Men had been wrapping themselves in animal skins for centuries before World War I fighter aces devised the leather jacket as a way to combat freezing temperatures at high altitude. Over the years, the pilot's necessity became a mark of rebellion for bikers and a statement piece for ascendant rock stars.
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These days, a leather jacket is no longer a specific signifier, which means that every man can have one and wear it every day – it is, after all, one of the most versatile pieces of outerwear available. Throw it over a T-shirt and or dress it up with a tie. The options are myriad and it's hard not to look slick.
Still, with countless menswear companies making hundreds of different models in a variety of cuts, actually buying a leather jacket can be quite complicated. But it doesn't have to be. Follow these steps to find a jacket that will fit your torso and your personality.
Check out: Onassis's Leather Motorcycle Jacket.
New York-based Onassis serves up this offering that is lighter and more supple than your average motocross leather jacket. While it's not really intended to worn for protection while riding a motorcycle – the leather is supremely thin – it is supremely comfortable thanks to a lightweight body and Japanese Bemberg lining. [$668; onassisclothing.com]