A leather jacket is often an investment purchase. Therefore, you have to take a lot of factors into account, from the price to the color to the style to the fit. Are you totally confused about what size leather jacket you should get for the fall and winter season? Well, this handy dandy guide will help you navigate that conundrum and points out the nine key things you need to consider regarding leather jacket size and fit, not to mention what to think about when it come to deciding how much to spend on a leather jacket, too.
On a personal level, I sometimes buy a leather jacket, either real or faux, in a small size. I tend not to go for something roomy or a size up. I like to wear my leather jackets open and unzipped, topping 'em with a warm and fuzzy scarf.
Sometimes, my in-between D-and-DD-boobs don't fit comfortably when the jacket is zipped. But due to my curves and proportions, if I go with a bigger size, it is often too long and bulky — a conundrum, I know. So I suck it up and stick with a small size. The jacket still fits; I just don't fiddle around with the zipper.
I actually prefer the look of an open leather jacket. If it's super cold, I go with a woolen jacket option or I just add a super warm scarf. I also tend to like a leather jacket that hits at the waist, which shows both my belt and butt, and that is slightly longer in the sleeve for added hand warmth.
Here are nine things that three experts told me to ask myself when deciding what size leather jacket to buy.
1. What's The Fabric?
Black Swan Heart Washed Black Vegan Leather Moto Jacket, $99, Lulus
Is it real leather or vegan leather? Cara Fox-Galassi, a senior stylist at LuLus, said, "Real leather will stretch slightly — how much depends on the leather— so that gives you a little leeway. A vegan option usually remains the same size as when purchased." This particular jacket is a vegan leather moto version.
2. How Do You Intend On Wearing It?
What you want to wear the jacket with should factor into the sizing. "If you plan on wearing your jacket as a layering piece for fall with sweaters and thicker items, get your same size," Fox-Galassi shared. "If you are hoping to pair your leather jacket with a cute simple tee, order a size down!"
Stylist Jasmine Snow echoed that sentiment, saying, "If you plan to wear it almost everywhere and it will be a key piece in your wardrobe, as it should be, pick a size a little bit smaller; it will stretch out quickly with so much wear and start to lose its shape."
Snow also said that it's a good idea to try on a thicker shirt or sweater at the store to see how it fits with other items.
3. Do You Feel "Stuck?"
Another golden rule? Snow suggests the "stuck test." She said, "No matter how fitted the leather jacket is, you should always be able to get an idea of how it will fit when you dress for cooler temperatures. If you put your arms up above your head, without feeling 'stuck' and still have a fitted look, that is the best size for you."
4. How Do The Shoulders Fit?
Corin Lopez, Design Director of Black Swan, noted the critical importance of the fit of the shoulders. "Always look at the shoulders to get the perfect fit," she said. "High-cut armholes give a nice, tailored shape to your arms and shoulders, versus lower cut armholes that might make your jacket appear baggy, creating an unkempt look." You learn something new every day.
5. Does It Pass The Finger-Widths Test?
Another sizing test? The finger width test, which indicates how much room you have. Lopez explained, "You should have a couple finger widths of room between your body and the jacket, so you can move your arms freely."
6. The Bust
This tip had me all sorts of excited Snow said, "If you have a large bust, it’s best to look for a leather jacket that has asymmetrical zips and seams. The jackets are meant to be worn open or half-zipped, so the long collars fall and drape. The style creates a completely different look from other moto styles.
"This shape is great because you can still buy something fitted, but don’t feel like you’re stuck in something too small because of your bust size. You can do the half-zip and still have the chic look of the jacket." Preach, sista!
It's a lot of information to take in and process. But taking all of these things into consideration will ensure you find the perfect fit leather jacket that meshes both style and comfort.
Images: Courtesy Brands