Nothing feels quite as ‘mantastic’ as that good ol’ fashion staple: the leather jacket. It’s such a classic piece that it’s easy to overlook it; plus many men shy away from the rugged coat because they simply can’t find one that’ll make them look like James Dean or Joey Ramone.

While finding the perfect jacket has always been a chore most of us could do without, finding your essential leather coat needn’t be a hassle with this introductory ‘how to’ guide.

Let’s start by taking a closer look at how to find the ideal leather jacket.

Find the right Fit.

I know, I know – every time with the ‘faultless fit’. But as with waistcoats, the fit is essential to getting the leather jacket just right. As always, you want to skim the silhouette so it feels snug but not too tight.

A slimmer style will create a better looking form, plus it’ll make you look more slender by eliminating all that excess puffiness around your midsection. My advice to you is to go as small as you possibly can, ensuring real definition around your torso and waist.

The sleeves should extend no further than your natural wrist line, and be sure the jacket ends at your waist and not around your thighs. Remember, with thicker fabrics like leather, an extra inch of material can add untold pounds to your frame.

leather jacket

Keep it contemporary

There’s a genuine temptation to chase authentic ‘traditional’ pieces, especially when it comes to the durability of leather jackets. Try your best to resist this urge. Firstly, traditional cuts aren’t as flattering as you’d imagine, particularly on most frame sizes. Secondly, original pieces from the 50s and 60s feature weighty linings in fleece and wool; so unless you fancy a sweaty weekend, lugging around the world’s heaviest coat, I’d consider giving the truly ‘authentic’ jacket a big miss.

Colour be damned

leather orange jacket

We have a lot to thank synthetic fabrics for, especially the animal friendly ‘leatherette’. Yet some choices in dye colour are enough to make you change your mind. Orange, purple and pink may look great on the catwalk, but will inevitably look ridiculous on all but the most meticulous of fashionistas.

Stick to the classics when it comes to choosing your first leather jacket. Black and tan are versatile enough for virtually all occasions. Blues, greys and creams can look great given the right circumstances, but I’d certainly advise caution unless you know exactly what you’re doing.

Crisp, angular shoulders

When it comes to leather jackets, soft, slopping shoulders can look terrible. Finding a good fit will help to avoid anything too ‘slouchy’, but you may want to consider affectations like epaulets to give a square, sharp finish.

That said, try to avoid padding and reinforced shoulder blades; you don’t want to look like you’ve forgotten to remove the hangar before wearing your leather.

In part two, we’ll be taking a look at what sort of leather jackets are available on the market today, and seeing what works and what doesn’t work for your unique body type

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

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