It’s the jacket every man should own and the one item of clothing that can make anyone look effortlessly cool; this is our guide to wearing a leather jacket.
Of course, many would instantly think of the biker jacket, but there are a variety of staple styles that you can dip your toes into. From biker jackets to bombers, you can easily find a leather jacket that will suit and fit your needs.
History of the Leather Jacket
Originally a protective outer layer for German fighter pilots in World War One, the leather bomber jacket dates all the way back to the early 1900’s. Irving Schott picked up on the practicality of the jacket and designed the first motorcycle jacket for Harley Davidson, modelled on those used during the war. The leather jacket had become a military staple by the second World War and by the 1950’s, Hollywood had adopted it as a symbol of manly ruggedness and rebel culture. The likes of James Dean and Marlon Brando solidified the leather jacket as a sign of both style and manliness by appearing on the big screen in, now iconic, jackets.
From the 1960’s through to the 80’s, the music industry also embraced the style, with artists such as The Beatles, Duran Duran and Blondie often sporting various styles. By the 1990’s, supermodels such as Kate Moss had risen to fame and were big advocates of the grungy, alternative-rock style that the leather jacket embodies. Skip forward to the present day and the leather jacket is firmly cemented in both high fashion and high street style; suitable for every occasion and available in a number of styles, it has become an extremely versatile and wearable piece.
The Biker Jacket
Gone are the days when the biker jacket was purely a functional item, worn in order to help bikers battle the elements and keep their valuables safe. If you invest in a good quality one, then it will certainly still protect you from the great British weather or from losing your wallet on a night out. More importantly though, it is now a highly fashionable piece that can be worn on any occasion; from brunch to the pub. Probably best not to turn up to the office in one though.
The Bomber Jacket
This style has changed a lot since the early 1900’s, and is now the perfect everyday jacket. Thrown on top of a t-shirt and jeans – or even slung over your shoulder if you’re feeling brave – a leather bomber jacket is a foolproof way to improve almost any outfit.
How to Wear it
A classic piece like the leather jacket doesn’t need much dressing up, so a plain or logo top is probably your best bet when choosing what to wear under your jacket. In the colder months a basic jumper will also work well, but don’t try squeezing a chunky knit under there unless you want to potentially overheat and spend the day walking around as stiff as a board.
As for jeans, a dark wash is best; choose a skinny or slim fit so as to avoid looking like you’re actually about to hop on a motorbike. A classic shoe such as Converse or Dr Martens is the perfect match to a leather jacket; they will keep your outfit simple and timeless.
Purchasing a leather jacket is definitely an investment. They might not be as dressy or easy to style as a formal coat but they are practical, durable and most importantly: full of attitude. Whether you’ve decided to go for a leather biker jacket or gone a little different and chosen a bomber, you can always style out a leather jacket this and every season.
Feature image from Pinterest