Leather garments have been around since the dawn of the time. They provided us with protection from the elements long before the textile industry became what it is today. Leather garments still fill that role but have become a statement of sophistication in the world of fashion. It has also become aspirational due to its cost that for some is simply unaffordable. So for most, when they buy any leather item, they think “investment”. The justification and argument is that although it comes at a price, it adds style to your closet for years to come, most probably one of the best “investments” you will make in your wardrobe. So essentially it’s about building a wardrobe over time. Buy quality pieces rather than settling for cheap imitations as leather is a keeper.
I don’t know about you but when the winter chill starts rolling in, I tend to get excited! Don’t get me wrong, there are few things less enjoyable than getting out of bed for work when it’s freezing cold and dark outside – but in terms of fashion, dressing for winter can’t be beat.
I start thinking through my wardrobe, does it cover those dark mornings and bitter evenings our winter has to offer. Layers, layers, layers. So first on my list would be about my outerwear. I want to both look and feel good. Depending on whether you’re battling through the gale-force winds and drizzle of the Cape or the sub-zero temperatures in the Highveld, this “fabric” will never let you down.
Through the years, as my passion for footwear and clothing grew, the item on my wish list was to own a classic cut, genuine leather jacket. Following fashion and trends it became obvious to me how timeless and extremely versatile a jacket was and that they’re an absolute must when building a lean wardrobe. Leather jacket styles can be hit and miss so don’t rush your decision. Remember that not every style will suite every body type. Some styles require serious prowess to pull off. Personally, I’ve always had a penchant for a classic, understated design so you probably wouldn’t catch me in a Double Rider.
Featured below are my 3 favourite styles of jackets that pretty much anyone can pull off. I tend to stick to brown and black because they’re the most versatile and can be matched with similar get-ups.
If you’ve been lucky enough to visit the fashion capital of the world, Italy, you will understand that a lot can be learned about a person just by looking at their feet. In the same way that one gets a sense of carelessness from person you see wearing dirty sneakers, or socks and sandals for that matter; a sense of admiration and respect is felt for those who can pull off a good pair of brogues. Every wardrobe should include at least one pair of dress shoes, preferably in both black and brown. A good pair of leather sneakers is also a really good way of dressing up a pair of jeans, especially when paired with a formal jacket. With regards to the style of the shoe, it’s a case of to each their own. Everyone has their personal preference and so whether you’re a boot, brogue or loafer kind of guy, a good pair of leather shoes are great in building that wardrobe of yours.
One of the first lessons in fashion I learned was to always match your belt with your shoes. Obviously, this isn’t going to apply when you throw on a brightly coloured pair of sneakers, but it’s important when it comes to leather. My rule of thumb is to always match the finish of the leather; so, polished with polished and matte with matte. If you’re going to go with a leather jacket as well, maybe mix up the shades (not colours) so as to not make the look too forced.
If you want your look to scream success, you have got to include a leather bag. It’s so understated yet so powerful. Going on an overnight trip, weekend away, touring or to work, there are killer bags that will suite your every actuality and leather says it all.
Just as is the case with any fashion combination, we all have our own opinions. I’ve stuck to some of the traditional rules of wearing leather when writing this post but it would be interesting to see how you style yours. Share your ideas on our Facebook page @RTWCollective.