Since 2016


September 04, 2019 9 min read

by Joanna Smykowski

Joanna does quite a few things in life, but writing has been her favorite by far. She is a city girl who has moved to a beach town, and second to writing, will never tire of music, travel, and the friendships she makes as a result of both.

Leather is a durable and flexible material created by tanning animal rawhide and skins. It has been around for centuries and used in many ways. The earliest recording of leather dates all the way back to 200 B.C. It has been used to make a variety of clothing and other articles, such as shoes, bags, belts, couches, and even car interiors and seats.

We here at Independence Brothers love the leather jacket. Leather jackets have been around for decades. To us, a leather jacket is more than a jacket. It not only has functionality in keeping you warm, but it is a piece of fashion wear as well as personality. The leather jacket has come far, evolving into different styles and having the ever-infinite customizable option if ready to wear does not suit your fancy. The world of leather jackets is a fashionable and unique one. Leather jackets are meant not only for comfort, design, and practicality but also are fashion and personality statements. There are styles and sizes for men, women, children, and as we mentioned, the ever-encompassing customizable piece.

When you think of a leather jacket, the biker jacket is likely one of the first things that come to mind, and that is what we are going to dive into today. In this piece, we’ll discuss the history of the biker jacket and its rise to fame, as well as where you can purchase and how to style the beloved item.

History of the Leather Biker Jacket

The first popular form of leather jackets were leather flight jackets. Made necessary during the war, they were widely used by the military during the World Wars. in 1928, a man named Irving Schott created a jacket that they called the Schott Perfecto. Schott was a Russian immigrant living in Manhattan, and he named the jacket after his favorite cigar. The Schott Perfecto was a new and different type of leather jacket. Instead of heavy-duty lining and wrapped collars that were meant to protect pilots while flying planes, these were intended for protection, warmth, and comfort while operating another form of transit that left you to the elements - the motorcycle. The jacket had a belted waist, an asymmetrical front closure, a double layer of material in the front for extra insulation, and zippers instead of buttons for closure.

Irving Schott sold his jacket through Harley Davidson, one of the most well-known American motorcycle companies. They were produced and sold to a limited audience for a few decades until Hollywood stepped in. in 1953, the movie The Wild One came out, starring Marlon Brando. Brando played Johnny Strabler, who was the leader of a motorcycle gang in California. He wore a version of the Perfecto with his name and gang symbol on the back and created something so cool that America took notice.  

More movies came out in which the biker jacket had played a critical role, and continued on to today, with it making an appearance in shows such as Happy Days and moves such a Grease, The Avengers,and The Terminator. In addition to movies, actors and other celebrities wore the jacket in their everyday lives. The most memorable person to do so was James Dean, an iconic American actor whos bad boy persona caught the love of both men and women across the country. When he passed away after a car accident at the age of 24, he became a legend, as did his style - biker jackets included. Biker leather jackets also were now worn by rock bands that we still know today - The Ramones, Sex Pistols, Blondie, Joan Jett, and others. The biker leather jacket had made its mark and was here to stay.

Where to get a leather jacket

Leather biker jackets are great - where can I get them?

Whether you ride a motorcycle yourself, or you just enjoy the style, leather biker jackets are still a popular option to purchase and wear today. If you are looking to purchase one, here are a few companies where you can get them. Some of these companies have already made their debut and you will recognize from previous articles, and some are new:

  1. Motorcycle House - a company that specializes in motorcycles and their corresponding gear will many times also sell motorcycle biker jackets. Motorcycle House believes that a good biker jacket goes a long way in protecting bikers; if a fall unfortunately happens, their jackets are there to provide an extra layer of protection. They have jackets for different types of riding, including sports bikes, cruising, cafe racing, scooter riding, or even casual leather jackets. They’re jackets price in at around $140 on the low end and go up to $650 on the high end, with their sale options allowing their prices to drop below $100.
  2. AllSaints -AllSaints is a British fashion retailer calls its headquarters home in London, England. It began as a wholesale menswear brand that sold only to high-end retailers, and then expanded past London into the United State and beyond. They currently have 232 stores around the world in 27 countries. Getting an AllSaints jacket is an investment that usually ranges in the 300-400 pound range for the men’s jackets. For women, jackets are about 100 pounds less on average, although some still get close to 400 pounds in price. Customers mention that there are sales and promotions occasionally throughout the year, so if you want to have an AllSaints jacket but are on a smaller budget than that, waiting to see if the style you love goes on sale could be an option. They have men’s and women’s leather jackets in a variety of styles, including leather biker jackets.
  3. Coach -You may have heard of Coach as the company that makes bags and wallets, but Coach is The Original Hosue of Leather. They are a product of Tapestry, Inc., the multinational luxury fashion holding company that is based in New York City. Tapestry is the parent company of other companies such as Kate Spade New York and Stuart Weitzman. Coach is a leading design house of modern luxury accessories and lifestyle collections. Because they are all about luxury, their jackets come in at a much higher price than most, going as high up at $1,400.
  4. Alexander McQueen -Alexander McQueen was a British designer known for groundbreaking clothes, excellent and precise tailoring, and catwalk shows. His company has designer clothing for men and women, including biker jackets. It does, however, come at a hefty price, falling in about $4,000 for a jacket. While this is a much higher price range than companies we normally focus on, we had to mention the option and investment.
  5. Zara - Zara is a popular clothing store that began in Europe and expanded west. It is a Spanish apparel retailer that specialized in fast fashion and products such as clothing, shoes, accessories, beauty products, perfumes, and jackets. Its parent organization is Inditex, and it was founded in 1974. Zara is now around Europe and other continents, and comes in at a much more affordable price tag than Alexander McQueen, with their jackets being around $300.
  6. H & M - along the lines of Zara, H & M (Hennes & Mauritz(, is a Swedish multination clothing-retail company. It began in Sweden in 1947 and has since expanded around. Like Zara, it is known for its fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers, and children. Their price tag is also relatively similar to Zara, coming in at $400 for ready to wear jackets.
Custom made leather jackets

Leather biker jackets sound great, but what if I want to go custom?

