Where To Find Cheap Leather Jackets For Men
If you want to add some much needed "edge" to your persona, a leather jacket should do the job. It is one of those articles of clothing that straddles the fine line between rugged and stylish.
Countless movie stars have worn it to perfection in iconic roles, from James Dean to Frank Sinatra, Harrison Ford, Hugh Jackman and Keanu Reeves, just to name a few. But finding a cheap leather jacket for men is no easy task. Here is a guide on the why's and how's (and do's and don'ts) of hunting for cheap leather jackets.
A Bare-bones Leather Jacket 101
Here is the deal with leather jackets: good quality leather can cost a bomb. Think north of $500 or even $1000. Real leather is expensive, and not for nothing either. A high-quality leather jacket is like fine wine, in that it gets better with age. It's all about patina.
You don't need to become an expert on leather, but if you can identify a good quality natural leather article from the fake stuff, it is an advantage.
There are several avenues you can explore in your quest for the right leather jacket at the right price. They range from brand new at stores, to thrift stores, used and vintage listings online.
Buying Brand New From Store
This is the most straightforward option, but also the most expensive. How much is too much for you, regarding asking price? This will determine your luck in finding the right jacket for you. The best US brands will cost you dearly. But you can still find less than stellar quality stuff, in real leather, for under $500 and even under $300 at most stores and outlets like GAP and Zara.
But if your budget is even lower than that, you might want to look at the next best option, which is again filed under the "easy and straightforward" category.
Get Things "Faux."
For those of you who can't or don't want to drop hundreds of dollars into real leather jackets, faux leather is the affordable alternative. Many people don't even get the difference between the two. These can be had for as low as $50 or less brand new. Just don't expect them to last as long as the real thing, or develop that awesome looking patina. On the plus side though, you do get to flaunt your vegan credentials!
Again, quality and price can make a difference here as well. For dirt cheap prices, you will get Made in China jackets that have been cobbled together using glue. Steer well clear of these, as they will fall apart in no time. When buying leather, what you need is stuff that has been sewed or stitched together. Those will last the longest and are easy to repair as well.
Not satisfied with the fake stuff? If real animal hide at rock bottom prices is still what your heart yearns for, get ready to do some digging your local thrift stores.
Bargain Hunting At Your Local Thrift Store
Alright, this one calls for a warning from the outset: there is no guarantee that you will find what you are looking for, like ever. You could make the find of your lifetime with a killer aviator jacket from WW II, or you could just as easily end up sifting through cheap faux leather jackets bought from the above-mentioned stores. It is all about luck, and persistence, and lots and lots of patience.
Don't let those words discourage you from looking at your local thrift stores. But if you need a leather jacket on the double, our advice would be to buy a cheap one new and keep digging at thrift shops. But if you want to save some extra dollars by buying from thrift stores, here are some bits of wisdom, courtsey of Thriftanista In The City:
Avoid anything with bits of fur: Avoid suede: Focus on the stitching: Don't worry about the linings:
- Avoid anything with bits of fur: this is about real fur, not the faux variety. Real fur will take a lot of maintenance and cleaning, and is probably not worth the effort when you are buying from a thrift store. Jackets with faux fur linings are more manageable and worth a punt if you like the style/fit.
- Avoid suede: The material is fragile and requires a lot of maintenance. Plus, it is quite hard to find one in acceptable condition second hand.
- Focus on the stitching: Jackets with tight stitches are highly desirable. As we already mentioned, if it is glued together, give it a miss.
- Don't worry about the linings: In leather jackets, these are often the first casualty with the passage of time. And they can always be quickly patched up if things are terrible. Otherwise, no one will notice them anyway, as they are hidden away inside
Pay A Visit To The Vintage Store
This is more of an extension of the thrift store shopping. But while you can be guaranteed lower prices at a thrift store, a vintage store is more of a mixed bag. Leather items thankfully have longevity on their side.
So you can expect to find perfectly wearable jackets at a vintage store. But expect their prices to be anywhere from rock bottom to sky high. Long story short, its got to do with warehousing and bidding policies.
For the best results while vintage shopping, do your homework on the best brands from bygone eras. And inspect the jacket well, look for holes, wear and tear, the works. Try it on for size. And if you can get pally with the proprietor of the store, it could help throw some good deals your way.
Browse on Ebay
This is such an obvious move; we probably don't even need to put it here on this list. But for completion's sake, we feel that this should be mentioned here. You can find two kinds of leather jackets from sellers online. In the brand new category, expect to find some good deals, especially on real leather stuff.
But more interesting is the vintage leather jacket query. That one throws up a mix of really expensive and affordable options. Some of them even date back to several decades ago if not more. But you know the drill with buying stuff online: What you see is what you get. Just make sure that the seller has a dependable refund or returns policy to avoid getting burned.
Finding a cheap leather jacket for men is not that hard, provided you are willing to make a few compromises. Getting that dream vintage jacket can be quite hard, expensive, or a combination of the two. But as they say, great things in life don't come that easy. Keep on the lookout for good deals online, keep digging at your local thrift and vintage stores, and you could soon get your hands on what you seek. Good luck with that!