What to Look For
Leather jackets come in a wide range of styles, suitable for both men and women and even come in different colors. Motorcycle Cruiser recommends sheepskin, horsehide or cowhide leather, which is stronger and more durable than other varieties. The top piece of leather should also be thin and supple, which shows good quality. A removable inner liner is also something to look for, as this lets you wear the jacket in all types of weather. The leather jacket should feel soft to the touch and move easily. Look for jackets that don’t wrinkle and leather that doesn’t bunch when you move the fabric in your hands.
A common mistake made by leather shoppers is not trying on the jacket properly. Try the jacket on in the store, zip it up or close the buttons, and try sitting down or moving around. If you plan on wearing the jacket on a motorcycle, then you also need to mimic the movements of being on your bike. The best jackets move with you, without bunching or riding up on your body. The best jackets feel comfortable regardless of how you move. You should also avoid jackets without any type of venting, as they may become too hot when wearing.
Where to Buy
You have hundreds of options available when it comes to where you shop for leather jackets. Shopping offline is the best option, because you must try on the jacket before buying. Even two jackets in the same size from the same manufacturer, may fit your body slightly differently. Shopping from specialty leather boutiques is a good option, but you should avoid chain leather stores, as the leather quality may not be as good. Who What Wear recommends higher end leather jackets from designers; these are only available from high-end department stores and designer boutiques.
Leather jackets come in different prices, with the price dependent on the quality of the leather, the designer or manufacturer, and the type of leather. As of 2010, the upscale Anouk leather jacket from Grai, retailed for nearly $1,100, while the Simone by Katie Nehra leather jacket retailed for around $1,300. On the lesser end of the price spectrum are leather jackets from Alpinestars. The Octane leather jacket from this company was meant for bikers and motorcycle riders and retails for around $400. For a quality leather jacket, expect to pay at least $300 to $400.