Since 2016


February 08, 2021 8 min read

by Naiyie

Naiyie is a fashion enthusiast with interests in history and the sciences. She is a psychology student and researcher in Europe and runs her own psychology and eastern philosophy blog. She also enjoys travelling, writing poetry and playing music.

Figuring out how to choose a suede leather jacket can be a bit of a long process, especially for those who want to make an informed decision. There are a couple of different types of suede to choose from, so it’s useful to know about them, and understand the positives and negatives involved. There is also quite a lot entangled in both how to wear and how to treat your suede leather jacket. So, for somebody new to all this, it can seem a little off-putting. Don’t worry, we have it covered!

Seeing as leather is our specialty, we have put all the vital information for you in one place. We think that this is everything you will need to help you out in understanding how to choose a suede leather jacket.

What is Suede?

Suede, and leather in general, has origins way back in the paleolithic or ‘cave man’ period. Early humans had it sussed from the beginning that animals were sources of durable and warm clothing. However, it didn’t really become popular in the garment world until the 20th century. It’s stance to popularity was the result of a growing desire for luxury goods, and people identified with suede as a luxury item to have.

We are all familiar with that soft, smooth surface material that changes color slightly when you move your hand across it. But what is suede anyway? Suede is leather that’s made from the underside or inner surface of the animal hide.

It’s most commonly made from lamb but can also be made from other animals such as goats, deer, calves and pigs. It’s softer and thinner than leather and is a popular material for making jackets, bags and shoes. It does have a unique look, for sure. I find suede products to be very warm and homely and the soft touch of this leather gives me very strong feelings of nostalgia.

So How Is It Made?

There are two ways that suede is usually made and one of these ways is definitely better than the other. Sometimes manufacturers will simply turn the material upside down, using the softer side as the exterior of the item of clothing. This method keeps the material in it’s strong and rough way, it takes away the flexibility and diminishes the delicate nature that should be intrinsic to every suede item. Some enthusiasts would also argue that when made like this, it does not really qualify as suede.

The more popular and certainly more preferred way of making suede is by separating or ‘splitting’ the softer underlayer from the upper layer of the animal hide. This way it becomes thinner and we can see that signature soft, flowy characteristic of suede. This type is also known as ‘split’ leather, compared to its full grain counterpart.

Types Of Suede

As mentioned before suede can be made from a number of different animals. We will go through them here including the unique characteristics of each type. In general, suede is made from the skin or pelt of younger animals. This is because their skin is still soft and tau t,suede made from older animals can be a bit saggy and may be less durable.

Faux Suede

Strictly speaking this is not real suede, it’s more of a synthetic lookalike. It has roughly the same appearance and is obviously more animal friendly, so vegetarians and vegans often favour this kind.

It is also usually made to withstand water better than the genuine articles.

Cowhide Suede

This is less popular than the likes of lambskin and is considered to be the roughest and sturdiest form of suede. It does not have the same daintiness as the lambskin, but if you are mainly looking for something that will last a long time you might consider cowhide. It’s known for its durability.

Pigskin Suede

Like the cowhide, this type of suede is thick, durable and rough. It also ranks quite low in popularity and most people would rather steer toward the lambskin suede.,

Sheepskin Suede

Typically made from young lambs, this is by far the most popular type of suede on the market. It is notoriously soft and delicate with a much thinner and lighter feel when wearing. This particular type of suede is an excellent insulator as well and does a great job of keeping out the cold.

How to Choose

When trying to choose the right suede leather jacket, one of the first things that you should do, is consider why you are buying it. Are you buying it for style, durability, warmth, or simply buying it to add something suede to you wardrobe? The point here is, that once you know why you are buying it, you will have a better idea of what to look for.

Right now, there are tons of suede leather jackets on the market with a pretty big range of difference price points, and really no end to the choice. Just make sure that whatever you pick is the best cost to quality deal that you can get, and make sure it suits your personality!

Suede leather jacket

Should You Go Custom?

With any leather jacket, buying a new one is basically like adding on a new extension onto your soul. Whether you concede to it or you don’t, they tend to always imply something about the personality of the person wearing them. You want to get something that is exactly right as any tiny thing that feels a bit off about it might nag your down the line. In that sense, it kind of feels like a no-brainer to seriously consider getting one custom made. Often the custom-made ones are actually within the same price bracket as the pre-designed suede leather jackets on the market that are of a similar level in quality. You can’t really match the same level of individuality from a pre-designed jacket Going custom allows your to make an art project out of it, enjoying the meaningful journey of designing your own suede leather jacket and watching it come to life before your eyes.

