Leather Restraint

RelaxedI figured this title would get your attention (giggle.) Naaahhh… get your mind out of the gutter. This post is about what causes men who do not ride a motorcycle but who are sorta curious about leather choose not to wear it. What restrains them from buying a pair of leather jeans or a vest, and pair these leather items with a good pair of boots and …

…wear the gear in public whilst going about one’s daily business?

I had a conversation with a friend who is straight, has a family, and lives in a rural area of the Northeastern United States. He has expressed some interest in leather, but has not purchased himself a pair of leather jeans. He mentioned to me the other day that he would not wear leather. I asked why.

He stated (and gave permission to quote),blufformal09

I’ve never been interested in leather in the same way that I have been interested in boots. I don’t have an intrinsic strong desire to wear leather like I do with wearing boots. I do have the obligatory leather jacket, which I do enjoy wearing, but that’s it. But (maybe through our friendship) I have become more curious about wearing leather, like a vest, or pants. No crazy harness stuff or leather underwear. That’s not me. It’s just a curiosity… like how does it feel? How would I feel wearing leather? That kind of thing.

What I learned from this confirms the general thoughts that others have shared with me — that choosing to wear leather begins with personal interest. If a guy isn’t interested, then why do it?

dressjeansFor example, I have absolutely no interest in wearing suits. I do not like how I look in them and feel confined by them. I personally think a suit is a costume of a clone. But that’s me. There are many men who actually enjoy wearing suits and are quite into the fashion. In a way, they are as “interested” in suits — design, color, style — as I am interested in leather. And likely the suit guys would say that they feel that a leather outfit (shirt, pants, boots) is a costume of another sort — and the sort of man they do not want to be associated with (as much as I do not want to be associated with a yuppie.) Me? I like to combine the two — dress leather jeans, dress shirt, leather tie. That works.

My friend went on to say,

Part of what holds me back from it is the expense of good (not made in Pakistan) leather stuff.

Now that I completely understand. Good gear made well, tailored or customized to fit, and sourced from reliable places is expensive. No doubt about that. I look at it this way, though: well-made leather gear will last a lifetime if you care for it well. You can wear it until you outgrow it, and if you keep in shape, that may never happen.

JeansIf it costs $500 for a pair of custom leather jeans, but they last (a minimum of) ten years, that’s only $50 per year. Much less than most people spend per month on their sillyphone plans. And what’s better is that you do not have to take leather garments to a drycleaners like yuppies take suits for cleaning. The cost of a bottle of leather conditioner at $10 for a multi-year supply to maintain quality leather garments is much less expensive than a drycleaning bill.

Finally, my friend stated his personal thoughts about wearing leather:

Part of what holds me back is the fact that no one wears leather around here. At all. Unless they are bikers, and it is very rare to see a biker with more than a leather jacket on. But very very few guys wear cowboy boots here. And I do every day. So it might be a fear thing: of being self-conscious more than anything else. I doubt anyone would say anything more than “nice vest” or “nice pants.” Some of the menfolk might look at me funny, but oh well.

This is the primary issue that I had always thought held men back from wearing leather garments, especially in public: “what will others say or think about me?”

Harleyharnesslug06Most men are very self-conscious about the opinion of others, especially of their peers. Those feelings are common and quite human. I have blogged about that matter a lot over the years. I can honestly say that in my younger years, I felt the same way. I was always using my motorcycle as my “excuse” to wear leather. But the more I wore the gear and the more frequently people saw me in it, fewer and fewer people said anything to the point where in the last two decades (20 years!), I wear leather jeans and perhaps a shirt & vest when I go out in public, escort my lovely old ladies grocery shopping, visit family or friends (not on the Harley), and so on — and no one says a thing.

Sure, I may get the occasional glance or odd look, but I have matured and built my self-confidence to the point where I don’t care about what other people may say or think. I continue to say, “that’s their problem, not mine.”

One more thing: there is no rule that if a guy chooses to wear leather, that he must wear “full leather” from boots to jeans to shirt to Muir Cap. A simple pair of leather jeans with a flannel shirt works. Full BLUF gear is more for the guys who are really into that stuff (especially a niche of the gay community), and is not something that everyone who is interested in leather “MUST” do.

Yes, it does take some courage to wear leather garments in public, especially if the gear is not part of your ordinary routine and you do not have a convenient “excuse” such as owning a motorcycle. But it can be done. Live it, love it, enjoy. See the links page on my website for a list of places where I have purchased quality leather garments successfully (and also what I do not recommend.)

Life is short: self-confidence is an ongoing thing. Wear leather, stand tall, and smile.mrsplainjeans

One thought on “Leather Restraint

  1. I discovered your web page quite by accident and I enjoy reading it. My partner of 15 years and I have floated in the BDSM community and really like the leather. It is comfortable and masculine. I tend to like military boots and BDU as the leather can be expensive. Over the last few months we have been discussing moving to Astoria Oregon and preparing for retirement. I plan to show your page to my partner Bill and see where it takes us.

    Thank you for posting

    Michael (email address deleted)

    [Note from BHD: Michael’s email address was deleted to protect Michael from invasive spammers that automatically troll the web for email addresses to harvest and send malicious email.]

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