Leather vests are just as versatile -- sometimes more versatile -- than the more standard leather jackets and blazers, and more utilitarian, too. Dressed up or dressed down, a leather vest is a wardrobe staple that is easy to work into many outfits.
Motorcycle riders have been wearing leather gear for years, and the leather vest is a staple for both men and women. Leather vests are a good choice for riders in hot weather, as the sleeveless garment is cooler but still protects the body from the elements. The leather vest also works well for a winter ride as a layering piece. Popular motorcycle brands -- like Harley Davidson -- have an array of fashionable leather vest options. Make the garment your own with personalized patches and designs.
For those without a hog, a leather vest with a fur-lined hood, zipper pockets or buckles make an edgy fashion statement.
For those into country and western music, a fringed suede or leather vest, or one with intricate handwork, is a wardrobe must-have. Embroidery is another popular decoration for a leather vest, and sometimes these garments can be custom made. Colored leather vests are another option, and women may like a red or white leather vest for that extra dose of style.
High-end fashion designers make leather vests, too. Rick Owens, a famous avant-garde designer, makes patchwork vests that run into the thousands of dollars each, and are true works of art. For the fashionista looking for a warm and stylish option, a shearling vest might be a good choice. Shearling is warm enough to wear through even the coldest winter months as a layering piece. Whatever style ends up in your wardrobe, be sure to follow the care instructions and properly waterproof and clean your leather garment for a long and useful life.
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Colette Stichler is a writer and public relations professional living in eastern Nebraska. She enjoys covering arts and culture, fashion and travel.