Best leather jacket

Outerwear

Indigenous societies have long been known to be the first civilizations to use leather and other parts of the animal such as its hide to create items such as a leather jacket.

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Which leather jacket is best?

Regardless if the weather is cool or warm, very few clothing pieces stay in style no matter what, becoming a timeless fashion piece. However, aside from being a popular clothing option, a leather jacket is quite durable and well-suited for longer wear, all while being effortlessly trendy.

With several styles and designs available, it can be difficult to find the exact one that suits your individual personal style. However, despite there being so many options to pick from, if you’re looking for a well-made contemporary leather jacket featuring a nice pop of color and soft suede inner-lining, check out LAMARQUE’s Ciara Leather Jacket.

What to know before you buy a leather jacket

Materials

Cowhide, bison, deerskin, goatskin, lambskin and calfskin are the most commonly used leathers. Cowhide is the strongest, thickest and most durable out of all other materials and therefore is the most commonly used.

Lambskin is lightweight, much smoother and thinner than traditional leathers, although it lends itself easier to pleats and draping, while calfskin is typically thicker and heavier yet strikes a nice balance between fashionable and sturdy.

Overall, full-grain leather is the most durable type you will come across, because the material is cut from below the animal’s hairline and as a result is pretty moisture resistant. It also ages very well, despite being known to show imperfections on the skin once dyed and treated.

Sheepskin, also known as shearling, is crafted from the skin and wool of a sheep or lamb as part of regular coat maintenance. Being warm and fairly water resistant, sheepskin is normally used as lining in leather jackets, while suede is much softer since it is made from the underside of an animal’s skin.

Styles

Pilots traditionally wore what are now known as biker jackets, so these jackets are fashioned as an aviator jacket but are warmer and more practical in function. The most iconic style is the biker jacket, which exudes style and a “cool” factor. Widely available in a myriad of customizable colors and features, this style allows you to tailor your jacket to your own taste.

Similar to the biker style, the racer jacket features a more modern silhouette but with straighter and smoother lines. Shorter in length, the racer jacket usually hits right above the hips, while some feature more asymmetrical cuts. The flight jacket is similar to bombers but features the add-ons more commonly found on aviator design, such as an insulated interior.

The quality-grade bomber jacket is simple in its overall design but is crafted from extremely strong and durable materials that flatter any gender. The super-stylized moto jacket is a fun twist on the traditional style and includes more embellishments, such as studs, belts and zipper closures.

Outside of unique design cuts and styles, there are two widely available necklines in leather jackets: the V-neck and round neck. The former keeps you warm but can be layered on top of other clothing pieces in cooler weather, while the latter lets a cute shirt peek out from around your collarbone and shoulders.

Finishes

Leather jackets with a top-grained finish have a sort of treatment done to the material that keeps it protected and coated, making it the easiest leather to maintain and keep up with extended use. Jackets made with nappa leather are somewhat heavier in weight but also velvety to the touch and is known as one of the highest qualities of leathers available.

Aniline dye colors typically are used when coloring leather jackets and help produce more uniform coloring in pigmented leather garments. However, this dye method leaves some visible marks on the material’s un-dyed surface that remain visible after the coloring process.

Nubuck leather is similar to aniline-treated leather since both materials have been sanded down for softness. The biggest difference is that Nubuck is sanded on the inside whereas suede is on the outside.

What to look for in a quality leather jacket

Stitches

Stitching in a leather product can vary from piece to piece and usually involves a lot of care taken during the stitching process to ensure each piece matches in color and tone. A cheap designer will try to cut costs by using thinner threads or simply limit the amount of top stitching, while completely taking it out of the garment altogether.

Trimming

A trusted garment manufacturer will conduct their trimming process after stitching has been done, so be on the lookout for manufacturers who don’t skip this part to save on labor costs. Less well-made leather jackets feature a lower-grade synthetic lining throughout the jacket’s interior, so pay attention to the jacket’s trimming technique.

Details

A leather jacket made with expertise and care has as much attention to detail on the inside as the outside, meaning its internal pockets are sturdy, the leather won’t be corrected and the animal’s skin won’t show signs of scarring or branding.

Jackets of poorer quality use skin that has been sanded down while sometimes pressing faux-leather grains into the outer material and spraying too much dye and treatments. A YKK branded zipper also helps you discern if the brand has invested in higher-quality materials throughout its entire manufacturing process.

How much does a leather jacket cost?

Leather can cost $100-$2,000, mostly depending on which brand or fashion house from which you decide to buy. There are more affordable options in the $50-$200 range if you browse vintage cardigan collections at thrift stores and consignment shops.

Leather jacket FAQ

Are leather jackets hard to take care of?

Unlike other more-traditional outerwear, leather jackets are easy to maintain, extremely durable and simple to clean. If your jacket is 100% genuine leather and not made from polyurethane, then overall, it shouldn’t require any special upkeep other than spot-cleaning.

Do leather jackets only come in brown?

Although most leather jackets are naturally brown because of manufacturers usually not doing additional work during the crafting process, many companies offer jackets in dozens of colors, ranging from traditional hues such as brown, black and white. Some brands specialize in more vibrant colors such as pink, blue and yellow.

Are all leather jackets made from cowhide?

Despite the majority of leather jackets being made from cowhide due to the fabric’s suppleness, durability and comfort level, other jackets are made from other animals such as antelope, deer and lamb.

What’s the best leather jacket to buy?

Top leather jacket

LAMARQUE Ciara Leather Jacket

LAMARQUE Ciara Leather Jacket

What you need to know: This jacket is made by a trusted brand that specializes in luxurious leather garments and modern outerwear.

What you’ll love: Crafted from 100% lamb leather, this beautifully bright biker jacket is available in neon fuchsia and a deep black. Featuring an asymmetrical front-zip closure, spacious side zipper pockets and a cute hem belt loop. The lining is made from 97% polyester and 3% spandex for a bit of stretch.

What you should consider: Due to the quality of the material, this leather jacket is priced pretty high.

Where to buy: Sold by Revolve

Top leather jacket for the money

Fahsyee Faux Leather Jacket

Fahsyee Faux Leather Jacket

What you need to know:  The manufacturer offers several sizes and more than 20 colors.

What you’ll love: Featuring a motorcycle design with an adjustable lapel collar design and two front zippered small pockets, the outer layer is made from 100% polyurethane and has a cozy 100% polyester interior lining.

What you should consider: The jacket’s outer material is not very durable, so you can only hand-wash the material.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

ALLSAINTS Balfern Leather Biker Jacket

ALLSAINTS Balfern Leather Biker Jacket

What you need to know: This leather jacket is 100% handmade from sheep leather and can only be professionally cleaned.

What you’ll love: The perfect leather jacket for everyday wear, it has trendy zipper pockets, a belted hem with buckle closure and an asymmetrical front zipper closure. Its classic shoulder epaulettes and smooth exterior make this jacket an timeless wardrobe piece.

What you should consider: The clothing designer doesn’t have a wide variety of sizes to choose from, so only smaller sizes are available.

Where to buy: Sold by Revolve

 

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Ashton Hughes writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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