Value. We all interpret the word in so many ways, and the surprising part is, none of us are wrong. We assign value to what makes us feel happier. But what if you looked at value the wrong way all along?
I used to think that if I found cheap leather jackets, I would take the first one I saw. They look identical to other designer leather jackets, feel the same, and cost less, right? WRONG!
Leather jackets today come in all types of material other than genuine leather that provides affordability, but does the price match what you’re getting?
In my search, I’ve scoured across close to a hundred designer shops, outlets, and department stores to find the answer. I’ve found that, overall, genuine leather jackets provide the best value in terms of fit and cut, durability, and cost over cheap leather jackets. There are a few faux, or non-leather, jackets that, if picked out correctly, can also provide decent value. Here are the top 3 categories I measured on whether cheap leather jackets are really worth the price.
1. Fit & Cut
For about 80 – 90% of the time, genuine leather jackets far surpass faux leather jackets in just how they’re constructed. Genuine leather is more expensive, and with that you’ll often see more brand names in this space that pay attention to the fit and cut of a real leather jacket. Cheap leather jackets will often be made up of non-genuine leather and have brand names that aren’t well-known, which means the company may be more focused on spitting out jackets than spending time and money on fitting a human being.
A quick dive into Burlington Coat Factory had me try on a faux leather jacket. I had no better comparison so it felt decent and had a cool style to it. My entire mindset changed when I tried on a real leather jacket at Coach. The style, the fit, the look – it had everything without needing to think twice on whether the price was worth it. When you want to look your best, fit and cut matters, and I’ve found that price pays well for this.
Genuine leather jackets aren’t without their flaws, which is why I left room for error when I mentioned they surpass faux leather jackets about 80 – 90% of the time. I did run into a few duds for form and fit, where even some (but very few) designer leather jackets felt off relative to a cheap leather jacket.
This goes to show that in general, you need to base your standards on the right brand for your body type similar to any shirt or pair of jeans you buy at particular stores that fit you best. I just have an easier and much faster time choosing and fitting in more expensive leather jackets because the brand gives me high quality trust on form and fit which saves me time from having to try ungodly amounts of jackets at department stores.
Genuine leather is made from animal skin, most notably cowhide, which is a natural byproduct used to create your leather jacket. Synthetically-made leather such as PU or PVC faux leather is derived from man-made materials (this is also where you may hear the term “vegan leather jacket” being used).
In short, genuine leather jackets are meant to last years ahead of artificial leather due to their natural material and stronger durability. As of now I may argue on this one, as I have both a genuine leather jacket and vegan leather jacket that are both pretty durable, so I will make another post if I start seeing any changes.
While it isn’t to say that your faux leather jacket will crumble to dust as soon as you put it on, it’s important to also consider the long-term value of the material. Given that both types of material are pretty durable, through research I’ve found that genuine leather can last 10 to 20 years or longer, while faux leather gives the jacket a few years of use.
If you’re someone who prefers to hold on to things (and I don’t mean a hoarder), a genuine leather jacket might suit you. If you don’t mind switching out your wardrobe (promise me you won’t continue to wear a ripped leather jacket) every so often, then a faux leather jacket might suit you.
Who knew that cost would be factor between the night and day differences of leather jackets? Yes, genuine leather jackets are more expensive due to their material and the process by which they are created vs. a typical PU or PVC leather jacket.
Some leather jackets can span upwards of $40,000, while others are lower. Vegan leather jackets are the cheaper alternative, spanning around the low $40 – $200 range.
If you’ve read my story, you’ll know that there becomes a blurry line between the cost of vegan leather jackets and genuine leather jackets. At that point, I would pay the extra $100 – $200 to grab myself a real leather jacket and wait until my next birthday to solicit relatives for money to make up for the amount.
The Choice is Yours
As a recap, we assign value to those things that make us happy. In this case, cheap leather jackets can make someone happy, just as brownies make me happy.
Just remember that you should consider factors such as fit and cut, durability, and long-term value when deciding on the next best thing to wear.
I prefer real leather, especially designer leather jackets but there are some good faux leather choices (if picked out correctly).
Ultimately, the choice is yours.
What’s your experience with cheap leather jackets? Leave a comment below!