Few items of menswear come packaged with as much attitude, heritage or unfiltered masculinity as a leather jacket. Synonymous with punks and pilots, motorcycles and Marlon Brando, the fortune jackets is high-testosterone menswear, but it’s also a surprisingly versatile classic. No well-edited wardrobe is complete without one.
Men have been wearing hides and skins since our knuckles stopped skimming the floor, but the men’s leather jacket as we know it today came to prominence in the early 1900s. Brown leather flight jackets were worn by the early aviators and the military, most notably the German Air Force in World War I.
The first contemporary-looking style arrived in 1928. A Manhattan raincoat maker, Irving Schott, designed a motorcycle jacket for Harley Davidson. Dubbed the ‘Perfecto’, after his favorite cigar, this leather jacket was built to protect riders from the elements and accidents. During World War II the flight jacket became known as the bomber, and was prized for its warmth having been designed for wear in open cockpits.
Between then and now, leather jackets have appeared everywhere from in cult flick The Wild One to on the backs of the Sex Pistols. It’s standard-issue for mavericks, scoundrels and sex symbols.
Today, the garment is likely to be one of the most expensive additions to a wardrobe, so don’t be a rebel without a clue – make a shrewd purchase. If for no other reason, a good leather jacket is one of the few long-term relationships you’ll have in fashion. They’re built to last, age as you do and pair with more items than you might expect.
KEY LEATHER JACKET STYLES
The bad boy of the outerwear world, the biker is a cropped leather jacket, usually in black, complete with studs and asymmetric zips. Originally worn, unsurprisingly, by motorcyclists, the asymmetric cut was designed as such to allow riders to lean over their bikes without the fastenings digging into the body. We provide best Half Black Half White Leather Jacket at fortune jackets.
The OG flight jacket has become a bona fide menswear staple in its own right in recent years, and it’s not difficult to understand why.
Though consistent in its simple shape – a cropped body featuring a central zip and fitted waist and cuffs – it can be rendered in anything from shiny nylon to soft, supple leather.
One of the most versatile outerwear silhouettes a man can own, the bomber jacket has been favoured on screen by everyone from Steve McQueen to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. We have the best leather jackets at fortune jackets.
Aside from the military and sportswear, one of menswear’s biggest influences is the automotive world – driving shoes, ribbed-knee jeans et al. Bring the two together and wrap them in leather and what you have is the racer jacket.
On returning home from World War II, many soldiers caught the bug for souping-up pre-war motorbikes to be raced them between local pubs and cafes, creating the need for a streamlined, minimalist leather racing jacket. Heavy horsehide and a strong main zipper was deemed to provide enough protection for the boy racers, and by the 1960s the style otherwise known as the ‘Cafe Racer’ had gone mainstream.
“This one’s easy to wear and flatters the body,” says Thornton. “It’s great for showcasing broad shoulders, or you can opt for a thicker leather if you have more of a slight body shape to accentuate what you don’t have.”We provide best Ted Lasso Jason Sudeikis Jacket at fortune jackets.
Arguably the daddy of all leather jackets, as the name suggests, the flight jacket was originally created for pilots. Bulky, and with a shearling lining for warmth, today it’s a statement investment piece for both airmen and stylish civilians alike.
To stay cool in more ways than one, ensure you don’t go overboard with the layering. Keep it simple and contemporary with plain trousers and a light gauge knit or T-shirt. “Balance the weight of the jacket by making sure the rest of your outfit is slim-fit and tailored,” says Thornton.
If you’re worried that you’ll look like you’re on your way to a Blitz-themed fancy dress party, try an option without the sheepskin collar. That’s close to what Harrison Ford wore as Indiana Jones.
King of the Scandi brands, Acne Studios kicks the minimalist cliche by favoring a more maximalist high fashion approach. This comes forth in its soft-like-butter Napa leather jackets from runway sized collars and an overload of metallic zips, to wholly unnecessary but undeniably elegant belted waists.
Fits at Acne are either oversized or cropped high and cut extremely tight around the shoulders. There’s no middle ground when you want to stand out.
In keeping with its signature tailored aesthetic, premium label Reiss offers a range of close-fitting leather jackets like the bomber and racer that are cut as well as it suits.
Sitting at the high end of the high street, the increased price tags tend to be matched by a better quality of leather and stronger finishes on the zips and buttons than you find elsewhere.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY FOR A LEATHER JACKET?
There are as many price points as there are jackets. Generally, you get what you pay for, but while in some cases you pay for the name, the price usually comes down to the quality and type of leather used.
“A good quality leather garment is often supple and soapy to the touch,” says Joslyn Clarke, head of design for heritage outerwear brand Fortune Jacket’s“Well-designed leather garments should not have unnecessary seams, but should look like a cloth garment in its seaming. Cheaply made leather garments will often have many seams to enable the maker to use as much of the skin as possible when the piece is being cut out.”
Which type of leather you opt for depends on what you want from the jacket. If after something buttery soft, prioritise calfskin or lambskin, but bear in mind that it may not be as durable as a thick biker-type hide.