How to Wear the Schott Perfecto Jacket

How to Wear the Schott Perfecto Jacket

For the best part of a century, The Schott Perfecto jacket has been the staple leather motorcycle jacket. This absolutely classic item of men's fashion has always been an essential of any man's wardrobe. If you've ever wondered how to wear a Schott Perfecto jacket, then here's our style guide on how. 

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As an iconic piece of punk fashion in the 80s, the Schott leather jacket was originally made famous by Marlon Brando and punk bands like the Ramones. Whether you're going for a rebellious biker style, or just want a good quality leather jacket for your wardrobe, then the Schott Perfecto is, if you pardon the pun, perfect.

However, sadly many men don't realise the potential held within this great leather jacket. Although leather jackets are often associated with big hairy biker gangs from America, this doesn't mean they can't be worn in a slick and stylish way. Fortunately, you don't have to join the Hell's Angels to wear a Schott Perfecto jacket. Here are all the best ways to wear one in a fashionable way.

leather biker jacket street style
Man wearing Schott NYC Perfecto jacket


Schott Perfecto Leather Jacket

The main features of a Schott Perfecto Leather jacket are:

  • Asymmetrical double breasted zip front.
  • Zip sleeve cuffs
  • Snap down lapels
  • Water resistant leather finish
  • Shoulder epaulets
  • Many zip pockets

It is the amount of unique and practically stylish features that are on a Schott Perfecto jacket that make it such a versatile and fashionable item of clothing to own. From the asymmetrical zip on the front, to the large snap down lapels, every little detail of the Perfecto biker jacket has some form of personality.

In addition to the stylish aesthetic, many of the jacket's features actually come with practical uses. The number of pockets on the inside and out of the jacket make it perfect for carrying your keys and loose change around with you.

How to Wear the Schott Perfecto - Star Styles

Marlon Brando

When it comes to men's fashion styles, Marlon Brando has always been a trendsetter. Playing the motorbike rebel Johnny Strabler in the 1953 film The Wild One, Brando styled a Schott Perfecto jacket with ease. The popularity of the film, as well as Brando's popularity as an actor, meant that the Schott NYC perfecto became an instant fashion trend with young men in America.

Despite being a 1950s motorbike rebel, the Marlon Brando look has is still extremely stylish today. Achieving this timeless outfit is a lot easier than you might first think. Once you have purchased a Schott Perfecto jacket, combine it with a pair of dark navy denim jeans. Purchasing a pair of selvedge denim jeans is the best idea as they are famed for being good quality.

Underneath your jacket, you can wear more of less anything, although a plain white T-shirt is a classic that can never go wrong. After this, find a good pair of Dr Martens boots to finish off the punk rebel aesthetic that you're going for. Now all you need is a Harley Davidson motorbike and you'll basically be a member of the Hell's Angels.

marlon brando leather jacket
Marlon Brando wearing leather jacket
PHOTO CREDIT: Catalogue Magazine

Interestingly, although the success of Brando's film meant that the Perfecto jacket became more popular with young people, it actually decreased sales for the Schott brand. Unfortunately, the jacket became so synonymous with rebellious youth that many schools banned the item of clothing. This also meant that fewer adults were buying Schott Perfecto jackets. However, this did officially cement it as a piece of punk clothing forever.

The Ramones

If you needed any more evidence of the timeless nature of the Perfecto jacket, then look no further than the Ramones. Where Marlon Brando was wearing a men's leather jacket as an anarchic fashion statement in the 50s, the Ramones were wearing them in the 70s. As one of the biggest and most popular punk rock bands in the world, the Ramones became symbols for anti-establishment fashion. The most important part of the punk style in the 70s was the Perfecto leather biker jacket.

The Ramones Leather Jacket
The Ramones wearing leather jackets

When it comes to actually getting that ultimate punk look, the lead singer Joey Ramone, is a great place to start. Whereas Brando wore straight cut, heavy denim jeans, to get a proper 70s punk look, wear skinny jeans. When it comes to this style, the skinnier the jeans the better. Although, you do have to be careful as your body shape may not suit skinny jeans as well as some.

Try combining some dark blue or black skinny jeans with a pair of white hightop Converse All Stars. This absolutely classic sneaker has also become entrenched in punk and grunge culture. This makes it the one and only companion piece to go with a Schott Perfecto jacket when you're trying to get this style. The contrast between the white of the trainer with the dark black of your jacket creates a perfect minimalist balance within your outfit.

Schott Perfecto Outfit Ideas

A$AP Rocky

If the punk style of the 70s is a bit too retro for you, then you can try modernising your Schott Perfecto jacket with some newer looks. The good thing about black leather jackets for men is that they're so timeless.

