Whether you’re silently wishing you were Marlon Brando in The Wild One, The Ramones in CBGB’s or James Dean… well, whenever he was on a motorcycle, all men know that with a leather jacket comes all kinds of connotations of rebellion and cool. My own personal inspiration for having a leather jacket is a childhood wish of being Kenickie from Grease (which I’m not ashamed of by the way!) but all you’ve got to do is look at anyone from Daniel Day Lewis to Robert Patterson to Zac Efron to see that they remain as relevant to men’s fashion as they did when Johnny Strabler appeared on the big screen.
However, there is still a lot of room for error when it comes to these little beauties and as always it really is all about the fit. Try to keep them on slim side and fitted to your body creating straight lines and a snug feeling to them. Luckily, leather jackets are different breed from their 1950’s counter parts so are made from lamb or goat’s hide rather than horsehide that remained hard to break in and made that squeaky noise whenever you moved. Bad times.
A suggestion I might make is to try a size smaller than you normally would and see how that looks and feels on your particular body shape. Make sure it hugs your shoulders rather than slouches off them, it ends at your waist not thighs and be sure to have sleeves that aren’t too long, it’s not something a tailor can sort out.
When it comes to the styles they come in, there are only three styles that really matter. Fatigue (comes with the two pockets at the chest and occasionally epaulettes on the shoulders), Motocross (has minimum detailing on it, nothing except the two waist pockets) and the Bomber (lined at the sleeves and waist with ribbed wool).
Colour is an important choice to make too. Black is most guys go to here but there are other options to be considered. Of course black is great for a more classic look and always carries the impression of instant coolness and, let’s be honest, punk rock ‘give-a-sh*t’. But with the options of chocolate browns, tans and even butterscotch leathers now readily available, why not try them out as well.
Brown has always been a more stylish choice compared to the formalistic black, is very versatile when paired with nearly every colour and also helps you stand out from a sea of Joe Strummer wannabes.
Another thing to bear in mind is that you don’t always have to think of your leather jacket as an outerwear piece. Because you’ve chosen one that is more streamlined and slim-cut you can leave it on when you walk into restraints, pubs and clubs – think of it in the same way you would a blazer.
Ways To Wear
And as always, here are some fool-proof ways of wearing a leather jacket:
- Grab your favourite pair of jeans (so long as there on the darker side of denim), a crisp white shirt and slim black tie. Pair with a black bomber and your favourite pair of white trainers and you’ve got a look that straddles formal and casual perfectly.
- With a dark brown fatigue style jacket, go with some slightly baggier jeans, a printed/band T-shirt with a black or white base to it and those knackered vans or converse you have lying around. Get yourself some Wayfarer sunglasses and a grey slouch beanie to round of an effortless lazy weekend outfit.
- Try it with your plaid and stripe shirts too. Take a hint from Robert Patterson and team some grey or black denim with a dark plaid in red or blue with a black leather bomber.
- Or try reversing the ‘formal top/casual bottom’ look. Pair those grey or navy suit trousers that you only ever wear to job interviews with a simple neutral or complimenting T-shirt and some Oxblood Brogues with a coffee coloured motocross leather jacket for a new take on the word ‘smart-casual’.
Leather Jacket Lookbook Inspiration
I mean seriously, what can’t you wear with a leather jacket? It’s a timeless piece that will always see you through and NEVER goes out of fashion. It’s one of those fantastic items of clothing that you can use to anchor other more ‘fashion-forward’ on trend pieces that will be in for a season and then out the next.
Regardless of that though, the leather jackets here to stay, so go grab yourself one.