The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Caring for Lambskin Leather Jackets

There’s just something about leather jackets that exudes cool confidence and timeless style. And when it comes to leather, it’s hard to beat the soft supple feel of lambskin. Lambskin leather jackets have a luxurious drape and flow that caresses your body in comfort. Pair that with the edgy attitude of a zip-up biker jacket, and you have a combination that is eternally chic.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about choosing and caring for lambskin leather jackets with zippers. You’ll discover the top 5 lambskin leather jackets that are setting trends right now. We’ll break down exactly what to look for when selecting the best lambskin for your needs, from the type of leather to hardware and fit. You’ll also get insider tips on protecting your investment with proper storage and cleaning methods.

So whether you’re investing in your first timeless lambskin biker jacket, or looking to add a new classic to your collection, read on for pro advice. Let’s start with a look at the creme de la creme of lambskin zip-ups currently on the market.

The Top 5 Lambskin Leather Jackets Making Waves

Quality construction and luxurious lambskin don’t come cheap, but the right leather jacket can last you decades with proper care. Here are 5 of the top-rated lambskin zip-up motorcycle jackets that are worth the investment:

1. Banana Republic Aviator Jacket

Sleek and sophisticated, the Banana Republic Aviator brings military style to buttery soft lambskin. This jacket sports a more fitted silhouette and stand up collar complemented by zippered pockets and dual waist adjusters. The mid-weight leather has a subtle sheen that dresses up the jacket.

  • 100% lambskin leather with polyester lining
  • Aniline leather with medium weighting (not too thin or thick)
  • Beautiful range of neutral and bold colors – black, brown, olive, plum
  • Branded YKK zipper hardware
  • Retails for $698

Pros

  • Timeless style transcends trends
  • Lambskin has natural stretch for comfort
  • Several colors to choose from

Cons

  • Dry clean only
  • Sizing runs small

2. AllSaints Cargo Biker Jacket

Edgy yet versatile, the AllSaints Cargo Biker blends classic moto styling with grunge-inspired details. The muted brown lambskin has intentional markings and scuffs for a lived-in vibe. Cargo pockets, shoulder epaulets, and buckled side straps amp up the attitude.

  • 100% genuine lambskin leather
  • Medium weight semi-aniline leather
  • Antique brown color with contrast black zippers
  • Lined in viscose for breathability
  • Retails for $545

Pros

  • Soft broken-in leather with character
  • Zip-off sleeve function for styling options
  • Several pockets for function

Cons

  • Only comes in one color
  • Cropped fit isn’t for everyone

3. Rag & Bone Fitted Biker Jacket

For a sleek silhouette, the Rag & Bone Fitted Biker delivers. Made from supple lambskin, this jacket hugs curves with quilted paneling on the sides and shoulders. Zippered pockets and cuffs offer subtle moto edge. The cream color provides a softer look.

  • 100% lambskin leather with quilted accents
  • Lightweight, slightly stretchy feel
  • Creamy off-white color is a fresh neutral
  • Branded hardware including zippers and snaps
  • Retails for $1,095

Pros

  • Flattering tailored fit
  • Quilting gives visual interest
  • Unique color that stands out

Cons

  • Dry clean only
  • Snug fit isn’t forgiving

4. Reiss Ashley Leather Biker Jacket

For everyday wearability, the Reiss Ashley Leather Biker hits the sweet spot. Made from soft pebbled lambskin, this jacket moves fluidly while still keeping its shape. A snap-down collar, buckled sides, and zippered pockets add moto flair. The merlot color is rich and polished.

  • 100% lambskin leather with polyester lining
  • Textured pebbled lambskin with light distressing
  • Deep merlot color works for many skin tones
  • Silver hardware including zippers and buckles
  • Retails for $660

Pros

  • Pebbled leather is durable yet soft
  • Classic moto style with feminine touches
  • Rich jewel-toned color flatters many

Cons

  • Only one color option
  • Runs large so size down

5. Vince Icon Leather Jacket

The Vince Icon Leather Jacket proves that sometimes simple is best. Made from ultra-soft lambskin, this jacket is minimally styled to let the luxury leather shine. A clean modern cut comes together with an asymmetric zip placket and front zip pockets. The black leather is timeless.