Add a pair of skinny black jeans and some black plimsolls for a stylish and refined all black look. If this is too dark for you then why not try out some lighter coloured shoes, or try wearing a white T-shirt or shirt underneath.

Wearing a pair of plimsolls such as Vans is also great for creating a casual skater aesthetic that can go perfectly with your Schott leather jacket. Just be sure to not zip up the jacket as you'll end up covering too much of your outfit underneath.

asap rocky leather jacket
PHOTO CREDIT: Lyst - A$AP Rocky wearing a leather jacket.



Although the classic Schott Perfecto jacket is made from black leather, this doesn't mean you are limited to what you can wear it with. During the spring months, wearing all black might be a bit too hot and you may want to brighten up your look. In this case, wearing some lighter jeans and some colourful shoes is a good idea.

The versatile nature of the Schott leather jacket means that it can be worn in many different styles. Why not try combining some Dr Martens with some light blue jeans and a plain white T-shirt. The bright combination of white and black is a great way to create a more summery and lighter look. Whereas the leather jacket still adds a great stylish feel.

blue jeans leather jacket street style
Man wearing Schott NYC leather jacket with blue jeans and white Dr Martens


How to Clean a Leather Jacket

One of the problems you may encounter with a leather jacket is how to clean it. If you've been driving around on a motorbike, or just wearing it a lot, then your jacket will almost definitely become worn out and dirty. However, due to it being leather, you can't just throw your Perfecto jacket in the wash for an hour. Although this will clean it, you'll risk the chance of shrinking your jacket, as well as ruining the leather.

Instead, it's a better idea to hand wash a leather jacket. This will maintain the quality of the material will also keep it clean and making it last longer. To clean your leather jacket you will need:

  • Bowl of warm water
  • Mild soap or laundry detergent
  • Soft clean cloth
  • Leather conditioner or wax
  • Leather protector

Fill a bowl with some warm water and mix with some mild soap or laundry detergent. Once you have a lather, dip the soft cloth into the water. Using the cloth, dab and gently wipe any marks or stains on the jacket. After you have adequately removed any dirt from the jacket, take a dry cloth and gently dry the wet areas.

After you have washed the jacket, you will want to apply some leather conditioner or wax to maintain the quality of the material. There are different ways to apply these products and it's best to follow the instructions on the product itself. You may also think about applying a leather protector spray to help make your jacket last longer.

History of the Schott Perfecto Jacket

A Russian immigrant named Irving Schott originally made the Schott Perfecto jacket in 1928. Made specifically to be a motorbike jacket, the Perfecto leather jacket was the first of its kind to feature a zipper. Little did he know, that this piece of clothing would go on to influence leather jacket design for years to come.

Schott named his leather jacket after his favourite cigar, the Perfecto. This was partly because he believed his Jewish name would make his product less sellable. As the Second World War began Schott also became one of the main producers of military clothing. They produced bomber jackets for the US airforce and peacoat for the sailors in the navy. Schott went on to produce clothes for the military for the next 60 years.

Ever since the 1950s, the Schott Perfecto jacket has become synonymous with an anti-establishment culture of rebellion and youth. This is something that is still largely linked to the Perfecto jacket and is part of the reason it's still such an iconic piece of men's fashion.

grease leather jacket
Characters from Grease wearing leather jackets
PHOTO CREDIT: Royal Fashionist


How to Wear the Schott Perfecto Jacket

  • Think about how you want to style your jacket - the versatility of a Shott Perfecto jacket means that you can wear it with many different outfits. Whether you're going for a retro punk look, or want to live out your biker dreams, think about how you're going to wear it before buying one
  • Take inspiration from Schott's rich history - there's no shame in reinventing styles from the past. There's a reason Marlon Brando and the Ramones were famous for looking so good. So, if you see a style you like, wear it
  • Keep your jacket clean - Schott Perfecto's aren't cheap, so you want to make sure they last. Use soapy water and a clean cloth, and never machine wash it
  • Protect your jacket - after cleaning it, you need to maintain the jacket's leather and keep it from becoming damaged in the future. Using products like leather moisturiser and protector spray are the best things to use for this
  • Experiment - over the years Schott Perfecto jackets have certainly changed their style more than once. Find a comfortable style and wear your leather jacket with pride. There's no one right way to wear one

schott leather jacket style
Man wearing Schott NYC leather jacket

On that Note

The Schott Perfecto leather jacket has been a classic item of men's outwear fashion for the best part of a century and is still going strong. If you want to wear a small piece of fashion history, then the Perfecto jacket is a great place to start. Whether you're wearing it as part of a retro punk style, or just want a stylish jacket to reinvent your modern wardrobe then Shott Perfecto jacket has got your back. Follow the tips and tricks in this style guide and you'll be styling a leather jacket in no time.


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