More leather deliberations

So...have I bored you enough with my leather deliberations?

I've discovered that buying a leather coat is a shopping adventure all its own.

Fortunately, I do not HAVE to buy one. So I won't settle for less than wonderful.

But I went back to Danier yesterday to do some more trying on, and made some interesting discoveries.

First, the red (actually, raspberry) moto that I tried on last week is still by far my favourite. I really love it on me.

And I guess, if I'm honest, the reason I went back to the store was that I was still thinknig about it.

I tried on several others, including the one that Merwoman bought (gorgeous jacket, by the way, and it comes in a beautiful green colour as well..)

But in most, the fit was off in some indefinable way - either too tight in the shoulders or too long in the arms or too something...waist not hitting in the right place, mostly. As Shannon and Sylvie have both said, it can be tough to find jackets at Danier that work for shorter body types.

This one:

had a lovely cut for me, and felt much more like something I would wear indoors. BUT...the leather has some sort of finish so it doesn't feel as soft, and it doesn't have zips at the cuffs so you can't play with them as easily. The sleeves would need shortening on me. And it's a bit bright a red for me, too - a true red vs. a soft red.

There were others as that isn't yet on the website that had a dramatic collar and fab knit panels in the arms, making it feel perfect for indoor wear...but it was only in black and the cut wasn't quite as good for me personally.

Anyway. Here's my dilemma. I really do love the moto (#1) BUT I worry it will become an expensive orphan. It feels too snug to layer under (I was fine yesterday with a light sweater beneath but I wouldn't want to put much else underneath). It feels too bulky and "outdoorsy" to layer over -- and besides, I would be ROASTING if I wore it indoors. Yesterday in the store with just a thin sweater and sleeveless top I found it extremely warm.

So it's essentially a spring/fall good weather coat for when you aren't wearing another jacket or coat over top.

And I honestly don't know if I would ever wear such a thing. I love to wear jackets as my "third piece" to add interest to an outfit. That's the whole reason to make this purchase.

So to buy a jacket that I'd always have to take on and off and that wouldn't layer over my regular jackets (i.e. the third piece) feels a bit...I don't know...risky? One of the banes of my life in summer is that I don't have (can never find) tops with enough interest to carry an outfit on their own. With a jacket that I always remove indoors, I'm stuck back in styling "summer" throughout the fall and spring!

I would love your thoughts on this. Angie already weighed in saying the red jacket looked (to her) layer-able over; Sveta weighed in and suggested it seemed more outdoor oriented, and I suspect, temperature wise, I run more like her than like Angie, or rather, we live in a much more similar climate, where a jacket like this would feel too warm as an indoor topper. Diana made the interesting point that she sometimes swaps out her jackets, carrying around the one she will wear inside and taking the leather off when she gets there; that's a neat idea but one I think would drive me personally batty.

At the end of it all...still thinking about jacket #1. Sigh.......

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Preppy Pear replied 8 years ago

    Hi! Totally not bored with leather jacket shopping - in fact, I'm quite inspired! This is a toughie - a fantastic jacket that looks great on you and at a fabulous price, but just might not fit your lifestyle. I did love the raspberry one on you, but I have to admit I liked the taupe-y one slightly more - but that might be my instinct to always get investment pieces in neutrals. But from how you've talked about your wardrobe and accent colors, the raspberry does make sense.

    In terms of the weight/temp, that is also a dilemma I think about with a leather jacket. I live in Wisconsin, and the season for an outdoor leather jacket runs short. I actually run cold, but I think I'd get warm teaching in a moto or zipping around the office in one. For my lifestyle, and it sounds like yours as well, it wouldn't get much indoor use. I'm not sure that's such a bad thing, though, if you'd still enjoy wearing it on errands, outdoor walks, etc. If you tend to run warm, would it have an extended outdoor life? I start reaching for my down coat pretty early in the fall!

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Those are excellent observations, Preppy Pear. You're right that I might wear it well into December here...starting in early October or even late September evenings. Hmmm.

