply it.
2. Let it air dry
Let your leather jacket dry naturally should you get caught in the rain or if it gets wet for any other reason.
Put it on a hangar, preferably a padded one or wooden one, and let it dry at room temperature. Keep it away from direct heat sources, no matter how strong the temptation, and don’t use a hairdryer or other device to speed up the process.
Once it’s dried, apply a leather conditioner.
3. Clean it with a damp cloth
You can clean dirt and grime on your leather jacket by using a slightly damp cloth (and the emphasis is on “slightly) to wipe it away.
Do a spot test first, however, by applying a single drop of water onto your jacket. If it absorbs into the jacket and darkens its color, then don’t use a damp cloth.
4. Use a leather conditioner
A good leather conditioner restores oil to the leather and prevents excess dryness and cracking. But you don’t want to apply too much of it because it affects the jacket’s color and clogs the pores while reducing its lifespan.
Leather conditioners work best for older jackets that show signs of drying and aging.
5. Always hang it properly
The best way to prevent and remove minor wrinkles is by storing your leather jacket on a wide, padded or wooden clothes hangar.
Also, keep it away from direct sunlight and heat when not in use; too much direct sunlight can cause the color to fade or create small patches of discoloration.
6. Let it breathe
One way to extend the life of your leather jacket is to make sure it can breathe, i.e., that it’s exposed to dry air and a light draft. Never store it in a plastic garment bag.
7. Remove stains with rubbing alcohol
You can remove stubborn stains from a leather jacket, such as ink stains, with a bit of rubbing alcohol and a clean, white cotton cloth. Never use colored cloth because the dye may run.
Gently blot the stain with cloth and alcohol; rubbing it too hard may cause the leather to fade.
Never use the above method for getting rid of stains on a suede leather jacket. In fact, you should only use a specialized brush or a dry sponge for cleaning suede, or have it sent to a professional dry cleaner.
Which leads us to our next tip:
8. When in doubt, leave it up to the professionals
There’s nothing wrong with leaving your leather jacket in the hands of a professional when it gets weather damaged or when long term wear-and-tear start to take their toll.
That’s especially true for suede leather or light-colored. Or, if you like, a pro can take care of all the routine maintenance, if you prefer.
6 Types of leather jackets and who they suit best
Finding the right leather jacket also means choosing one that suits your particular style. The good news is that there are several types of leather jackets, so finding one that fits your personality and sense of fashion isn’t too difficult.
Here’s a look at some of the most popular leather jacket types:
1. Bomber jacket
The bomber is an iconic type of leather jacket that continues to grow in popularity. It has a simple shape that features a cropped body, a central zipper, and a fitted waist and cuffs.
The leather bomber oozes masculinity and has been worn by tough-guy actors such as Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando. If you prefer that look, it’s hard to go wrong with a bomber jacket.
2. Biker jacket
Biker jackets usually come in black and have studs and asymmetric zippers that help it enhance it’s “bad boy” look. It also has a youthful, edgy style that fits well with slim jeans.
If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, by all means check out a biker jacket. It fits the activity.
3. Field jacket
The field jacket was originally a staple of U.S. military menswear but is a favorite of millions of civilians these days. It’s slightly longer than other leather jacket styles (it falls just below the waist) and has a laid-back, Americana type of look.
Whether you’re a farmer or an urban dweller, a field jacket will fit your style. Also, it’s the style for you if you prefer plenty of pockets; the classic field jacket has four front pockets and all the space you need to carry your essentials.
4. Racer jacket
Racer jackets represent a tip of the hat to the automotive and motorsports worlds. They have a streamlined, minimalist design and often consist of heavy horsehide and a strong zipper.
A racing jacket can flatter your body shape and is excellent for A) showcasing broad shoulders, or B) a slighter body shape if you opt for a jacket with thicker leather.
5. Flight jacket
Just as the name suggests, flight jackets were created for pilots. They have a bulkier design with a lining designed for warmth. They’re not just for airmen, however, and many, many civilians prefer the flight jacket over other leather jackets.
You can wear flight jackets for a variety of occasions, but you may want to choose one without a sheepskin color if you plan to wear it to a fancier outing.
6. Faux leather
A faux leather jacket is the best option if you’re passionately vegan and concerned with animal cruelty. While faux leather jackets have a bad rap for looking cheap and too shiny – and deservedly so in some cases – not all of them look that way.
And, a faux leather jacket is going to cost less than the real thing, so it’s not a bad option if you’re trying to pinch some pennies.
