Understanding Men's Clothing

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Dressing Up One Side And Down The Other: Leather Jackets 3 Ways

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Men's fashion hasn't changed much in the last century or two. Three-piece suits with muted colors and various neckties have been the standard for longer than living memory (with a few regrettable footnotes). While women's fashion changes almost daily, offering them a myriad of options in colors and styles, men are stuck with the same few limited options. The one thing that has entered the scene as a readily available item of men's clothing that allows some variation is the leather jacket. Fortunately for you, leather jackets are versatile, durable, and an instant classic. Here are three great ways to dress them up or down.

1. Edgy Edgar

On days outside the board room, maybe for a date or casual event, men often find themselves with one of two options: sweat pants, or re-wearing their work clothes. Modern choices in casual attire offer today's gentleman the opportunity to play with an edgier look. Take your favorite leather jacket and pair it with your favorite jeans. You can go for "The Fonz" by selecting a straight-legged jean without destruction, or you can wear the ones with the just-right rips and holes and a bit of flare in the leg. A white t-shirt is a classic partner to a leather jacket, and finishing the look with either an Elvis or Sons of Anarchy inspired hairdo will take it to the next level.

2. Practical Peter

One of the best features of a leather jacket is its functionality. The stuff it's made of is the same stuff that keeps cows from freezing to death as they live outside all winter. If you own a leather jacket, it's likely become your go-to winter coat for cold weather errand running. Keep warm and stay looking cool by wearing a coordinating boot (black jacket = black boots) and a hat. Since your jacket is likely to be zipped up, you don't need to give too much thought to the shirt you wear, but for added warmth make it long-sleeved. If you're going to be out for longer than a few minutes, consider putting some thermal long-johns on under those destructed jeans, and if your jacket isn't water resistant, make sure not to get it wet.

3. Dressed-Up Donny

As ZZ Top has taught us, everyone is crazy about a sharp-dressed man. Leather jackets are a fantastic way of adding some attitude to your business-casual wardrobe or giving an edge to your business-formal attire. All you need to do is coordinate your jacket and your pants, and don't forget to wear your best button-down shirt and cuff links. If you're going to a formal event, it is still necessary to wear your sport coat or suit jacket under your leather, but for less formal settings it's appropriate to pair your leather with a simple vest. For a hipster-inspired look, include a pocket square that goes with your suit lining and a pocket watch. Details make the man, and it never hurts to look exceptionally well put-together.

There are hundreds more ways to use your leather jacket to attract all the right kinds of attention. The basics are pretty simple to learn, though. Make sure your jacket matches something else in your outfit (like your shoes, the pinstripe in your pants, or your suit lining), make sure it fits well and is in good repair, and don't go overboard with the fringe. You're not Buffalo Bill after all. These simple guidelines will keep you looking dapper for all your comings and goings for years to come, and hopefully you can put some of these tips to good use!

Check out retailers like Riflessi to find a suitable leather jacket.