How Long Should A Leather Jacket Last?

The leather jacket is an ever-fashionable piece of clothing and a versatile one at that. You can use it to make a statement about who you are, or you can use it to dress an outfit up or down. One thing is for sure, though. This article is an investment. So you may be wondering, how long should a leather jacket last? We've done the research to tell you how long your coat can stay intact and looking sharp.

With proper care and storage, a jacket made from true, quality leather can last decades. It could be in your closet for 50 years. 

Now you know how long your leather jacket could potentially stay with you. However, there are specifics about how you should clean, store and keep up the material. Keep reading to learn how to maintain your coat so that it will become a relic.

man in leather jacket with hand in pocket looking away. How Long Should A Leather Jacket Last

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Choosing The Right Leather Jacket

How Can You Tell If A Leather Jacket Is Of Good Quality?

If you have a jacket of inferior quality, your chances of keeping it for a long time are slim. Even if you do everything right. So, if you've got a leather jacket on your shopping list, you will want to look closely at the details to determine if it's the right one for you.

Is it real leather?

man choosing leather jacket on a department store

True leather jackets are made from cowhide, goatskin, or lambskin. Make sure you aren't purchasing a faux leather jacket.

Thick thread & skillful stitching

If you look at the stitching of a leather jacket and it seems thin and uneven, or if you see areas with fraying, these are signs that this piece is not high-caliber. Look for stitching that is visible and broad.

Lining Material

Lower quality jackets will have a thin, polyester lining that is all in one piece, the torso and sleeves. Higher quality jackets will be crafted with a thick cotton lining in the torso, and a silk or satin material will be lining the sleeves.

Over-correccted Leather

These jackets are often made from leather that is sanded down and treated for a more polished look. This is not bad and can be ideal for your personal style, but there can always be too much of a good thing. Over-correction can make the material look as if it is faux leather, and it takes away from the durability of the fabric.

For the best chance of keeping a leather jacket for a long time to come, choose one with excellent craftsmanship in the first place.

Keeping It Beautiful

How Long Should A Leather Jacket Last

How Often Should You Condition A Leather Jacket?

Wearing your leather jacket (which you will tend to do) causes some typical abrading and dirt. If left to itself, the material will break down over time, but with proper care, you can make sure it stays appealing.

Here's the thing, leather is authentic material. It's real animal skin. As such, it can dehydrate, resulting in cracking and flaking and an unpleasant, stiff fit. Regularly conditioning your jacket with a quality product is the best way to protect against this. It depends on your environment as well as activities to determine how often you should condition your coat.

If you wear your jacket in the outdoors every day or live in a particularly hot or dry climate, you may want to condition your jacket every three months. If your jacket is an item you only pull out of your wardrobe every once in a while, or if you live in a humid climate, you may condition it every six months. The longest to wait is a year.

Using a conditioner is also a great way to clean your jacket without the risk of damage. Many leather jacket conditioners also have chemicals that will gently remove dirt and oil.

Find this leather conditioner and cleaner on Amazon.

Weatherproofing Your Jacket

Conditioners do a bit of proofing from the elements, but you may also want to add another product to your routine to weatherproof your leather jacket. Particularly, you may want to add some extra protection during snowy or rainy seasons. Admittedly, this is unnecessary as most leathers are already treated with waterproofing chemicals, and it comes down to preference. Mink oil and waxes do the job well, and if you choose, you can treat your leather jacket with one of these goods two to three times during wet seasons.

Check out this mink oil on Amazon.

Follow The Rules

What's The Best Way To Store A Leather Jacket?


When you get home from a day out and put away your jacket, there are a few rules to follow.

  • Hang your jacket on a hanger. This isn't a piece of clothing that is acceptable to toss on the nearest chair when you walk in the door. Always hang up your jacket. This will keep it in the right shape for you to slip on when you need it next and keep it from developing creases.
  • Don't hang it up in an area in direct sunlight. A closet is preferable.
  • Keep it in a climate-controlled area, where it will neither get too cold or too hot. Be wary of leaving it too close to a lightbulb or vent.

Long Term

Maybe your jacket isn't something you're wearing very often, and you want to put it away for later. There are also additional rules for long-term storage of this item to keep it in the best shape.

  • Hanging up your jacket is still preferable, but you may also lay it flat in a cloth storage bag. Never fold your jacket and never store it in a plastic tote as this could cause your jacket to dehydrate.
  • Stuff with acid-free paper. This will help your jacket maintain its shape even over a long period of time.
  • Continue to regularly condition your jacket. Remember to get it out every three to six months for regular maintenance.

You can find this acid free paper on Amazon.

Make It An Heirloom

Do Leather Jackets Get Better With Age?

This clothing item is a classic that never really goes out of style. It will pick up scuffs and scratches along the way, but doesn't that just make it a storytelling piece? We live in a culture that loves nostalgia, antiques, and vintage. The leather jacket is no exception. A well-kept leather jacket will have a lot of stories to tell and be even more sought after with time and wear.

Make it an heirloom for kids or even grandkids! We think the leather jacket with a story is the best one.

Final Thoughts

The leather jacket is a clothing item with what can seem to be a hefty price tag. Keep in mind, though, that this is an investment in your wardrobe that can last for a very long time. You must properly care for the material by regularly conditioning it. You must also store it correctly to prevent damage. However, if you do these things, you can expect to still have a beautiful jacket decades in the future.

Want to learn more about how to care for and style your leather jacket? Check out these related articles:

Are Leather Jackets Business Casual?

Should You Dry Clean A Leather Jacket?

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