Leather jackets may be a bit confusing to differentiate. You may not be able to tell the difference unless you take a slight lesson. Let’s prepare you to answer what types of leather jackets are there.
A picture is worth a thousand words; so let’s look at a detailed infographic designed to explain all the imaginable types of leather jackets divided into their type, style and history.
1. BOMBER JACKET - STRETCHY MATERIAL ON THE SLEEVES AND WAIST
The bomber jacket, what a catchy name right? It is called that for a reason! Originally, the bomber jacket was designed for Pilots and plane crews. The name has managed to stay but so has the style. Bomber jackets are usually up to the waist with a softer lining. The jacket’s soft lining is not the only thing that sets it apart. The waist and sleeves of the jacket cinch tight. They also have elasticized openings; stretchy material on the sleeves and the waist. These jackets are meant to keep you warm and protected! Bomber jackets zip up in the front and have two side pockets. You can wear them with a pair of jeans and go out on a casual yet trendy day out!
Another variation of the bomber jacket is the A2 flight jacket. Although visually similar, the A2 flight jacket has a neck flap with a zipper. Unlike the original bomber jacket, the A2 flight jacket has a fur collar and two front flap pockets.
Overall, both the bomber and an A2 bomber jacket fall under a casual style and look extra fierce when you wear them on any occasion. Different types of bomber jackets include bomber jackets with embroideries, a cropped bomber and a quilted bomber among others.
Fun Fact: Bomber Jackets were initially created to protect pilots! Pretty cool right? You’re almost as cool as a fighter pilot once you wear a bomber jacket!
2. BIKER JACKET - THE CLASSIC LEATHER JACKET YOU SEE EVERYWHERE
The biker jacket has a flared/ Pointed collar with snaps that you can fasten when you’re riding on your bike and the wind is blowing full speed. It has a front zipper that runs at an angle. The biker jacket reminds you of a rowdy bad boy who is ready to take on the world with a wide range of buckles and extra flashy bits.
Marlon Brando is the true guru of leather jackets. After The Wild one, everyone associated leather jackets with Marlon Brando. He wore a Biker jacket; also known as the double rider jacket! That’s the jacket that comes to mind when someone speaks of the classic leather jacket or a leather jacket in general. The biker jacket was designed in 1928 for Harley Davidson. It was later called the “Perfecto” based on a cigar. The biker jacket in particular, has a lot of celebrity fame associated to the design. It later became more famous because of the bassist from Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious who made the personalised biker jacket extremely popular.
Although a very raw style, female rockstars such as Blondie and Joan Jett added extra accessories to their biker jackets and made it more trendy with their studs, pins and other metal accessories. Today, a biker jacket with metal accessories comes under the punk leather jacket style.
Varying leather biker jackets include the leather perfecto, a quilted biker jacket and a punk leather jacket among a large variety of others.
3. RACER JACKET - THE MOST ELEGANT & SIMPLE LEATHER JACKET
The cafe racer jacket is the third type of leather jacket. This kind has a center front zipper, pretty simple to remember. A cafe racer is usually made from a minimal design detail. It has a band, snap-tab collar and zippered pockets. You may well call this an easy to wear, simple leather jacket that looks good on anything. It is a very classy style because the cafe racer doesn’t have too many zippers or unnecessary extra features. It is a more semi-formal style of jacket.
The Racer Jacket dates back to 1960’s. It is associated with the soldiers returning home to England after WWII. These soldiers fixed their prewar motorcycles and raced between local pubs and cafes; wearing their “cafe racer jackets.” Cafe racer jackets refer to a British or European style of jackets. Loud music and racing on 100 mph defines what the cafe racer jacket stands for. It is a leather jacket that is not only minimalistic, but also has defines a very adventurous style of fashion.
4. LEATHER COAT & BLAZER - SEMI-FORMAL STYLE OF CLOTHING
Leather coats are not jackets. That’s not rocket science, haha. But seriously, leather coats are easy to differentiate from the rest of the leather jackets. They are much longer and don’t end at the waist. If you see something that’s long and flabby, call it a leather coat and not a leather jacket. A leather coat has a pointed collar, a button or a zip closure and long sleeves. A leather coat is divided into a vast variety. Other than the traditional leather coat; there is a leather duster, a leather cloak, a leather blazer (the one that Sherlock Holmes wears) and a trench coat. Overall, a leather coat is perfect to keep you extremely warm because it doesn’t let the wind get to you very easily. It not only keeps you warm, but also makes a fashion statement while you’re at it.
A leather blazer on the other hand, is relatively shorter than a coat. It has a suit collar, patch pockets and end around your waist. The leather blazer is a perfect choice for a formal dinner, or a semi-formal family meeting. It’s length and the collar sets it apart from both a leather jacket and a leather coat. Another example of a leather blazer is a reefer leather coat which is relatively shorter as well but falls in the coat category because of its different collar.
