So some time ago, I bought a vintage leather jacket by Belstaff. It’s the double rider you see in the first photo below, made from a slightly pebbled, black calfskin leather and silver metal zips. It was an awesome jacket – possibly one of the best I’ve ever come across – but sadly, I didn’t think I had the character necessary to pull it off. I’m too much of a nerdy, underweight grad student, and not enough of a tough, macho biker. To put it terms my fellow nerds might understand, imagine playing an RPG and finding a battle vest made for warrior humans, but you’ve chosen to be a magical dwarf. The game might allow you to wear the vest, but it wouldn’t confer any special properties, so carrying it around would just take up space in your inventory.
Thus, I decided to sell the piece to someone in New York, but since parting with it, I’ve begun wondering if maybe I shouldn’t try different black leather jacket. I’ve been wearing leather bombers a lot with jeans and t-shirts on weekends, and for some reason, brown just doesn’t feel right at night. For an outing to a dimly light ramen restaurant and sake bar after 10pm, where I’ve been hanging out lately, black feels much more appropriate.
I also imagine – maybe naively – that a black leather jacket is classic enough to be worn for years. After all, throughout the post-war period, two style archetypes have endured in America. The first is the grey flannel suit, navy blazer wearing type, best represented by the Northeastern WASP establishment. Then there’s the rebel in a black leather jacket and pair of well-worn jeans. It’s a look that’s been made classic by rock musicians, motorcyclists, and actors such as James Dean and Marlon Brando (and well, sometimes even aliens).
I haven’t yet decided which style to try out, but in looking around, I found this Burberry bomber and Schott cafe racer. Ralph Lauren also offers the same two styles through their Black Label line, and Brooks Brothers has a relatively very affordable piece on sale. At the moment, however, I’m mostly leaning towards this CWU-45/P flight jacket by Temple of Jawnz, a label that debuted in 2009 and has quickly become a cult favorite on StyleForum, superfuture, and Hypebeast. They’re cutting off custom orders in the next week or two, but a new ready-to-wear capsule collection – made from higher quality materials – is due to come out by the end of this year.
Of course, this could fail all over again, and given how I normally dress (OCBDs and sport coats), I could look like George-Michael Bluth at the end of this post.