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How To Style A Leather Racer Jacket

January 08, 2020

How To Style A Leather Racer Jacket

by Joanna Smykowski

Joanna does quite a few things in life, but writing has been her favorite by far. She is a city girl who has moved to a beach town, and second to writing, will never tire of music, travel, and the friendships she makes as a result of both.


What is a leather racer jacket?

The leather jacket world is expansive, with many different options. Other than the various types of leather, color options, and closures, there are various styles of the leather jacket. Most people, when thinking of leather jackets, the style of the bomber jacket comes to mind. It is well-known and has a long-established history of fashion and functionality. However, there are many other styles of leather jackets. For those of us who love leather jackets, we also love talking about the various styles to help you decide what works best for you. You have seen cropped jackets, bomber jackets, biker jackets, and more. Today, we’ll be diving into the world of the leather racer jacket, and the characteristics that make it so unique.

Leather racer jackets are a menswear fashion icon. The racer jacket rose to prominence in the 1960s and 1970s. Europeans wore racer jackets as they raced their bikes through the city streets - which is where the jacket got its name. The traditional racer jacket has a few features that set it apart from its leather jacket counterparts:

  1. Tapered arms
  2. A slim fit
  3. Minimal Details
  4. A stand-up collar
  5. Black leather

The black leather is a distinct feature because there are various leather colors out there that are jacket options - brown, black, green, and red, to name a few. Black leather is a classic look and is characteristic of a race jacket (although anything is possible with custom jackets in today’s day!).

Who sells leather racer jackets?

Leather racer jackets are an iconic look. If you’re looking to buy one for yourself, there are a lot of companies that sell them. To make it easy and give you a starting board for shopping, here are a few:

  • Soul Revolver - Soul Revolved began back in 2005. Coming on fifteen years, they started off in the business of selling vintage style leather jackets to men and women. They use mostly Italian nappa leather for their jackets, and it is always in .7mm in black, red, or antique brown. For their racer jackets, they always have cowhide and synthetic leather as well. They pride themselves on having quality Italian leather jackets, without breaking the bank. Their jackets come in around $380.
  • Coach -You may have heard of Coach as the company that makes bags and wallets, but Coach is The Original House of Leather. They are a product of Tapestry, Inc., the multinational luxury fashion holding company that is based in New York City. Tapestry is the parent company of other companies such as Kate Spade New York and Stuart Weitzman. Coach is a leading design house of modern luxury accessories and lifestyle collections. Because they are all about luxury, their jackets come in at a much higher price than most, going as high up at $1,400.
Leather racer jacket
  • Schott - Schott is a company known for the leather biker jacket - Irving and Jack Schott, brothers, created and perfected it. Since then, however, they have expanded to other jackets as well, including racer jackets. The Schotts were Russian immigrants living in Manhattan during the World Wars. He created the original leather biker jacket, called the Schott Perfecto, and sold it to Harley Davidson. The company grew in success and recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary back in 2013, still owned by the same company. Their jackets come in around $800.
  • Tom Ford - Tom Ford is a name of luxury. Originating from Austin, Texas, but growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Tom Ford launched his eponymous luxury brand in 2006, having previously served as the creative director at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. He began as a line of menswear, beauty, eyewear, and accessories, and became a celebrity name quickly. He is even mentioned in songs by Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z, and worn by celebrities everywhere, including notable names like Michelle Obama. Being a name associated with luxury, fame, and celebrity, it should be no surprise that Tom Ford leather jackets are expensive - coming in at almost $5,000.
  • Saint Laurent - Yves Saint Laurent SAS, also known as Saint Laurent, is a French luxury fashion house founded by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. Founded in 1961, it has been considered one of the world's most prominent fashion houses and is known for its modern and iconic[clarification needed] pieces, such as its tuxedo jackets for women. Today, headquartered in Paris, France, Saint Laurent markets a broad range of women's and men's ready-to-wear products, leather goods, shoes, and jewelry. Another luxury brand, although not quite as expensive as Tom Ford, their jackets are also on the pricier side. A Saint Laurent jacket can run you around $2,800.
  • Nordstrom- Nordstrom is a United Stated based company that is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. They also have a Canadian branch and can ship around if ordered online. They began over 100 years ago, back in 1901 by John Nordstrom and Carl Wallin. They began as a shoe retailer and have expanded to include clothing, outerwear, accessories, and more throughout the past decade-plus. As of 2019, they had about 340 brick and mortar locations in addition to their online presence. Nordstrom carries various leather jackets that you can purchase through their website. Their price range is generally higher, with jackets coming in at lowest around $500, or $200 on sale, and going up as high as over $2,000.
  • Bloomingdale’s - Bloomingdales is another department store that gives you many different brand options under one umbrella roof. Bloomingdale's Inc. is an American luxury department store chain that was founded by Joseph B. and Lyman G. Bloomingdale in 1861. It is headquartered at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City and has 55 stores nationwide. Their products include clothing, footwear, leather goods, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, housewares, and cafe. Bloomingdale’s is known as a higher-end department store, making their leather jackets higher priced than others. While it all depends on the brand you get, their jackets price around $1,200.

Racer jackets sound great, and it might be for me! Should I go custom?

If you see racer jackets and think, “This could be a great leather jacket in my life,” then we are so excited for you! The next question you may be asking yourself is, “I want a racer jacket, but should I go custom?”

