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.
Maintain your jacket.
Leather jackets are expensive but durable, making them a significant sartorial investment. Don't cheat yourself by failing to care for your new garment. Buy these simple products and keep it in working order.
Lexol: The leather conditioner of choice for men who saddle up, Lexol is an emulsion designed to replenish the oils that give leather its weight and resilience. Apply it occasionally to prevent cracking (unless you really like that look).
Olive Oil and White Vinegar: If you're jacket gets stained, apply a bit of this essential kitchen oil to a rag and rub the discoloration softly until it disappears. Rub the spot with white vinegar when you’re done, then leave it out to dry.
Linseed Oil: You've broken in a baseball glove, so you know how this goes. Only rub in linseed oil as a last resort or a way to reinvigorate a jacket you've bought secondhand. It should make the leather considerably more limber so that you and your coat can be happy together for a few more years.
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