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Why a Leather Jacket?

Fifty150

One Too Many
Messages
1,431
Location
The Barbary Coast
For guys of a certain generation, a leather jacket was a status symbol. That was my Uncle and my Dad's generation. When they "dressed to impress", the leather came out. They had motorcycle jackets for riding. But that generation wore those leather blazers, car coats, and long coats. With turtleneck sweaters. They went to nightclubs dressed like that. People are in there, dancing. It's hot. And they were all sweaty, and trying to act cool.

My generation doesn't have a leather jacket style. My friends don't own leather for fashion. A few ride, and they have riding jackets. Back in high school, when I started riding, we wore flight jackets and bombers. Maybe that was the look of the day. Fonzie. Top Gun. Riding a motorcycle with a military jacket.

The cross zip, double breasted, Marlon Brando look was a fashion item for kids who wanted to be punk rockers. They did not ride motorcycles. Those jackets were usually worn with a Ramones t-shirt. And they were what you found at The Mall. Even back then, there was a mall leather jacket store. Wilsons. And they were not cheap. My A-2 style jacket came from Golden Bear. Back then, kids in high school got their varsity jackets from Golden Bear. And people in my neighborhood bought our riding leather there.
 

Fifty150

One Too Many
Messages
1,431
Location
The Barbary Coast
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.


I have been in fights wearing a leather jacket. Broken beer bottle have a hard time penetrating leather. If you are in motion, as your body is turning, it is very difficult for a small pocketknife to stab or slice through leather.

I am not a "BJJ" guy. But I can tell you, that from 1st hand experience, a leather or denim jacket works very well for grip and leverage. You are able to grab onto your own sleeve cuffs, placket, lapel, and collar, the same way you can use your gi or your opponents gi.

Remember always that in an organic skills competition, you don't score points, there is no panel of judges, and there are no rules. Style and form do nothing for survival. If you can grab the cuff of your opponent's pants leg - then run in the direction of an offset angle - the guy will fall, you will be dragging him as you run the other way, and his head will bounce on the dancefloor as you are dragging him along. No grace or form. but that buys you the opening to kick him in the teeth, before you run away.

In a bar room brawl, there are no yellow cards. Hit them with whatever you can get your hands on. Don't go to the ground, where his friends can kick you in the back of the head, while you're trying to use an Eddie Bravo twister. In a 1-on-1 fight in a ring, I loved arm locks and choke holds. In a real life bar room, or my last fight at The War Memorial Opera House across the street from The Mayor's Office, a roundhouse kick to the opponents testicle followed by knees to the head worked better than a kimura lock.
 

MrProper

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,403
Location
Europe
I have been in fights wearing a leather jacket. Broken beer bottle have a hard time penetrating leather. If you are in motion, as your body is turning, it is very difficult for a small pocketknife to stab or slice through leather.

I am not a "BJJ" guy. But I can tell you, that from 1st hand experience, a leather or denim jacket works very well for grip and leverage. You are able to grab onto your own sleeve cuffs, placket, lapel, and collar, the same way you can use your gi or your opponents gi.

Remember always that in an organic skills competition, you don't score points, there is no panel of judges, and there are no rules. Style and form do nothing for survival. If you can grab the cuff of your opponent's pants leg - then run in the direction of an offset angle - the guy will fall, you will be dragging him as you run the other way, and his head will bounce on the dancefloor as you are dragging him along. No grace or form. but that buys you the opening to kick him in the teeth, before you run away.

In a bar room brawl, there are no yellow cards. Hit them with whatever you can get your hands on. Don't go to the ground, where his friends can kick you in the back of the head, while you're trying to use an Eddie Bravo twister. In a 1-on-1 fight in a ring, I loved arm locks and choke holds. In a real life bar room, or my last fight at The War Memorial Opera House across the street from The Mayor's Office, a roundhouse kick to the opponents testicle followed by knees to the head worked better than a kimura lock.
Well then, I'm glad I live in a quiet area and have few natural enemies. It may be because I am almost 2m tall and bald.
I "have" to fight only in light sparring in sports when I want to.
 

mumpy

New in Town
Messages
27
I think for me it is first a matter of aesthetic and authenticity. I like the feeling of wearing a leather jacket and the way it looks on me. But I wouldn’t choose any jacket that looks good on me. I want quality (not necessarily expensive) and I want it to last as well. Being able to pass it down the family feels great.

The various associations with badass attitude etc. is not something I care much about as I think that clothes can’t make someone badass independently of their own personal character.
 

Johnny deadlifts

Familiar Face
Messages
93
I have been in fights wearing a leather jacket. Broken beer bottle have a hard time penetrating leather. If you are in motion, as your body is turning, it is very difficult for a small pocketknife to stab or slice through leather.

