Marlon Brando. Steve McQueen. John Travolta. Tom Cruise. And who can forget the legendary Fonzie. The classic leather jacket is an American Icon.
I truly believe there is no better way to quietly exude confidence than a well-fit, quality leather jacket.
The type of jacket you wear sends a message, so let's make sure you are sending the right one.
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When seeking a new leather jacket, opt for soft, flexible material. The most comfortable types of leather are generally lambskin and cowhide, but there are plenty of vegan leather options available nowadays too if that’s more your style. If you’d like to be a bit more adventurous, you can always go for suede. I’m a firm believe that comfort should always come first. You can’t be confident if you're not comfortable. It shows.
For the most part, leather jackets should fit snug, but still be flexible, so nailing the fit is essential. One way to ensure that the size is comfortable is to try it on with a sweater underneath so that you can give yourself a bit of flexibility in the future. That said, it's expected that the torso of the jacket should fit tightly, and the hem should be at your waistline.
It doesn’t get more iconic than the leather jacket, white-shirt and aviator wearing Tom Cruise in the Top Gun movies. It has a fuzzy stand-up collar to keep you warm while looking cool during the winter months. Here is a classic, affordable version from Levi's on Amazon below, charming smile and fighter jet not included.
This look has always been my go-to: a slim-fitting black leather biker jacket and a white tee. You can pair with a hoodie underneath or rock it as it is. I promise you this, wherever you go you will go with confidence! You can find various styles all over, but here is one from Amazon.
Black leather with black hardware, combined with flashy lapels bring an edge to this classic leather biker jacket. You can pick this up at Nordstrom for $186.
The Survey Slim Fit Leather jacket puts a professional twist on the classic, so you can feel more comfortable in formal settings if you want to change up your style a bit. This piece is perfect if you want to make a statement on a date or attend a casual meeting while looking relaxed and presentable. I’m a huge fan of elbow patches and this jacket quietly incorporates them, adding some subtle swagger to the overall look. I’m here for it. You can get this one for $395.
Suede has an magical way of quietly standing out, and you will do just that in this taupe Racer Jacket from Thursday Boot Co. This thing will last a life time, and suede ages like fine wine. This one is hand crafted, can wear it anywhere, and is around $349.
Leather jacket care is simple, but caution is necessary since this is a relatively unique material. It's important to hand wash your items—leather doesn't do well when put in the washer or dryer. Spraying a bit of mink oil on it can help it last for many years. You might also want to consider applying a leather conditioner.
A man commands a room when he walks in wearing a white t-shirt, a carefully selected pair of jeans, and some polished boots with a matching leather jacket. This is a picturesque confident look, so you really can't go wrong.
Years ago, I worked for a premium clothing brand helping a book of clientele with their leisure and business wardrobes. I’ll leave you with the same advice I gave them:
Whatever you wear, wear it with confidence. Own it. Don’t hesitate. The others will notice.
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The older I get the less inclined I am to lean into what's trending on the internet. But needless to say, there may be an opportunity cost to not embracing the future, or even remaining on the sidelines so long that you have to catch up.
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