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A Practical Guide To Thrifting Leather Jackets

It’s no secret that leather jackets are a wardrobe staple for both men and women. Traditional military uniforms inspire this trendsetting piece of clothing.  In the early 1900s, German fighter pilots used brown leather jackets in the First World War. During World War II, it evolved into the iconic “bomber jacket.” 

Almost any outfit can benefit from a leather jacket’s added cool factor. It’s a fantastic addition to any capsule collection and, if treated well, can endure forever. However, there are hundreds of choices, so how do you choose from a thrift store’s vast array of options? 

That said, we’ve compiled this valuable information to guide you when thrifting leather jackets to complete your fashion ensemble at a fraction of the cost. 

Different Types of Leather Jackets 

Quality leather is the foundation of any good leather jacket. Leather can be made from a variety of animal skins, including but not limited to lambskin, calfskin, goatskin, cowhide, and deerskin. Here are five different types of leather commonly used in clothing. 

Full-Grain Leather 

The durability of leather products can be directly correlated to the percentage of full-grain leather used. It’s slightly resistant to moisture because it comes from the layer of the animal’s skin right below the hair. Full-grain leather jackets are the most expensive option, but they last the longest and look great as they age because of the patina they create. 

Top-Grain Leather

It is a type of full-grain leather in which the outermost layer of skin has been removed, reducing the leather’s resilience in exchange for a smoother appearance.  Top-grain leather jackets are more uniform in appearance, cost less than full-grain leather jackets, and are typically treated with a protective coating.


Shearling is a textile created from the skin and wool of a sheep or lamb that is ideal for lining leather jackets due to its warmth and ability to wick away moisture. If you live in a colder climate and want to use your jacket in the winter, a shearling-lined leather jacket is a good option.


It is a soft leather that is created by using the animal’s natural undercoat. Although lambskin is the most common source of suede, other animals, such as goats, pigs, calves, and even deer, can also be used. According to the expert staff from thrift stores in Destin, FL, suede is flimsier, less durable, and more delicate compared to traditional full-grain leather. 

Faux Leather 

It is a synthetic material designed to look and feel like genuine leather. Although it lacks the softness and durability of genuine leather, faux leather is cruelty-free and far more affordable.

Factors To Consider When Thrifting Leather Jackets 

It’s easy to get lost in all the information out there, so to help you out, here are a few simple pointers to help you make informed purchasing decisions.

  1. Leather Type

As previously discussed, numerous leather varieties have their own benefits and drawbacks. Before beginning your search, it’s crucial to settle on the specific sort of leather you’re interested in.

  1. Fit and Size

When searching for a secondhand leather jacket, size and fit are two of the most crucial considerations. Finding a well-fitting jacket is essential, as wearing one that doesn’t work for your body type can be unpleasant and unattractive. 

  1. Condition

When searching for a vintage leather jacket in thrift stores, keeping the jacket’s condition in mind is crucial. When evaluating a vintage leather jacket, examine for evidence of wear, such as holes, tears, or fraying.

  1. Style

There is a wide range of options when it comes to leather jackets, from the traditional leather bomber to the cutting-edge moto jacket. It’s crucial to have a fashion goal first to choose the perfect preloved leather jacket.

  1. Price

The price is a significant factor when looking for a vintage leather jacket. Since the price of a leather jacket can vary widely, from several hundred to several thousand dollars, it’s vital to establish a spending limit before shopping. 

  1. Proper Care

Finding the perfect secondhand leather jacket is the easy part; knowing how to maintain it is another matter. To keep a leather jacket in pristine condition, you must take extra measures by following the jacket’s care instructions.

  1. Brand

When searching for a secondhand leather jacket, it is also important to consider the manufacturer. Brands like Belstaff, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Schott NYC, etc. make some of the most sought-after leather outerwear. Find jackets made by the brand you’re interested in if you have one in mind. 

Key Takeaway 

Besides being a timeless classic, a vintage leather jacket is also distinctive and absolutely gorgeous. Therefore, investing in one through thrifting is a terrific way to save money without sacrificing quality or style. That said, consider the information mentioned in this guide to help you make informed purchasing decisions. 

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