Leather jackets vs. other types of jackets
When comparing leather jackets with other types of jackets something to consider is what makes leather jackets so popular. And the reasons are what help them apart from the rest in many ways:
- They have a classic style
- They look better with age
- They provide ample warmth and protection from the elements
- They’re versatile enough to wear for a variety of occasions
- They come in a variety of color options
- They don’t require a ton of care
There are other reasons, for sure, but leather jackets are an entity all their own and represent a distinct style difference that’s different from other jackets.
If you compare a leather jacket to a denim jacket, for example, leather jackets fare pretty damn well regarding versatility (including wardrobe versatility) and weather-resistance.
For one, leather is naturally water-resistant although you don’t want to waterlog it because harsh weather can cause leather to wear and show signs of age.
True, leather jackets cost more than many other types of jackets, but your investment should provide you with years of use and, as mentioned, they look better as they age.
5 Useful leather jacket accessories
Owning a leather coat isn’t unlike owning a nice car: it looks good, is worthy of admiration, is a sizable investment, and requires care to keep it looking its best and to ensure many years of use.
The following accessories not only help keep your leather coat in tip-top condition but can help accentuate its look.
We talked about the importance of conditioner in the section on how to care for a leather jacket. You should own a bottle or two of the stuff for a variety of reasons, as discussed.
Among the most reputable and best-selling conditioners is the Honey Leather Conditioner, a product that’s been around for over 50 years. One treatment of it is said to last six months or more as it deeply penetrates the leather’s pores to protect and rejuvenate your jacket.
It’s also versatile in that you can use it on all types of leather, including leather furniture, automobile and motorcycle seats, boots, gloves – you name it.
Another exceptional product is Chamberlain’s Leather Milk Healing Balm, which restores dry, scratched, and cracked leather. It’s all-natural and non-toxic.
Suede requires different care than other types of leather and Premium’s Suede Cleaner is something you should have within arm’s reach if you wear a suede leather jacket.
It gently removes dirt, oil, sweat, and water spots without damaging the material. You can also use it on all colors of suede.
A quality suede cleaning brush is another essential, and Shacke’s Suede & Nubuck 4-way Leather Brush Cleaner fits the bill. It removes heavy scuff marks and stains, and its design makes it easier to clean rounded corners.
3. Coat hanger
Hanging your coat after every use is a must to keep it from wrinkling and for making sure it always looks its best. Cheap wire hangers won’t do, however, and you need a solid wood or padded hanger to handle the shape and weight of your coat.
The Amber Home Deluxe Curved Solid Wood Hanger is just such a product and features a non-slip bar, a smooth finish, and wide shoulders. It also comes with a 360-degree swivel hook.
Main & Fox makes an excellent padded hanger that includes a non-slip pant bar. It also comes with a gold-plated swivel hook.
4. Repair kit
Try as you might, scratches, tears, cracks and peeling plague your leather coat. Have no fear, however, because help is on its way thanks to products such as Coconix’s Vinyl and Leather Repair Kit.
Another helpful product is EuTengHao’s Zipper Repair Kit. It comes with replacement zippers, a zipper pull “rescue kit,” as well as a pair of pliers made for the job.
There’s no denying that the leather look and motorsports pair superbly. And why not enhance the style with a pair of leather driving gloves, such as Pratt and Hart’s Traditional Leather Driving Gloves or the AXBXCX Touch Screen Full Finger Gloves for Motorcycles?
How we chose these products
Leather jackets vary from brand to brand in a variety of ways, including price and overall quality. We considered both factors while choosing the best leather jackets for men.
We also researched the reviews of others, particularly those of customers, and considered accessories such as pockets, a coat’s lining, etc.
Regarding price: leather jackets can cost a lot, especially those made by companies such as John Varvatos. As always, we hoped to present jackets in a wide price range, from the very affordable to the very pricey.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How do you clean a leather jacket?
We discuss leather jacket care at length in an earlier section but, in general, a slightly damp cloth is a common way to clean leather. Just make sure that your jacket can handle the moisture without staining. A suede brush is appropriate for cleaning a suede jacket.
How do you wear a leather jacket?
Leather jackets represent, for the most part, a casual style of clothing. You can wear them for business casual settings, depending on the office dress code, and even with shirts and ties. But they look great with slim jeans, t-shirts, etc.
How do you soften a leather jacket?
The best method for softening a leather jacket is with a quality leather conditioner.
The conditioner will treat dry leather while reducing the chance of cracks and tears. And, in most cases, you don’t have to use a conditioner very often to keep your jacket in good shape.
How should a leather jacket fit?
A leather jacket looks best when it resembles a second skin on your body, although it shouldn’t fit too tightly either. Leave enough room to be able to layer beneath it with items such as sweatshirts and other heavier clothing. Avoid a fit that’s too baggy.
