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Cowhide Leather Jackets - Truths And Myths

March 10, 2019

Cowhide Leather Jackets - Truths And Myths

A great cowhide leather jacket is timeless, it’s durable, and it should fit you like a glove. I know how intimidating it can be to find the perfect leather jacket. What materials, size, color, and price will suit you the best? We are here to debunk some of the myths associated with cowhide leather jackets while giving you all the facts you need to know when it comes to finding that perfect jacket to add to your wardrobe.

 

Keep reading to find out:

  • What is cowhide and what makes it different from other types of leather?
  • What to look for in a good cowhide leather jacket?
  • Where to buy good cowhide jackets?

Cowhide At A Glance

Cowhide is the unbleached skin of a cow and is a byproduct of the beef industry. Cowhide is one of the most common leathers due to its strong resistance against water and dirt. Those who are avid leather wearers say the longer you wear your cowhide jackets, the more it will start to feel like a second skin.

What makes it different from the other types of leather?

The most commonly used leathers are made from goatskin, deerskin, cowhide, bison, calfskin, and lambskin. The durability of cowhide does not compare to other types of leathers out there. Cowhide is, in fact, cheaper than other leathers made out of different animal skin, but don't let that sway your decision. Cowhide is the most popular for a reason, it is the most impervious and durable leather available on the market. Motorcycle riders have sworn by their cowhide leather jackets for almost a century, and today the fashion industry uses the leather’s casual matte finish to create countless styles of jackets.

So, still trying to decide which animal leather is best for you? Take into consideration that deerskin and bison are the most similar to cowhide, but maybe a little bit more pricey. Goatskin is much softer and lighter than cowhide, and will most likely feel worn in from the first wear. While goatskin is seen as an all-around great leather, it does come at a higher price tag. Lambskin is as soft as it gets when it comes to leather. The supple and smooth leathers made from lambskin are often used for more luxury jackets and goods which can be worn year round due to the lightweight feel. Calfskin offers a balance between super smooth and also durable. It shares the same rugged look as cowhide but, it has a softer feel and a smoother surface.

Cowhide leather jacket

A Bit Of History

Leather jackets boast a long and rich history. The first leather jackets to be mass manufactured date back to the early 1900s and were used by aviators in the military. However, these were made from goatskin. The first cowhide leather jackets to appear on the market were in the 1920s when the classic motorcycle jacket became a staple in almost every man’s wardrobe.

For over a century men have been showing off their personal styles through good leather jackets. Whether your preference is classic, moto, or anything in between, adding a good cowhide leather jacket into your wardrobe will not disappoint. Take a look at the top 5 styles and find which one best suits your personal style needs.

Top 5 cowhide leather jacket styles:

  1. The Schott Perfecto - Aka a “double rider” jacket. This one takes the top of the list for classic, comfortable, and always iconic leather men's jackets. For most, when they think of a men’s leather jacket, the double rider is first in their minds.
  2. The Bomber Jacket - This military classic holds its place in the number two spot. The jacket inspired by aviators is still one of the best casual men’s jackets on the market. Those who are going for a more rugged look tend to gear towards the bomber.
  3. The Moto Jacket- Aka the “racer” jacket. This jacket is fitted and lightweight, making it a staple for those looking to achieve and sleek and refined look. This one has no bells and whistles, just a basic and elegant jacket to compliment a number of different looks.
  4. The Leather Blazer - Crafted from durable cowhide, a leather blazer is next level. The best thing about choosing a blazer is that it can be worn through multiple seasons, plus its work and weekend friendly.
  5. Varsity - While this may bring you back to your high school days, and you wouldn’t be wrong, don't rule out the varsity jacket just yet. A good quality leather varsity jacket is casual, comfortable, and perfect for your more laid back days.

How to find a good quality jacket?

A good quality cowhide leather jacket is an investment. I know there is no shortage of cowhide leather jackets out there, but how do you know if a cowhide leather jacket is good? When looking for the best cowhide leather there are a few tips and tricks to follow.

The main features of a good cowhide leather jacket:

  • Quality - Make sure the jacket you are looking at looks durable and can withstand weather and wear.
  • Workmanship - This is where you have to look at the small details, is the leather soft? Are all the seams and the zipper sewn on properly?
  • Comfort - Does the cowhide feel soft and smooth? Are grains easily seen? A sign of lower quality cowhide will feel a bit scratchy.
  • Color - Are you in the market for a colored cowhide jacket? Be sure to check if the color looks seamless and even throughout the whole piece.
How much you should spend on a leather jacket

How much should I spend on a good cowhide leather jacket?

Now, let’s talk price. I know sometimes the price tags on genuine leather jackets can be intimidating. While I do believe a good leather jacket is an investment, there is still no need to break the bank completely. Now, you can buy genuine cowhide leather jackets for around $100. That being said, take into consideration you may not be getting the highest quality. For a good quality cowhide jacket, the range is between $300 to $500. This may seem a bit steep for some, but remember these jackets are made to last. This is not a piece you will wear for two years and toss it to the side. For those who are more extravagant, cowhide jackets can go all the way up to $700 plus. I personally believe staying within the $300 to $500 range is the best option. As long as you take proper care of your jacket this piece will last you years to come, so don’t worry about not getting your money's worth!

