From hip hoppers to Harley riders, many people wear leather jackets to express urban cool. Leather jackets are the accessory of choice for rock stars and rock star wannabes, but they also have an illustrious history, make fashion sense and are useful in various lines of work and recreation. They are one of the few clothing items that can make the transition from the office to the shopping mall to dinner on the town, and all the places in between.
For many people, the birth of the leather jacket began with Marlon Brando in "The Wild One," James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause" and with Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in "Easy Rider." Then, of course, there is Fonzie, everyone's favorite '50s cool cat of television, not to mention Danny Zucco/John Travolta in "Grease". While movie and television characters of the '50s, '60s and '70s was rife with guys in leather, the artists and rock stars of the real world were picking up their cues. Their predecessors were the aviators and military men of the 1940s who wore bomber jackets.
There are as many types of leather jackets as there are situations for wearing them. The classic bomber jacket, worn by the military and celebrities alike, is less tailored and thicker. Italian leather jackets are known for their longer, more tailored cut and soft leather. Motorcycle jackets, typically sporting many buckles and zippers, are popular. A modified version, often lined with metal studs, was worn by The Ramones and British punk rockers in the 1970s. Designers like Christian Dior and Gucci add details to fitted leather jackets, such as as intricate stitching. In 2008, some designers came out with leather jackets in asymmetrical cuts, giving an old classic a fashionable edge. Some leather jackets come hooded, with zip-off sleeves, in distressed leather or lined. Vintage leather jackets can be the most fun to own, because they come with a history as well as a lower price tag (sometimes). For new leather jackets, you may be able to find something in the $150 range. At the high end, some people shell out $1,000 for a leather jacket. It's a far cry from the $7 price tag for a leather jacket in the 1950s.
There are many benefits to a well-made leather jacket. It's ideal protection against wind, light rain, and the chill of late autumn. Motorcyclists wear them not just to look cool, but because they are decent protection of the torso and arms if the rider falls of his bike. If they are made of quality leather, they last for forever, and only look better as they age. Leather jackets are adaptable, the perfect canvas for punk band logos or designer labels. Best of all, a good leather jacket is always in style.
A cheap leather jacket can ultimately be disappointing. The stitching may come out but, even worse, the cheaper leather stays stiff after many wearings, and the suppleness of worn leather is one of a leather jacket's greatest advantages. Cheap leather can carry an unmistakable squeak when you move, which can be a turn-off. It also can have the sheen of plastic as opposed to the deeper radiance of leather.
If you are part bad boy and part animal rights activist, there is a solution to the leather controversy. There are now excellent options in faux leather jackets. Vinyl, or PVC, has been abandoned in favor of polyurethane. It is more flexible and breathable. It's made from a natural resin. is a much better option. PU is flexible, breathable and made from natural resin. OBEY makes a Super Bad Bomber Jacket with quality details such as rib cuffs, pocket details, polar fleece lining and an excellent cut. BonaDrag takes a page from vintage styles with its faux leather motorcycle jacket, adorned with zippers.