How do you care for a leather jacket?
We talked a lot about how to care for a leather jacket earlier and that section covers a lot of bases. In general, gentler is better when caring for a leather jacket, and when in doubt you should leave its care in the hands of a professional.
How do you repair a ripped leather jacket?
There is a variety of methods for repairing rips in a leather jacket, not the least of which is buying a commercial leather repair kit.
The latter typically includes sub patches, leather-safe fabric glue, and small tools designed for the job. Most sewing supply shops or arts and crafts stores carry the kits.
What should you wear with a leather jacket?
What you wear with your leather jackets depends on the type of jacket. No matter what type, however, casual clothing is best, including slim-fit jeans, t-shirts in solid colors, boots, minimalist trainers, and so on.
How do you shrink a leather jacket?
You can always take your leather jacket to a tailor to shrink it, or you can try some do-it-yourself methods.
One method involves soaking your jacket in a tub of hot water and then letting it air dry naturally. You can also place it in a mesh bag and put it in the washing machine, but that may cause more wear and tear.
How do you break in a leather jacket?
Check the type of leather before you break in a jacket manually because some leather is stronger and more durable than others.
You can use your hands to roll your jacket into a ball gently and then out again. Then again, there’s no substitute for simply wearing your jacket often to break it in naturally.
How do you distress a leather jacket?
Many men like the distressed leather look and it’s not hard to create it on your own.
You’ll need two spray bottles – one for water, one for rubbing alcohol – a clean cloth or rag, sandpaper, and a wire brush. Spray the targeted area with rubbing alcohol. Use a wire brush to distress the area; for a smoother finish use sandpaper.
Where can I sell my leather jacket?
If you no longer want your leather jacket there’s no reason to give it away or to sell it for cheap in a yard sale. Instead, you can sell it online in various ways, including on eBay and even Craigslist, or you can even take it to a pawn shop.
Of course, there’s always word of mouth among friends and families.
How do you remove mold from a leather jacket?
Mold is a pain in the you-know-what no matter where it occurs, including on your prized leather jacket. Not all hope is lost, however, and a gentle scrub brush, a cup of water, a cup of rubbing alcohol, a clean cloth, and some mild soap will help you get rid of the mold.
How do you clean a suede leather jacket?
Suede takes a different type of care than other leather jackets. A suede brush is an invaluable tool for cleaning your jacket, while a pencil eraser can help remove stains. You can also use a clean towel or cloth to loosen dirt and dust.
What does a leather jacket say about you?
Leather jackets suggest that you have a certain attitude, an edginess, as well a style that can give off a bad boy vibe that you don’t get from jackets made from other materials.
They have a tough-guy appeal that’s timeless, but also enough sophistication to wear practically everywhere.
How do you restore a leather jacket?
Leather jackets can become a bit faded, stained, or cracked over time (if not all three) but they’re not difficult to restore.
You’ll need a leather cleaner, a leather crack repair product, sandpaper, a leather conditioner, and a healthy supply of paper towels, sponges, and clean cloths.
How do you stretch a leather jacket?
The simplest method for stretching a leather jacket is to wear it often. You can wear extra layers underneath to help stretch it more, if you so choose. Or, a leather conditioner will help to stretch it, while spritzing it with warm water and letting it dry can help, too.
How do you store a leather jacket?
The easier method for storing a leather jacket is to hang it in a cool, dry place on wooden or padded hangers. Do not use wire hangers.
You can also place them in storage containers such as wooden cases and fabric bags. Never store them in plastic bags because they don’t allow the leather to breathe.
How do you condition a leather jacket?
Apply a quality leather conditioner to your leather jacket is one of the most important things you can do regarding overall care.
In most cases, you only need to use a conditioner every six months – or more – and you should gently rub it into all areas of the jacket’s exterior.
How do you get wrinkles out of a leather jacket?
There are a few methods for removing wrinkles: 1) you can steam it by hanging it in the bathroom while running a hot shower, 2) press it with an iron – carefully and on the lowest heat setting, and 3) Flatten it by placing heavy books on it.
How do you waterproof a leather jacket?
Water can damage your leather jacket if it’s allowed to sit on the material. An oil-based silicone spray works well on most types of full-grain leather, while water-based sprays work on suede or nubuck.
Leather jackets represent a timeless, edgy look that never goes out of style. While they’re often expensive, they represent a great investment that should continue to look good years from now. And they’re versatile to wear for a variety of occasions.
We’d love to hear from you, too. Do you own a leather jacket? If so, what brand? We always welcome your feedback and suggestions.
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