    I liked the taupe jacket, too...but it's a bit tight. Not quite as good a fit. And IRL, the raspberry looked a lot better.

  • Preppy Pear replied 8 years ago

    Yeah - and just to clarify - I still loved the raspberry - just wanted to put my two cents in about neturals, in case it was the color holding you back!

  • celia replied 8 years ago

    I have been having some issues with leather jackets also and basically for the same reasons.
    I cannot think of leather jackets as an indoor jacket in our climate, everything indoors is very warm in winter and a leather jacket is usually too stiff to wear underneath winter toppers and feel comfortable.
    As an outdoor jacket it would work wonderfully in early fall/spring if my life would include more going out to public places and not to friends places because they are too structured for a night talking on the couch and watching a movie.

    I have a lined leather trench that I wear in fall and it is ok.And a black bomber jacket that I wear as a fall topper but feels very dark in spring.

    Anyhow, this is just my feelings about the subject for myself. I love to see leather jackets on others but had to admit that for my lifestyle I don't need to buy more.

  • replied 8 years ago

    Hi Suz. Have you considered a leather blazer? Just a thought.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Claire, the ones I have seen at Danier so far either did not fit, or were made of a not-soft leather (or rather, a treated leather so they were more stilff). And truthfully...I don't really want a blazer style for a leather jacket. A blazer WEIGHT, maybe, yes...but not blazer style.

    Why? Let me articulate that.

    1. I have a lot of blazer type jackets already, so it is a kind of duplication

    2. I would like my leather piece to add a bit more "edge" to my wardrobe vs. being predictable for me

    3. In general, except for amazing exceptions like Angie's white blazer type leather jacket, I tend not to LIKE leather blazers all that much!

    Thank you for helping me see that.

    Actually, I can imagine loving a sort of cropped shrunken leather blazer, if such a thing could be found. But ideally, it will not be a simple buttoned blazer style.

  • texstyle replied 8 years ago

    Suze, have you specifically searched for "non-lined" leather jackets or "light weight" leather jackets? I did a quick search and found a couple of results on Amazon and other places. But then again, if you feel in love with a certain raspberry jacket, by all means, get it and make it work if you can afford it.

    Sometimes I buy junior sizes like in my denim jacket from (I'm a reg. size 8 or Med usually). Have you looked just in case?

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    Oh poor Suz - that raspberry jacket has stolen your heart hasn't it? I do hear you about the fit issues with Danier - for me, it was primarily where the waist hit. It's almost always too low for my short torso. Don't worry as much about sleeves though - Danier shortens sleeves for $25 in total.

    I love the raspberry jacket on you even though originally I went with the taupe. I have looked and looked again and indeed the raspberry fits you better. Plus the colour is sublime with your beautiful complexion and light hair.

    When I bought my black leather jacket I purchased it knowing I was NOT going to be wearing it as an outdoor jacket - except in extremely mild weather. It was purchased to be worn in place of a fabric blazer. I think it would be difficult to choose a jacket to perform double duty for indoor and outdoor.

    I guess it comes down to what you're looking for in a leather jacket - are you looking for lighter weight to wear primarily as your third piece, or are you looking for an outdoor jacket?

  • Glory replied 8 years ago

    Leather jackets in our climate are really tough. Too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter. I too have a leather jacket which I love and have had for years. I have accepted that I can wear it seasonaly mostly spring (early) and fall (right now in fact). Once in awhile I will wear it indoors in the winter. I love the rasberry on you and it would be something that could work well for casual and your engagements. So colour and fit are good, it has the edge. It just comes down to frequency of use and whether you are ok with seasonal.

  • rae replied 8 years ago

    My gut says that if you don't like to wear that weight of jacket indoors, pass. I'd be looking at thinner lamb leathers like the one Una just got. It seems sort of a shame to me to have this great, expensive statement piece that you have to remove indoors where you spend most of your time. :T

  • rute replied 8 years ago

    I love the grey! The color is more versatile and the fit is lovely!

