Knowing how to choose a vintage leather biker jacket requires sharpening your eye by looking at a bunch of different vintage leather jackets. Determining the sizes of vintage clothing can be a pain, so you'll need to do some preliminary work before you hit the shopping road. Take a wing man, or woman, along for an honest opinion on fit and you'll end up with a better purchase than if you shop alone.
To choose a vintage leather biker jacket, you will need:
- Measuring tape
- Two mirrors
- Take your measurements. The most important part of choosing a vintage biker jacket is getting your measurements before heading out to vintage stores. A leather jacket may feel like a fit when you first try it on, but as it's worn the sleeves may crack, and in cold weather the leather may shrink. Using a tape measure on a vintage biker jacket is one way to ensure a good fit before you try it on and fall in love. It's also a good way to measure any extra leather in the sleeve that may allow a biker jacket to have some small adjustments made for a great fit.
- Practice with the two mirrors. Use the mirrors to see the back of the leather biker jacket. This is helpful when you head out to look at jackets without a shopping assistant. It's also a necessity when looking for a great-fitting vintage leather jacket. Upscale stores have loads of mirrors, but value places usually have a small mirror and the view may not be full. Two small mirrors allow for taking a look from the rear of the leather biker jacket.
- Make a list of vintage stores. Collect the addresses and opening hours of vintage stores and add any second-hand stores that feature leather clothing. Look at yard sales each weekend for real values.
- Talk to a local tailor or seamstress. If you have a regular tailor, get your measurements done by a professional. Chat with a tailor to find out what he can do with a vintage biker jacket. Sometimes a jacket may need some cotton jersey cuff material or a new lining. If you really fall in love with a jacket, it's good to know what can be done in repairs before bringing the leather biker jacket home.
- Go shopping. Head out and look for jackets. Don't settle on something that doesn't call to you.
- Look for quality in a vintage biker jacket. Not all vintage leather biker jackets are created equal. Look for important value elements, including quality leather that has had decent treatment, interesting details, even tanning, solid wear at the right spots and provides a good fit. Be cautious about fake vintage leather offerings. The biker jacket should have honest wear when you put it on. Lean on a table and see if the wear patterns line up with where the table hits the lower arm. Do the same for the pockets and back of the jacket. If the wear doesn't match up, you have a forgery made by throwing a newer leather jacket into a dryer with tennis shoes or treated with chemicals to add wear designs. You want to look solid, not like a fake biker with a fake jacket.
- Narrow the field. Unless you find the perfect fit and perfect jacket, keep shopping. Ask about holding possibilities or putting down a deposit for a contender. Don't settle. A vintage biker jacket is a major investment, even at a second-hand store, so make sure the jacket matches your needs.