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The dos and don’ts of leather jackets

The dos and don’ts of leather jackets

Turns out, you don’t need to be a motorcyclist or Danny Zuko superfan to rock a leather jacket. Actually, they’re one of this season’s top outerwear pieces – though it can be easy to get them wrong. To nail the rebellious feel without looking like you’re ready for a fancy dress party (deeply uncool), we recruited the help of Toby Standing to kit you out with some handy dos and don’ts. 

And it’s not all about the biker jacket either – there’s plenty of iterations of the classic leather jacket that work successfully for all sorts of aesthetics and ages. Just have a read through this first so you can make sure your investment isn’t a risky one. 

Do 

Care for it well. This includes: leaving it to dry after getting wet, not leaving it in direct and intense sunlight, not using a washing machine, etc. While leather is hardy, if it’s treated wrong, you can end up ruining your jacket. 

Don’t 

Go too big. Of course an oversized leather jacket always looks cool, but when you’re investing in a nice one, or even going for a vintage one, the leather will wear in better and mould to your shape nicer if you go true to size. That said, you don’t want to go too small either – second skin is not the vibe here. Plus, it will just be really uncomfortable, and you’ll be very limited with what you can pair underneath.




Do 

Get a style of leather jacket that fits in well with your personal style. Biker jackets aren’t the only option when it comes to leather jackets, so if something a little cleaner and minimal is more up your street, go for that instead. Shop around, have fun with it. 

Don’t 

Go overboard with the details. “Zips, zips, and more zips is a bad look,” Toby says. Plus, people will hear you coming from a mile off, which isn’t mostly desirable. And unless you’re wearing your leather jacket to actually ride a motorcycle, avoid ridiculous amounts of padding and keep it classic and simple.



Do

Keep it classic with the colour. This is a piece you’re going to want to keep in your wardrobe for a very long time so black, navy, dark brown, and darker colours in general tend to be the way to go. Avoid brighter tones as they can quickly come off costumey (see: Michael Jackson Beat It), and you’re likely to go off them pretty quickly too. 

Don’t

Always go for genuine leather. Many people will tell you that you should avoid synthetic leather at all costs, but this isn’t always the best option for lots of people. Toby says to not be put off by faux-leather styles, there can often be amazing vegan-friendly alternatives that still gets you the aesthetic you’re after.



Do

Buy vintage if you can. You’ll get some great ageing, it will probably instantly fit like a glove, and it’s better for the planet. 

Shop more leather jackets




Words: Yasmine Kennedy
Styling: Toby Standing