Thursday, 19 July 2012

Wardrobe Essentials: Leather Jacket

This is the second part of my Wardrobe Essentials series: the adaptable and versatile foundations needed to build a wardrobe for any occasion. You can read the other parts here.

Leather jackets were first worn by aviators and the military at the turn of the twentieth century; they were designed to protect the wearer from extreme temperatures, which is why some are lined with sheepskin. Throughout the 40s, 50s and 60s the style was popularised by Hollywood and quickly became an immediate way to define a character as 'cool': Marlon Brando and Honor Blackman both wore leather motorcycle jackets in 50s and 60s films and TV. In the 60s and 70s leather jackets were worn by punks and heavy metal fans, leading the item to be increasingly associated with rebellion; these jackets were often accessorised with chains and studs. 

Cropped: Acne // Coloured: Carven // Aviator: Acne // Biker: Topshop

I first began my obsessive hunt for my own leather jacket after seeing off-duty models, especially Kate Moss, wearing them effortlessly in street style photos. I say obsessive hunt, because it is really difficult to find the perfect leather jacket: I didn't want to settle for the first one I found in Topshop, I wanted it to be an investment, with the perfect cut, fit, and hardware. Believe it or not, but I spent three years hunting down my perfect one! I found it in spring last year, a gorgeous Burberry one in the softest buttery black leather, cropped with silver hardware, but it was far too expensive. Fortunately, it made it into the Net-a-Porter summer sale, and I was in a position where I could just about afford it at half price, and I literally bought the last one! 

1: Chan Luu // 2: COS // 3: Topshop // 4: ASOS // 5: Johnny Loves Rosie // 6: River Island // 7: ASOS // 8: ASOS

I now wear it all the time, and I think leather is one of those fantastic materials that only gets better with age! I can't wait for it to start weathering and take on that perfect lived-in look. It can be worn in infinite combinations: to add interest to a simple jeans + tshirt combination, to rock up a pretty floaty dress, making a casual slouchy dress more stylish.


  1. I've always wanted a hunter brown Aviator jacket... I think leather jackets look so smart and sophisticated even on the most gnarly biker! Love them x