Getting a Good Leather Jacket
Once you become interested in clothes, it’s not hard to buy more than you need. In the past two years or so, I’ve acquired eight leather jackets. Most get worn on some semi-regular basis (OK, semi-semi-regular), but none get broken out as much as this leather A-2 you see above. In fact, I could get rid of all my other casual jackets and be satisfied with wearing just this one. 
When shopping for a leather jacket, I’ve found it’s good to pay attention to a few factors:
Materials: Most leather jackets are made from lambskin, goatskin, cowhide, or horsehide. Generally speaking, the first two will be lighter and thinner than the second two. Lambskin is exceptionally soft, pliable, and comfortable to wear, but it’s also most prone to tearing. Goatskin is a bit tougher and more pebbled in its texture. Neither, however, is as tough as cowhide or horsehide, which might require a circular saw to break open. The tradeoff is that cowhide and horsehide are very stiff and heavy, though that might suit certain styles more. It all depends on what you want out your garment and how you want it to look. Want something to wear to an overheated wine bar? Lambskin is a great material. Want something to fight a bear in? Cowhide and horsehide are good bets.
Insulation: Like with all garments, leather jackets are often made with seasons in mind. Spring/ summer pieces often have thin, breathable linings, or on rare occasions, they may come without any lining at all. Fall/ winter jackets, on the other hand, are often quilted or insulated. If you live in a temperate climate, like me, it may be good to err on the spring/ summer side, as you can always layer with a piece of knitwear. My A-2 pictured above, for example, has unique, open-weave cotton lining, and for cold days, I just pair it with a grey sweatshirt. 
Style and color: I hesitate to recommend a style or color, as that gets into such subjective territory. You should just get what you like best. That said, I find myself wearing mid- to darkish browns most, and tans least. And from the few leather jacket threads I follow on various clothing forums, it seems that many men get a lot of use out of their A-2s. Whether that style suits you, of course, is a personal call.
It may be important, however, to think of leather jackets not just in terms of their most basic styles (e.g. A-1s, A-2s, motos, etc.), but also their sensibility. An A-1 from a luxury fashion house, for example, will look very different than one from a vintage reproduction company. Just compare this Ralph Lauren Purple Label piece to something similar from Good Wear Leather to see what I mean. It’s not just a difference in materials (a “luxury” piece will often be made from a fine lambskin, while a tougher, “authentic” version will be made from goatskin or horsehide), but also a difference in the cut and detailing. When shopping for a jacket, pay attention to these differences, and think about what kind of clothes you’ll be wearing your new jacket with. Maybe you want something from a very avant garde designer, or luxury Italian label, or a workwear company. That choice alone should narrow the field considerably. 

Getting a Good Leather Jacket

Once you become interested in clothes, it’s not hard to buy more than you need. In the past two years or so, I’ve acquired eight leather jackets. Most get worn on some semi-regular basis (OK, semi-semi-regular), but none get broken out as much as this leather A-2 you see above. In fact, I could get rid of all my other casual jackets and be satisfied with wearing just this one. 

When shopping for a leather jacket, I’ve found it’s good to pay attention to a few factors:

Materials: Most leather jackets are made from lambskin, goatskin, cowhide, or horsehide. Generally speaking, the first two will be lighter and thinner than the second two. Lambskin is exceptionally soft, pliable, and comfortable to wear, but it’s also most prone to tearing. Goatskin is a bit tougher and more pebbled in its texture. Neither, however, is as tough as cowhide or horsehide, which might require a circular saw to break open. The tradeoff is that cowhide and horsehide are very stiff and heavy, though that might suit certain styles more. It all depends on what you want out your garment and how you want it to look. Want something to wear to an overheated wine bar? Lambskin is a great material. Want something to fight a bear in? Cowhide and horsehide are good bets.

Insulation: Like with all garments, leather jackets are often made with seasons in mind. Spring/ summer pieces often have thin, breathable linings, or on rare occasions, they may come without any lining at all. Fall/ winter jackets, on the other hand, are often quilted or insulated. If you live in a temperate climate, like me, it may be good to err on the spring/ summer side, as you can always layer with a piece of knitwear. My A-2 pictured above, for example, has unique, open-weave cotton lining, and for cold days, I just pair it with a grey sweatshirt. 

Style and color: I hesitate to recommend a style or color, as that gets into such subjective territory. You should just get what you like best. That said, I find myself wearing mid- to darkish browns most, and tans least. And from the few leather jacket threads I follow on various clothing forums, it seems that many men get a lot of use out of their A-2s. Whether that style suits you, of course, is a personal call.

