Suede or Leather Jacket (Pros & Cons)

Suede or Leather Jacket

Let’s imagine you’re on the market for a new casual jacket, and the choice you have to make is between leather and suede: which will it be?

Gorgeous leather or elegant suede?

There are numerous justifications for grabbing a suede jacket. However, there are just as many reasons to grab up a leather jacket that fits you.

How do you decide what to buy? How do I decide whether to buy leather or suede?

That’s what this article is about.

Style

Let’s discuss style and the image that a leather jacket conveys. Let’s discuss the style that a suede jacket conveys.

I associate a leather jacket with protection, something a biker could wear, and a durable material that can withstand abuse and still look great.

On the other hand, suede is a bit enigmatic, sticks out, and is something that everyone is drawn to.

Maybe it’s the texture, or maybe it’s just the styling. That is undoubtedly one of suede’s benefits.

Durability

It’s true that suede doesn’t have the same longevity as full grain leather, but that’s only because people tend to compare it to full grain leather. When compared to the majority of other materials, suede is actually rather durable.

It’s going to be incredibly malleable because it’s made of big collagen bundles. It has an incredible amount of softness, especially after it’s been treated.

It adequately shields you from the wind and various other factors. It is true that it originates from the corium, and unless the suede has been treated, it will absorb moisture more readily than the grain.

The collagen bundles used in top grain are smaller. Because of this, it will be more tightly woven and very malleable. It will be incredibly flexible, a lot more robust, and water-resistant.

In a nutshell, a full grain leather jacket will last significantly longer than a suede jacket, all else being equal.

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A suede jacket that has been treated to be water-resistant is an excellent choice to wear, particularly if you are in a region that does not receive a significant amount of rain or other forms of moisture on a regular basis.

Uniqueness

There are many different styles of leather jackets. There are details in several of them that simply attract the attention a little bit more.

Numerous leather jackets have quite distinctive designs that are exclusive to them.

The way the jackets are fashioned and put together makes them stand out rather than the material itself.

But suede really shines when it comes to standing out from the crowd.

Camel-colored suede in the traditional bomber style is sure to draw interest.

Suede’s hidden weapon is its texture. You want to reach out and touch it. The ladies will want to touch you if you are wearing this kind of jacket.

But if you prefer something a little more subdued, pick a chocolate suede.

People will be fooled into thinking that this is just another jacket from a distance, but once they come closer, they will notice the textured pattern. It provides an entirely new dimension.

Price

There are jackets that cost a few hundred dollars, while expensive designers like Tom Ford sell leather jackets for up to $5,000.

Why the difference, you ask?

It all comes down to the material and how the jackets were put together. It has to do with the style and the target market.

A lot of the cheaper jackets, in my opinion, cut corners on the fabric, the stitching, and the hardware. For this reason, you should exercise caution when purchasing leather jackets for a few hundred bucks.

Age

Let’s talk about suede and leather as it pertains to age.

Suede is typically reserved for older guys. Leather belongs to younger men.

You can, of course, disregard this rule.

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You can wear a leather jacket if you’re over 40 or 50, in good shape, and it fits you properly.

Suede, on the other hand, is a good choice if you’re in your early 20s, want to stand out from the crowd, and appreciate the way it looks.

Suede is a fashion item, whereas leather is timeless. There are more options available, it’s more resilient, and it doesn’t need as much upkeep.

Functionality

Suede jackets actually provide excellent insulation. However, leather is going to be more appropriate if it is snowing or raining.

Additionally, leather will insulate better than other materials, will be more wind resistant, and will simply keep heat inside the body better than other materials.

If you’re going for something warmer, go for leather, especially if you’re going to be riding a motorcycle because it will prevent the wind from cutting straight through it.

Suede performs wonderfully during the spring and fall seasons.

Maintenance

Suede is going to need extra care. When it comes to spray-on water resistance, there are various options.

I wouldn’t advise adding mink oil or anything else very heavy because that could permanently alter the color of suede, especially lighter colored suede.

Always test everything you put to a suede jacket on a small patch first to see how it will make the material.

I’ll use an entire bottle of silicone spray to treat a suede jacket. I probably do this once per season.

I will take care of that suede jacket if I plan on wearing it frequently throughout the fall and I’ll be alright because I won’t be wearing it in the winter. I’ll treat it once more in the spring.

Jackets made of heavy leather are substantially more durable. They only present a problem if you live in an extremely hot and dry climate and wish to wear leather. Over time, it can start to crack.

Color Options

There aren’t a lot of options in terms of color and leather jackets. For many guys, black is the default color.

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Brown is another great choice. I do prefer brown because it comes in a variety of shades, including medium, dark, and chocolate brown.

However, black will go with many outfits where a leather jacket would be appropriate.

Considering that leather jackets are typically worn casually, simply be sure to pair them with the proper attire.

Conversely, suede typically comes in a range of colors because that’s where the manufacturers really want to set it unique.

I’ve owned green suede jackets, red suede jackets, blue suede jackets, and more.

Formality

Which of these are you able to dress up? Which one will unquestionably be reserved just for jeans?

In general, leather jackets are more casual. Something you can dress up is suede.

You could wear a suede jacket with your really nice dress shirt and dress slacks and it would look good. You could even wear a tie with this, in fact.

Not so much with leather jackets. This will primarily be for the Henley and T-shirt. Possibly a button-down shirt, b ut this will be a more casual situation. Even if you wore that leather jacket with chinos, it would be pushing it.

Suede works great with a dressier appearance.

Tailoring

If you were to get one of these clothing altered, suede will be the material that is simpler to work with.

Suede will be simpler to work with if you wanted to slim it down a bit.

You need to find a tailor that is familiar with working with leather. If they have experience with that kind of material, they probably could work with leather just as well.

However, suede requires a lighter needle than heavier leather does because of its lighter construction.

leather vs suede jacket

Author

  • Christopher

    Christopher has 9+ years of experience as a creative fashion designer who stays current with the latest trends.

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