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Why a Leather Jacket?

Johnny deadlifts

Familiar Face
Messages
93
Hey folks, asking a seemingly simple question; why a leather jacket? It's a question I've been asking myself a lot lately( my wife, family and friends are asking as well). I'm asking as a relative newby who's been feeling the effects of the perilous journey towards the ultimate leather jacket; the jacket with a fit, look and feel that will finally satisfy this primal, obsessive, almost maddening urge.
The learning curve is surprisingly huge and so multifaceted. The vastness of styles, eras, hides and colors are overwhelming at times. The financial risk involved especially with online purchases can be unnerving. Determining fit and style can be an obsessive marathon of staring in every mirror in the house hoping for a definitive "yes" from that part of your brain that is happy with what it sees. The constant hunt; the daily ritual of combing through eBay, classifieds and forums for the next big winner can be a daunting task.
All this and I'm still at it. For me I think it's from my childhood. My older brothers had motorcycles and I thought they were the coolest dudes in their old school leather jackets, boots and jeans. I also enjoy the history and story of the jackets and the life they led. Leather jackets for me are a vintage restoration hobby that's more affordable than say classic cars or bikes. Also there's something primal about wearing the "skin" of another animal; the same way eating meat around the fire with others(barbeque) feels.
So what is it for you? Why a leather jacket? Thanks in advance for playing along.
 

TheDonEffect

Practically Family
Messages
500
I ask myself the same question all the time as well. I'm not a particularly stylish person, don't ride anymore, and I prefer comfy practical clothing, pretty much the antithesis of wearing a leather jacket.

But, I tend to like heirloom potential products, especially stuff that collects patina. I like timeless styles, and alot of these jackets have withstood the test of time. And there isn't much better than the smell of a good leather jacket.

But it costs enough to warrant your less impulsive attention, and with that comes higher expectations. I think alot of people fall into the same rabbit holes with cars, watches, homes, etc etc. Not exactly buying milk. As such it's a fun journey, a welcomed distraction from more serious aspects of life.
 

zebedee

One Too Many
Messages
1,575
Location
Shanghai
Practicality, initially. I used to travel a lot, and durability, rain-resistance and lack of need to washing-machine it meant that a leather jacket was ideal. My first leather jacket was easy to clean, warm and a bit like a wearable collection of pockets for most of my necessary items.

An Aero Highwayman got me into higher-end jackets, and that would have been it if it hadn't been too short for the Shanghai winters, so I got a Stockman, too. I used to leave one of the two in the UK, so I then bought a LHB, which gave me a the length for winters and the pockets. Then I realised that Cafe Racer jackets looked good and minimalist, and that goatskin would be better in Spring...

Outside of work, I live in an Aero, a Hanes Beefy-T or a Dickies shirt and some form of denim or canvas trousers and Blundstones, Wm. Lennons or Converse, unless it's too hot, when I don't wear a jacket. I think only a handful of people have ever passed comment, and that's 60:40 good to trying to get a giggle. I'm polite and enthusiastic in both cases - I think that people should wear what they like - with the exception of sweatpants outside the house, because you've lost control in at least one area of your life if you're doing that. :). I jest.
 

zebedee

One Too Many
Messages
1,575
Location
Shanghai
I ask myself the same question all the time as well. I'm not a particularly stylish person, don't ride anymore, and I prefer comfy practical clothing, pretty much the antithesis of wearing a leather jacket.

But, I tend to like heirloom potential products, especially stuff that collects patina. I like timeless styles, and alot of these jackets have withstood the test of time. And there isn't much better than the smell of a good leather jacket.

But it costs enough to warrant your less impulsive attention, and with that comes higher expectations. I think alot of people fall into the same rabbit holes with cars, watches, homes, etc etc. Not exactly buying milk. As such it's a fun journey, a welcomed distraction from more serious aspects of life.
It is a good thing to like well-made things. It's economical if kept to the necessary and an interesting hobby if affordable. I find that good, fitting clothing improves work days and favoured casual items are good for relaxed times. I'm lucky in that I only really spend on jackets and relatively seldom.
 

Viking752

One of the Regulars
Messages
121
Location
Central Florida
As I approach being 60 I have always had a passion for leather jackets since I was about 15 years old., so for me that is the "why" as to the leather jacket appreciation . However, this forum in particular moved me from a casual stroll with my leather to the more intense search and destroy of the perfect jacket. If I look back on my adult life where I had at least some means to support my hobby's, I have gone down many rabbit holes. I ride motorcycles, specifically dirt bikes and Adventure bikes gotta find the perfect bikes and gear associated with that sport. I like firearms, gotta find the best and most perfectly built of that collection. Oh, I like watches so again gotta find my grail piece. Amercian made boots, cowboy and otherwise, again gotta find the perfect ones. The list is long and distinguished when it comes to my passions. I realized some years ago that it's probably more the journey than the destination when it comes to most things I collect. I say enjoy the ride, we only have one life.
 
