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.
The Best 14 Leather Jackets for Men in 2021
With the winter months (hopefully) dwindling down, it’s time to start planning ahead to a time where we can wear thinner jackets and fewer layers. While it may be tempting to quickly shed your parka and grab for whatever piece of outerwear is nearby, don’t reach for last year’s wardrobe item just yet. Isn’t it time you try something new, like, say, a leather jacket?
Though it may seem all leather jackets are similar, there are actually many different designs and styles that work for different body types and tastes. In this article, we will take a look at the hottest leather jacket trends that have hit the market this season.
1. Aaron Brown Leather Bomber
The Aaron Brown Leather Jacket from The Jacket Maker is an excellent choice for any guy looking for that traditional bomber look. This awesome jacket features a slim cut and ribbed cuffs and waist. It’s made with incredibly tough, yet soft, goatskin leather, making it a great choice for guys that aren’t used to wearing leather jackets.
One of the best things about the Aaron is that it shirks the classic pouch pockets on the lower half of the jacket, opting for two buttoned patch pockets on the chest instead. This design gives it a more streamlined look than most bombers, without taking away from any of the authenticity.
2. Saint Laurent Leather Biker Jacket
There is a reason why leather jackets and bikers are usually associated with one another. Historically, many motorcycle riders have seen a leather jacket as a stylish way to protect themselves, not only from the elements but also from the possibility of a crash. While this may seem hard to believe – it’s not like leather comes with a large amount of padding, after all – leather has actually been shown to offer more protection than your average vinyl jacket or equivalent.
Maybe you’re not hopping on a motorcycle anytime soon, but you can still treat yourself to this biker-inspired Saint Laurent leather jacket. With a price tag surpassing $5,000, it’s certainly our premium pick on this list, but if you’re looking for the leather jacket of a lifetime, you have it right here. This pick is sure to come with the “for life” quality Saint Laurent is particularly known for.
3. Reiss Keith Leather Cafe Racer Jacket
Reiss is a British fashion retailer that’s been around since the 1970s. For the first 30 years of its brand history, it focused solely on men’s fashion before eventually expanding to carry items for women as well. However, the fact high-quality items for men are at the heart of this brand is very apparent through their simple wardrobe staples such as the Keith leather cafe racer jacket.
This Reiss jacket comes at a considerably lower price point than its counterparts, which makes it a pick that packs a lot of value. It’s made from super-soft leather and features a full lining. It’s the perfect choice for anybody who prefers a slim-fit jacket.
4. Lavendard Brown Leather Bike Jacket
The Jacket Maker has something for everyone, including guys that are a bit intimidated by purchasing their first leather jacket. Not only is the Lavendard incredibly affordable, but it also has a really approachable look despite its biker moniker. With open hem cuffs and a tailored fit, it looks great with badass-inspired outfits as well as everyday wear.
The Lavendard is made of real cowhide, which means it will take on a great patina over time. But it might be a bit stiff when you first get it. The more you wear it, the faster it’ll form to your body, break-in, and soften up. The fact that it goes with so many outfits will help speed up that process.
5. Ksubi Capital Leather Jacket
The Capital Leather Jacket from Ksubi comes in 100% authentic leather and is designed to have a biker fit. It’s heavy-duty with a protective interior quilted lining. It also features retro details such as antique zippers.
Kusbi is an Australian fashion label that’s existed since the 1990s. While the brand was originally focused on high-end denim, they’ve expanded their offerings over time to include other textiles such as leather. Items from Ksubi’s collections have been shown at such high-profile events as New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week, and the company operates a flagship store in New York’s SOHO neighborhood.
6. Acne Studios Off-Centred Zipper Biker Jacket
Swedish fashion powerhouse Acne Studios is well-known for their basic wardrobe pieces, so it makes sense that they would have the classic leather jacket look on lock. We love the way this off-centered jacket packs a punch of personality with its multiple buckles and zippers, but we love even more the way that it does not compromise softness or comfort at the expense of appearance.
This jacket comes with a high-end price tag, but it has the high-end materials to match. It is made of 100% genuine lambskin and comes with an interior lining of 100% viscose. Its unique off-center zip takes its inspiration from street style.
7. Airin G-1 Black and White Leather Jacket
There’s only one way to improve upon a traditional bomber: Add shearling fabric. The Jacket Maker’s Airin G-1 Bomber will have ready to strap into the cockpit, ready to fly over Europe on a midnight air-raid. It has a thick polyester-lined collar as well as ribbed cuffs and waist for a nice, snug fit that keeps the wind at bay.
The Airin is made with real sheepskin, so it’s soft but super durable, making it a great choice for almost any type of casual wear. The dual front pouch pockets are great for a phone and a pair of gloves, so if you’re wearing it on a motorcycle, you’ll have the storage you need.
8. Saturdays NYC Leather Harrington Jacket
If you’re unfamiliar with the brand Saturdays NYC, prepare to fall in love. As a laidback lifestyle brand, Saturdays NYC infuses its love for all things surfer culture in all of its fashion offerings. While primarily known for their loungewear, such as sweats and pullover sweaters, they also happen to make one of the best leather jackets on the market right now.
