Let's talk about jackets: How to find your signature style
Everybody needs that one great jacket. Their go to get-up. The cloth on their back that sees them through the good and bad. But it can be difficult to know what type of jacket to buy to complement a wardrobe. The key is finding a jacket that suits your unique individual style, but will last longer than one season. A bit like looking for a unicorn. But alas, help is at hand. Here’s the ins and outs of different jacket styles to help you find your outwear match made in heaven.
The edgy biker jacket
The uniform of iconic Hollywood punks and pilots (think Marlon Brando, Danny Zuko, even Mel Gibson), the biker style jacket is the versatile classic everyone needs in their life. Edgy yet casual. Effortlessly stylish without even trying. It is the jacket to make any outfit have a rebellious touch, available in more variations than you can imagine.
Classic black is the safest option, but your leather jacket can come in any colour of the rainbow that your heart so desires – burgundy, green, blue, mustard, hot pink. Add into the mix all the different ways it can styled – buttoned, zipped, open or belted – then you’ll find a gazillion options to personalise this classic look. Whatever your style.
Your leather jacket will probably outlive your longest relationship, so you need to make sure that you invest in one that is made to last. With leather jackets, you get what you pay for – it’s as simple as that. Flimsy ‘pleather’ jackets made from synthetic fibres covered with PVC are not only bad for the environment, but they are also not porous. In other words, they don’t let your body breath, so you’re going to sweat more. Lovely.
A higher quality jacket will not only allow your body to breath (so you’re not going to be a walking sauna), but will also last longer. For the highest quality, go for the ‘full grain’ leather jackets. These bad boys will use the best quality hides that will stand the test of time. A bit like wearing in a good pair of shoes, leather jackets should be stiff to begin with, only getting better with age as they mould to fit your unique shape. Riding a motorbike is optional.
For those of us unkeen on purchasing a classic biker jacket in animal leather, a great alternative is a waxed cotton option – still giving you that edgy look but without using animal hides.
Rock the Top Gun bomber jacket
Originally created for pilots, the bomber jacket became the assembly of on-screen action stars with the help of action heroes like Steve McQueen, Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford. The perfect staple for both casual attire and when you want to look a little more dapper, a bomber jacket can go with almost any outfit.
Bulky cousin to the biker jacket, bombers are zipped at the front and fitted at the waist, and give any outfit a classic but edgy look. Traditionally made of leather with a soft lining for warmth, bomber jackets are now crafted in different materials including suede, nylon and wool. Often treated synonymously, flight or aviation jackets are just bomber jackets in disguise, designed with a sheepskin collar and lining which makes them snug and stylish.
These types of jackets are both statement pieces and investments. Worn correctly, they can upgrade any outfit. A top quality, good-fitting bomber jacket will stay by your side (or on your back) for years. With this type of jacket, it’s all about the shape. As the bomber jacket has more of a padded shape than a biker, it’s vital to make sure that the shoulders fit properly. Otherwise, you’ll end up with fabric slumps because it doesn’t sit on your frame correctly. And no one wants fabric slumps.
Instant rustic charm with a field bomber jacket
The rural version of the bomber jacket, a field bomber jacket is the perfect outerwear staple to defend you against the elements. Brands like Barbour have iconicalised this style of heritage clothing, turning the countryside stroll into a catwalk. The perfect addition to your wardrobe, a good field bomber jacket will transform any standard jeans and T-shirt combo into something more rustically chic.
Usually longer than biker and bomber jackets, these tailored but tough jackets are designed to keep you warmer and weather-protected. With added practical details like multiple front pockets and a waist belt, they give you a functional yet stylish look, rocking the farmer turned model look.
Because they are designed to keep you warm and dry when outside, it’s vital you look for jackets made out of waterproof material like waxed cotton. An inside lining to guarantee you’ll stay toasty warm in the winter weather is a good shout, though not essential. The downside of all this stylish practicality is that the field bomber can be slightly heavier than other shorter, lighter jackets, but will keep you warm and dry where other jackets fall short.
The oh-so elegant fur jacket
A staple that is not only quintessentially sophisticated but also extremely cosy, a fur jacket is a way to bring a bit of illustrious style back into your wardrobe. Immortalised by European royalty for whom fur was a symbol of wealth and prestige for centuries, for decades fur jackets have decked the shoulders of models and celebrities as the en mode premium apparel.
However, sporting pelts are less popular than they were 200 years ago, and many companies today sell faux-fur as ‘ethical’ alternatives. But faux-fur is not all daisies and roses – it has a dark side. Yes, no animals were involved, but faux-fur has significant environmental impacts that the fashion industry skirts over. Made from synthetic materials, every time a faux-fur jacket is washed microfibres end up in our oceans, becoming an unnatural plastic snack for our sea life. Yum.
Rather than buying into the ever changing trends of fast fashion that s polluting our oceans, invest in a timeless piece that is made to last. Buying a fur jacket made from shearling wool is a more ethical alternative, as well as investing in a high quality jacket that will last. ‘Shearling’ refers to tanned wool sheared from a sheep that has only been sheared once before. A shearling is lightweight and extremely comfortable, made from high quality wool that will give you the luxury of a fur jacket whilst keeping you snug as a bug.
The royally-favoured quilted jacket
In Britain, there’s a long-standing tradition of quilting literally almost anything, but the quilted jacket as we know it today was just invented in 1965 by Mr. Guylas of Husky Ltd. This thermal outerwear was popularised by the British Royal family, and has now become an infamous ‘british’ vintage look.
Working as both a raincoat and a wind jacket that is practical, light and cosy, the quilted jacket rivals the field bomber jacket for the title of functionality meets timeless style. Traditionally made in blues and deep greens, you can now sport a quilted jacket in an infinity of weird and wonderful colours. For British made quilted jackets, Lavenham Jackets is your best bet. With both polyamide models and a vintage collection that uses wool, tweed and cord, you can easily find a jacket to fit your purse.
Advocates of premium apparel
When buying a jacket, you need to put your money where your mouth is. If you want a jacket that suits your style, fits like a dream and will see you through to the end of days, then investing in top quality is the key. There’s no cutting corners with finding the jacket.
Timeless classics with contemporary twists, heritage clothing made from top-notch materials, here at Archie Foal we don’t mess around. We work hard so that the majority of our clothing is made with the best of British materials, favouring clothing that last over fashion that falls apart after a season. Crafted from the good stuff, designed in iconic styles that never go out of fashion, our jackets are where luxury meets durability.
From waxed cotton jackets to luxury shearling coats, our jackets merge traditional countryside with lustrous urban style. Shop the collection today to find your perfect jacket.