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  • January 25, 2024 6 min read

    Timelessly rugged yet refined, a  leather jacket  remains a wardrobe staple. Early on, ancient societies and Native Americans wore leather jackets for practical reasons – they were warm and durable. 

    In the 1900s, leather jackets became a trend when airmen started wearing them for flying. The Germans did it first in WWI, and then the Americans followed with flight jackets and bomber jackets.

    Back in the 1950s and 1960s, wearing a leather jacket and riding a motorcycle became a cool sensation. As time passed, the leather jacket stuck around as a fashion must-have. Even with changing trends, the leather jacket stayed fashionable and versatile till today. 

    Types of Leather Jackets

    To become a jacket expert, you first have to know that there are mainly two main  leather jacket styles that were originally launched in the market. Each type has special features for different purposes.

    1. Biker Jacket

    Originally designed for bikers, the leather biker jacket is designed to protect against falls. You don't have to have a motorcycle to rock this jacket. With lots of color options and features, this is made of thicker and tougher, like cowhide or bison. The thick leather keeps you warm and shields you from rain and wind. And if you happen to fall, it gives you some protection from scrapes on the pavement.

    This is one of the  jacket types  that is usually short, stopping at the top of the hips. It has a straight cut and a big leather collar that folds halfway down. Sometimes, these jackets come with extra features like pockets, zippers, snaps, and buckles. Some are for a purpose; others just make the jacket look cooler. 

    While black is the classic choice, you can also find it in brown, white, or red if you want something different. In the biker jacket category, we generally have two  types of jackets  as far as the styling is concerned:

    1. Double Rider Jackets: The iconic double rider leather jacket is a symbol of hardcore bikers on Harley Davidson hogs and punk rock stars like the Ramones. Also known as the Moto jacket, it stands out with its front closure. It generally copies the style of a double-breasted suit. The asymmetrical design moves the zipper to one side, which adds an extra layer of leather upfront. 
    1. Cafe Racer Jackets Revealed: The cafe racer leather jacket is a sleek alternative to the bold double riders. Cafe racers offer a minimalist look with a straight zipper closure and a snug, rounded collar, ditching the wide lapels.

    2. Bomber Jacket

    The bomber jacket is an aviator-style jacket made of sturdy leather. Originally meant for pilots, this  type of leather jacket  has a full body shape that narrows at the waist. It's simple, with one main zipper down the middle for closure. The collar is classic, folding gently at the collarbone. While the main part is leather, you might notice the fabric at the bottom of the sleeves and the jacket's hem. 

    Around the hips, there's an elastic material keeping the jacket close to your body. The elastic at the wrists stops cold air and snow from going up your arms, keeping you warm. You can get this jacket in different leather types like Nappa, goat, or lamb. The softer feel of these materials makes the coat smooth and comfy. This jacket is great because the leather bunches around your body with a tight waist. 

    Find it in colors like classic black, brown, white, red, or navy to match your style. With trend changes, you will find  different jacket styles  in this bomber category: 

    1. Aviator Jacket: This is a thick leather jacket, also known as a flight jacket, inspired by the cool brown leather flight jackets worn by British and American pilots in World Wars. (People started liking them after World War II.) A  pilot jacket features a single zipper in the middle with a wide collar at the top. Short and hitting at the waist, it's a casual style that goes well with jeans, boots, and your everyday clothes. It's also a popular leather coat to pair with shearling (more on that below), which pilots use to stay warm in open cockpits. You can check out our dedicated blog on Flight jackets to know more!
    2. Shearling Jackets: Shearling is the fur sometimes added to leather jackets to keep them warm. It's often put on jackets with a wide collar, so you can flip it up like a built-in scarf. Remember that awesome coat Tom Hardy's Bane wore in The Dark Knight Rises? Yeah, that was shearling. Back in WWII, putting shearling in leather jackets was the way to stay warm. But now we have synthetic options that are warmer and lighter.

    Later Additions in Leather Jacket Type- Uniform Leather Jackets

    The practicality of leather jackets further gave birth to different types of uniform leather jackets. The popular ones are:

    Trucker Jacket

    Trucker Jacket

    A timeless classic, the trucker jacket, often made of denim, has been popular since the late 19th century. Originally designed for cowboys, miners, and railroad workers, it has evolved with various modifications, including options like the Black Trucker Shearling Jacket, while retaining its denim essence.