PHYSICAL - The Admiral Moto

PHYSICAL - The Suede Double Rider

PHYSICAL - The Technical Bomber

How to Wear Suede

Suede jackets are widely considered to be luxury items, so it might be difficult to shake that luxury look while wearing one. But who is complaining right?

Otherwise, depending on the color, suede tends to go very well with all types of jeans, and if you have shoes to match the color of your suede jacket, it’s hard to go wrong.

The great thing about suede jackets is that they can both fit well with the elegant tone of professionalism and they can also be dead casual! In the colder months, wearing a body warmer over them is a great way to warm up, while looking great. They look incredibly sophisticated over a work shirt, and casual, yet well-sussed over a normal t-shirt. Don’t be afraid to experiment to see what kind of styles work for you.

How to Treat Suede Jackets

I hope it’s obvious that you can’t just throw a suede jacket into the washing machine and hope for the best. You will not be pleasantly surprised by the results of trying this. Like all leather, suede needs a little extra care, but rather than being a waste of time, it feels more like a ritual of caring for a very worthy item of clothing. You can pick up something called a ‘Suede care-kit’, and that will have everything you will need to take care of your new suede leather jacket.

Inside you will usually find one or two small brushes for simply wiping away superficial dirt, something called a ‘suede eraser’ for the slightly more heavy-duty cleaning, and a transparent spray with protects the leather. It’s advised to give your new suede products a spray as soon as you open them.


Brush: When using the brush, it’s advised to just brush gently, enough to slowly break up the dirt so it can wipe off easily. Pressing too hard could leave unwanted marks, so gentle is the way forward here.

Erase: Now use the eraser to deal with the small spots and stains that the brush can’t reach. Gentleness is also advised here, the erasers should be made quite well, so you shouldn’t need to use excessive force.

Brush again:For the sake of being meticulous and letting our leather know how much we love it, a second brush works nicely.

Spray: After removing the spots, dirt and stain, give your suede a layer of protection by using the special spray. This will protect against water marks and ensure that you get the best life out of your suede leather jacket.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Suede

When thinking about what kind of jacket to buy, there are always going to be a heap of different factors that you might want to take into consideration before simply throwing money at something. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a suede leather jacket over other leather jackets? Or other jackets in general? Let’s go though a few of them here.


Suede Jackets Look Fantastic

There is something incredibly warm and homely about these incredibly soft and delicate jackets. They emit the sense that the wearer is a kind and characteristic person, with good taste, no less.

One of the main reasons why anybody would buy a suede jacket, is they simply look exquisite.

Suede Jackets are Warm

Especially those made of lamb skin, these jackets have a very insulating effect. Some of them come thick enough (usually with an extra layer of fur on the inside) to be full blown winter coats. In some cases, they can well be warm enough for countries that get fairly cold, although they are perhaps less suitable for sub-zero temperatures.

Relatively Durable

Compared to jackets manufactured from regular non-animal fabrics, these jackets are likely to last longer if taken care of properly. Compared to full grain leather however, they would be less durable and wouldn’t age quite as well.



Suede Damages Easily

Considering their delicate and elegant nature, it isn’t tremendously surprising that suede gets damaged easier. Unlike full grain leather, you cannot simply wipe it off when it becomes dirty. Marks from spills often stain and being exposed to too much water can even compromise the appearance of the exterior.

Not as Long-lasting as Full Grain

As previously mentioned, it may be more durable than the average jacket made from generic materials, but in comparison to its full grain counterpart, it simply cannot meet the status of ‘lasting forever’ or ‘outliving you’.

How to choose a suede jacket

Last Thoughts

So hopefully now you know you are a bit more ‘in the know’ about the different variables to consider when choosing a new suede leather jacket. We have seen how suede is made, how it differs from leather in terms of durability, feel and looks. After having a look at the different animals that are used to make suede and getting to know a bit about the unique characteristics of each type in terms of texture and look, you should hopefully know what to look for. Lambskin seems to be the most popular and sought after of the suede types.

If you are looking for that signature delicacy and thin flowy-ness, for sure you are going to want to steer toward the lambskin. Don’t forget to consider all of the advantages and disadvantages so that you are not met with any unwelcomed surprises later. If you are having doubts about which kind of jacket to go for, remember you can make your dream jacket come to life. Independent Brothers Specialized custom-made jackets are there for just this purpose. Leather jackets are very personal, you want one that is going to fit you like a glove, both physically and in a deeper metaphysical sense.

If you do go ahead and end up getting yourself a new suede jacket, don’t forget the key tips about caring for the suede material. You want to get the most out of your purchase!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.