I think it’s safe to say I have a penchant for jackets of the suede variety. I’ve always loved the different texture they offer to an outfit and their sheer versatility, they are equally at home when paired with a chunky roll neck as they are when layered under a mac or overcoat.
The human love affair with suede has roots as far back as the 14th century, but its enduring legacy lies in its association with all things rakish. Whether donned by the purveyor of smoking-jacket schmooze, Hugh Hefner, or modelled by the many faces of Bond, suede has certainly stood the test of time.
Refreshed and repurposed for the man of today, the classic suede jacket has been reworked in a slim-fit and shorter body for a more contemporary silhouette and with wild west influences. There are myriad reasons why a statement suede jacket is a smart investment piece for your wardrobe, but I’ve highlighted my top five below…
Suede jackets are the perfect top layer for that autumn transitional period, wedged in between the summer and winter, when it’s not quite cold enough for an overcoat but a knit alone might not do the job. I’ve always loved pairing my suede jackets with a trusty roll neck or chunky knit for a warm yet stylish look. With that in mind, why not swap out your wool jacket for a rich, tonal suede option – I suggest burgundy or teal – for a timely take on a classic style.
Few people appreciate the true versatility of suede. Yes, it lends itself more to formal settings, but it can also be dressed down with a tee and jeans for a weekend-ready look. Got a date on the cards? A suede jacket will impress without appearing like you’ve tried too hard. Pair with a shirt and dark jeans or tailored trousers, but leave the jacket buttons unfastened and rock a mock-turtle neck for a real statement outfit.
Well, much like all evening jackets, suede comes in a plethora of colours, from dark greens, to navy, burgundies and of course, the classic black. If you’re only looking to invest in one for the first time, a dark navy is your best option. Greens and burgundies are more seasonally focused colours whereas navy can take you from a winter event through to a fancy dinner in spring without looking like you’re out of place. Teal is a new favourite of mine for something a little different, but it’s safe to say it’s much trickier to style than a classic and timeless navy.
Not to hammer home an obvious point, but suede is a warm fabric; it exudes a sense of plush comfort you won’t find with a standard wool or cotton jacket and is arguably more luxurious, so it lends itself well for the festive season. Come wintertime, you’ll be glad of it when you step outside for some (frosty) air during those Christmas parties and a suede jacket always looks great when layered under an overcoat as a more casual alternative to the blazer. And as I’ve already pointed out, the fabric is extremely touchable, your date will be glad of it too when linking arms waiting for that Uber.
The beauty of suede is that it’s completely flexible and open to interpretation, there’s no rigid code that says it has to be a certain fit, design or tone. The majority of suede jackets tend to come with front pockets and a typical collar design, but there’s no reason you can’t opt for a more casual bomber style jacket. Both work fine, depending on your own preference and the occasion. If I may suggest one thing, though, let suede be the leading star of your ensemble, it makes enough of a statement on its own that the rest of your look should be neutral.
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