Buying a leather jacket is an investment — and not one to be taken lightly. Buy the right jacket and you’ll wear it for years. There’s nothing more timeless than a well-worn leather jacket. Buy something overly trendy or a style that’s outside your usual comfort zone and well, you’ll be left with a jacket that you never wear and an empty wallet. This, of course, is not to say that a good investment is necessarily a boring one, just something that fits your personal style and you love.
Leather, whether genuine or vegan, has become a seasonless material and looks just as good in spring as it does in the fall. This was obvious on the spring 2015 runways at World MasterCard fashion week in Toronto, where labels like Rudsak and Package showed off bombers and moto jackets in leather. Want to know which style suits you best? Read on.
The Bomber Jacket
The bomber jacket has a round collarless neckline and thick bands along the bottom and wrists that are often a soft, elasticized knit fabric, but can also be leather. The silhouette adds a bit of volume around the middle and looks like a baseball jacket. But it doesn’t have to be unflattering. Ensure that the bottom of the jacket sits at your hips and that you can comfortably rest your hands in the pockets. The fit should be loose through the middle but snug at the hips. Although many styles feature drop shoulders (meaning that the shoulder seam sits further down on your upper arm rather than right at the point where arm and shoulder meet), the shoulders should still fit well. This means that the sleeves shouldn’t be too long or short and it shouldn’t look as if the jacket is sliding off.
This style can look great on many body types as long as it fits correctly. While a cropped style may seem cute for a while, it won’t be a forever piece. If you’re short, avoid jackets that sit much below your hip. You’ll end up with too much volume and will drown in the silhouette. If you can’t find a jacket that fits in the shoulders without being tight through the body, this might not be the silhouette for you. Try: Maya Leather Jacket, $595, rudsak.ca
The Long Bomber
The long bomber has all the same features of the bomber, except of course, it’s long. So there’s no elasticized waistband. And if there is, it’s meant to be worn much lower. This style can be more forgiving as the fit doesn’t depend on hip circumference.
Do: Find a jacket that is snug but not too tight at the waistband and fits at the shoulders.
Don’t: Choose one that is tight throughout. It should be loose through the middle.
Do: Opt for a bomber that’s longer without a band at the bottom for a more modern, flattering fit.
Don’t: Buy a cropped style. It will go out of fashion quickly.
The Moto Jacket
Don’t automatically think of Michael Jackson’s red version from the ’80s. The motorcycle jacket can be more classic than Rebel Without A Cause. Skip all the heavy metal hardware unless you’re in a biker gang. Modern day moto jackets feature either short almost mandarin collars or full collars that open onto the coat when unzipped (à la James Dean). The moto jacket can be fitted or a bit loose but shouldn’t look oversized. Let the jacket’s style, rather than the garment’s size, determine the fit.
The jacket should fit perfectly in the shoulders. And while leather will give and soften over time, don’t buy a piece that’s a bit too snug in hopes that it will stretch. It should also be long enough to at least sit on your hip bones; any shorter and you’re not really protecting yourself from the elements. Again, a cropped leather jacket will go out of style. But a coloured leather jacket may not. If you are a devoted lover of the colour red, you can probably get away with a red jacket without looking like an extra from “Thriller.” But do choose a shade that’s not quite as saturated or primary. An almost coral red, beige yellow or aqua blue are probably safer choices than a pure kelly green, for instance. Try: Riley Leather Jacket, $695, rudsak.com
The long Moto Jacket
A long moto jacket will look more like a leather trench than a true motorcycle style but that doesn’t make it any less timeless. The off-centre zipper and of course, leather, give the classic trench a definite edge. Longer styles can range anywhere from below the hip to mid-thigh. If choosing one that’s mid-thigh, you may want to find one with a belt to cinch the waist for a more flattering look.
Do: Buy a moto jacket with the classic off-centre zipper.
Don’t: Buy a moto jacket with lots of zippers or hardware.
Do: Find a jacket that’s snug in the shoulders.
Don’t: Expect your jacket to stretch. Buy the right size!