Custom made leather jackets

You may have heard us speak about custom jackets before, or this may be the first you have heard of it. Custom leather jackets are a huge part of us here at Independence Brothers, so we love discussing them as an option for all leather jacket wearers out there. We think they are amazing, and they add an extra layer of depth and personality to your jacket. But, custom may not be for you. Here are some of the pros and cons of getting a custom (also known as bespoke) leather jacket:

Pros -The first pro of having a bespoke leather jacket is the custom factor itself. You create this jacket to fit you, your personality, and your style. This is a huge draw for people to express themselves, or make sure that this jacket encompasses everything they want it to. Instead of choosing something that is already made and someone else has designed, you get to wear you.

The second massive pro to having a bespoke leather jacket is that it will fit you in the truest way that a jacket can. If you are ordering from pre-made, pre-designed factory leather jackets, there are standards sizes that are an option. Even when you pick a size, there is the possibility that it does not fit as snugly and securely as you would like it to. Leather jackets should wear as if you have a second skin, and if you fall in-between sizes, that may not be the case.

Cons – The main con that goes along with having this kind of a jacket is the price tag. While there are affordable leather jacket companies out there, bespoke leather jackets are still more expensive than the factory ones. This is because of the time, energy, and effort that goes into making it, as well as because it is custom. Consider this as you are figuring out what company to go for and the design that you are going after.

PHYSICAL - The Admiral Moto

PHYSICAL - The Suede Double Rider

PHYSICAL - The Technical Bomber

While many companies may have racer jackets, not all will allow you to go bespoke for the jacket. If you want to go a little more personal and get a custom leather racer jacket, here are a few places that you can start:

  1. Independence Brothers - You can get a racer leather jacket right here at Independence Brothers. We are a company that was founded by Scott and Robbie, two brothers who value leather jackets and the way that they make you feel. Based in Philadelphia, Independence Brothers specializes in leather jackets that are made of quality materials, crafted with skill, and fit perfectly. The Independence Brothers jackets are made of lambskin, goatskin, and cowskin leathers so that they are durable, they age well, and they can last for generations. All of our jackets come with free custom measurements and are perfect for petite individuals to make sure they are getting a leather jacket that fits you just right. The Independence Brothers price tag comes in at as low as $380 and up for custom jackets.
  2. The Jacket Maker - The Jacket Maker is a company that we have focused on before. They are a newer company that is based out of California in the United States and Ras al Khaimah, or RAK, in the United Arab Emirates. About seven years old, they began as an online retail store for leather jackets in 2013. The Jacket Maker shifted to bespoke in 2016, and it is still a major part of the company three years later. They have ready to wear jackets that you can add a customizable touch to or they have the option to go entirely custom-made, from measurements to style. Their price tag is affordable for leather jackets as well, coming in at $200 for their ready to wear jackets, and going higher for their custom jackets.
  3. Jacketism.com - Jacketism.com has been around since 1991, and they also hold true to the belief that leather jackets are a lifestyle. For them, it is attire and belief. They subscribe to the quote, “Either you can be a Follower of Fashion or be a Creator of Fashion. In both scenarios; jackeism.com is the platform to opt for!” Jacketism.com is customer-centered and focuses on affordability, with their standard ready to wear jackets coming in around $200-$300.

How do I style a leather racer jacket?

The beauty of leather jackets to us is that it is not only a piece that can be used functionally to keep you warm but it is also a fashion statement. It adds another layer of versatility to your outfit and that makes wearing them that much more fun. If you are wracking your brain for different ways to style a leather racer jacket, or you already have some but are here for inspiration, here are some of our favorites:

  1. The white tee - A plain white T-shirt is one of our favorite styling options for leather jackets. The T-shirt is a classic look, with white being a pristine, clean-cut option. Putting your racer jacket over that is one of the most well-known leather jacket looks and gives a nod to bad boy biker style.
  2. Over formal - A leather jacket looks good over pretty much anything, and this includes more formal wear. If you have a button-down shirt that you are wearing and want to throw that leather jacket on top, it will complete the look without taking away from it. Plus, it will give some warmth.
  3. In colder layers - While leather jackets are not meant for heavy blizzarding winters, it is perfect for fall temperatures when you are adding some layers. Wearing the racer jacket with a scarf peeking out is a great fall look.
  4. Sweater weather - Continuing in colder pastures, layering your leather racer jacket over a sweater is another crisp fall look. Our favorite combination is a lighter sweater, such as gray, with a black jacket and darker pants.
  5. Keeping it casual - When we say we believe leather racer jackets go with most outfits, we are serious! We mentioned formal, we mentioned tees, but any casual clothing that you are wearing - maybe a denim shirt and trousers, for example - would be a complete look once you threw that leather racer jacket on over it.

The one thing to keep in mind is that the qualities that make a leather jacket so unique also mean that they look better on certain body types than others. The slimmer fit and tapered arms are usually better for smaller body types and draw attention to your waist. If the ready-to-made jackets don’t work for you, remember that you can always go custom to make it better for your body.

Leather racer jacket

Leather racer jackets, a positive conclusion

To us, a leather jacket is the greatest piece of outerwear you can own. For some of you, having a leather racer jacket can maybe transport you to a different time. Wearing the jacket can make you feel as if you are in Europe in another decade, racing your bike along the streets of the city. Whether you have a motorbike or not, leather jackets are a feeling to us. It can make you feel like a rebel, or have a heightened cool factor. It can be a great way for you to protect yourself against the elements. It can help you learn more about yourself or grow into your own sense of fashion. There may even be some people out there that do still race and the jacket helps them do the activity it was named for. Leather racer jackets are jackets that are functional in multiple ways and can also be casual. Just be sure to pick and invest in a jacket that makes you truly happy. Whether you purchase a bespoke jacket, a factory-made jacket, or an Independence Brothers leather jacket, you need to make sure it is the best version of yourself in it. To that end, we hoped this article has helped you narrow down and continue your own leather racer jacket journey.

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