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    These are great thoughts. Texstyle, I loved the jackets you linked to. They are a lot more expensive than the ones at Danier, alas...and shipping/customs would add even more. But maybe I can figure out a way to find something like that. It's exactly what I really want. You are SO right.

    Okay. So now I know it exists -- just not at Danier, or not this season. So on to different retail stones!!

  • velvetychocolate replied 8 years ago

    There's a chance that this one might work as an 'indoor' leather jacket for you Suz:

    And here's another that I liked (good reviews on GAP's US site, well-made...but probably not indoor):

    I don't know if the first suede one is 'taupe' enough to fit with your new core neutrals (navy and taupe), but you could always try it out in store and see what you think.

    Good luck with this :) I'll be interested in seeing what you decide. Still *love* that raspberry Danier jacket on you. Hmm..maybe you need two? *kidding*.

  • replied 8 years ago

    Suz, only you could take my bad suggestion and make it sound like I helped you figure something out. I love that about you!

  • modgrl replied 8 years ago

    So just curious, does a lady only need one leather jacket or can two be justified? They are all so different. I feel that you could really make use of more than one.

    I have a cognac jacket that probably gets worn the most, a black leather blazer that is a golden oldie from 20 yrs ago, and a fringed leather moto that has never been worn. I am obviously saving it for my fantasy lifestyle :)

  • Gaylene replied 8 years ago

    My two cents on leather jackets. First, I have always LOVED leather jackets-- to the point where I once had one custom made to get a perfect fit with all the details that I wanted.

    But leather jackets do have some rather significant issues that you have to accept when you introduce them into your wardrobe. First, as you are finding out, you have to decide whether the jacket is outerwear or for indoors. There may be some people who can wear an outerwear jacket indoors and feel comfortable, but I am definitely NOT one of them.

    From my experience, my outerwear leather jackets function only for a couple of months out of the year--mainly in the fall. Our spring is usually too short to plan on getting much wear out of a leather jacket. I'd say, for me, the best temperature for a leather jacket is between 10C-15C. That's why an outerwear leather jacket works so well in places like Paris and the coasts, especially if you are outdoors doing a lot of walking.

    Indoor leather jackets need to be made from light-weight, garment-grade leathers. These jackets are the ones that stretch and mold to your body because the leather hide has been split to make it very thin. This type of leather is more expensive because it requires more processing and needs special care when sewing because it can tear quite easily. The leather jackets in high-end, designer wear use this type of leather; it's gorgeous, but not cheap. I'd say that most of these jackets start at $400 and then go into the stratosphere.

    If you find a "deal" on this type of indoor leather jacket, I'd be very careful to check out the seaming and construction because that is where the garment can start tearing, even under normal wear. The leather also might have been sourced from the cuttings left from a more expensive garment and may not be uniform in thickness. The cost of making an indoor leather jacket is one of the reasons they are more scarce in stores like Danier. It's also one of the reasons that designers may choose to include fabric panels as part of the design in order to maintain a certain price point.

    Don't confuse that "feels like butter" softness with the weight of the leather. That feeling is created by a manufacturing process, much like what is done to denim jeans to make them soft. One other thing to check if you are buying colored leather is to make sure that the dye will not transfer to other items. You can check this by moistening a finger and then rubbing the jacket in an inconspicuous place to see if the dye transfers to your fingers. And check the seaming; crooked seaming is usually a giveaway that the garment may have some other construction issues. It's much the same as buying a quality leather handbag.

    OK, this looks like more than two cents, but I can't imagine my wardrobe without at least one leather jacket. But a good leather jacket is an investment, so you want to make sure you are getting the right one for you.

