Let’s say you want to take the plunge and purchase yourself a leather vest. Where can you find them? Luckily, there are a few options out there. We have rounded up some of our favorites here:
LeatherUp - LeatherUp is a company that started around 20 years ago. Starting at a storefront in downtown Los Angeles, the two co-founders had the vision to bring affordable leather jackets to people online at the fraction of the price they would see in malls. At that point, online shopping, especially online clothes shopping, was a novel idea. Their concept was to make their own exclusive clothing using the founder’s 25 years of manufacturing experience and make it better. They use high-quality leathers, have a quality fit, quality liners, quality zippers, and cut out the middlemen retailers.
LeatherUp leather vests come in at an affordable price. Kids vests on sale start as low as around $30, and you can go as high as $350 for adult vests. They are also a company that has sales (their Labor Day weekend sales took off as much as 50% off!) so you can always keep an eye out for those. Our favorite out of the LeatherUp vests was one of their best sellers. It is a Milwaukee black leather vest that has heated technology in it. This is something we don’t see very often, so our interest was piqued! It is made of a 1.2 - 1.3mm thick premium naked rugged cowhide leather shell combined with heating panels intricately placed in the chest and back areas. This vest delivers plenty of heat where you need it. Using the heat feature is easy as well. All you have to do is simply connect into the motorcycle power lead through an included 12V wired battery harness that hooks up to your motorcycle's battery and then to the vest. When you are not on the motorcycle, heat can be delivered through the optional battery pack that fits into the vest pocket and can heat up the panels in the chest and back. The battery pack comes with the vest. This allows you to do a full range of activities when heat is needed. The best part is, the heat level can be adjusted easily on this vest. There are three different temperature ranges - low, medium, and high - that can be selected to make sure you can find the exact temperature you need to be comfortable. In addition, the vest has two lower zippered hand pockets and accordion stretch side panels for extra room. It comes at a cost of about $330, but we’ve seen it for as low as $240 during sales. They have options for ladies as well, coming in at a lower price tag, especially when it doesn’t include the heating feature.
Wilsons - Wilsons was founded “For the Love of Leather.” In 1899, Berman Brothers Fur, Wool, and Hides was founded by three brothers. They were, as the company says, infatuated and obsessed with leather. Their inspiration came from the beauty of hides. In the 1940s, Wilsons House of Suede was founded in California, and it was known for its suede and leather products. Both companies were acquired by Melville Corporation in 1982 and were merged as Wilsons Leather a few years later. They are currently owned by AM Retail Group and have their headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Wilsons Leather has an online retail existence as well as approximately 167 stores nationally. They also have outlet stores around the country as well, allowing customers to purchase their products either in person at a brick and mortar store or online to be delivered their home. Wilsons boasts handcrafted, affordable products. Their brand personality is self-labeled as “quality, stylish, smart, genuine, cool, and approachable.”
Our favorite of theirs is the Don Leather Rider Vest. Wilsons considers it, “the perfect wingman.” The vest is crafted with heavy-duty premium naked cowhide leather that is 1.1 - 1.2mm thickness along. There is a cut-away hem and side laces for comfort. It’s built for riders. The leather is tougher and the styling elements enhance performance for bikers who take it to the streets. The lining is 100% polyester with a full mesh lining as well. There is a 4-snap front, slip-in hand pockets, two interior pockets, and leather lace-up sides. It prices out at about $150.
Shepler’s and Scully’s - Shepler’s is an American western wear company that began as a harness company in Wichita, Kansas back in 1899. The company has then expanded not only locations but products as well. They sell different types of western wear, including boots and leather jackets.
Scully’s dates back to 1906. They were a manufacturer of flight jackets and helmets for pilots in both World Wars. Their involvement in historical events has resulted in the display of several of their items in the Smithsonian Institute and the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Scully products are found in over 3,000 stores around the world and a growing number of websites. Shepler’s is one of them.
The Scully whipstitch lamb leather vest is one that caught our eye on the Shepler’s website. It is made of soft, supple lamb leather with a beautiful whipstitch lacing at the collar, a five-button front placket, and pockets. It is Western by design with front and back yokes, as well as two front welt pockets. It has great detailing and one handy interior pocket as well as a 100% nylon acetate lining. The price is about $180. As of this writing, Shepler’s had a deal with 20% off any order of $100 or more, so that discount could count towards this vest as well, lowering the cost.
Harley-Davidson - Harley-Davidson is an absolute classic company. They are one of the most well known American motorcycle companies, and people who know nothing about motorcycles, riding, or leather, probably know of Harley-Davidson. They are steeped in history and longevity, coming into existence in about 1903, out of a small shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The story goes that four young men lit a cultural wildfire that would grow and spread across geographies and generations. Their innovation and imagination for what was possible on two wheels sparked a transportation revolution and a motorcycle culture that would make Harley-Davidson one of the most recognized and revered brands in the world.
When it comes to their vests, we liked their classically styled Tradition II Leather Vest. Harley-Davidson keeps it simple so you can make it your own with patches, pins, and more if you want to. It is cut from midweight hard-wearing cowhide leather and includes adjustable lacing for a custom fit. In addition to the adjustable side lacing, there is a snap front. There are snap hand-warmer pockets and embossed graphics. The vest is there for comfort as well with their polyester twill lining. The price is around $140, which is pretty middle of the road for leather vests price-wise and relatively affordable.