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How To Wear Military Style Leather Jackets

October 19, 2020

How To Wear Military Style Leather Jackets

by Alya Omran

Alya is a freelance copywriter, blogger and dentist! She has a passion for writing and enjoys writing on her personal blog in her free time. She is a travel enthusiast and enjoys visiting places with gothic architecture and exotic scenery.


Whether you’re going on a date or a night out with the guys, you definitely have a leather jacket on your wardrobe choices. Leather jackets have been in trend for the past decade and refuse to be anything less. They’re an iconic fashion item that is irreplaceable especially in winter. Leather jackets work with both casual and formal attires.

I can safely assure you that every one with a good fashion taste has bought a leather jacket at least once in their life (as long as they can afford it).

In today’s article, we will shed some light on the original leather jacket design and how it became popular.

Military Leather Jackets: The History

Tracing the origin of leather jackets helps us understand why they’re still in trend a century later.

The prototype leather jacket was actually just a vest. It was a sleeveless jerkin made by the British army in World War I. The idea of introducing leather jerkins was to protect the soldiers from the cold, mud, and rain while still providing a freedom of movement in order not to hinder them (the same reasons bikers wear leather jackets today).

Aviator leather jackets were introduced in the 1900s during World War I. They were brown flight leather jackets worn by the military. This leather jacket later evolved to be the bomber leather jacket during.

In World War I, most airplanes did not have an enclosed cockpit. This meant that the pilots were exposed to a tremendous amount of wind and dirt. They needed something to protect them from the cold. The US army established the Aviation Clothing Board in 1917 which was behind introducing the Aviation leather jacket. They started producing heavy-duty leather jackets. This leather jacket had warm, wrap-around collars, snug cuffs, and most were lined with fur to ensure maximum warmth.

The A1 leather jacket was introduced by Chaplan in 1925.

In 1927, Leslie Irvin designed and manufactured the first sheepskin flying jacket in the UK. He became the main supplier of the Royal Air Force leather jackets for the UK army during World War II. By that time, technology has allowed the army flights to fly at higher altitudes which meant that the pilots will have to face an exponential decrease in temperature, so the demand for the warm leather jackets has increased.

In 1931, the US Army Air Corps adopted the A2 leather jacket as the successor to the A1. U.S. Army Air Forces Class 13 Catalog listed the garment description as "seal brown horsehide leather, knitted wristlets and waistband (skirt)." It resembled the A1 very closely. While the A1 jacket had buttons on its frontside, the A2 replaced the buttons with a front zipper. The A2 also had zipper pockets instead of the flap pockets on the A1. Instead of the wrap-around collar, the A2 came with an elegant shirt style collar. The A2 does not have hand warmers as it’s considered against army protocol to put your hands in your pockets. This jacket was usually an award to pilots who finished their basic flying training before moving on to their advanced training.

Military style leather jackets

Most A2 jackets were initially made of horsehide. Most of these military jackets were initially only available in different shades of brown.

Although a US Army General canceled further contracts for production of the A2 jackets, the pilots still wore their jackets with pride and refused to wear the new ones.

Original A2 leather jacket now sell in auctions for over $8,000.

After Hollywood started embracing leather jackets, their popularity skyrocketed. The first leather jacket worn in a famous movie was worn by Marlon Brando in The Wild One. He played a sexy and dangerous gang member.

However, the peak of the leather jackets trend was when everyone’s favorite handsome guy, James Dean, wore it in Rebel Without A Cause. Ever since, leather jackets have earned a very high spot in the wardrobe section and are not giving it up anytime soon.

How to Style A Military Leather Jacket?

The charming thing about the classic leather jacket look is that you can have a million ways to style it. You can go for a classic look, an edgy look, a casual look, basically you can turn it into anything! Let’s have a look on my favorite ways to style your leather jacket.

 

The Casual Laid-back Looks

There are many ideas on how to use your leather jacket in a nice and comfy casual outfit. You know those days when you’re just not up for dressing up but you’re also certain you’ll run into everyone you know? Yep, this part is especially for you.

 

Leather Jacket With A Tee and Jeans

One of my favorite looks is a black leather jacket, a white v-neck basic tee and blue jeans! This is a very laid-back look, suitable for a lunch date or a night out with the guys.

Another idea is an all black look. Black military leather jacket, black tee, black jeans! Casual, mysterious, and edgy!