  • Joy replied 8 years ago

    Can you buy the raspberry jacket to play with in your closet and return if it doesn't seem to be working? If not, please be strong and hold out for the perfect piece. You'll know it when you find it. It may be better to shop for this when the weather is colder so that you can get a better feel of how it will work under those conditions.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Gaylene, that is fantastic advice and information. Thank you!! I can see it is a bit like buying handbags and gloves, and so it should be, I suppose.

    You are dead right about climate. The reason Angie gets so much use out of her jackets is that she lives in a temperate place. I would only wear the raspberry jacket a few months a year. Sad...

    Rita, you made me laugh. Maybe you're right. If I can justify the price, maybe I DO need an outerwear jacket. Even if it can only be worn three months a year, that IS a quarter of a year, and let's say it lasts me for 5 years (in a style that won't date....) how does that work out in CPW? Ah, you enabler, you.

    Claire, it was not a dumb suggestion and it really helped me think through why I want to stay away from that cut.

    VC - thank you for the links! I am 100% sure that Gap jacket would be SS beige on me....I need something with no yellow tones, a greyish mushroom. Or it is beyond yuck. Alas!

    The slow search continues. I am pretty much resigned to not getting one this year, and that is okay.

    I actually like the ones with the knit panels in the arms - they feel good for indoor wear. So I can see looking for one of those.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Joy, I think you're right. Danier has a 14 day return policy but I decided I wasn't ready to play with it yet...too warm out. If it sells, it sells...I can always order it from another store and have it sent in.

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    None of my leather jackets can function as outerwear in my climate except in summer, when it's not raining. So the most recent pieces I've added have been thinner and more blazer-like in style. This may be what you need. I've never quite been able to get around the layering of a moto under a winter coat, although I love how Angie does it. I'm not a fan of layers in general, which is a problem living where I do!

    I think your first purchase in this area has to be something you absolutely adore and see using often. That will get you right on the slippery slope with me!

  • cinnamon fern replied 8 years ago

    Suz, what do you think of this one?

    They call it a blazer, although it looks like a moto - I'm guessing that means it's super light weight.

  • Kate replied 8 years ago

    Gaylene is right on the money. I love a good leather jacket, but they do have limited wearability. My best leather jacket purchase to date was a thin garment leather jacket. I can wear it indoors and can layer over it—something I cannot do with my leather moto. My moto jacket is gorgeous, but I just don't find myself pulling it out to wear a lot. Like you, Suz, my jackets are the third piece that make the outfit. If I have to take my jacket off the minute I get inside, and can't layer over it, what's the point. For those reasons, I may well consign it after this season. [Hard] lesson learned. Stick to your guns and find the leather jacket that will do for you what you need it to.

  • Kate replied 8 years ago

    I can speak to the Muubaa jacket CF posted a link to. The leather moto I will likely consign is Muubaa—the leather is beautiful as is the construction, but lightweight it's not. Here's a pic of mine.

  • Sveta replied 8 years ago

    Suz, you know I have one leather jacket I wear strictly as outdoor wear and I have plenty of times when I can wear it in our climate...but I can layer under it so it works like a trench substitute for me. But as much as I like leather I am not going to buy more jackets I cannot wear indoors: it just not a justified purchase for me.
    I would say go for it if you can wear it as a trench substitute in the fall / spring if it is too warm to wear indoors. Can you fit a thick sweather under it - it is essensial for an outerwear to vary the warmth of what you can wear under so you can use the jacket in more weather conditions - from mild when you can wear it open over a thin shirt to just above the freezing when you can wear it closed with a thick sweater or two under.
    This is my practical side speaking...
    BTW if you wait a month I am sure this jacket will go on sale - they usually do at Danier :-)

  • Sylvie replied 8 years ago

    It sounds like you are pretty set on getting a "third piece for indoor wear" leather jacket and not an outerwear leather jacket. There do exist indoor leather jackets that are less bulky than a fisherman's sweater. If you can fit a fisherman's sweater under your wool coat, you should be able to fit a leather jacket.

