Perhaps it’s part of so-called “recession core”, maybe it’s a reaction to the rebirth of prep — the cool, nonchalant pole opposite prep’s more put-together look — or maybe, just maybe, it’s true what they say: leather jackets are timeless, and they never go out of style.
While they may be timeless, leather jackets are definitely having a moment right now, and this spring is their time to shine.
Part of the beauty of leather jackets is that they come in styles to suit just about every aesthetic inclination. There’s the classic moto jacket for the Danny Zuko-inspired greaser look; the sportier collarless biker jacket; sleek, avant-garde jackets with quirky detailing; rave-ready leather trenches and dusters; Steve McQueen-esque flight jackets and bombers; belted numbers for the menswear traditionalist. The list goes on and on… and on.
The best leather jackets become an extension of the wearer. While it’s said that a leather jacket looks good on everybody, there are people who inevitably become the leather guy amongst a group of friends — people who embrace their leather jacket and wear it on an almost-daily basis. After all, that’s the best way to make a leather a jacket truly yours. With wear, the leather moulds to the body, developing creases and curves; a patina that’s unique to each person and what they’ve put their jacket through.
And since a good leather jacket is meant to last a lifetime, that’s plenty of time to make your jacket, well, yours.
There’s no better time than this spring to get some wear out of your jacket. So whether you’re looking to become a leather jacket guy or looking for a new style to add to your rotation, here are five of our favourites for spring.
Prada Leather Coat
When Miuccia Prada and Raf Simon showed their Spring/Summer 2023 Prada collection the bright gingham-check clad trenches and short leather shorts stole the show. And while the gingham trenches are undeniably fun (particularly in blue), the best coat from the collection is probably the long leather duster, if only because it’s timeless. The clean, minimalist lines give it a modern feel, while the classic lapels, welt pockets and hand-crafted, weathered-looking leather call to mind the kind of decades-old leather jacket you might unearth in a world-class vintage emporium. Of course, there’s Prada-level attention to detail: a knit triangle logo on the yoke, a comfortable lining and raglan sleeves for a softer, more sophisticated drape. It’s a dramatic coat — the kind that gets you compliments every time you wear it, no matter how often you wear it.
Fendi Nappa Leather Biker Jacket
There’s something about a simple, collared leather jacket that oozes character and charisma, if only because it takes a concerted effort and a conscious choice to pick it over the classic moto jacket. This Fendi number is elegant in its simplicity: soft black nappa leather, palladium-finished zips with Fendi O’Lock sliders at the cuffs, pockets and along the full-length two-way fastening. The collar has heft, ensuring it stays in place and keeps its shape — but not so much that it overwhelms the otherwise simple yet striking silhouette. This is a leather jacket that looks as good with a simple white T-shirt and a pair of jeans as it does with a pair of trousers and a collared shirt. It’s versatile without losing its edge.
Our Legacy Demon Jacket
It’s all in the name with this one. Our Legacy’s Demon Jacket is as chaotic as you would expect. It has a little bit of everything sprinkled in. There’s a nice, weighty collar with hidden snaps to keep it in place. The four front zip pockets are all angled towards the centre of the chest, creating an interesting look. The full-length two-way zip is partially huffed by a leather zip guard that can snapped into place. Cut from Italian calfskin leather, with a short, narrow fit, the Demon Jacket is rendered in glossy brown. It’s a far cry from a traditional leather jacket and on the whole it’s a little bit incongruous, yet it works really, really well.
Paul Smith Black Zip Leather Jacket
If there were such a thing as a tuxedo of a leather jacket, this Italian-crafted Paul Smith jacket would be it. Like the Fendi jacket above, it features a smart shirt collar. Pockets have been cut with precision, without visible flaps or protrusions, in an effort to keep the silhouette as clean as possible. The zipper gets a luxurious finishing touch thanks to gold pull tabs and sliders. Sometimes, less is more and that’s certainly the case here — there’s nothing unnecessary. It’s understated and a study in fit, craftsmanship, and quality above all else.
Arguably the most famous leather jacket in existence, the Schott Perfecto is actually, now, an entire line of jackets, popularized by Marlon Brando in “The Wild One”. The most iconic versions of the Perfecto are the 613 and the 618, with their asymmetrical zipper, button-down hip pocket, diagonal zippered chest pocket, epaulets and belted waist. It’s the prototypical leather jacket; the one that you think of when you close your eyes and imagine a leather jacket. The Perfecto’s cultural clout is certainly responsible for its popularity, but so, too, is the fact that Schott’s signature jackets are still made in the USA and designed to last a lifetime — something the brand even jokes about by saying that it takes time and commitment to break one in.