Not all leathers are created equal. Here are some key principles to keep in mind if you’re shopping for a leather jacket or accessory.
The finest cowhide leathers will be supple and waxy with a rich pebbled texture. If you spring on a jacket or bag that fits this description, you’ll have a classic, lifetime purchase that says ‘I’m willing to spend some cash on beautiful things.’ A savvy lady will recognize this – and she’ll likely ask to feel your cowhide as well.
Smooth, stiffer painted leathers don’t beg for a woman’s touch in quite the same way, although they may end up looking as good after they’ve been around for 40 years or so. A safe bet, if you’re short on time, is to buy vintage. Just make sure to clean up torn linings and cuffs so you don’t look like you live in the back of your minivan.
My favourite leather at the moment is an orange-ish vegetable tan leather with just the right amount of pebble to it. This Il Bisonte meeting folder, by W.A. Di Filippo of Florence, is a perfect example. As it ages, it tans and the oils from hands darken the leather where you touch it most. Also: A belt made out of this kind of material is one of the best wardrobe investments you can make.
And finally, a warning: The kiss of death is pigskin. It’s tough to the touch, and has telltale tiny hair follicle marks throughout. Pig leather is as cheap as it gets, and even if you know nothing of leather, keep this in mind next time you’re shopping: If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.
Image courtesy of Crinity.