Rules for Wearing Leather

This is the second of a series on “The Rules.” Recently, people have been using internet search engines by entering questions like, “how to do I wear leather?” or “should I wear leather in public” or “what leather do men wear in public” or just “leather in public.” I sense that there remain a number of people who want to, but may not have the courage, to wear something more than a leather jacket in public. Leather jeans, boots, shirt, and vest all look great, but cause some people to ask questions.

Here is my “take” on the “rules” for weather leather in public. These are my personal opinions, but based on experience. I wear leather a lot and not just at home.

Rules for wearing leather in public

1. Wear leather gear (jeans, shirt, jacket, boots) that fit you well. If the leather is baggy, saggy, or too tight (showing that it is being stretched or is being pulled), then it looks bad — just as bad as a poorly-fitting suit, shirt, or cloth pants.

2. Probably for your first forays into wearing leather in public, temper your choices and avoid going out as the compleat “Old Guard Leatherman.” For example, choose a pair of black leather jeans with a t-shirt or denim shirt, and a nice but subdued pair of black boots. Or, wear a leather shirt with a pair of bluejeans and boots. You may choose to wear a leather jacket if the weather requires it. While there are times that I have worn complete leather (shirt, vest, pants, boots, jacket, and Muir Cap) in public, I do not do that as often as this blog’s history may imply. Sure, I wear leather a lot, but I mix it up with complementary denim clothing (or often a dark flannel shirt.)

3. The “stop obsessing” rule applies here as well. If you are very worried about what someone else may say, then you need to work on building self-confidence.

Be ready if someone may say something when they observe you in leather gear:

Your primary response should be non-verbal.

  • Smile!
  • Stand up straight
  • Give a clear indication that you are pleased to be wearing leather.
  • Consider saying something like one of these comments:
    • Like the jeans? I think they’re cool!
    • My wife (or partner) gave this (pointing to the leather item) to me for my birthday. Doesn’t s/he have great taste?
    • I like how this vest looks with this shirt!
    • I haven’t been more comfortable in my life in a pair of jeans.
    • I thought these leather pants were stylish. They look great, and feel even better!
    • Thanks for noticing! Isn’t it (pointing to the leather garment you have on) nice looking?
    • Grrrr… those hoodlums might run in fear now when they see me (giving an evil grimace, of course, all in jest).
    • Just wait until you see the Harley I’ve picked out at the dealership!

    Life is short: wear your leather proudly!