Without a doubt one of my favourite style bloggers out there is Tanner Guzy of Masculine Style.
What makes Tanner’s website so great is that he actually looks at the underlying philosophy behind men’s style, which is something not a lot of other men’s style sites do. As a result, Tanner’s website is an excellent mix of men’s style history, philosophy, basic how-to’s and so much more.
Right now, one of my favourite series of articles on Tanner’s site is his ongoing Rugged, Refined, and Rakish series.
For those of you who don’t know, these series of posts are an excellent introduction on how to dress for your personality type. In fact, I find myself continually referring back to them over and over again in order to reinforce good habits.
It’s in thinking about Tanner’s Rugged, Refined, and Rakish philosophy that I got the inspiration for the topic of this post: leather jackets based on your personality type.
After writing the post I started thinking more about the jackets and how they might work based on three masculine aesthetics (i.e. rugged, refined, rakish) outlined by Tanner.
The result is an article on my take on how to use three classic leather jackets (The Bomber, The Moto, and The Double Rider) in order to cultivate each of the three different masculine aesthetics (Rugged, Rakish, and Refined) as defined by Tanner.
Let’s dive in.
Rugged – The Bomber Jacket
For some men the rugged aesthetic is most in line with their personality. If you consider yourself to be in this category, then I highly recommend you invest in a good quality leather bomber jacket.
Leather bomber jackets, by their very history, epitomize the ideal of rugged masculinity. After all, these are the jackets that were worn by fighter pilots in World War II. I don’t think you can get any more rugged than that!
What makes these jackets unique are the ribbed cuffs and waistband. Most of them will also come with a large, fur-lined collar. While you can certainly pair a bomber jacket with more refined or rakish pieces, in my opinion, the bomber’s history and design make it a jacket that is more suitable for a blue collar aesthetic.
In the example above, I’ve paired a leather bomber jacket with a basic white button up dress shirt with the addition of traditional work wear pieces such as a grey cable knit sweater, dark wash denim jeans, and a pair leather work boots. This look is perfect for guys with blue collar jobs and who find themselves more often at sports bars and pubs rather than upscale lounges and restaurants.
Refined – The Moto Jacket
In my opinion, the moto jacket (aka the café racer) is the best leather jacket for putting together a more refined or polished look. That’s because a typical moto jacket is very basic in design. In other words, you won’t see any extra pockets, epaulets, or zippers on the moto – just a sleek leather jacket in a slim cut. This makes the moto jacket perfect for pairing with other, more refined garments such as waistcoats, wool trousers, button up shirts, ties etc. For guys who considered their personality to be more aligned with the refined look, I highly recommend that they invest in a quality leather moto jacket.
In the example above, I’ve paired a classic leather moto jacket with a basic white button up dress shirt, a moss green wool tie (perfect for the fall), standard grey wool trousers, and a pair of dark brown oxford wing tips. In other words, I’ve essentially substituted a standard suit jacket for the moto – a great twist on your traditional suit. It’s also a simple and polished outfit that easily transitions from a day at the office to a night on the town.
Rakish – The Double Rider
In my opinion, the double rider is the perfect jacket for a man who feels his personality more in line with the rebel or the rake. After all, the double rider is the jacket that was made infamous by rakes such as Marlon Brando and James Dean back in the 1950’s. Needless to say, the double rider requires some confidence to pull off lest you want to make yourself look like a caricature.
What makes the double rider so distinctive is its asymmetrical zipper. However, you’ll also notice that the jacket has large collars, epaulets, and several zippered pockets, making the double rider very conspicuous to say the least. While I have seen some men pair it with conservative pieces like a button up shirt and tie, the double rider is best paired with basic staples like t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers/boots in my opinion. In other words, let the jacket speak for itself.
In the example above, I’ve paired the double rider with the same dark wash denim jeans and boots from the rugged example, but with the addition of a basic grey v-neck t-shirt, a pair of aviators, and simple wristwatch. This is the perfect outfit for guys who could care less about the corporate grind. It’s also a great outfit for hitting up a local dive bar at night to listen to your favourite band play.
Quality leather jackets are investment pieces that you can wear for years to come. As such, it’s important that you consider some additional factors besides price and quality before making your decision. In this case, I think it’s important that you consider your personality type and the type of aesthetic you want to cultivate before making your decision. Not all leather jackets are created equal. Some will be more amenable to your personality type than others and there’s no use in buying a jacket you’re never going to wear. So use the information in this article as a starting point in your research before forking over your hard earned cash on another garment that will hardly see the light of day.
Until next time,
Here’s to looking sharp!