The Jacket Maker Review – How Good Are These Bespoke Jackets?
Leather jackets can be a tough sell for some guys. First off, they’re expensive, making purchasing one a bit prohibitive. Second, shopping for the right jacket can be stressful. And, in today’s world, walking into a leather shop and trying on a bunch of jackets might not even be possible.
So, what’s a guy to do? Settle for a fake jacket to save money? Grab the same jacket as every other guy from a run-of-the-mill clothing store?
Thankfully, you don’t have to do either. The Jacket Maker offers real leather jackets in literally tons of styles at great prices. But, as a direct-to-consumer company selling jackets at literally a fraction of the cost of bigger names, something has to give, right?
Well, The Jacket Maker contacted us at Next Luxury to see if we’d be interested in trying out a jacket and writing a review. Of course, we said yes, and they sent me a leather jacket of my choosing to check out. Read on to learn more about how I feel about my jacket and my experience with The Jacket Maker.
Full disclosure: This jacket was free, and I get to keep it. But I still plan to give a fair review.
When The Jacket Maker contacted me about trying out one of its products, I jumped onto the website right away to see if there was any value there. After all, I don’t want to review a product that I know I’m not going to like from the jump. It’s not fun for me, and the review won’t have any merit.
Shopping with The Jacket Maker
I was immediately impressed by The Jacket Maker’s website and the sheer amount of jackets they offer. It seemed like hundreds of jackets, all in different styles, colors, and finishes. They had biker jackets, bombers, winter jackets, trench coats, and many more.
You see, I’ve never owned a leather jacket before. It was important to me that I found a jacket I would be comfortable wearing, as many styles have an edge or attitude to them that I wasn’t sure I could pull off. I knew I would find something, though I needed time to sort through everything the company had to offer.
After searching through the endless amount of jackets, I landed on the Aaron in brown leather; a bomber jacket with ribbed cuffs and a ribbed waist. It felt like the jacket that most fit my style and that I would get the most wear out of. I knew the brown leather would work well with a particular pair of service boots I own and that my aviation-style watches would look great paired up with it.
I was pretty excited to get this jacket, but I was leery. I’ve never been a leather jacket guy because they tend to be very expensive. With a sticker price of $250, I wasn’t getting my hopes up that this jacket would be the nicest thing in the world.
It took about ten days for me to get my jacket. That’s not that bad, but when you consider that Amazon can get almost anything to my front door in two days, it seems like a long timeframe.
To The Jacket Maker’s credit, they didn’t rush my jacket just because they knew I’d be reviewing it. My jacket fell in a list of orders just like everyone else’s. When the jacket I ordered was ready, they were going to ship it. No one who ordered a jacket at the same time was pushed to the side for a product review. I think that says something about the company.
When the jacket arrived, it came in a relatively small box with my the Aaron neatly folded inside. It also came with a reusable tote bag, which I thought was a nice touch. Nothing extra. No note telling me to enjoy the jacket, no acknowledgment at all that I wasn’t a regular customer. I appreciate that.
When I unboxed my jacket, even before I got it out of the plastic, the first thing I noticed was how soft it was. It wasn’t the stiff, heavy leather jacket I was expecting. I was already pretty excited.
Now, here comes the main complaint that I have with The Jacket Maker: When I ripped open the bag, expecting to get that scent of leather, I actually was hit somewhat hard with the smell of chemicals. I do some leatherworking in my spare time, and to me, it smelled like the glue used to attach seams before sewing. While the smell was disappointing, I was pretty sure it would wear off. So I decided to ignore it as best as I could.
Now, remember, I was leery about what a $250 leather jacket might feel or look like. To be very honest, the Aaron from The Jacket Maker surprised me. As mentioned, the leather was soft and supple, and it was also really evenly dyed. Aside from the purposely distressed seams around the zipper, pockets, and collar, the dye was an even chocolate color throughout.
I liked that the patch pockets were on the chest instead of along the waist like on a more traditional bomber. The design gave me two slash pockets for hand warmers — a big plus.
One of my other favorite parts of the Aaron, off the bat, was the cuffs. The cuffs were thick but not too thick, stiff but not too stiff, and I knew my watches would look excellent pulled out from underneath them. They felt snug but comfortable and structured yet soft.
When I finished checking out the style, the next thing I did was grab a sleeve and pull. And I pulled hard. I wanted to know how good the glue and stitching were, and if the leather was low-quality. I was totally prepared to ruin a jacket in the name of product review science.
The sleeve didn’t budge at all. The threads didn’t pop. The leather didn’t give. So far, so good.
