Leather jackets hold a special place in the world of clothing and fashion. It is incredibly versatile in its use and can instantly create a particular look for the wearer. Men and women wear them and for a variety of reasons. It also played a role in wartime history which makes it all the more special and sought after by many fashion enthusiasts and average Joes. Hollywood stars then and now also use this type of jacket regularly. Biker gangs added more notoriety to the use of leather jackets even further. High fashion houses regularly use and reintroduce the leather jacket from time to time, incorporating a trendy cut or design depending on the season.
Leather jackets were first introduced to the American military during World War II. Used mainly by pilots and bombers (hence the term bomber jacket), the leather jacket made sure that freezing temperatures while in the air did not get in the way of the mission. These jackets made use of horsehide and were highly prized for their heat-retaining properties.
The biggest names in Hollywood also regularly use leather jackets in films and in public. Notable examples are Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones films, Marlon Brando in The Wild One and James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. From then up to this day, the enduring popularity of the leather jacket can be partially attributed to Hollywood stars. Paparazzi fascination of celebrity attires also provides a steady flow of leather jacket-clad idols to the viewing public.
Biker Gang Notoriety
Outlaw motorcycle gangs that roam in packs are instantly recognized by their distinct Harley-Davidson bikes and ubiquitous leather jackets. Being outlaws, biker gang members give the leather jacket a sinister reputation. Their well-known dabbling in illegal activities simply adds fuel to the fire.
To regular folks, the leather jacket can be worn in the office and straight to a night out after. It serves both form and function in keeping warmth while giving off an air of cool to anyone wearing it. For the motorcyclists (not to be confused with biker gang members), it is also a stylish yet effective protective suit against the elements—and the asphalt. The chilly breeze that blows hard against a motorcyclist is dealt with properly by specialized leather jackets, typically found in racing colors with numerous pockets.
High fashion also has a particular interest in leather jackets. Names like Gucci, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes are just a few of the many haute couture houses that have released and will continue to release their own variations of the leather jacket.
The leather jacket is wildly popular among people in all social brackets and in both sides of the law. No matter the day and age, the staying power of leather jackets seems secure. Everyone simply loves them! Amazingly, the many evolutions of this jacket have always been received warmly by the public.
Are you a leather jacket lover yourself? What do you love the most about them? Share a comment or two in the space below!