Custom jackets are always an option and one that we love! Maybe you have heard us talk about the various bespoke options, and it still applies here with leather biker jackets.

How do you decide whether or not do go custom? We’ll list out the pros and cons:

Pros -The first pro of having a bespoke leather jacket is the custom factor. You create this jacket to fit you, your personality, and your style. This is a huge draw for people to express themselves, or make sure that this jacket encompasses everything they want it to.

The second massive pro to having a bespoke leather jacket is that it will fit you in the truest way that a jacket can. If you are ordering from pre-made, pre-designed factory leather jackets, there are standards sizes that are an option. Even when you pick a size, there is the possibility that it does not fit as snugly and securely as you would like it to. Leather jackets should wear as if you have a second skin, and if you fall in-between sizes, that may not be the case.

Cons – The main con that goes along with having this kind of a jacket is the price tag. While there are affordable leather jacket companies out there, bespoke leather jackets are still more expensive than the factory ones. This is because of the time, energy, and effort that goes into making it, as well as because it is custom. Consider this as you are figuring out what company to go for and the design that you are going after.

If you do decide to get a custom cropped jacket, we can help you with where to start. We have written an article in the past about bespoke leather jackets, but here are a few companies that do custom leather jackets:

  1. The Jacket Maker - The Jacket Maker is a company that we have focused on before. They are a newer company that is based out of California in the United States and Ras al Khaimah, or RAK, in the United Arab Emirates. Only six years old, they began as an online retail store for leather jackets in 2013. The Jacket Maker shifted to bespoke in 2016, and it is still a major part of the company three years later. They have ready to wear jackets that you can add a customizable touch to or they have the option to go entirely custom-made, from measurements to style. Their price tag is affordable for leather jackets as well, coming in at $200 for their ready to wear jackets, and going higher for their custom jackets. Even if you order a cropped jacket, you can still customize it, making it an even better piece of fashion for yourself.
  2. Leather Skin Shop - Leather Skin Shop is only a hair older than The Jacket Maker in years; it was established in 2012 as a leather bracelet company. They are warehoused in Oregon and sell outerwear, shoes, hats, bags, and caps. The price tag for their ready to wear jackets come in around $200, although custom made jackets are likely higher.
  3. Independence Brothers - You can get a biker leather jacket right here at Independence Brothers. We are a company that was founded by Scott and Robbie, two brothers who value leather jackets and the way that they make you feel. Based in Philadelphia, Independence Brothers specializes in leather jackets that are made of quality materials, crafted with skill, and fit perfectly. The Independence Brothers jackets are made of lambskin, goatskin, and cowskin leathers so that they are durable, they age well, and they can last for generations. All of our jackets come with free custom measurements and are perfect for petite individuals to make sure they are getting a leather jacket that fits you just right. The Independence Brothers price tag comes in at as low as $380 and up for custom jackets.

PHYSICAL - The Admiral Moto

PHYSICAL - The Suede Double Rider

PHYSICAL - The Technical Bomber

These companies, as well as any other custom jacket making companies, have guides on how to measure yourself so that you get the best fitting jacket possible with your custom order. Whether you are ordering a customized leather jacket or a standard-sized one, be sure to make sure the sizing works on your, especially on the sleeves. Making sure you can bend your elbows and be comfortable in your jacket will increase your happiness with the product and how much use you will get out of.

How to style a leather biker jacket

I got myself a leather biker jacket! Now how do I wear or style it?

You have purchased yourself a leather biker jacket! Each leather jacket style has its own personality and can be styled differently. A biker jacket is specific in its style because it was designed for motorcyclists as protection for them while they rode. It has a cropped style that lets riders lean over their bikes without the fastening digging into their body and making them uncomfortable. The jacket itself has a lot going on, with various features. Usually, it will have buckles, zippers, a collar, lapels, or something else. You can wear this jacket during the day or at night, using it to dress up or dress down. A biker jacket can easily be worn with a tshirt and jeans, letting the jacket be the center of attention. It can also be worn with dressier clothing, as an addition to your outfit when you are going out at night. The options are endless and the jacket is versatile in how it can be worn, which is one of the beauties of it. Regardless, wearing a biker leather jacket has a factor of coolness that invokes an old school, great American nostalgia that has stood the test of time.

Leather biker jackets

Leather biker jackets, an excellent option

To us, a leather jacket is the greatest piece of outerwear you can own. Having a leather biker jacket can give you different emotions that a cropped jacket or something else. It can make you feel like a rebel, or have a heightened cool factor. It can be a great way for you to protect yourself against the elements or if there is a mishap while you are riding your motorcycle. Leather biker jackets are jackets that are functional in multiple ways and can also be casual. Just be sure to pick and invest in a jacket that makes you truly happy. Whether you purchase a bespoke jacket, a factory-made jacket, or an Independence Brothers leather jacket, you need to make sure it is the best version of yourself in it.

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