A Must-Have for Every Stylish Man
The right leather jacket is a big ticket purchase that you can justify in more ways than one: it looks cool, it keeps you warm, and it’s meant to last. And yes, we know these three points seem stupidly simple, which they are, but they’re also strong enough to prevent any feelings of buyer’s remorse later on. And haven’t we all been there? Spent a bunch of money on something and then regretted it? It’s all too disappointing to realize that you didn’t actually have to have that thing you had to have … particularly if it’s after the window for a return or exchange has closed and left you out in the cold.
This isn’t to say that all leather jackets are worth your while, but with some research and commitment to find the right one, it’ll be one of those occasions where you can actually feel good about referring to an item of clothing as an “investment.”
The one below by Schott, the New York-based institution favored by Mr. James Dean and Joey Ramone, is one of our go-tos. Old school in all the right ways, it’s a solid mix of classic elements and fashion-forward details.
The Cool Is In the Cut
Worn by the likes of Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Muhammed Ali, the leather jacket carries with it a lineage closely tied to looking cool. That being said, putting one on doesn’t instantly make you look as good as said guys who wore one before you—it takes a little effort to get it right. What you really want to focus on is the cut of the jacket and how it fits your silhouette. Tight looking shoulders are a no go and the same goes for anything “baggy.” Loose, but not too loose, this Schott version is a little trimmer than some of the other options out there, which makes for a more tailored look.
Sweater Weather? No, Leather Weather.
A leather jacket like this one is a winning choice for transitional weather. There are days at the beginning of both fall and spring when it’s too chilly for just a sweater and too warm for a heavier coat. This is when leather jackets are at their most useful. Date night? Wear it over a tee and your favorite jeans. Dinner with the fam? Keep it polished and pull it on over a lightweight knit layered over an oxford. Leather jackets were made to shine during periods of seasonal transitions and can swing from night out to meet the parents with the change of a shirt.
Meant to Last
A good leather jacket isn’t trendy. It’s made of a material that’s meant to last (saddles, car seats, baseball gloves … all leather!) so you want to be sure that things like the fit and design details are going to last along with it. Our favorite from Schott is made of vintaged cowhide with a waxy finish that’ll wear well with time. Eventually, after years of throwing it on season after season, it’ll shape to your body in such a way that it looks better on you than it would on anyone else. Designed with motorcycle style in mind, it’s got a vibe that’s made to be worn with an edge and details like an asymmetrical zipper leading to an oversize collar don’t make that very hard to do.
Motorcycle Jacket, Schott, $865, schottnyc.com