How To Buy A Men’s Leather Jacket
When Hedi Slimane moved to Parisian brand Yves Saint Laurent in 2012, it wasn't just the name of the brand he changed (Slimane dropped the "Yves" at the beginning and added "Paris" at the end). The French designer also injected the label with a heavy dose of hyper-hip modernity, which transformed it into one of the highest-earning jewels in the Kering group crown.
The way Slimane did this? With a black leather biker jacket. And a suede western jacket. Oh, and not forgetting the Payne’s grey Napa racer. By putting leather jackets back at the centre of Saint Laurent's seasonal collections, Slimane instantly made the brand cool again. Because what's cooler, what's more achingly hip than a perfectly fitted biker jacket? Favoured by Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean and countless other rebels (with or without causes), to buy a leather jacket is to make like them and put yourself on a one-way road to cool.
The good news is that this season you don't need to be a teenager or a man going through a midlife crisis in order to wear one.
Sure, the classic biker is still doing the rounds, but for SS19 there are cropped leather car coats that you can easily wear into your fifties, long-line leather trenches that would look epic on the back of a rakish septuagenarian and a host of suede, shearling Sherpa jackets that would look the business on, well, anyone.
So here, to help you find the right option for you, is our guide of the best styles available right now. Happy hunting, hombre.
The double-breasted jacket
Nothing screams cool more than Celine. This double-breasted design is the ultimate win to spruce up a simple outfit; style it over a black shirt and striped tie and you'll be looking like a post-punk artist in no time. £3,650 at celine.com
The hooded leather jacket
One reason why Bottega Veneta is one of the most hyped brands in the world right now? This jacket. Made from a lightweight nappa and cut in a slightly oversized shape, your outfit elevation starts here. Our advice for a finishing touch? Black stomper boots – très chic. £3,185 at bottegaveneta.com
The button-up leather jacket
Punky but not too punky, a leather denim-style jacket will look great worn under a coat in a similar shade, perhaps teamed with some heavily washed Western jeans. Best for those in their thirties. £725 at belstaff.co.uk
The cropped suede jacket
If you’re going to opt for a tan hue, best to keep it cropped. Paul Smith offers the perfect answer: this boxy suede jacket's waiting to be worn over head-to-toe black. £1,460 at paulsmith.com
The signature leather jacket
Coach is always a top point of call for leather, and with this signature leather jacket the devil is in the details. We're referring to those brilliant brown pockets and collar trim, around which lies stamps of embossed logos. Very good if you're into subtle statements. £995 at coach.com
The ragan sleeved jacket
Who says you can't carry summer shades through to autumn? Not Cos, who has crafted the perfect ragan sleeved jacket for the rain. Keep the rest of your look straight cut for some sharp minimalism. £390 at cosstores.com
The shearling jacket
When the temperatures start dropping, turn to Tom Ford. There's a timeless charm to this cropped jacket, both through its soft shearling collar, cuffs and trim and its statement zipped pockets. £7,190 at harrods.com
The classic biker jacket
The ultimate rebel jacket from one of the biggest designers right now: Kim Jones for Dior. Slim-cut, edgy and ultra-hip, it's a worthwhile investment (particularly if you're under 40 years old). £3,300 at dior.com
The leather bomber
For a solid balance between a classic and a statement, this is your best bet. The bomber style is perfectly nonchalant and the patches help give your wardrobe a hint of Gucci verve. £3,842 at gucci.com
The military jacket
For a suede take on classic military design, Tom Ford’s icon jacket is perfect. Layer on top of straight-cut white jeans and brown Chelsea boots. £5,690 at tomford.co.uk
The modern varsity