    I am wondering if your challenge in finding an indoor leather coat at Danier is that you're looking at the wrong time of year. Since it is autumn, they are selling heavier weight leather jackets. If you were shopping their spring/summer collection, perhaps there would be lighter weight jackets available.

    In my climate, we have 9 months where it is cool (50 degrees F) and windy but never "cold" or "hot". Therefore, I can use the jacket I bought as an outerwear piece almost year round.

    As beautiful as the raspberry jacket is, if it's too warm for you to wear it indoors over even a sleeveless tank or dress, it's probably not going to work for you. :(

    Keep looking - the right jacket will fall into your lap one day.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Thanks so much, everybody!

    I am pretty much set now on an indoor jacket, and Sylvie, I think you're right - I am shopping in the wrong season. Danier may have more of those in the spring/summer. Although looking at the outlet stuff there were not so many that appealed last season. So I may have a somewhat long wait to find just what I am after. Time will tell!

    Anyway, Una, I am looking forward to joining you on the slippery slope! Please show me any new potential purchases that cross your line of vision!

    CF, I like that jacket - are you thinking of it? When I looked at the closeups, though, I tended to concur with Kate - it looked outdoor weight to me.

    Sveta, no way I could fit a heavy sweater under the raspberry coat. The SA said it would stretch and I would eventually be able to...but at the moment? Not possible. However, she also said it NEEDED to be bought snug. And, to be honest, the size up was too big, quite clearly too big. So...It's already at a sale price, too, but if it goes down further I might still consider it, practicality aside.

    Sylvie, I think you are right. "The" jacket will show up eventually. I just need to be patient.

  • merwoman replied 8 years ago

    Hold the bus Suz! I still think you can find a jacket that will suit your indoor/outdoor needs.
    My jacket is actually this model - that comes in this jade colour as well. I plan to get so much use out of this - particularly fall and spring. It looks amazing undone (unzipped) I'll have to provide photo evidence tonight.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Oh, can't wait to see your pics, Merwoman.

    I am pretty sure I tried this one on, did not fit me well. Some of them are cut too long in the body for me. I am short-waisted....

  • April replied 8 years ago

    Suz, trying to get over the swooning induced by the phrase "raspberry moto"...


    Every leather jacket I have ever had has been outerwear for me. I merely adjust the jacket to the weather (i.e., heavier, more substantially lined leather for cooler weather, and vice versa). Instead of leather, I wear knit moto jackets when I need an indoor piece.

    Even with that restriction, I've never had a leather orphan, and so I do not hesitate when a leather jacket seems made for me.

    Have you looked at Wilson's?

  • JR replied 8 years ago

    Wow, thanks Gaylene. Such a knowledgeable post.

    Suz, of course, one of the advantages of only being able to wear it a couple of months a year is that it would take decades to get sick of it. ;o) Which still leaves you with the issue of stand-alone tops, admittedly. Although a turtleneck with a scarf or pendant seems pretty stand-alone to me. Or... okay, I'll stop.

  • Laura replied 8 years ago

    A little encouragement for you, Suz! It's really not a big deal to wear a leather moto under a coat - I find it no problem under my puffer in particular. And then indoors, I can keep the moto on or slip it off. My motos aren't particularly thin, but given that in Chicago, we have about 3 glorious days a year when leather jackets can be worn as outerwear (temps in the 50s-60s, no precipitation -- the holy grail of weather in my book!), I forced myself to learn to wear jackets as inside wear, and have never looked back. I wouldn't worry about it!

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    Hahaha! There are no more potential purchases on the horizon, as I hope I've crashed down here at the bottom of the slide and am waiting for you to join me. But I am always browsing and I have you in mind!

  • Laurinda replied 8 years ago

    This post got me thinking about my jacket wardrobe and dominant season(s).

    Depending on what I wear under it, I am comfortable in a leather jacket at temperatures between 40 and 60 F (5 to 15 C). In southern Wisconsin that would possibly work for March to May, and Sept to November, or 6 months. When it is not raining, as Una and Laura mentioned ;-).

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