Embracing Cheap Leather Jackets and Letting Go of Brand Names

It usually starts during the teen years and lasts pretty much throughout your lifetime. It showcases who you are. It changes and evolves as you mature. What is it? Personal fashion style. And if you’re trying to achieve a certain look, you need to have certain articles of clothing that put the exclamation point on your personal sense of style. But whether your fashion sense gravitates toward punk, biker, goth, rocker, hip-hop or bohemian, there is one item that is a must-have in your wardrobe. And that is the quintessential leather jacket.

Leather jackets are one of the few fashion elements that transcend multiple styles. Many of us tend to change up our look over time. The leather jacket will integrate itself into your updated fashion palette with ease. The versatility alone is worth the price of a leather jacket. It can be worn with jeans, dress slacks, dresses, and skirts. Let's face it, wearing a leather jacket gives you status points. If you’re wearing a leather jacket, you’re part of the cool crowd.

The Leather Jacket Dilemma

It's settled, you definitely want a leather jacket. And not some old, worn, outdated, hand-me-down leather jacket from Mom or Dad. You certainly don't want your brother’s Michael Jackson “Beat It” jacket. Sorry Michael, but that’s not fashion forward anymore. Most popular leather jacket types have changed over the years. And your sister has an imitation leather jacket in a light shade of mint, which doesn't fit your style at all. You want a real leather jacket, but you don't have a lot of money to spend.

Prices at the mall tell you that brand-name leather jackets typically cost slightly less than genuine mink fur coats. You think you'll have to shell out a hefty mortgage payment to get that little black leather jacket. You also think you'll have to buy the most expensive jacket out there because that way you know it's real leather. Of course, there are some lifehacks for how to find cheap leather jackets (for men).

More Bang for Your Buck

Then there’s the issue of what brand to buy. Should you go with All Saints, a signature brand that many celebrities wear? Or perhaps Versace, Timberland or Gucci, worn by some of your favorite hip-hop artists. You have a black Coach purse, so it would be sweet to have a matching Coach leather jacket, right?

Unfortunately, many of us are so conditioned to buying the latest and greatest from a designer brand. We even know we're paying more for the name rather than the actual garment. But ask yourself, "Do I really need a Timberland leather jacket?" You acknowledge that you don’t need a Timberland, you just want one to go with your Timberland boots.

But if there was a place where you could get the same jacket, without the Timberland logo and for 40 percent less, would you buy that instead? Society today has trained us to believe that buying brand-name items is a requirement. You’re a fashion disaster if you don’t buy designer products.

The reality is that you pay more for brand-name items because of marketing and retail markups. However, the evolution of the “green lifestyle” is slowly but surely making an impact on how folks choose to spend money. We now demand more bang for our buck. The current trend is to search for more affordable items that are comparable to designer brand items. And leather jackets are no exception. The great news is that you don't have to spend a small fortune on a real leather jacket. You just have to know where and how to look.

Nothing Like the Real Thing

You opt to join the crusade of cost-conscience consumers who like to save a buck or two. You’re looking for a good leather jacket and a friend suggests you go with imitation leather. After all, it’s cheaper than real leather. While this is true, you need to weigh the pros and cons of both materials. Real leather is made from tanned animal hide and has a unique texture to it. It’s relatively durable if it is well maintained and takes on a rich patina as it ages.

And nothing can imitate that distinctive smell of real leather. On the other hand, faux leather is constructed of man-made materials. It stretches far more than real leather and takes on a scabby or flaky appearance with use. It smells like plastic and burns like plastic too. Finally, faux leather does not last as long as real leather.

In the long run, you want to purchase something that will last. You don’t want to replace it every two years. You want a leather jacket that will carry you through at least a half-dozen fashion phases. Why wear plastic when you can wear authentic. And the best part is that you can have authentic for a fraction of the cost.

Quality Matters

Quality starts with the best raw materials. You don't want to sacrifice quality just to say you have a leather jacket. You want a jacket that's going to outlast most of your clothes! So be diligent when choosing your next leather jacket. Before you start looking, learn how to buy a quality leather jacket.

But what exactly do you look for? Well, start by finding reputable companies that specialize in real leather products. Make sure the merchant uses top grain leather, which is the second highest quality grade of real leather you can get. Top grain will give you a more consistent look without the high price tag.

Trendy Versus Timeless

You also need to consider the style of your new leather jacket. You want something that can go the distance. A simple jacket with pockets, minimal zippers, and clean lines is a classic choice for any style. Basic black or brown is a much more timeless color choice than wild, vivid colors that keep popping up on the fashion trend radar. Color jackets such as green, yellow, pink and red inevitably find their way to the clearance rack due to the realization that neon green does not go with everything.

For the cost-savvy shopper, opt for the traditional slim-fitting casual jacket, the iconic biker jacket or the classic bomber jacket. These styles work well with almost any outfit. Stay away from overly adorned jackets, unless that is part of your personal style. And definitely stay away from vivid colors that can only be worn with certain outfits.

Embrace Custom!

If you want something more tailored to your style, look for online merchants who specialize in customizing the perfect little leather jacket to fit your tastes. Unless you're a celebrity, designers don't provide custom options for the common customer.

That Andrew Marc jacket in a size 12 could be two sizes smaller than your actual size 12. A custom designed jacket makes you look sleek and well put together.

You may think that a custom tailored jacket equals more money, but that is not necessarily the case. At Independence Brothers, you can order a custom fitted leather jacket for under $300. The process is painless and the result is something that you designed for you. How fun is it when someone asks you, "who are you wearing?" and you answer, "me!"