The Most Popular Leather Jacket Types

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Have you decided it’s time to get your first leather jacket? Or are you adding another one to your collection, and you’re having trouble deciding on which style to get?

I’ve been a huge fan of leather jackets for as long as I can remember. My grandfather and father both rode motorcycles, which meant leather jackets were everyday wear for them, and I quickly followed suit.

A high-quality leather jacket is expensive, but considering how long it will last, it’s worth the money. You just need to make sure you choose a style that works well for you. That’s why I put together this list of the most popular leather jacket types so you can find your match.

The Double Rider

If you asked me to pick the type that is most associated with the leather jacket, I’d pick the double rider, and I wouldn’t be the only one. This type of leather jackets is easy to spot, since it sports an asymmetrical front zipper that’s slightly to one side and prominent snap lapels.

The Double Rider was designed as motorcycle wear, which means it’s durable and functional. That and it’s use in popular culture has led to this type of leather jacket being the most rebellious, edgy choice. Arnold Schwarzenegger wore one of these as the titular character in the “Terminator” movie series, and numerous music stars have also chosen these jackets.

Despite the edginess, this is a versatile type of leather jacket. It can instantly elevate a casual outfit or make dressier clothes, such as a long-sleeve button-up, a bit cooler. You probably wouldn’t wear this to a job interview, unless the job was at a biker bar, but other than that you can find plenty of ways to match a Double Rider with the rest of your wardrobe.

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The Bomber

Right up there with the Double Rider in terms of popularity is the Bomber jacket, which has its own iconic style. These are also known as flight jackets because they were worn by pilots in the days of unenclosed cockpits. Because of their intended use, they were designed with warmth in mind.

They often have either a fur lining or a fur collar, making them an excellent choice as cold-weather wear. This type of jacket also usually has ribbed cuffs to stay tighter to the wrists and keep heat in. There may also be a placket over the front zipper to deal with high winds.

The Bomber is also a versatile choice that can add to most outfits. It works just as well with t-shirts and jeans as it does with a button-up and a pair of slacks. It’s not nearly as edgy as a Double Rider, making it a good choice if you have a more clean cut style. It can still project a rugged appearance, though, especially once it’s broken in. After all, this was Indiana Jones’ jacket of choice.

One important thing to keep in mind when choosing a Bomber jacket is how warm it will get. A thick fur lining will keep you nice and warm if you live in a cold climate, but if it gets warm where you live, you’ll want to opt for a lighter Bomber.

The Moto

Now, we’re getting to the types of leather jackets that are still popular, but not quite to the extent of the two above. The Moto, short for motocross and also called the Café Racer, is essentially a stripped-down motorcycle jacket.

There won’t be nearly as many zippers, and instead of flaps, this type of jacket may have a small collar. The reason for the minimalist design is that these leather jackets were made for racers, who needed a jacket that offered protection but didn’t add much drag at high speeds.

The minimalism of this type of leather jacket gives it a more contemporary style, and it’s less edgy than the more popular types of leather jacket. This makes it more appropriate for formal occasions. The Moto jacket is best in warm to slightly cool weather because of how light it is. Since it contours to your form quite a bit, it’s best to avoid wearing it with more than a light layer underneath.

The Fencing Jacket

The Fencing Jacket is modeled after the jackets worn by fencers when they compete. This type of leather jacket is unique for its zipper, which is very asymmetrical. If you saw the zipper of the Double Rider jacket and thought they should have taken it a step further, then the Fencing Jacket is for you.

High-end designers are typically the ones who offer Fencing Jackets. This is one of the more unique leather jacket looks, and it isn’t nearly as versatile as the more popular styles. This is a jacket that makes a statement when you wear it. For that reason, it’s better as a type of leather jacket that you add to your existing collection. If you’re shopping for your first one, it’s better to go with one of the more versatile options that you’ll get to wear more frequently.

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Other Types of Leather Jackets

The four options listed about are the most popular leather jacket types, but there are others available. These other types can vary in popularity depending on the current trends.

The leather peacoat was a popular choice for a few years. These only work with dressy outfits and not as casual wear. It’s usually better to go with a standard wool peacoat, which is more versatile.

The Varsity jacket is popular among the younger crowd, although these often aren’t all leather. They can work well as casual wear, but not in professional settings.

The “Matrix” movies made the leather trench coat somewhat popular. That being said, these are definitely a fashion statement and don’t work as casual or professional wear. If you want to stand out, you’re probably better off with a Fencing Jacket.

Now you have an idea of the most popular leather jacket types on the market. While a large part of deciding on a leather jacket is how you think the jackets look, you can narrow down your options by figuring out which style fits what you want.

Do you like to rock an edgy look? The Double Rider works well for that. If you want a timeless, classic style, both the Bomber Jacket and the Double Rider offer that. The Moto keeps it simple while also looking very modern, and the Fencing Jacket can be a fun choice if you’re looking to branch out with your collection.

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