The History and Evolution of the Classic Leather Jacket

The History and Evolution of the Classic Leather Jacket

Every wardrobe should have the staples you need to coordinate with other pieces to create an overall presentable look. Leather jackets rank high on the list as they are the perfect ingredient to spice up your outfit. Whether planning a night out with your friends, a casual get-together, or maybe a movie date with your girlfriend, leather jackets go well with the occasion.

This fashion apparel has been in the headlines for all the right reasons. Its versatile look and amazing feel make it everyone’s first choice. Its versatile look and amazing feel make it everyone’s first choice. Take a look at any fashion influencer’s wardrobe, and you’ll definitely find at least two jackets. Any fall look is incomplete without a classic black leather jacket. Because of its capability to revamp any casual outfit, it is widely used in many countries.

Leather jackets are a must-have and are endorsed by almost every fashion designer and influencer. It’s a timeless piece of clothing that is worn by almost everyone. From models on the runway to any common person, you see people carry it effortlessly.

A classic black jacket is the most common and usually preferred, but there are many more types. The types include biker jackets, racer jackets, flight jackets, bomber jackets, and many others.

The Interesting History of Leather Jackets

The history of these jackets is vast and takes you back to a time when the fashion industry was not even developed. This stunning garment has been a classic and is evergreen. Let’s get to the flashback to relive the journey of this classic apparel.

Emergence From Military – 1900s

 Most of the outfits we wear are the modern version of something that started way back. Many historians say that genuine leather jackets are the improvised version of what the military used to wear.

If we go back in time, the garment has been used as military wear in many famous wars. In World War I, it was used as the official uniform of German pilots because of its unusual abilities. To save the pilots from frequent and sudden temperature shifts in the aircraft, these garments have been used. It served the purpose well.

The pilots were rocking that leather uniform, which was at that time mostly brown in color. The color gave it a unique look apart from its functionality. The silhouette used to be of the bomber kind, which is almost nothing compared to what we wear now. However, it was widely used as a uniform for pilots and was highly acceptable.

By World War II, the pilots of the American and British militaries had already started to use it too. The popularity of the silhouette increased, and we saw the improvised version of the bomber, which was pretty close to what we see people wearing today. It finally started to be called a bomber jacket.

The Vintage Look: 1920s

After military usage in the 1900s, the apparel seemed to have made its way to the general public. In the early 20s, it started to appear in the fashion industry.

In 1928, the jacket was used as a fashion garment, and you could see many famous celebrities rocking it. It all started when designer Irvin Schott designed a fashion garment that was a new look to the previous bomber jacket. The design of that silhouette was much closer to the biker’s jacket, and hence it made its way to the list of the first motorcycle jackets.

Amidst its popularity, it was named “The Perfecto Jacket” by Irvin Schott. It was named after his favorite cigar company. Many jackets evolved from that perfecto jacket, like the cyberpunk samurai jacket.

The previous version of the garment had buttons, but Irvin surely gave it a new soul by adding a zipper to the front. It was surely a daring move that resulted in the evolution of this garment of the century.

Adaptation by Hollywood Actors, 1950s–60s

After the creation of this new fashion wear by Irvin, people started to dazzle at it as a fashion garment. It started gaining popularity and became one of the must-have looks of the decade. People wore it on a day-to-day basis and eventually made it a chic daily wear.

The popularity skyrocketed in the early 50s when you could see Hollywood stars wearing it.

Its first appearance on screen was by famous Hollywood actor Marlon Brando in The Wild One. Brando, his character, was a gangster whose style was sexy and bold. The jacket became the perfect fit for the actor as it truly depicted the character’s personality and sense of style.

Soon after that, James Dean styled it in “Rebel Without a Cause,” which became the reason for the garment making headlines. Hollywood played an important role in the success of this masterpiece apparel.

Soon, you could see people starting to adopt the style and wear it almost everywhere. The masses started to wear it more often, and it was considered bad boy wear. The reason was the appearance of Hollywood in a bad boy character wearing it. It’s fair to say that by that time, it had become the new bad-boy garment.

The Rock and Roll – 1970-80s

In the 1970s, different types of jackets started gaining popularity, like pelle pelle jackets. It was designed and launched by a renowned brand, Marc Buchanan.

After the Hollywood stars, the musicians took charge and became the reason for the new fashion statement. Till the 1960s, the style was worn mainly by men, but the rock and roll era made the garment get into the wardrobes of females.

After that, the female singers of the band wore it on stage and made it their primary or go-to option for the stage. The female singers rocked the look and proved that the garment has the look of rock and roll.

The Modern Take: 21st Century

Leather jackets, which were introduced in the 20s, are almost exactly the same now. The look and cuts are still loved and admired by many people. Celebrities and social media influencers have been rocking this apparel on and off the screen.

The idea is now more inclined toward the vegan side, and people are trying to switch to more vegan options. However, the essence of the jacket is carried away with that too, as the design is loved and praised by high-end designers and influencers.

The trend is very much acclaimed, and people pick it up in their daily style. It has become a must-have kind of apparel for anyone active in fashion.

Wrap Up

We surely know that leather jackets are going nowhere because of their chic look and raw feel. It is making its comeback through Instagram influencers, runways, and many other big designer labels. Leather jackets have evolved a lot throughout the years, but they still give the same look that is more put-together and stylish.

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