It may be important, however, to think of leather jackets not just in terms of their most basic styles (e.g. A-1s, A-2s, motos, etc.), but also their sensibility. An A-1 from a luxury fashion house, for example, will look very different than one from a vintage reproduction company. Just compare this Ralph Lauren Purple Label piece to something similar from Good Wear Leather to see what I mean. It’s not just a difference in materials (a “luxury” piece will often be made from a fine lambskin, while a tougher, “authentic” version will be made from goatskin or horsehide), but also a difference in the cut and detailing. When shopping for a jacket, pay attention to these differences, and think about what kind of clothes you’ll be wearing your new jacket with. Maybe you want something from a very avant garde designer, or luxury Italian label, or a workwear company. That choice alone should narrow the field considerably. 

Put This On Season 2 Episode 3 Clothing Credits

Intro & Savile Row

Coat - Vintage by Capper & Capper

Scarf - Courtesy of Christine Cariati

Gloves - Vintage

Hat - Vintage by Royal Stetson

Suit - Vintage by Giacomo Trabalza

Cardigan - Vintage by Brooks Brothers (From S2E2)

Shirt - Thin Red Line

Tie - Ralph Lauren Purple Label

Pocket Square - Put This On Gentlemen’s Association

Shoes - Vintage Alden

How It’s Made: Drake’s Necktie

Suit - High Society Tailor (cloth by Molloy & Sons)

Cuff Links - Vintage

Shirt - Thin Red Line

Tie - Vintage Carroll & Co.

Square - Put This On Gentlemen’s Association

Put This On Episode 6: Clothing Credits

Intro:

Blazer - Brooks Brothers (Vintage)

Pants - Ralph Lauren Purple Label (Vintage)

Shirt - Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Tie - Saks Fifth Avenue

Vest - Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Shoes - Florsheim (Vintage)

At CEGO

Shirt One - Lands’ End

Shirt Two - CEGO Custom Shirtmakers

Pants - Woolrich Woolen Mills

Tie - Vintage (Unlabeled)

Belt - Narragansett Leathers

At Alan Flusser Custom

Suit - Brooks Brothers

Shirt - Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Tie - Carrol & Co. (Vintage)

Sweater - Shetland Hand Knits

At Pro Tailor

Blazer - Kiton (Vintage)

Pants - Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Shirt - Corneliani

Tie - Luciano Barbera (Vintage)

Shoes - Brooks Brothers (Vintage)

Put This On Episode 5: Clothing Credits

Intro:
Tie: Pierrepont Hicks
Shirt: Lands’ End
Sweater: Vintage Scottish Cashmere
Jeans: Levis LVC 1947
Shoes: Grenson
Vest: Lands’ End

At J. Press:
Shirt: CEGO Custom Shirtmaker
Jacket: Polo Ralph Lauren
Sweater: Vintage Scottish Cashmere
Tie: Vintage Unlabeled
Pocket Square: Luciano Barbera
Pants: Incotex

At Thom Browne:
Shirt: Brooks Brothers Black Fleece
Tie: Santoni
Pocket Square: Vintage
Pants: Vintage Ralph Lauren Purple Label
Shoes: Vintage Florsheim
Socks: Robert Talbott

It’s On eBay
Ralph Lauren Purple Label Suit (Size 44R)
I don’t usually post stuff like this from eBay, since it tends to be a bit more expensive, tends to have less-nice pictures, and it’s less conducive to inspiration than a lot of the vintage stuff I post (which is really my goal - only one person out of our thousands of readers can buy something from an eBay auction).  This suit was too nice to pass up, though.  Make sure your measurements match - those are finished sleeves.
£149.99 Buy It Now (about $225)

It’s On eBay

Ralph Lauren Purple Label Suit (Size 44R)

I don’t usually post stuff like this from eBay, since it tends to be a bit more expensive, tends to have less-nice pictures, and it’s less conducive to inspiration than a lot of the vintage stuff I post (which is really my goal - only one person out of our thousands of readers can buy something from an eBay auction).  This suit was too nice to pass up, though.  Make sure your measurements match - those are finished sleeves.

£149.99 Buy It Now (about $225)

Giltstravaganza today…

Often Gilt Groupe’s flash sales don’t inspire us.  We’re not that into the designer-y stuff.  But man, today is a great day on Gilt.  Starting at 9AM pacific, noon eastern, you get Ralph Lauren Purple Label, the most beautiful, classy clothes Ralphie makes.  You get Tim Hamilton for some excellent contemporary casual stuff.  Some super, super handsome (and usually surprisingly cheap on Gilt) bags from Jack Spade.  You get Dunhill for crazy beautiful accessories for your millionaire lifestyle.  And, oddly, an American Apparel sale - and say what you will about their creepy CEO and creepy ads, they do good work in the basics department.  There’s usually about one sale a week on Gilt that we’re really into, and that’s like five in one day.

Anyway, sign up for a Gilt account with our invite (the site’s invite-only), and we get an account credit, so we’ll feel less bad about the money we’re about to spend come 9AM pacific.