Style Tips for Men's Leather Jackets

Style Tips for Men's Leather Jackets

How does a single piece of apparel, a leather jacket, elicit such a diverse spectrum of reactions? Consider that for a moment. There are leather jackets to suit practically any style, attitude, and expression: edge, traditional conservatism, daring, aggression, rebellion, and chic unreachability. 

But only if you have the correct jacket. The appropriate individual. The ideal package. So, which is best for you, and how can you avoid purchasing a defining piece or fashion that simply defines you incorrectly? Let's start with a quick overview of the general styles available.

Flight Jacket

This was perhaps the first type to reach the market that resembled what we think of as a modern leather jacket (after all, cavemen were wearing leather outerwear to impress cavewomen long before humans arrived). They were designed to be warm and durable, ideal for pilots in the early days of unheated, rattling, bone-jarring flying. This style indicates dependability, a connection to the past, and moral strength. 

It is commonly available in light or dark browns, black, and, on rare occasions, dark grey. This isn't a popular style; it's a reliable, consistent foundation. Allow this jacket to do the work if it complements your sense of style and the message you want to convey out there. Undergarments should be simple and traditional, and should not compete for attention with the jacket itself. Remember, the point of this style is to represent what's on the inside. Tradition. Character. It doesn't need to be dressed up.

Bomber Jacket

This version of the flying jacket is intended to be more streamlined and modern in appearance. It's a lighter option, skipping the sheepskin collar and liner in favour of a straight zip, a low-profile collar, and visible but not attention-grabbing pockets. Unlike the flight jacket, bomber jackets are frequently seen in bright colours, from Eddie Murphy's red or purple variants (complete with matching trousers) to Steve McQueen's cool style. Tan variants may suit the creative tech executive, black ones might add a little of edge to an otherwise light and whimsical style, and dark purple with studs, safety pins, and graffiti... you get the idea.

Biker Jacket

The biker jacket was another early introduction to the leather jacket category. Biker jackets are manufactured for Harley Davidson motorcycles and are highly inspired by the flight jackets that came before them. They are designed to appear stylish but also have utilitarian design characteristics. Asymmetrical zippers allow the rider to lean forward without the zipper biting into the sensitive flesh of the belly. As early leather riding trousers were tight, stiff, and unsuitable for holding goods in pockets, there is a pocket high on the chest, generally at a fashionable angle, for keys or wallets. 

These jackets are supposed to look tough, but they can't accomplish it on their own. I've seen these jackets worn with polo shirts and khakis, but I don't advocate it. It doesn't fit the appearance, in my opinion, and can come out as try-too-hard or fake-tough. If you want to pull off a jacket like this, even if you don't look like a strong guy, keep the clothing below it as classic and cool as the jacket itself. A worn-in pair of jeans. A tee shirt. Leather boots or simple trainers. Avoid bright colours and anything else you might find in a smart casual dress code.

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