Messages
14,985
Every one of my heroes wears a leather jacket. That's about it for me.

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dannyk

One Too Many
Messages
1,812
For me it started with rock n roll. I saw those photos of The Ramones, The Clash, Johnny Thunders. Lou Reed etc... in mean looking leather and as a teenager armed with a bass guitar I really wanted a leather jacket to feel like my heroes. As I got older I started appreciating classic films more and came across Brando and Dean......Once I finally felt financially stable enough to afford one really nice jacket I found this place and havent left. Because I thought to myself well I have the jacket but what jeans and boots did they wear to complete the look? What else is out there....
 

Johnny deadlifts

Familiar Face
Messages
93
As a side note I find it's a great motivator to keep yourself in shape or maintain your current size. A lot of time, money and effort can go into a leather jacket; unlike other types of clothing leather is unforgiving as far as fit goes as there's not a lot of give or adjustment. It seems a lot of jackets are sold for this very reason.
 

Johnny deadlifts

Familiar Face
Messages
93
As I approach being 60 I have always had a passion for leather jackets since I was about 15 years old., so for me that is the "why" as to the leather jacket appreciation . However, this forum in particular moved me from a casual stroll with my leather to the more intense search and destroy of the perfect jacket. If I look back on my adult life where I had at least some means to support my hobby's, I have gone down many rabbit holes. I ride motorcycles, specifically dirt bikes and Adventure bikes gotta find the perfect bikes and gear associated with that sport. I like firearms, gotta find the best and most perfectly built of that collection. Oh, I like watches so again gotta find my grail piece. Amercian made boots, cowboy and otherwise, again gotta find the perfect ones. The list is long and distinguished when it comes to my passions. I realized some years ago that it's probably more the journey than the destination when it comes to most things I collect. I say enjoy the ride, we only have one life.
Well said.
 

Johnny deadlifts

Familiar Face
Messages
93
I ask myself the same question all the time as well. I'm not a particularly stylish person, don't ride anymore, and I prefer comfy practical clothing, pretty much the antithesis of wearing a leather jacket.

But, I tend to like heirloom potential products, especially stuff that collects patina. I like timeless styles, and alot of these jackets have withstood the test of time. And there isn't much better than the smell of a good leather jacket.

But it costs enough to warrant your less impulsive attention, and with that comes higher expectations. I think alot of people fall into the same rabbit holes with cars, watches, homes, etc etc. Not exactly buying milk. As such it's a fun journey, a welcomed distraction from more serious aspects of life.
Yes, very true in regards to a distraction.
 

Tikimel1

New in Town
Messages
16
Nodding my head!

Like Monitor, many of my heroes wear leather jackets. So, maybe it’s deeply ingrained in my personality… it’s also like armor (technically, it *is* armor) but, also mental armor. I mean: when I am out in the world dealing with folks and the stuff in it, I like wearing my “shell”. And, leather is a better/more effective shell IMO than say, camel hair or tweed :)
 

TheDonEffect

Practically Family
Messages
500
Nodding my head!

Like Monitor, many of my heroes wear leather jackets. So, maybe it’s deeply ingrained in my personality… it’s also like armor (technically, it *is* armor) but, also mental armor. I mean: when I am out in the world dealing with folks and the stuff in it, I like wearing my “shell”. And, leather is a better/more effective shell IMO than say, camel hair or tweed :)


The irony is that in a practical combative situation, the leather jacket is actually not a good thing, you might as well give a gun to anyone who knows how to grapple. Geez, and with lapels? It's why I wear good running shoes when I wear leather jackets, or in general, lol.
 

zebedee

One Too Many
Messages
1,575
Location
Shanghai
I think that the ideal jacket is probably a mid-weight hide, which is why I like Aero's goat and the battered horsehides. In the kind of temperatures I (will) live in, winters would never require the heavier hides. If anything, I find the pop-cultural associations of leather jackets make me not want to wear one, but, as they aren't the reasons I wear one, I carry on in a mulish fashion.
 

Johnny deadlifts

Familiar Face
Messages
93
The irony is that in a practical combative situation, the leather jacket is actually not a good thing, you might as well give a gun to anyone who knows how to grapple. Geez, and with li constantly apels? It's why I wear good running shoes when I wear leather jackets, or in general, lol.

The irony is that in a practical combative situation, the leather jacket is actually not a good thing, you might as well give a gun to anyone who knows how to grapple. Geez, and with lapels? It's why I wear good running shoes when I wear leather jackets, or in general, lol.
I'm a BJJ guy and I feel the same way, I practice taking off my jacket quickly as the lack of mobility would be awful in an altercation.
 
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