Biker Leather Jacket – See More Designs
The bad boy of the outerwear world, the biker is a cropped leather jacket, usually in black, complete with studs and asymmetric zips. Originally worn, unsurprisingly, by motorcyclists, the asymmetric cut was designed as such to allow riders to lean over their bikes without the fastenings digging into the body.
The earliest examples featured a snug fit with a D-pocket and lapels designed to snap down or fold over each other and zip all the way up. A rugged garment, honed from goatskin, cowhide or horsehide, this is the style worn by the likes of Marlon Brandon in the 1950s.
It’s largely a youthful, edgy style so is best worn with slim jeans, but it can (in the right office) be thrown over an Oxford shirt and knitted tie as a replacement for a blazer. Whichever you go for, always ensure whatever is underneath is lightweight, because this style should be cut close to the body.
Field Leather Jacket – See More Designs
One of the most underrated pieces of military menswear, the field jacket is a stone cold classic that was originally rendered in a cotton drill fabric, but has since been updated in leather.
The M-65, as it’s otherwise known, is usually slightly longer than other styles, with multiple front pockets and belted at the waist. Often buttoned with a hidden placket, it looks particularly good in rich brown leather and as it falls below the waist, it will keep you warmer and better shield you from the elements.
“This is the bread and butter of brands like Barbour and Belstaff,” says menswear blogger Neil Thornton, who has worked for leading department stores like Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Harrods. “It’s the perfect winter style, even more so if you live in the countryside, styled with fitted jeans, a chunky knit and a classic pair of Chelsea boots.”
Bomber Leather Jacket – See More Designs
The OG flight jacket has become a bona fide menswear staple in its own right in recent years, and it’s not difficult to navigate why.
Though consistent in its simple shape – a cropped body featuring a central zip and fitted waist and cuffs – it can be rendered in anything from shiny nylon to, as is in this case, soft, supple leather.
One of the most versatile outerwear silhouettes a man can own, the bomber jacket has been favoured on screen by everyone from Steve McQueen to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. It can take its wearer from skinhead to Scandinavian chic, but the safest pairing is with raw denim and a simple white T-shirt or chambray shirt.
Racer Leather Jacket – See More Designs
Aside from the military and sportswear, one of menswear’s biggest influences is the automotive world – driving shoes, ribbed-knee jeans et al. Bring the two together and wrap them in leather and what you have is the racer jacket.
On returning home from World War II, many soldiers caught the bug for souping-up pre-war motorbikes to be raced them between local pubs and cafes, creating the need for a streamlined, minimalist leather racing jacket. Heavy horsehide and a strong main zipper was deemed to provide enough protection for the boy racers, and by the 1960s the style otherwise known as the ‘Cafe Racer’ had gone mainstream.
“This one’s easy to wear and flatters the body,” says Thornton. “It’s great for showcasing broad shoulders, or you can opt for a thicker leather if you have more of a slight body shape to accentuate what you don’t have.”
Flight Leather Jacket – See More Designs
To stay cool in more ways than one, ensure you don’t go overboard with the layering. Keep it simple and contemporary with plain trousers and a light gauge knit or T-shirt. “Balance the weight of the jacket by making sure the rest of your outfit is slim-fit and tailored,” says Thornton.
If you’re worried that you’ll look like you’re on your way to a Blitz-themed fancy dress party, try an option without the sheepskin collar. That’s close to what Harrison Ford wore as Indiana Jones.
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