  • 100% lambskin leather with polyester lining
  • Lightweight, supple aniline lambskin
  • Classic black leather works with anything
  • Exposed zipper hardware adds edge
  • Retails for $995

Pros

  • Super soft pliable lambskin
  • Understated design highlights leather
  • Easy to dress up or down

Cons

  • Minimal details may be too plain for some
  • Delicate lambskin needs special care

Now that you know the creme de la creme of lambskin leather jackets available today, let’s get into the nitty gritty of how to choose the very best lambskin leather jacket for your needs and style.

How to Choose Your Perfect Lambskin Leather Jacket

With limitless jacket options on the market, choosing the right lambskin version for your needs deserves careful consideration. Keep the following factors in mind:

Lambskin Leather Type

Not all lambskin is created equal. Here are the main types you’ll encounter and how they differ:

Aniline Leather

Aniline lambskin retains the leather’s natural surface texture and markings. These jackets have a very soft, supple feel that conforms to your shape. But they stain more easily and require extra care.

Semi-Aniline Leather

This middle ground leather is lightly treated to better resist wear and stains without compromising softness. It offers the best of both worlds for feel and durability.

Corrected Grain Leather

This leather is sanded and treated so the surface looks more uniform in texture and color. It’s the most durable option but doesn’t drape as nicely.

For a buttery jacket that molds to you, opt for aniline or semi-aniline lambskin. Corrected grain is better suited for colder climates where durability beats drape. Consider your budget too, as aniline is most expensive.

Color

From neutrals to bold brights, lambskin leather jackets come in a rainbow of shades. Popular colors include:

  • Black – the most classic and versatile neutral that matches everything
  • Brown – ranging from rich chocolate to softer tans
  • Red – vibrant shades like oxblood, burgundy and brick
  • White – a trending neutral that makes a statement
  • Metallics – edgy gold, silver, copper and bronze tones

Think about what colors you wear most when choosing a jacket hue. Black, brown and navy make the easiest complements to most wardrobes. Bolder colors work if you plan to make the jacket the focal point of outfit pairings.

Hardware

The zippers, snaps, buckles, grommets and other hardware details matter both functionally and aesthetically.

Zippers

  • Metal zippers like brass and black oxidized are durable classics.
  • Plastic zippers come in fun colors but wear out faster.
  • Exposed zippers showcase the teeth for attitude.
  • Hidden zippers conceal teeth for a streamlined look.

For the best blend of form and function, look for metal zippers set slightly off center for visual interest. Make sure zippers glide up and down smoothly and align properly.

Other Hardware

Pay attention to:

  • Buckles and adjustable straps that should securely fasten and stay put.
  • Snaps that align correctly and fasten securely.
  • Grommets that reinforce areas prone to stretching like collars.

Hardware should have a solid feel and match or complement the zipper finish. Avoid jackets with hardware that already shows signs of loosening or damage.

Lining

A jacket’s lining serves several purposes:

  • Adds opaqueness so your clothes underneath don’t show through
  • Provides an extra layer of warmth
  • Helps the jacket slide on and off with ease
  • Absorbs body moisture to keep you comfortable

Common lining materials include:

Polyester – budget-friendly and washer safe but can feel stiff

Viscose – breathable and comfortable but delicate when washing

Acetate – silky feeling and moisture wicking but pills easily

Cotton – natural fiber that gets softer over time but absorbs odors

For cold weather, go for a quilted polyfill lining that provides lightweight insulation without bulk. In warmer months, breathable viscose or acetate linings help keep you cool.

Style and Fit

Jacket silhouettes fall into two main categories:

Men’s Styles tend to be boxy and straight fitting in the shoulders and torso. Features like broad lapels and diagonal zip plackets have a masculine vibe.

Women’s Styles are more tailored and shaped to flatter curves. Elements like belted waists, angled zip closures, and cropped hems create an hourglass effect.

When trying on jackets, make sure you have room to comfortably layer knits or lighter jackets underneath. Arms and shoulders should have a full range of motion without pulling. The jacket length depends on preferences and how you intend to wear it. Cropped versions pair especially well with high waisted bottoms.