A coat or a blazer, both make you look extra classy on any dinner-date, a formal lunch or a somewhat sophisticated day out.
5. SHEARLING JACKETS - MADE WITH A LAYER OF WOOL
Shearling jackets are made with a layer of wool. They date back to the stone age; back when cavemen wore outfits that were made of sheepskin. During the iron age, shearling becomes a status symbol. The quality of the fleece signified social status. During the Victorian Era, the shearling coat became a more masculine choice.
Later, the shearling was popularised by Hollywood. Marlon Brando’s Shearling Bomber “On The Waterfront” and James Dean’s Ranch coat from “Giant.” Today, you can see rappers such as Kanye West flaunting shearling jackets.
Shearling jackets have a fur collar, front zipper closure, a fur cuff and shearling interior. What makes this jacket extra special is the fact that it’s not only an extremely trendy fashion statement, it is also designed to keep you extremely warm and cosy because of the shearling interior. It is a must-buy if you live anywhere with a very cold winter. It will make you look really stylish while keeping you nice and warm!
A fringe jacket was initially popular amongst cowboys and native Americans. The fringes were designed to shed rain and dry faster when wet. Although the fringes date back to 1920’s because of the fringed Charleston dress from the Great Gatsby but frings leather jackets hadn’t become mainstream till then. During the 1950’s, the trend of the fringe jacket resurfaced because of the rock n roll king, Elvis Presley.
The 60’s was an era where many celebrities had embraced the fringe leather jacket. Celebrities such as Twiggy, Penelope Tree and Sonny and Cher all become fans of fringed clothes.
A fringe jacket has a pointed collar and fringes. An extremely trendy leather jacket, fringes have now become a more contemporary fashion style. You can wear a collar fringe jacket, a biker fringe, a suede or a leather vest with fringes. Over time, the fringes have increased in variety while making a very distinct fashion statement! It will not only protect you from the rain, but will also make you look extra fashionable!
The list doesn’t end there. Leather jackets are available in all kinds of shapes and sizes. You can find a leather jacket for every taste. Be it a formal, semi-formal or a casual event, there is definitely a leather jacket for you.
If the above mentioned styles were not of your interest, then consider the following styles. You could get yourself a leather vest, a leather shirt with a collar, a leather hoodie or a suede jacket. All of these styles will make you look appropriate depending on where you wish to wear them.
A leather vest became famous in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s as it became a symbol of motorcycle rebellion. From the 2000’s to today, there have been many adaptations of the leather vest redefining a more raw fashion.
A leather shirt, on the other hand, has a shirt style collar. This means, it is a hybrid between a leather jacket and a shirt and is a perfect wear for a more formal or semi-formal outings.
A leather hoodie and suede leather jacket are a more contemporary style fashion. You may see a younger audience more attracted to the casual leather hoodie.
A suede leather jacket is made from the underside of the animal skin instead of the usual animal hide. It is much softer which makes it less durable than a leather jacket made from the top of the skin. Suede is generally used for a more delicate-wear instead of a life lasting leather jacket. It does, however, make an extremely classy fashion statement.
YOU ARE NOW A MASTER OF THE TYPES OF LEATHER JACKETS!
Alright, so, if someone asks you the types of leather jackets; you can answer all of their questions without hesitation. You have now become a master of leather jackets. You not only know how to identify the types of leather jackets but you actually have enough knowledge to go on and narrate the history and features of each leather jacket.
As you’ve seen, leather jackets have been around for centuries in some form or the other. This means, they will continue to be a staple clothing for the centuries to come. From pilots to army officers, from musicians to actors, from casual to formal, leather jackets have been a favorite everywhere. You can find the right leather jacket using this guide. You can chose from a large collection of leather jackets.
Let’s give you a little recap:
Bomber - defined neckline, minimal styling, ribbed cuffs, and ribbed waistband.
Flight Jacket - a fur collar, two flap pockets on the front and a neck flap.
Biker Jacket - pointed collar, zipper sleeves, buckles and belts
Racer Jacket - Snap-tab collar, minimal detailing, two front zipper pockets
Leather coat - Pointed collar, button or zip closure, long sleeves, relatively longer
Leather Blazer - Suit collar, patch pockets, upto the waist
Shearling Jacket - fur collar, fur cuff, front zipper closure, shearling interior
Fringe Jacket - pointed collar, fringes
Leather vest - sleeveless, from button or zip closure
Leather shirt - shirt style collar, front button or zipper closure
Leather hoodie - leather hood, front zipper closure
Suede jacket - made from the underside of leather skin, extremely soft
THAT’S ALL FOLKS! Congratulations on becoming a leather jacket know-it-all! Go on and flaunt your leather jacket knowledge. You can drool over the best leather jackets by taking a look at Leather Jacket Shop!