There are few things cooler than a suede jacket. It’s got all the style and strut of its leather cousin, but without the shiny self-importance. True, it might not be as hard-wearing as leather — suede has a napped finish, and is made from the underside of animal skin rather than the top — but it is immeasurably more versatile, softer and less likely to crack over time.
And that’s before we even come to how seasonal this timeless design is. With spring in the air, you’ll soon find that your winter coats are getting a little too toasty for the weather outside, but your summer jackets are still that little bit too light. Enter your suede saviour, which will help you see in the season in brushed, laid-back style…
A suede bomber is the bomb
The bomber jacket is a classic design — and one that has never really dipped out of fashion. So named for the flight crew members of the US Air Force who originated the style, it is traditionally loosely-cut, and has cuffs, a waistband and some form of collar.
Your bomber jacket of choice may, like this reversible offering from Ermenegildo Zegna, have a stand collar and full microfibre lining. Others, like Loro Piana‘s blue bomber — cut from supple water-repellent suede — instead pair a classic collar with ribbed virgin wool trims. Or, for a modern spin on the traditional, trust Tom Ford to offer up an alternative; a bomber that gives a nod to the classic Air Force styles, whilst still exhibiting debonair charm in spades with its ribbed trims and immaculate suede.
Ermenegildo Zegna Reversible Bomber
Loro Piana Suede Bomber Jacket
Tom Ford Suede Bomber Jacket
There’s no grey area when it comes to colours
Tan, brown and black may be the go-to hues for most leather jackets — but, when you opt for softer suede, you should also think about switching up your colour choice. Tempering your tone, and opting for a lighter shade may mean going for stone or camel — but we’d nudge you towards the little-worn grey.
It’s an oft-overlooked colour, and we can’t see why. Just look at Ralph Lauren‘s grey bomber jacket, made from exquisitely soft goat suede and perfect for throwing over a lightweight knit jumper or a classic white t-shirt. Or Canali‘s grey-beige ‘Impeccabile’ jacket: a beacon of versatility, and water repellent to boot. Or our particular favourite, Valstar‘s classic Valstarino jacket that positions itself somewhere between a bomber and a blouson. Made from supple suede and traced with ribbed trims, it exudes effortless cool from every thread.
Ralph Lauren Suede Bomber Jacket
Canali 'Impeccabile' Jacket
Valstarino Suede Bomber Jacket
Keep things classic with a collar
And then there’s the old faithful. As close to the leather jacket as suede can swing it, the collared suede jacket is a retro mainstay. Not only does it allow you to channel your inner 70s maverick cop, but you’ll also be blessed with a jacket that pairs perfectly with loose tees, flannel shirts, and collars and ties alike.
Drake‘s Chore jacket is blessed with five pockets and is the perfect option to navigate even the trickiest of transitional seasons, being made of heavyweight suede that’ll stand you in good stead when those April showers threaten. New & Lingwood‘s have produced the goods with their safari jacket, which offers the perfect lightweight warmth and comes equipped with a toggled string for a trim fit. And Officine Générale‘s design, as you can imagine, means business. A sophisticated take on a classic piece, this army green Liam jacket gives a nod to the spring season whilst giving that much-sought after ‘edge’ to your workwear.
Drake's Suede Five-Pocket Chore Jacket
New & Lingwood Suede Safari Jacket
Officine Générale Liam Suede Jacket