Finding your ideal size will ensure your lambskin jacket hangs properly and feels like a natural extension of your body.

Price

Expect to invest to get a quality lambskin leather jacket. Plan to spend:

  • $200 to $500 for fast fashion and lower end department store styles
  • $500 to $1000 for mid-tier designer brands
  • $1000+ for luxury designer labels and custom work

Factors impacting price include the leather grade, hardware details, brand reputation, and manufacturing country. Italian and American-made versions tend to demand higher prices.

Know that you get what you pay for when it comes to supple lambskin that lasts. Watch for end of season sales to score deals on premium leather from reputable brands.

Brand

Look for brands that specialize in leather fashions when buying a lambskin jacket. These tend to select higher grade materials and construct garments built to last.

Some lambskin leather brands worth checking out include:

  • Schott NYC
  • Acne Studios
  • BLK DNM
  • Sandro Paris
  • Rebecca Minkoff

Beyond the brand name, read up on reviews of the specific jacket model you’re considering. This can reveal potential weak points or sizing issues not evident until after purchase.

Ethics

For many leather shoppers, ethics matter just as much as aesthetics. Seek out brands that prioritize:

Responsible Sourcing

  • Uses leather from meat industry by-products, not solely for skins
  • Works only with ethical farms and tanneries
  • Ensures fair labor practices from sourcing to production

Animal Welfare

  • Uses entire hides so no waste from slaughtering
  • Sourced from free-range, grass-fed animals
  • Leather comes as by-product of meat industry

Eco-Friendly Production

  • Tanneries employ sustainable practices and non-toxic processes
  • Manufacturing methods reduce environmental impact
  • Transparent production from start to finish

Doing your homework can help you buy a beautiful jacket you feel good about inside and out.

Now that you know what to look for in choosing a lambskin leather jacket, let’s answer some common questions about living with this luxe closet staple.

Lambskin Leather Jackets: Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a good leather jacket cost?

Expect to pay $400 to $1000 for a quality lambskin leather jacket from an established brand. Lower priced versions under $300 exist but typically compromise on leather grade, construction and hardware. High-end designer lambskin jackets can run over $2,000.

How long should a lambskin leather jacket last?

With proper care and maintenance, a lambskin leather jacket should easily last 10 to 20 years or longer. Some leather jackets become treasured heirlooms passed down for generations.

Does lambskin leather scratch easily?

Lambskin is softer and more prone to surface scratching than tougher leathers like cowhide. However, minor scuffs and scratches can often be gently rubbed out with just your fingertips. Be extra careful around sharp edges, studs or hardware that could dig into the lambskin. Conditioning regularly also helps protect the delicate surface from damage.

Is lambskin leather warmer than other leathers?

Yes, lambskin is known for being warmer than cowhide or calfskin leathers. The soft supple feel comes from the fine grain and natural lanolin in lambskin. This allows it to better trap body heat. Choosing a jacket lined with shearling or other insulating materials adds even more warmth.

Is lambskin suitable for harsh climates?

Lambskin leather on its own is best suited for cool dry climates rather than extreme cold and wet conditions. The soft leather can absorb moisture and is prone to staining when exposed to heavy rain, snow or salt. A lambskin jacket layered under a waterproof shell can work for winter in wet regions. But genuine lambskin is not as weather hardy as heavier bovine leathers.

How much does lambskin leather stretch?

Lambskin leather has a bit more natural stretch and give than calfskin, but less than elastane-blended faux leathers. The fibers will mold to your body over time without sagging or bagging. However, you don’t want to overstretch lambskin or risk tears. Size your jacket to fit close to your body without having to force the leather to give.

How can I soften up a stiff new lambskin jacket?

The heat from your body will naturally soften and break in a new lambskin leather jacket as you begin wearing it. To speed up the process, gently massage and manipulate the leather with your hands to increase pliability. Using a leather conditioner can also soften and improve the suppleness. Wear the jacket around the house to accelerate the break-in period before debuting it in public.

What’s the best way to clean a lambskin leather jacket?

