Top Telltale Signs of a High Quality Leather Jacket

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When buying a leather jacket, quality is of utmost importance. But how do you spot one that is high quality? Read on to learn the ten telltale signs of the best leather jackets.

Do you know how to spot the best leather jackets?

Leather jackets got their start during World War I, when the first fighter pilots started wearing them for protection. By the 1920s, the leather jacket was already a popular look, associated with the kind of rebel who rode motorcycles.

Today, leather jackets remain an important part of classic style. However, as with all popular things, this popularity has also led to the creation of cheap knockoff versions. If you buy a leather jacket, quality is of the utmost importance.

Not sure how to spot a high-quality jacket? No worries; we're here to help. Keep reading to learn the telltale signs of a great jacket - and the things to avoid.

Real Leather Smell

When you first get your brand-new leather jacket, the real leather smell may not come through right away. But after a period of time, when the jacket has had time to breath, your high-quality leather jacket will smell just like the real thing. Remember, Soul Revolver jackets are brand new, made at the time of order.

Full-Grain Leather

Not all jackets made from real leather are created equal, though.

For another definite sign of quality, look for a full-grain leather jacket. There are several different leather types, including corrected grain, top grain, and full grain. When it comes to jackets, full-grain is what you want.

Corrected grain gets sanded and buffed to remove any imperfections. This may sound nice, until you realize the leather has a dull, flat look.

Top-grain leather is made by removing a split layer from the top layer, which also results in fewer imperfections, but gives the leather a plastic-like look.

Full-grain is a high-quality leather that hasn't been altered in any of these ways. Since it hasn't been heavily buffed, sanded, or split, it'll feel softer and look nicer than these other leather types.

Quality Non-Leather Components

How do the non-leather parts of the jacket look?

Check the hardware, stitching, and lining for quality. A brand that makes a good men's leather jacket won't skimp on these areas. You want high-quality zips and buckles that won't break after years of use or a lining that won't tear.

High Price Tag

You don't always get what you pay for in life, so be aware of the price tag.

Bargains exist, of course, but you're still not going to get the best leather jackets for the lowest prices. If the price seems too good to be true, there's probably an issue with the quality of the jacket. Stay away from the lower prices. You aren't going to get a non-sale, good quality leather jacket for around £100. Also, beware of designer brands high mark-up. You should never pay £1000 for a leather jacket. As we have proven, you can get the finest Italian lambskin in a range of beautiful colours and antiques for under £500, don't be fooled by higher prices. Also, some of these high end brands don't even make their jackets in Italy, they make them on the cheap but still charge a premium. Before you decide, ask the brand where their jackets are made.

Italian Lambskin

If the jacket uses Italian lambskin, it's almost certainly high quality.

Not all of the best leather jackets use this material, but it's still one of the best materials money can buy. Italian lambskin leather has been in use for jackets for decades. It has a luxurious feel, soft and supple, so it's often used for other leather goods in the fashion industry and also luxury cars.

Feels Like Leather

A real leather jacket needs to feel right. Touch is another sense that can help you tell the difference between high and low-quality leather jackets.

Touch the surface with your hands. It should feel smooth, not crunchy, and the material shouldn't bunch up easily. A low-quality jacket - even if it's made of leather - won't have this pleasant feeling. Italian lambskin will feel soft, a little spongy. Good cowhide will feel slightly cold to the touch but still be quite soft.

Nothing But Leather

A high-quality jacket is made entirely from leather, aside from the lining, stitching, and hardware. Check the label first for materials used.


Watch out for lots of zips and pockets everywhere. These jackets are just trying too hard, maybe picking up on the latest temporary trend. What if you buy a high quality leather jacket but it has a quirky style? You probably won't be wearing it in a couple of years. Good style comes from the great design but also works with the quality and fit of the jacket. You don't need to go crazy with the design if it feels and looks great on you.

Cheap leather jackets colours will be quite flat and dull, with little or no variation in colour. This shows a quick, budget tanning process. If they try to vary the colour, there will be no subtle shading or antiquing but a more obvious pronounced effect which just looks tacky.

The style you choose is a matter of personal preference, of course. Just make sure the obvious style and colour effects aren't being used to disguise low quality.


The placement, size, and quality of the pockets can say a lot about the overall quality of the jacket. It also depends on the jacket purpose. A fashion jacket would suit a smaller. stylish chest pocket whereas a utility jacket would need a larger, more practical pocket. A fashion jacket with huge pockets everywhere looks out of proportion and lack of creativity.


Be sure to try on your jacket as soon as you can. Does it feel good on your body?

Quality almost always means comfort when it comes to leather jackets, even fitted styles. Remember, a brand-new leather may be slightly tight and a little stiff, but it shouldn't feel constricting or cheap. If the jacket isn't comfortable or just hangs off you like a sack, it's not just you - it's a bad pattern.

Looking for the Best Leather Jackets?

The best leather jackets quickly pay for themselves. When you invest in quality, you'll find yourself reaching for your leather jacket far more often. Having the right leather jacket in your wardrobe can help you make the right impression everywhere you go.

Ready to try one for yourself? Check out our selection here.