The leather Harrington jacket features a smooth design and has deep pockets for your convenience. It is made of 100% lambskin leather and features a lining made of polyester. Staying true to its brand’s carefree nature, this jacket features a more relaxed fit than many classic leather jackets.
9. Berluti Piped Venezia Leather Jacket
Unlike the other options we’ve included so far, Berluti is known less for being a fashion brand and more for being a leather maker. Since its inception in the late 19th century, the Paris-based manufacturer has been producing fine leather clothing items and accessories, from belts to bags to jackets.
Berluti’s piped Venezia leather jacket is the apex of luxury leather fashion. Made from a distinctive brown shade, this jacket line has been around since the 1980s – and it’s a style that certainly stands the test of time.
This jacket is made from 100% authentic patinated calfskin leather and features shoulder patches and a buttoned collar. For optimal breathability, the jacket even features ventilation eyelets.
10. Dean Black Leather Biker Jacket
Let’s be honest.. A traditional racing-style biker jacket is about as cool as it gets. With the high band-style collar and heavy-duty zippers on the front of The Jacket Maker’s Dean Leather Biker Jacket, you’re sure to get that badass look.
The Dean is made with 100% real cowhide leather, so it might be a little stiff at first, but it will break in and patina like none other. The Dean features three zippered pockets on the front as well as zippered cuffs, providing that authentic racing jacket-look without killing your bank account.
11. Kingsman Burnished Leather Jacket
Kingsman is a line of high-quality clothing pieces that exists as a collaboration between Mr. Matthew Vaughn, director of the film The King’s Man, and international online fashion retailer MR PORTER. The line features items that are inspired by classic military style and timeless sensibilities.
The burnished leather jacket from the Kingsman line is unique for its length as well as its appearance. It draws direct inspiration from an aviator jacket worn on-screen in The King’s Man, a period piece that takes place in the 1940s. The jacket is made out of sturdy cow leather and buttons made of buffalo horns. It also features two linings – one made of cotton, and one made of viscose.
12. AllSaints Milo Leather Biker Jacket
AllSaints is a British fashion brand from the United Kingdom. Since its founding in the 1990s, it has grown to an international presence that consists of more than 200 retail stores across Europe, North America, and Asia. The brand is mostly focused on fashion for women and men, though it also sells footwear and other accessories. It has primarily seen its popularity grow thanks to its popularity among a celebrity clientele.
AllSaints makes a number of leather jackets, but the Milo biker jacket is definitely one to write home about. This is a jacket that brings out the very best of two very different worlds – including a soft composition and sharp edges – since it is made of tender lamb leather and decorated to the nines with perfectly-placed zippers and buckles. It also has a distinctive slim fit.
13. Golden Bear Sherpa Jacket
San Francisco brand Golden Bear may have its roots in ship workers in the San Francisco Bay since the 1920s, but it’s evolved today to combine both utilitarianism and high-end style. Although not as recognized outside of its native northern California, to know the stylish jackets of Golden Bear is to love them.
The sherpa jacket, in particular, is exquisite. Like any Golden Bear clothing piece, it’s designed to be worn for life, and fortunately, it comes with a style that will be sure to stay in fashion for decades to come, with brown distressed leather and a notable shearling collar that can be detached.
14. Tom Ford Zip-up Leather Jacket
Tom Ford is well-known for their high-end scents and formal clothing, but they have a strong foot in the casual jacket sphere as well. Not that this zip-up leather jacket is something you would wear to a casual house party. Its sleek edges and formal design make it more than suitable for a fancy professional event or night out on the town.
True to its brand’s roots, no attention to detail was spared in the creation of this particular wardrobe piece. Its straightforward design features 100% authentic leather and a cotton and polyamide lining. It is truly meant to last for life. Made in Italy, this jacket has shallow pockets in the front and a zipper down the center.
Leather Jacket FAQs
While there are many different unique leather jacket configurations out there, there are four classic syles you should be most aware of. In no particular order, they are the leather bomber jacket (also called aviator jacket), the leather racer jacket (sometimes called moto), the trenchcoat, and the fencer. While bomber jackets and racer jackets tend to be more relaxed, the trenchcoat and the fencer are more dramatic.
If you care for your leather jacket correctly you should have a wardrobe piece that’ll last you a lifetime. Most leather jackets cannot be washed at home and must only be handled professionally. The first step to taking proper care of your jacket is to adhere to this rule.
You should also keep your leather jacket dry as often as possible and keep it away from extreme heat or cold air. If you are not going to be wearing your leather jacket for a period of time, such as during a warm season, then you’ll want to be sure that you are hanging it up correctly – this means out of direct sunlight and in a properly-ventilated area.
Determining how much to pay for a leather jacket is a very personal matter. For an authentic leather jacket, you will probably be paying, at a baseline, $500. However, this price can easily skyrocket from here, depending on the jacket’s materials and manufacturing process.
Some leather jackets can cost as much as $10,000! There is no right or wrong number – it’s instead about the brands you like and the style that you envision for yourself.