The Moral of the Story
A friend of mine was excited for weeks, she ordered a faux leather jacket and was waiting for it to arrive. It took, way too long for that but, she hadn’t lost faith in it. Not until it arrived.
I got a text with something along the lines of; “well it came,” that told me everything I needed to know. And then I actually saw it.
With faux leather, it’s really important to see the jacket in person before buying. It’s never going to be 100% convincing, but there is a really broad spectrum of quality there–some faux leather jackets look really good, and some of them look terrible.
Some brands are overzealous in trying to get that worn-in leather feel and it’s way too heavy-handed. Some don’t even try and the material is way too shiny and plastic-looking. A lot of them smell beyond weird in a way that never really goes away.
I’ve owned three faux leather jackets at very different price points and been kind of dissatisfied with all of them. The best was from Comme des Garcons.
I wish I had pooled the money from all of them and bought a real one. If you want real leather, faux is probably always going to feel like a bit of a stand-in. If you have $300 and the time to dedicate to haunting ebay and sales, you can absolutely get a really nice leather jacket.
If you have no moral compunctions, I’d say that’s the way to go.
The only faux leathers I have been satisfied with are from Comme des Garcons. While there have been improvements in the quality of faux leather lately, they don’t last as long as real, high-quality leathers.
You should also be aware that there are many, many grades and types of leathers and they perform differently.
The best leathers can last for decades if taken care of properly, but you don’t necessarily have to baby them, just the occasional wipe and conditioning would do. This is why there are many WW2 jackets in the markets still in tip top conditions. Also you can get them rather cheap when buying second hand.
$100-$150 can get you something classic like a biker jacket made of cowhide or lambskin if that is your thing.