Leather Jacket – A fashionable and timeless outfit
She then explains that “Most trends come and go, like studded denim and dressy sweatpants, while others are meant to stay on forever. The perfect leather jacket is one of those trends that continuously manages to appear fresh, season after season.” A closer look at the history of the leather jacket confirms that Angel is right to single out this fashion trend.
Nowadays, a significant number of people consider the leather jacket to be a wardrobe staple. This is because they are stylish and smart and can easily be matched with a variety of other clothing items. In describing men’s leather jackets, an article from Men Style Fashion asserts that they are an essential piece that will never go out of style.
As fashion progresses, so do clothing trends but the leather jacket has proven resilient to these changes. More than ever, we see leather jackets pop-up in our daily lives and the reasons why are clear. This piece is versatile and easy to dress up and down and it can be easily paired with modern fashion trends.
The leather jacket began in the army where men and women army pilots wore brown flying jackets made from leather. Later, during World War II, the brown-colored army leather jackets became known as the Bomber Jacket. These jackets were mainly used by pilots and the military in general and were designed to be warm, with their smart, attractive look being a happy by-product.
Aaron, a leather jacket collector says that he thinks black better reflects the characteristics of a leather jacket than brown as it exudes a sense of “cool.” At first, leather jackets were designed mainly in brown but later black arose to be the emblematic color of the jacket as its fame grew widely, leading to its current prominence. In the early 1950s, the jacket evolved further as the army drew inspiration from World War II jackets. This new generation of army jackets was fitted with a heavy-duty outer layer designed to cope with the chilly temperatures at higher elevations.
The celebrated actor Marlon Brando championed the biker jacket and it achieved symbolic status after his 1953 movie The Wild One (a jacket owned and worn by Brando later sold for US $14,500). James Dean was then seen donning his legendary leather jacket in Rebel Without A Cause, in which it became the classic symbol of cool. This perception of leather jackets as cool was later reinforced in the 1960s by Steve McQueen when he matched his leather jacket with fashionable aviators.
Over the years, leather jackets have been designed for different purposes and individual styles are accredited to subcultures, for instance, greasers, bikers, pilots, and the military, as well as music subcultures.
The fashion photographer Renee Law says that leather jackets are not only a fashion symbol but also a symbol in the music industry, as some certain styles of leather jacket have been attributed to the Punk movement and other related subcultures. The Punk subculture bolstered the reputation of the leather jacket as cool even further in the 1980s by giving it a rock-music look with superstars Blondie and Billy Idol decorating their jackets with spikes and studs. People wore these types of leather jackets to indicate their membership of certain music subcultures and create a bold look.
Producing leather jackets is demanding. For fashion brand All Saints, “A leather jacket through its manufacturing stage can pass through the hands of least 20 craftsmen before its completion.” Dressing in an All Saints jacket is also an investment that will cost, on average, between £300 and £400 for men and between £200 and £300 for women.
Currently, fashion stores are full of leather jackets that are sold at various prices and one can argue that almost everyone will own a leather jacket at some point in their lives. Statistics reveal that the value of the leather goods market worldwide (including leather jackets) is set to increase from 251.77 to 271.21 billion USD from 2019 to 2021.
Despite their price, leather jackets are still sought after by many people for reasons that range from their attractiveness and adaptability to their link to various subcultures. Among consumers, these jackets are associated with durability and resilience because of the strong personalities that have worn them in the past, most notably, Marlon Brando, James Dean, Steve McQueen, and members of the military.
While the aviation industry has evolved, expanded, and improved immeasurably since World War II, leather jackets are still used by military pilots right across the globe. The leather jacket can be considered not only a timeless piece of clothing but also a piece of memorabilia that creates a direct link with the past. It has maintained the highest level of popularity for decades, profiting from the sudden rise of various subcultures in the late 20th century, which added that extra touch of “coolness” to the jacket and took its popularity global.
These days, the leather jacket is a fashionable piece of clothing that is always on-trend and unlikely to get out of fashion anytime soon. Leather jackets make daring statements about our fashion sense. It is difficult to underestimate the universality of leather jackets given how many people worldwide continue to wear and admire them. Moreover, the leather jacket has remained popular despite the advent of contemporary coats and blazers.