    Field Jacket

    Field jacket

    Created in the 1940s for military use, the field jacket is a lightweight to medium-weight garment recognized by its four front pockets. Initially worn by soldiers to carry supplies without cumbersome bags, it remains practical and functional.

    Duffle Coats

    Duffle Coat

    Named after Duffle, Belgium, this  style of leather jacket  features a hood and toggles, originally gaining popularity in the 1850s. Originally used by the British Navy post-World War II, these coats, also made from the same material as duffle bags, now come in a diverse range of colors, lengths, and features.

    Modern Style of Leather Jacket

    As time passed, the fashion world saw the emergence of new  leather jacket styles  that served style and purpose at the same time. Some examples are:

    Puffer Jackets

    Puffer jackets

    These are also known as Quilted Jackets. They have visible quilting and "puffy" sections filled with down or synthetic fibers for insulation. 

    Varsity Jackets

    Varsity Jackets

    Once called Letterman jackets, Varsity jackets feature ribbed collars and cuffs. They originated in academic and athletic cultures and have evolved over time.

    Leather Vests

    Leather Vests

    For those who like leather or want a hint of it, leather vests are versatile. Sleeveless and simple, they come in various designs, including collarless options, motorcycle vests with zippers, laced vests with adjustable side laces, and biker vests with waist belts. 

    Faux Leather Jackets

    Faux Leather Jacket

    Faux leather, made with new materials and technology, lets you enjoy the style without sacrificing an animal's life just for fashion. The faux category has many types of jackets, with its classic styles and modern twists. They combine durability, style, and ethical choices.

    Windbreakers

    Windbreaker Jackets

    Also known as Windcheaters, windbreakers are lightweight cloth jackets designed to endure moderate precipitation and breezy conditions. Generally made of synthetic materials, they provide some heat and come in various colors, some with removable hoods.

    Track Jackets

    Track Jackets

    Derived from tracksuits, track jackets, matching pants, and jackets, transcends athletic wear. Worn both before and after competitions, these jackets have evolved to become versatile pieces in street style, grunge, and everyday fashion.

    Trench Coats

    Trench Coats

    Initially, for Army Officers, trench coats have evolved into leather versions with a unique silhouette. This  Leather jacket type  is often knee-length, belted, and insulated.

    Leather Blazer

    Leather Blazer

    It can be worn under or over a traditional coat. Soft, protective, and versatile, the leather blazer comes in various cuts and styles, featuring big lapels and functional pockets. Available in lambskin, goatskin, or suede, it comes in colors like brown, black, beige, white, or red. Additional features like fur collars, cuffs, and buckles enhance its unique look. 

    Leather Coat

    Leather Coat

    Available in various lengths, from past the hips to the floor, it's form-fitting and tapers at the waist. With traditional or modern collars, button closures, and additional pockets, these luxury coats are made of smooth leather-like lambskin or goatskin. 

    Suede Jackets

    Suede Jackets

    Suede is a kind of leather made from the underside of animal hides. This  Leather jacket  is softer than regular leather with a fuzzy, velvet-like texture. If you live in a dry place like the American Southwest, suede can be great. 

    Conclusion

    While a well-chosen  leather jacket  can give a bold and tough look, the wrong one can have the opposite effect—just plain bad. Selecting the right  leather jacket type  goes beyond finding the perfect fit; it involves understanding which styles complement your look, body shape, and personal taste. Hopefully, this guide has helped understand the  different jacket styles

    Recommended read: How to look after a leather jacket?

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • What animal skins are often used for leather jackets?

    Leather jackets can be made from sheepskin, lambskin, goatskin, cowhide, buffalo skin, deerskin, elk skin, and even from pigs, alligators, snakes, frogs, kangaroos, ostriches, salmon, lizards, and horses.

    • How does the grain of leather affect the choice of leather for jackets?

    The grain of leather impacts how a jacket looks, feels, and its weight. Different leather grades, like full-grain, top-grain, real leather, and bonded leather, offer different qualities.

    • What makes a leather jacket high-quality?

    Quality leather jackets have neat stitching, durable hardware, and a comfortable feel. Also, inspecting the details like stitching and hardware helps to check the overall quality of the  leather jacket.