I am not a "BJJ" guy. But I can tell you, that from 1st hand experience, a leather or denim jacket works very well for grip and leverage. You are able to grab onto your own sleeve cuffs, placket, lapel, and collar, the same way you can use your gi or your opponents gi.

Remember always that in an organic skills competition, you don't score points, there is no panel of judges, and there are no rules. Style and form do nothing for survival. If you can grab the cuff of your opponent's pants leg - then run in the direction of an offset angle - the guy will fall, you will be dragging him as you run the other way, and his head will bounce on the dancefloor as you are dragging him along. No grace or form. but that buys you the opening to kick him in the teeth, before you run away.

In a bar room brawl, there are no yellow cards. Hit them with whatever you can get your hands on. Don't go to the ground, where his friends can kick you in the back of the head, while you're trying to use an Eddie Bravo twister. In a 1-on-1 fight in a ring, I loved arm locks and choke holds. In a real life bar room, or my last fight at The War Memorial Opera House across the street from The Mayor's Office, a roundhouse kick to the opponents testicle followed by knees to the head worked better than a kimura lock.
You have made some valid points. Leather would most certainly be protective against weapons and the ground. I've been a martial artist for most of my adult life so I understand how to adapt to the situation at hand regaurdless of what one is wearing. I think the point that was being made was that for freedom of movement and mobility most leather jacket designs would be sub optimal and very restrictive in comparison to a gi, shirt or no shirt at all. I've done light rolling while wearing a leather jacket in an attempt to break it in; I found the restriction in movement extremely frustrating and quite tiring. I would be more inclined to take it off if given the opportunity. To each his own. The question was " why a leather jacket?" so protection could absolutely be seen as a reasonable answer; as leather was used for armor in many applications for centuries and would certainly apply still today.
 

TheDonEffect

Practically Family
Messages
500
I have been in fights wearing a leather jacket. Broken beer bottle have a hard time penetrating leather. If you are in motion, as your body is turning, it is very difficult for a small pocketknife to stab or slice through leather.

I am not a "BJJ" guy. But I can tell you, that from 1st hand experience, a leather or denim jacket works very well for grip and leverage. You are able to grab onto your own sleeve cuffs, placket, lapel, and collar, the same way you can use your gi or your opponents gi.

Remember always that in an organic skills competition, you don't score points, there is no panel of judges, and there are no rules. Style and form do nothing for survival. If you can grab the cuff of your opponent's pants leg - then run in the direction of an offset angle - the guy will fall, you will be dragging him as you run the other way, and his head will bounce on the dancefloor as you are dragging him along. No grace or form. but that buys you the opening to kick him in the teeth, before you run away.

In a bar room brawl, there are no yellow cards. Hit them with whatever you can get your hands on. Don't go to the ground, where his friends can kick you in the back of the head, while you're trying to use an Eddie Bravo twister. In a 1-on-1 fight in a ring, I loved arm locks and choke holds. In a real life bar room, or my last fight at The War Memorial Opera House across the street from The Mayor's Office, a roundhouse kick to the opponents testicle followed by knees to the head worked better than a kimura lock.


I'm def no tough guy so take this with a huge grain of salt. You are indeed absolutely right, there's no form points, no barred maneuvers, it's simply win or lose or get to safety. Herb Dean won't stop the fight because you kneed someone while one of their hands is on the ground. And yes, you can absolutely use a jacket as a sort of gi.

Nonetheless, the restricted nature of most leather jackets, especially the ones we fawn over on these forums with heavier, stiffer leather, would be my main concern. Just like wearing raw, heavy denim.

Btw, if I ever plan on going to a seedy area to bar hop, I know who I'm calling now!
 

Bushman

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,999
Location
Chicago
For guys of a certain generation, a leather jacket was a status symbol. That was my Uncle and my Dad's generation. When they "dressed to impress", the leather came out. They had motorcycle jackets for riding. But that generation wore those leather blazers, car coats, and long coats. With turtleneck sweaters. They went to nightclubs dressed like that. People are in there, dancing. It's hot. And they were all sweaty, and trying to act cool.

My generation doesn't have a leather jacket style. My friends don't own leather for fashion. A few ride, and they have riding jackets. Back in high school, when I started riding, we wore flight jackets and bombers. Maybe that was the look of the day. Fonzie. Top Gun. Riding a motorcycle with a military jacket.

The cross zip, double breasted, Marlon Brando look was a fashion item for kids who wanted to be punk rockers. They did not ride motorcycles. Those jackets were usually worn with a Ramones t-shirt. And they were what you found at The Mall. Even back then, there was a mall leather jacket store. Wilsons. And they were not cheap. My A-2 style jacket came from Golden Bear. Back then, kids in high school got their varsity jackets from Golden Bear. And people in my neighborhood bought our riding leather there.
I noticed my father's and uncle's generation was like that. In fact, my first leather jacket was a basic, black hand-me-down jacket with the right pocket seemingly always full of shredded tobacco, even though I didn't smoke at the time. I swear, I was the only kid in high school who regularly wore a leather jacket.
 

