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You Just Can't Go Wrong with a Leather Jacket

Updated on December 28, 2011

You can't go wrong with a genuine leather jacket. The same leather jacket can look classy dressy or casual comfy depending on what you pair it with. There are a few things you should consider when buying a leather jacket.

  • Consider the price-The price for a leather jacket varies greatly. Shop around and know what you're willing to spend.

  • Black is the most logical choice because it goes with everything, but don't be afraid to try a variety of other color options.

  • Feel the jacket. See how soft it is. Some leather jackets are quite bulky and heavy and tend to have a stiffer texture. Consider the lighter weight more soft and supple jackets.

  • Look at the details. One big consideration is buttons, snaps or zippers. Make sure you like the stitching details.

  • Try it on. Make sure the arms are not too tight or too long. Raise both arms at the same time directly in front of you at shoulder height. If you feel snugness when you do this, it's too tight. The length of the jacket should ordinarily hit around the hips.

  • I think everyone should own a nice new leather jacket, but if your budget is tight, or perhaps you want a second jacket or to experiment with a color you won't wear often, try shopping at second-hand thrift stores. You'd be surprised how many leather jackets end up there. You can walk away with a great bargain.

Fitted Leather Jacket for Women
Fitted Leather Jacket for Women

General Leather Terminology

Full Grain: Leather in its natural state that has not been treated for imperfections. Premium hides often naturally have few imperfections.

Grain: The hairy side of the hide that is considered the outer surface.

Hand: This is the how leather feels. It is derived from how we tend to touch leather when we see it. Soft hand leather is pricier.

Hide: The entire pelt from a large animal such as a cow, horse, or an exotic animal. This can also be considered the skin.

Leather: refers to a tanned hide. It has undergone processing to preserve it from deterioration.

Patched Leather: Multiple leather pieces that are sewn together often to create interesting patterns in purses, clothing, furniture and rugs.

Pelt: The hide or skin of an animal

Shearling: This could be referring to one of three things: 1) a year old sheep that has been sheared once. 2) The skin of a newly sheared 1 yr old sheep or lamb. 3) The first wool coat of a 1 yr old sheep

Sheepskin: Skin of a sheep, tanned with fleece on .

Suede: The flesh side, or backside, of a piece of leather. It is brushed to give it the surface appearance, and softness.

Types of Leather

Cowhide: Leather from ordinary dairy cows. This type of leather is very resistant, thick, and strong. It is durable and recommended for motorcycle gear because of its strength.

Lambskin: One of the more expensive leathers and is much lighter than cowhide or buffalo. This leather is typically more expensive since it takes more pelts to create products due to the size of the animal. It is often used in fashion clothing, such as pants.

Nappa: This term was originally used in reference to soft lambskin but has since been adopted to describe any soft piece of leather.

Pig Skin: Least expensive form of leather and due to its softness it's very often used in fashion jackets and clothing.

Water Buffalo: This type of leather is commonly used in manufacture in Pakistan, India, and China. It makes a thicker, stronger hide than cowhide. It is an ideal choice for motorcycle gear such as chaps and pants.

Leather Finishes

Aniline: This is the transparent dye that is used to treat leather. This is also sometimes called: Naked, Pure, Unprotected, Natural. It is one of the softest types of leather.

Burnish: A look that is achieved by burning the finish onto the leather using high heat that creates an illusion of depth.

Distressed: This look is achieved by treating the leather with aniline and a color that contrasts with the natural pigment of the hide. Then it is brushed off or buffed off leaving a worn or aged appearance.

Embossing: This is the process of stamping a pattern to a piece of leather by applying pressure

Glazed Finish: This is similar to the aniline finish, but steel or glass rollers are used to press enormous amounts of pressure to the finish giving it a much higher luster than other finishes.

Nubuck: This finish creates a velvety look and feel. It looks similar to suede and often confused with suede. A brushing and buffing process creates this finish.

Protected: Chemically treated to protect it from water stains and other possible damage to the surface. This makes the leather easier to clean and maintain.

Top Grain: This is what has been put on top of the piece of leather. An example would be a finish or aniline.


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    • profile image

      Stuart C. Kimble 6 years ago

      Thanks Buddy nice information shear ..

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      KCC Big Country 8 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you Teeseybabe!

    • profile image

      Teeseybabe 8 years ago

      Love the hub and I love leather! Thanks

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      KCC Big Country 8 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks VivBounty! Buy two or three more! :)

    • VivBounty profile image

      VivBounty 8 years ago from Canada

      Gorgeous leather jackets. I have 2 and you really can't go wrong with them. Thanks for the tips. May get another one.

      Prosperous Blessings,


    • KCC Big Country profile image

      KCC Big Country 8 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you sunshinegirl! I agree!

    • sunshinegirl323 profile image

      sunshinegirl323 8 years ago

      This makes a good hub for anybody shopping for presents. I will be back to it.


    • KCC Big Country profile image

      KCC Big Country 8 years ago from Central Texas

      My guess is, vinyl. I had a nice vinyl jacket that was soft like leather, but it sure nicked easily. Thanks for stopping by Mayrapink!

    • MAYRAPINK profile image

      MAYRAPINK 8 years ago from texas

      ok so I could never get a leather jacket since I am too much of an animal lover but I did buy one that looks just like it. Not pleather.. Wonder what it is? Anyway I do love it! Great hub!!

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      KCC Big Country 8 years ago from Central Texas

      Nonsense, 2Patricias! Go get one! I bet you get a ton of compliments on it!

      Thanks Paradise! I like it toooooo.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Good hub. I like leather.2patricias, go for it!

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      I have been thinking that I might like a leather jacket, but worry that I will look like an old lady trying too hard.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      I love leather jackets. They're pretty popular right now...Enjoyed the hub.

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      KCC Big Country 8 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks, Livingsta! Now for me to decide which one I want. :)

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Good hub, everybody loves leather jackets. They look stunning.