Regular vacuuming with a soft brush attachment helps remove surface dust and dirt between professional cleanings. For spot treating stains or minor cleaning, gently wipe with a slightly damp soft cloth. Use a leather cleaner or saddle soap if needed. Take care not to oversaturate the leather. For a deeper clean, seek out a specialty leather cleaner rather than sending to the dry cleaners, which can dry out the lambskin. Avoid washing machines, which can damage the leather.

How can I store a lambskin leather jacket in summer?

Proper storage between seasons helps a lambskin jacket last for many years. During summer, lay the jacket flat or hang it up using a wide padded hanger to maintain the shape. Keep the leather out of direct sunlight to prevent fading. Use a breathable cotton garment bag, cedar closet, or cedar chest to allow airflow while protecting from dust and pests.

Now that you’re a lambskin leather expert, let’s cover the essential tips and products for keeping your jacket looking fabulous.

Caring for Your Lambskin Leather Jacket

Storing When Not in Wear

Since lambskin is prone to drying out, be careful how you store it between wears. Hang the jacket on a wide padded hanger if possible, as narrow wire hangers can distort the shoulder shape. Make sure to keep the leather out of direct sunlight which can fade the color. Use a breathable garment bag, cedar closet, or cedar chest for protection from dust and insects like moths.

Preventing Stains

Lambskin’s soft porous surface means it’s more stain prone than tougher leathers. Make it a habit to immediately blot any spills on the jacket with a clean, dry cloth. Avoid setting the jacket on questionable surfaces when out and about. Use a pre-wear protectant spray to help repel water and oil-based stains.

Removing Stains

If you do notice a stain on your lambskin jacket, promptly blot it with a clean damp cloth. Avoid aggressively rubbing as this can further grind in the stain and damage the leather surface. Use a gentle leather cleaner or specialty stain removal product to treat stubborn spots, then gently blot dry. For ingrained stains it’s best to take the jacket to a leather professional for cleaning.

Conditioning and Polishing

Condition your lambskin leather jacket every 6 to 12 months to keep the hide nourished and moisturized. Use a small amount of leather conditioner and massage it into the surface using circular motions. Let the conditioner soak in for a bit before gently buffing with a clean cloth. Repeat until the leather feels supple. Use a leather polish occasionally to help camouflage scuffs and light scratches.

Weatherproofing

If you’ll be wearing your lambskin jacket in inclement weather, treat it with a weatherproofing spray first. Choose a product formulated for leather that creates an invisible barrier without altering the look or feel. Apply a light even coating and let it fully dry. This will help repel moisture, snow, and salt. Reapply every few months as needed depending on wear. Limit lambskin leather exposure to heavy precipitation as it can still stain and soak through.

Repairing Damage

For minor scratches and scuffs, use a leather filler balm or crayon in a matching color to buff away imperfections. Be sparing and blend well so it’s not noticeable. For tears, holes, and gouges, take the jacket to a leather repair specialist. Leather is very difficult to sew correctly by hand. Professionals have the proper adhesive patches, tools, and experience for invisible mends from the inside.

Knowing When to Retire a Jacket

With time and wear, lambskin leather jackets will eventually reach the end of their lifespan. Signs it may be time to retire your faithful jacket include:

  • Pervasive cracking or peeling of the leather that can’t be reconditioned
  • Stained areas that are unable to be cleaned or bleached
  • Multiple repairs needed for rips, tears, and holes
  • Damage to inner seam threads and linings
  • Significant loss of color and softness
  • No longer fits properly and unable to be tailored

The longevity of your lambskin jacket depends on the quality, how well you care for it, and amount of wear. With proper maintenance, a lambskin leather jacket should last over 10 years or more.

So there you have it – everything you need to know about selecting and caring for the perfect lambskin leather jacket with zipper details! With so many styles and options to consider, take your time shopping to find just the right jacket to complement your wardrobe.

Of course, a buttery soft lambskin leather jacket looks cool on its own. But how you style and layer it creates truly memorable outfits. Next time you rock your favorite lambskin zip-up, share an outfit photo with me on Instagram. I’d love to see yourinspired biker chic looks!

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