JMax

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,798
I’m more like Indiana Jones in Raiders. Ain’t gots the time to roll around MMA-style. Can I? Sure, but my back hurts just thinking of it.

I ride, so my leather journey started there. Found I like wearing it, kept going. Love the look of leather, the feel…and a bit more recently, the history of those that came before any of us. Or most of us at least.
 

Johnny deadlifts

Familiar Face
Messages
93
I’m more like Indiana Jones in Raiders. Ain’t gots the time to roll around MMA-style. Can I? Sure, but my back hurts just thinking of it.

I ride, so my leather journey started there. Found I like wearing it, kept going. Love the look of leather, the feel…and a bit more recently, the history of those that came before any of us. Or most of us at least.
Lol, I like the Indiana Jones reference.This thread veered off the road a bit with the "fighting" theme. Valid points by all; maybe better for a seperate thread on the " benefits of leather in an altercation", probably a better place for it as it appears to be a small consideration for the question of "Why a leather jacket".
 

Johnny deadlifts

Familiar Face
Messages
93
An old Brooks just showed up, and when I went to try it on... it happened- that feeling. It fits like a glove, and I felt like a total cool guy/ badass (I am neither). My son tried it on, and...nothing...
So, I guess it’s not for everyone.

An old Brooks just showed up, and when I went to try it on... it happened- that feeling. It fits like a glove, and I felt like a total cool guy/ badass (I am neither). My son tried it on, and...nothing...
So, I guess it’s not for everyone.
Love that feeling, I haven't felt it enough.
 

Fifty150

One Too Many
Messages
1,431
Location
The Barbary Coast
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.


The better option is to not fight at all.

Unless you are the guy that other people call when there is trouble.

I firmly believe that most people should not be fighting, and that most fights could be avoided.

As someone who has been in fights, I don't like them.

This is what it's like to fight, while wearing a leather jacket. There are 2 vendors for this jacket. Johnson's Leather and Golden Bear.
 

Johnny deadlifts

Familiar Face
Messages
93
Thank you. My intention for this post was to gain insight and understanding from like minded individuals into the appeal of wearing leather jackets. It was not my intention to deviate from the spirit of the discussion in any way so my apologies if I participated in doing so. Please let's keep the conversation going as the stories of father's, uncles, brothers, musicians and hero's influences have been very enriching.
 

zebedee

One Too Many
Messages
1,575
Location
Shanghai
Another good reason to wear leather jackets is that they look better when bashed up, scuffed and worn in. Other clothing needs replacing reasonably often, whereas an Aero/Thedi/JL/Himel etc. is more comfortable and more interesting with use and a few years of wear. One or another of my Aeros has been with me in every country I've been to (except Vietnam and Malaysia), and I've never had one get damaged or need replacing. I think that goat hide (Aero's or maybe SB's) is the ideal weight for travelling, with Aero's battered HH on a par. I've balled them up and used them as pillows, slept under them and kept other people warm in them - along with a Leatherman Wingman, I think a durable leather jacket is almost a travel essential for me.
 

Johnny deadlifts

Familiar Face
Messages
93
Another good reason to wear leather jackets is that they look better when bashed up, scuffed and worn in. Other clothing needs replacing reasonably often, whereas an Aero/Thedi/JL/Himel etc. is more comfortable and more interesting with use and a few years of wear. One or another of my Aeros has been with me in every country I've been to (except Vietnam and Malaysia), and I've never had one get damaged or need replacing. I think that goat hide (Aero's or maybe SB's) is the ideal weight for travelling, with Aero's battered HH on a par. I've balled them up and used them as pillows, slept under them and kept other people warm in them - along with a Leatherman Wingman, I think a durable leather jacket is almost a travel essential for me.
Theres likely nothing more welcome than the offer of a warm, worn in leather jacket on a cold evening.
 

TheDonEffect

Practically Family
Messages
500
Apologies for the tangent. Back on topic, I grew up in warm climate so it was mostly shorts and t shirts for me. But everything I saw on tv, the cool guy/hero/etc would always be wearing a leather jacket. I watched a ton of Happy Days growing up, Fonz was the coolest. Also watched a ton of WWF, now WWE, and who would Bret Hart be without the shades and leather jacket?

When I moved to CA and actually experienced different climates and weather, my brother handed down to me my first leather jacket that I wore throughout high school. It was my only winter wear that I ever owned until I was well into adulthood.

Then I went down a rabbit hole one day thinking I needed to add one to the wardrobe, and all the memories came back. I stopped by a Schott store and tried the Raven on and it just sorta clicked.
 
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