How long do leather jackets last

Leather jacket.GQ

Not a single item of clothing screams “badass” like a leather jacket. Leather jackets aren't just a simple piece of clothing, they're a statement or a lifestyle piece. An entire outfit can be built around a single statement like a leather jacket, even entire closets.

For this reason, don't be overzealous in buying the first leather jacket you come across. Look around! Take your time. Make your decision carefully because it is an investment. Be prepared to spend no less than € 300 on an entry-level leather jacket to over € 800 on a really good leather jacket.

Price range

Yes, you can find some really mediocre leather jackets for 100-200 euros, but I would usually avoid these because they use cheaper leather that won't last as long and they usually don't have a really fitting cut. If you really want to spend less, then in the 150-300 price range .. it is a much better idea to look for used or vintage items on ebay, will haben.

The classic styles

In the end, there are a handful of cuts in leather jackets, which are available in variations from several fashion brands. The 3 main styles that you will see the most often are Bomber, Double Rider, and Moto.

Bomber (aka Flight Jacket, aka MA-1) - One of the most popular and versatile styles of leather jackets. Because they were originally designed for pilots sitting in unlocked cockpits, they are designed to provide warmth and feature elastic / ribbed cuffs and waist, and will often have fur linings and / or fur collars. They can be worn casually or thrown over business clothes. Definitely a good versatile addition to anyone's wardrobe.

Double Rider (aka Perfecto) - The original first leather motorcycle jacket developed by Schott NYC and introduced in 1928. This is the jacket that was worn by Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones, The Ramones, Punk Rockers and Greasers. This jacket has become synonymous with rebellion and is not easy to take. It was made for motorcyclists. This jacket has a very distinct look because it has an asymmetrical front zip and large press studs. Normally it should be worn casually open, but it can be buttoned to create a more elegant look.
Moto (aka Cafe Racer) - The deconstructed minimalist motorcycle jacket. It's a smaller, simpler version of a Double Rider Motocycle Jacket that is a little more body-hugging and doesn't have the extra flaps, epaulettes and belts. This jacket usually looks a little more body-hugging and modern. In contrast to the double tab, this jacket does not have an asymmetrical zipper and will usually have a small snap collar instead of the large folding boxes. Because of the minimalist design, this jacket has a less "edgy" look and is far more versatile. This jacket can be a great addition to any street-casual look or even a business-casual look.

A peacoat jacket, but made of leather. I would stay away from these because the traditional peacoat is a wool jacket (sometimes with leather trim) and these leathers are not as versatile as the wool. They were on the shelves a few years back and tend to be a little dressier in look and would work less well with a casual outfit.

Leather quality

Leather is one of the strongest and most durable materials used in clothing. Durability and appearance are related to quality. When looking at leather jackets, one of your most important considerations is what type of leather you want and how thick you want the leather to be. Unfortunately, this is one of those scenarios where the better material is usually much more expensive.

The list below can serve as an intro to the most popular types of leather, but it is by no means a finished list:

Cowhide, Steerhide and HorseHide - All stiff types that are heavy and durable. These will take you aeons, but may not be as smooth.
calf similar to cowhide but a little softer. Means that it becomes more supple with wear, but is still heavy.
Lamb leather Very light and soft type of leather. Feels almost like fabric or silk. Lots of people don't like it. Some don't even think it's leather because it's soft hand feel.
goat Softer than veal, but not as soft as lamb. A lot of versatile type of leather.
Buffalo and bison One of the heaviest types of leather. Used for protection and functionality. Lasts forever.