A wide range of designs has helped the leather jacket remain more popular than most other garments and will probably go on finding a market whatever direction new styles go in. And for any girls who aren't to enamoured by leather, then suede offers an alternative, being leather's slightly softer option bringing a sensuality to the material while maintaining the same hardwearing virtues.
Although many leather jackets you see around are either black in colour, or perhaps brown for suede versions, there really are no limits I the colour schemes available. Blues, reds, greens, even whites are favoured by some brave ladies. Plain colours are not the only option either as many people are happy to adorn a simple black leather jackets with badges and patches to help mark their personal identity.
Of course, when looking back through the development of any fashion item, you'll also come across some shockers in the history of leather jackets. Designers have frequently accentuated leather's flashy lustre for all the wrong reasons, and the Eighties was no exception noticeably in the leather department. The jackets of this period were often shapeless and rarely looked good on anyone, with loose, lines tapering in at the thighs for a egg-shaped silhouette that some found attractive. Masses of unadorned leather would fall loosely off the shoulders and flutter in the wind something that most fabrics could never achieve.
Leather and suede jackets for women look most attractive when they are either delicately sized or accessorised with details, or are a blend of both. And folds and pleats just look too skin-like in leather to have any real claim to favour. Visit any good a vintage clothing store, you'll find all of these examples but will quickly be able to decide which will look good on you and which ones should be exported to Lower Bavaria and converted into traditional short trouser wear for the locals.
One look that remains timelessly popular is the not-quite biker or flying jacket. With styling notes to the rugged origins of the leather jacket (perhaps plenty of useful pockets or neck-warming sheepskin collar lining), the better designed ones keep the look plain and practical without attempting anything unusual. If their hem sits above the waist, then they'll be perfect for wearing with jeans, but some of the most lady-like leather or suede jackets are the thigh-length designs, so long as they are conceived with a narrow (often belted) waist and a very slightly flared lower half.
But perhaps you don't need to have any feminine attributes in your leather jacket and decide that you'll look just great in a simple, traditional plain jacket, one that's always been popular due to the fact that there is nothing to dislike about it. If this sounds like you, your choices will be endless. Accessorise away, roughen it up a little and allow to grow old in its own way and you'll shout to the world that you're not afraid of a high profile.
So head to that vintage store for your leather jackets right now? Start your engines..