This look works with leather jackets of every color, depending on your taste and on how you like to match your colors.

 

Leather Jacket With A Hoodie

This is a very casual look, best for morning errands on cold winter mornings. You can wear a black leather jacket on your favorite hoodie and dark jeans. This can surely keep you warm all day. This is more of a running errands look.

How to style a leather jacket

The Classic Elegant Looks

 

Military Leather Jackets With A Dress Shirt and Trousers

 Now this an attire you can wear to a work meeting and make sure you’d turn heads. A brown leather jacket with an off-white dress shirt and khaki trousers is a very smart look.

You can also try a black leather jacket with a white dress shirt and beige trousers.

A brown leather jacket, on a baby blue dress shirt, and beige pants is also a very elegant idea.

 

Military Leather Jacket On a V-Neck Pullover and Shirt

 Now, this is my favorite classic look! This gives an amazing edgy formal look that you can rock in any occasion. My favorite idea would be a grey pullover over a blue buttoned up shirt, styled by an elegant black leather jacket on black trousers.

 

Military Leather Jacket Over A Buttoned-up Shirt and A Tie

This is a formal smart look. A black leather jacket on a white shirt and a tie on trousers is your go to look for formal work events.

PHYSICAL - The Admiral Moto

PHYSICAL - The Suede Double Rider

PHYSICAL - The Technical Bomber


Picking the Right Leather Jacket For You

Leather Preference:

Picking the suitable kind of leather is an important step and varies greatly from one hide to another. Some leather is thick, thin, soft, rough, shiny, suede, etc.

Leather is a natural fabric and not a synthetic one, hence, it goes through a wearing process by time. Leather, in general, has a tendency to be creased, scratched and fades by time. Choosing the appropriate kind of leather, however, can slow down this process.

 

Length:

Most military leather jackets are waist length. You should choose a belt that goes well with your jacket because it will most probably show.

 

Color:

Military leather jackets used to be made in different shades of brown. Nowadays, you find them in every shade and color. Your choice depends on your wardrobe and on the colors you prefer to wear. Most people prefer black and brown as they go with almost every color.

 

Accessories:

The color of the accessories is an important thing to consider as it can hugely affect the rest of the outfit. The zipper, buttons, and cuff should match your dressing style. It is also recommended that you try your jacket’s zipper multiple times before you purchase it to make sure it flows easily.

 

Shoulder Adjustment:

This is an important point to consider not only when you buy leather jackets, but when you buy any jacket at all. Unless you’re trying an oversized look, which isn’t usually the case with leather jackets, then you need to check that the shoulder-length fits your shoulder blades perfectly. If the shoulder is too narrow, then you need to go a size up to avoid looking like you’re trying so hard to squeeze into your jacket.

 

Collar/Lapel:

Military leather jackets have collars in different styles. Some have wide flipped back collars while others come with a cut and short collar.

 

Lining:

Although it may seem secondary, it’s a very important thing to choose. Some brands choose unreasonably bright colors as linings.

Why Should I Order A Custom-made Military Leather Jacket?

Now this is my favorite part of ordering a jacket! You can tailor-make your jacket to fit all your preferences. Getting to choose the color, the hide, the length, the fit, everything!

Having a leather jacket custom-made especially for you is a very unique and worthy process. This ensures that your jacket fits perfectly to you, your taste, and your wardrobe.

You also get to choose the design, the embroidery, and the accessories to be used on your jacket. It’s like you’re creating your own jacket by yourself!

Pros and Cons of Having A Military Leather Jacket

Pros

  • You can style it in a million different ways. You can go for elegant, mysterious, sleepy, mysterious, literally anything!
  • Military leather jackets have a rich history. You can always have a story to tell about your jacket.
  • They’re a simple design and their fit is easy to choose. You can always go for a custom-made one for the best experience.
  • Most leather brands have a line for military leather jackets.
  • You can find them at a wide range of prices. This means you can have a military leather jacket at any budget!

 

Cons

  • The military jacket design is not very versatile.
Custom made leather jacket

Conclusion

Military leather jackets have a rich history. They’ve been worn by celebrities for decades and are iconic fashion items. Having a military leather jacket is an asset. They have an edgy, smart, elegant look. They go well with any physique! If you’re a person looking for a jacket that can go with any look you’re going for, keep you warm, and boost your confidence, then this is definitely a jacket you need to have.

Check Out More Great Leather Jacket Articles!

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