The best gear from the people that know
Wearing leather is daring to be different to be bold and to stand out, rebellious, mysterious, masculine and sexy. There really is nothing better on a guy than leather!
The most important thing to remember as a leather man is that YOU wear the leather, it does not wear you. With this in mind, it is essential that you find your own personal leather style rather than simply copying what you see others wearing, especially as leather is expensive, it’s important to take your time and get it right.
So as a leather man there is a wide range of gear available and a lot of choice from jackets to boots, jeans and shirts, harnesses and jocks, there is something that will suit your own personal leather style.
Jackets and boots
A jacket and a good pair of boots is the route into leather for many men – indeed, you might already own a leather jacket as this is something of a wardrobe staple. However, if you don’t, then a jacket is as good a place as any to start.
Leather jackets come in a whole range of styles, the most iconic of which being the “Brando” jacket, so called after the actor Marlon Brando who wore one in the classic film “The Wild One”. Other notable styles include the café racer, classic Harrington, and bomber jacket as well as many other styles that are readily available on the High Street.
Boots come in a wide range of styles and again there is no right or wrong pair to own. It is down to personal preference and budget. You will hear people talking about Wescos, Sendras, Chippewa and others but be aware that some of these brands are very expensive.
We’ve put together a short guide on jackets and boots – just click on the images below for more.
Complete your look
Leather gloves are readily available and a favourite item amongst leather men – especially the unlined short Police style gloves designed to be worn tight. Leather gloves can really make a leather outfit complete.
Leather jeans are available in a range of styles and fits according to personal preference. Whether you want tight, 501-style jeans or biker leathers, you’ll find something that’s right for you.
There are many other items available ranging from chaps to waistcoats, t-shirts, shirts and underwear and a whole host of accessories such as belts, wrist and arm bands and more. Speciality items such as Muir Caps and Same Browne belts are often worn by leather men who opt for the full leather / uniform / BLUF / Tom of Finland look.
For more leathery inspiration, take a look at the gallery of Manchester Leathermen. It’s interpreted differently by every single person. Wear full leather, leather under a shirt and tie or abandon the ‘Tom of Finland’ look altogether. It’s your choice as a leatherman.
Where to buy your gear
Leather gear can be bought from a number of retailers both online and in store. Sadly, there are very few leather shops left in town centres and shopping centres. There are a number of specialist fetish stores both here in the UK and overseas offering a wide range of leather gear.
eBay is a great place to start, but remember to look at reviews and feedback before committing to buy. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller questions before you part with your cash. When ordering made to measure items, remember to take accurate measurements and where possible get someone to help you with this. Bear in mind that some items (for example, kilts) are worn differently to trousers so the measurements would differ.
Vintage or second hand pieces can be picked up at bargain prices online or in charity/thrift or vintage stores and these items can be tailored or altered if necessary to give them a new lease of life.
BLUF.com has put together a comprehensive directory of leather retailers around the world. MLM does not endorse any particular retailer.
Remember to spend time considering what gear you want and find the gear that suits you. Most leather items are made from cowhide, which is quite thick and hardwearing. However, goatskin and lambskin items are also available. These are softer and the leather is thinner and more supple. Choose leather that fits your lifestyle and enjoy wearing it. Be yourself and be proud to be a leatherman!
Caring for your gear
Brand new leather requires wearing to allow it to soften and mould itself to your body shape. The more its worn the better it fits and some leather men even advocate sleeping in new leather gear! Leather is hardwearing and should if looked after last you a lifetime. There are, however, a few very important things to remember:
- Allow wet leather to dry naturally, away from direct heat.
- Always use a good quality, well-shaped hanger, and when not in use keep leathers in a fabric cover – never a plastic cover.
- Wipe stains with a damp cloth to clean them. In the case of heavy soiling, seek professional advice from a reputable dry cleaner.
There are a large number of leather cleaning wipes, oils, creams and other leather treatments on the market, which can be used to clean, condition and polish leather items. These will often prolong the life of an item, rejuvenate old dry leather or add sheen. Different people use different products and this is very much a case of personal preference.
Minor scuffs and tears can be repaired. A tailor will be able to advise on this and any other alterations, such as replacing zips, shortening, and general tailoring.