Affordable vs Luxury

Having trouble deciding between affordable and luxury brands? How do you know if you should invest your hard earned money into a more expensive item? What’s important to know before buying is the difference in quality between the cheaper and more pricey brands.

Affordable brands will produce jackets which will always look nice upon the first glance, however when you are shopping be sure to take a closer look. When looking into leather be sure to keep an eye out for the grade, appearance, texture and of course price. Any cowhide jacket will be unlikely to rip or tear but the lower the quality, the jacket may be susceptible to environmental damages.

  • Thread and zippers - Something else to keep an eye out for while shopping is the quality of the thread and zippers. I know many may overlook this small detail, but a cheaper zipper will not hold to the test of time.
  • Lining - Another thing to look at is the lining. While you may think what's on the inside of the jacket is less critical, remember the lining is what is touching your skin. A good quality lining will be super soft and have a silky feel. Cheaper jackets may have a synthetic lining which can easily fall apart.
  • Smell - The smell is another indicator of quality. Sometimes lower quality leather goods, even though they are %100 genuine can have less of that distinct natural and slightly musty smell which most associate as a positive thing when shopping for leather jackets.
Full-grain vs top grain

Full-Grain vs Top Grain

While you are shopping, I want you to take into consideration the grain. Full-grain is low in availability and high in quality, making it the more expensive of the two. Full-grain comes from the top layer of the hide and is the highest quality money can buy. It also has not been sanded or altered to remove any imperfections or natural marks on the animal skin. Top grain is actually corrected leather, meaning that the skin of the animal is shaved down to remove a thin layer of the upper grains. Top grain is slightly less strong than full-grain and is much more readily available, making it a bit less expensive.

High-quality leather jackets should last you forever. With the proper care, there is no reason a good leather jacket will tear or fall apart unless of course it was made with less than top quality materials. Buying a good jacket is like buying a nice car, it will last through wear and tear, it will look great, and it will make you feel like a million bucks.

Sometimes that age-old saying is true, and you really do get what you pay for. The last thing you want to do is go down the affordable route and not be satisfied only to purchase a more high-end jacket on top of the one you already own. Are you ready to start shopping yet? I have compiled a list of my personal favorite shops to purchase cowhide leather jackets.

 

Where to buy good quality cowhide leather jackets:

  • Nordstrom - The beauty of Nordstrom is that you can find a wide range of leather jackets, from different styles to textures to even prices. Something to remember though is that the store is huge and there are tons of different styles and types of leather jackets. If you are overwhelmed be sure to ask a sales associate to assist.
  • Independence Bothers - Founded by two, you guessed it, brothers. If one thing is for sure it’s that these guys know leather! Focused solely on the niche, the brothers have created a brand of leather geared toward top quality and offer exceptional customer service.
  • AllSaints - The London based brand, which now sells worldwide has been making high-quality leather jackets since 1994. They have left their mark on pop culture as well, many influencers and celebrities have been photographed in their stellar jackets.
  • Schott- Schott leather jackets truly embody the American spirit and culture. The classic American company has been making leather jackets since the early 1900s. They were actually the first company to sew a zipper on a jacket, which at the time was considered to be quite revolutionary.
  • Laverapelle - Laverapelle offers tons of various genuine leather jackets to choose from, with most of them being on the lower end of the price range without compromising quality. The amount of jackets they offer is actually pretty surprising, you will be sure to find your style here.
  • Superdry- Superdry is Another UK based company with a Japanese flair. Specializing in outerwear you can expect a premium selection of leather jackets to withstand the test of time. The brand is always on top of the current trends, so you can be sure to not only find the what’s new and in but also a huge variety of the classics.
Custom made leather jacket

If you are still on the fence, have you ever thought about having a custom cowhide leather jacket made? Or maybe you have been shopping and have still yet to find your perfect match? Imagine having the perfect jacket, customized to fit your body type and style needs. In recent years a lot of brands have jumped on the trend of offering custom made jackets, and you may be surprised how easy the process actually is.

Why Go Custom?

  • Be your own designer- Going custom means you choose everything! Have total control over the color, size, and fit of your jacket.
  • Materials- Choose the cowhide that’s best for you and your needs, whether it be on the softer or more durable side.
  • Style- Choose everything from the shell color, lining color, and even the hardware.
  • Personalization- Many places give the options of adding custom embroidery, monogramming, or logos to your jacket.

Nice! You made it to the end of the article. We hope this piece has shed some light on choosing the best cowhide leather jacket for you. As a writer, someone with a passion for fashion, and someone who knows good quality goods writing this article really hit home for me. My grandfather owned a Tannery in Massachusetts back in the day and he taught me a thing or two about high-quality leather, and since then I have always had a liking toward leather goods. Please let us know what you thought in the comments below and share if you liked it!

High-quality leather jacket

Bonus pro tips and tricks:

Check out these quick and easy guides to help you choose the best jacket for your personality and how to properly care for your new cowhide jacket!

The Ultimate Guide To Buying A Leather Jacket

Cleaning Tips

Which Leather Jacket Best Suits Your Personality


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