A leather jacket is a classic piece of men’s outerwear fashion. Whether it was the biker gangs of the 50s, or the punk bands of the 70s, this item of clothing has stood the test of time. Here’s how to style it.
The leather jacket is a key piece for any man’s wardrobe. It’s a hard-working fashion staple that has become a cult classic. Like those who are best remembered for wearing it, this item is bold and exciting. Here’s some ideas of what to wear with this men’s outerwear piece.
- 1 Are Leather Jackets in Style?
- 2 The Classic Leather Jacket
- 3 What to Wear with a Leather Jacket
- 4 The Biker Jacket
- 5 The Varsity Leather Jacket
- 6 The Flight and Bomber Jacket
- 7 The Brown Leather Jacket
- 8 Leather Jacket Styles
- 9 Further Reading: History
- 10 How to Style a Leather Jacket
- 11 On That Note
Are Leather Jackets in Style?
You may be reading this thinking, are leather jackets cool? Well, fortunately for you, of course they are. The leather jacket is a timeless classic that will probably always be in fashion. Just remember the style tips below and you wont ever look out of place.
The Classic Leather Jacket
Leather jackets are perfect for creating a classic and cool look. Whether it’s after work drinks, or a weekend away, this one has always got your back. Simplicity and a good fit will help you nail this style.
What to Wear with a Leather Jacket
Leather jackets require some simple pieces to wear with them. Think plain t-shirts and jeans to get the greaser look and finish it with some plain trainers. An outfit even Danny Zuko himself would applaud.
The trick to wearing a leather jacket is making sure that you don’t bulk it out underneath. The jacket itself should fit comfortably, almost like a suit jacket, and fit your body shape. Shirts are a fantastic partner in crime for your leather jacket and can be styled accordingly to turn the leather jacket into a blazer. Throw some Chelsea Boots into the mix and before you know it that black leather jacket has gone from casual to smart in an instant.
The Biker Jacket
During the 20th Century black leather jackets became a staple item of clothing for the rebel biker. Nailing this classic style isn’t as hard as it looks. However, there are still certain tips and tricks that you should take into consideration.
Often spotted on the streets, the biker jacket makes for a stylish, yet simple do it all jacket. Biker jackets have made a huge comeback in recent years and it is easy to see why the youth favourite of the 1950s has made a return. By combining a pair of classic blue denim jeans with a plain white T-shirt, the heritage style of the 50s is an instant classic. A quintessential black leather jacket and boots. This proves that even a timeless style such as this is very simple to pull off.
How to Wear a Biker Jacket
If you’re wondering what to wear with a biker jacket, then keep it safe with a simple top and some heavy-duty denim jeans. Choose iconic trainers like Converse or Vans if you’re not going to wear boots. Whether the boots are polished or beaten, they’re still a great addition to a biker outfit.
Marlon Brando’s performance as the leader of a biker gang in the 1953 film The Wild One is one of the best known biker styles. Wearing a classic Schott Perfecto jacket, £349.90, with a pair of selvedge denim jeans and some heavy leather boots Brando creates a simple and timeless style.
The Varsity Leather Jacket
The varsity jacket is a casual but stealthy way to incorporate your leather into a more athletic look. The iconic two-tone design means that part of the jacket is leather, with the rest being a different material, such as cotton. It’s also great if you’re looking for something a little sharper than a hoodie, without having to think about it too much. To help keep you on your A-game, here’s some key pieces to style with your varsity jacket.
Varsity jackets, traditionally, are a baggier fit so will require a little more styling. We recommend some slim jeans, a plain hoodie and a clean pair of trainers in order to give you the American Jock look. Skinny jeans simply won’t work as the jacket will make your legs look to thin so slim or slightly baggy jeans are best. Of course you don’t have to wear trainers, but this classic athletic look requires some runners to give it that authentic feel.
The Flight and Bomber Jacket
The aviator and bomber jacket have been around a long time. However, like a good wine, these iconic pieces of men’s fashion have only got better with age. Originally for military pilots, bomber jackets have a rich history within men’s fashion. Today they are seen as a staple item of men’s outerwear fashion. So, if you’re struggling to think of a jacket to buy this winter, here’s is a great place to start.
Aviator jackets require very few layers underneath as they’re extremely warm underneath. Simple t-shirts and some black jeans are probably going to be your best bet as they won’t make your outfit to baggy. Military jackets require military boots. Trainers aren’t going to work as they weren’t around during the 1940s so Dr Martens will be your best bet. The jacket is going to be the focus point so make sure the colours you wear are simple.
The Brown Leather Jacket
The brown leather jacket is a classic, historically worn by air pilots in the army it has now transcended into a timeless favourite. There is just one rule that comes with the brown leather jacket, and that is, don’t introduce another shade of brown. Keep it clean and simple to avoid air pilot chic.
Wearing a brown jacket requires dark selvedge jeans to go with it. Light blue jeans will make the jacket appear too dark for the outfit and make it stand out for all the wrong reasons. You need dark jeans too accentuate your brown leather jacket. Wear it with some brown boots or hi top trainers and you’re all ready to go.
Leather Jacket Styles
Although there are now thousands of leather jacket variations for you to choose from, there are some classic items of men’s clothing that just can’t be beaten. The Schott Bomber Jacket is undoubtedly the ultimate in leather outwear fashion for men.
Schott have been producing the highest quality jackets ever since the early 20th Century. They were the first clothing brand to ever put a zipper on a jacket, and have been at the forefront of outerwear innovation ever since.
As this is a heritage piece it’s going to look best when teamed with a simple and classic outfit. Try wearing a plain black T-shirt as your under layer. This will create a smooth all black attire and give the jacket that extra sleek look. Combine the look with a pair of black jeans and some black shoes for the ultimate biker punk style.
Further Reading: History
Back in the early 1900’s leather jackets were issued for pilots in the army, as they needed a warm but tough jacket that wouldn’t restrict them. Withstanding high altitudes and day to day wear, we can see why the leather jacket established itself as game changer early on.
As the temperatures dropped in the skies, the jacket was adapted to protect those in planes from the harsh conditions. A sheepskin lining became a strong feature of the aviator leather jacket.
Following it’s military background the leather jacket became the symbol of the teenager, the new youth that was never noticed before. These jet black jackets identified those wearing it, as one of the gang, by their brothers also wearing them or by the seniors that disapproved of them.
Motorcyclists adopted the leather jacket for it’s resistance as a sturdy but movable item, that could resist the elements and the odd mishap on the road. The explosion of the American teenager was only the beginning of the leather jacket as a symbol of rebellion. As the music on the jukebox took a faster and angrier turn, the leather jacket remained on the backs of those topping the charts. When The Ramones, The Sex Pistols and The Clash raged through the airwaves, the leathers protected them.
As music genres began to expand so did the jackets wearability, from film stars to football players, everyone and anyone has a style that suited them. From the nineties until now almost every music scene features some kind of leather.
How to Style a Leather Jacket
- Style is important, biker or bomber are the most popular so pick the one that suits you best
- Although quality leather jackets are expensive they will last forever
- Your leather jacket is good enough for dinner or the club so make sure you get as many uses out of it as you can
On That Note
The leather jacket is a staple item of men’s fashion. Whether you’re going for a 70s punk look, or just want to spice up your winter wardrobe, this jacket is perfect for you. Although the sheer amount of styles can be rather daunting, it’s worth it to take some time and effort to find the right one for you. So, follow the tips and tricks in this style guide and you’ll be styling some great leathers in no time.