How to Wear a Leather Jacket Without Looking Like an Early-onset Mid-life Crisis

Done right, a leather jacket can look like the dog's proverbials. Done wrong, you can look like the biggest berk this side of Made In Chelsea. And of course there's the ever-present risk of doing a Danny Dyer. Unfortunately, it's only too easy to get it wrong...

As a quintessentially masculine garment, it's little wonder that so many blokes try (and fail) to pull off a leather-clad look. From rebels to tough guys, punks to rockstars, throughout the 20th century the leather jacket has revelled in an illustrious blokey pedigree, tied inescapably to life on the edge - and dangerously high levels of testosterone.

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That's probably why most of us soft 21st Century chaps look like we're playing dress up when we don a bit of leather. With such big shoes to fill, wearing a leather jacket with confidence and the full cocky 'never-say-die' attitude of our leathery forebears is a tall order.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. He who dares, wins, after all. If you'd been seduced by the allure of leather, here's how to pull the look off, without looking like you're having an early-onset mid-life crisis...

 1-Commit

Steve McQueen

This is the most important rule. Forget styling, forget footwear, forget fit. The only way to wear a leather jacket (and to wear it without looking like you're attending a fancy dress party as Danny from Grease) is to wear it with some pretty severe don't f*** with me attitude. Commit to the jacket . This is serious.

2. Invest

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If you're buying a leather jacket on a whim, don't buy it at all. The attitude with which you buy your jacket will dictate the attitude with which you wear it. This is not throwaway fashion. This is not a “look”. This is an investment. The good kind will set you back a few hundred, but will ultimately outlive you. Especially if you live fast and die young like any authentic leather jacket wearer should.

3. Wear it

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Well, obviously. But this baby needs to become your second skin. A shiny, new leather jacket just looks wrong. A pristine version will seriously impact your leather legitimacy, so get used to wearing this bad boy in, hard.
The more your wear your jacket, the more it will fit your form and get that important worn in, “on the road“ for 5 years feel. Of course, you could always cheat and pick up a second hand version. Because, well, who has the time these days?

4. Find your cut

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The cut of your leather jacket can be the difference between convincing and cringe-inducing. Check out the different styles available and hit upon the one which feels right for you. Choose a cut close to those in the rest of your wardrobe to make sure the garment doesn't look like you've had a weird personality transplant.
Finally, choose something timeless. Your jacket's going to last a century, so you don't want to look dated by 2020. If you want a true classic , opt for a bomber, a motorcycle jacket or a moto (racer) jacket.

Have you had any leather failures? Are you tempted by leather but pretty sure you'll look like an idiot? Perhaps you're a successful leather jacket wearing badass? Tell us about it below.