Once I knew the sleeves weren’t going to tear off and turn this bomber jacket into a motorcycle vest, I tried it on.
Now, remember, I’ve never owned a leather jacket before, and this was the first time trying one on in my adult life.
I was initially pretty surprised at the snug fit. I went up a size when I ordered it, and I was surprised to find that it was still pretty snug. I even double-checked the tag to ensure they sent me the right jacket. Well, they did.
But, apparently, leather jackets are supposed to be tight. They’re supposed to break in and conform to your body, so it might truly be my own ignorance that I felt this jacket might be a bit too snug.
If you prefer a little extra room, I suggest sizing up at least one size — possibly two, depending on your build.
With that said, the sleeves were a great length, and the waist fell just about where I wanted it to, which is something that can be hard to find. It honestly looks great.
It’s just a little snug.
Made to Fit
This is a good time to mention that The Jacket Maker will create a custom jacket for you based on the measurements you give them. The company offers it on every jacket they sell, included non-leather options (yes, they carry jackets in materials other than leather, too).
This bespoke service is pretty unique, and it only costs an additional $30. If you’re worried about finding the perfect fit because the sizing might be a bit askew, the additional cost is money well spent.
The Good and The Bad
Honestly, I like this jacket. I never thought I’d consider myself a leather jacket guy, but after wearing the Aaron, I’m a huge fan. It makes me feel cool, like I should be walking outside and throwing my leg over a cafe racer. It’s a little Virgil Hilts, a little Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, and a little Arthur Fonzarelli all wrapped up into one jacket.
I’m actually considering buying another jacket from The Jacket Maker in another style. But, let’s get into the pros and cons before I go any further. Cons first.
I already mentioned the only two “gripes” I have with the Aaron, so if you were paying attention, you’d already know what I’m about to say.
The jacket’s a little snug, and it’s across the entire torso and back. After wearing it a lot, it has broken in some, but it does fit like a second skin. I think I could’ve sized up one more size and been over the moon with the fit.
That said, guys who want a genuinely snug fit should still size up one size. The Jacket Maker should probably bump all their sizes up one size each and it would solve everything (from my non-professional opinion, of course).
The other issue was the smell. When I opened my bag, I wasn’t hit with that beautiful leather jacket smell we all know and love. It smelled like chemicals. Now, I’ve done some research on this because I want to be fair to both the reader and The Jacket Maker. I couldn’t find mention of the smell anywhere else on any other review.
I think there’s a pretty good chance my jacket was a one-and-done deal. I have a theory that my jacket was freshly tanned, glued, stitched, and shipped. If I had to guess, it might’ve been bagged too quickly, and the chemicals used in the process didn’t have a chance to off-gas. An unfortunate circumstance, yes, but probably not something anyone else would have to worry about.
And, the smell has certainly gotten better. I imagine with a bit more time, the smell will disappear entire.
So you already know that I like it, but let me break down why that is.
First, let’s state the obvious: The price is unbelievable. A legitimate leather jacket for $250? I highly doubt there’s a better deal in leather jackets out there. Even if you can find a cheaper one, I don’t think the value will be there. Not like it is with the Aaron, or any of the jackets from The Jacket Maker.
Second, the quality is surprisingly good. My jacket is goat leather, which isn’t quite as durable or strong as cow leather, but it’s incredibly soft and the grainy texture is really nice. I rubbed a little conditioner into it when I got it just to give it a bit more flexibility, and it’s starting to break in quite nicely. The seams are strong, with plenty of stitching, and I can assume, plenty of glue. The polyester lining inside is quite cozy and soft, making it very comfortable to wear over a short-sleeve t-shirt.
I also really like the style. Most bomber-style jackets have pouch pockets on the stomach on either side of the zipper. The Aaron has two chest pockets with button closures instead. That design, coupled with the distressed seams and handwarmer pockets, creates a functional, sleek, and rugged look.
It’s not just the jacket I like, either. The Jacket Maker’s website and the sheer number of styles they have available are both incredible.
I already said that I’m thinking of purchasing an additional jacket from The Jacket Maker, so obviously, I’m impressed. The affordability mixed with the quality is wild. Are there better leather jackets out there? Of course. But The Jacket Maker isn’t going after those manufacturers. They’re carving out their own niche, offering direct-to-consumer jackets at killer prices.
So, even though my jacket might not have been perfect, it’s still an awesome piece of my wardrobe, and I’ll definitely get plenty of use out of it. And, considering I’m ready to spend my own money on another jacket from The Jacket Maker, it’s safe to say I’m a fan of this brand and its products.