ORIGIN: N.Y.C., 1928
In the 1910s, Irving and Jack Schott started out making raincoats on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. By 1928 they had created their first leather cross-lapel motorcycle jacket (a.k.a. the Perfecto), which they sold in the N.Y.C. Harley-Davidson store. (They were also the first to put zippers on jackets. ) In the ’50s, thanks to Brando and James Dean, the Perfecto became an outlaw style symbol, clearing the way, decades later, for it to become a punk staple in the ’70s and ’80s.
WHY YOU NEED IT NOW: The rebel/bad boy edge it brings always revs her up.
Michael Bastian waxed-leather motorcycle jacket, $4,030
Shipley & Halmos Ruska jacket, $850
Burberry Brit jacket, $1,295
Extend the life of your leather with these three tips:
1. At least once a season, treat your jacket with the leather conditioner your label recommends. Avoid brands with silicone—it doesn’t allow the leather to breathe.
2. When your jacket gets wet, air-dry it.
3. And finally, always hang it on a suit-jacket hanger. Leave it on a hook and it’ll lose its shape in a single season.