There is more than a little truth to the notion that men’s wardrobes often center on practicality. But as an indisputable rule, we call BS. How else do you explain the fact that the best suede jackets have long seduced otherwise sensible men into parting with their hard-earned money?
Sure, suede can be a pretty bad opponent for rain, but when it’s equipped with a layer of protective spray, it’s more of a concern rather than a deal breaker. If you look past all the hand-wringing about water damage, you’ll find that there are many other things to love about the best suede jacket for men.
For starters, it can transition easily through the seasons with some judicious sartorial switch-outs. Then there’s his unsurpassed ability to emit low-key luxury vibes without the swagger of a Premier League footballer who’s just received his first pay packet. And if you’ve ever felt the hypnotic lull of the best suede jacket under your fingertips, you’ll know it can give you all the feels.
Most convincing, however, is that the suede jacket has found itself on the backs of some of the best-dressed men of the time. “Suede jackets were worn by icons such as Steve McQueen and Paul Newman and in recent years have also been rediscovered by modern men,” says Alex Field, head of menswear design at Reiss. “Not only are suede jackets timeless, but they’re also practical all year round, so there’s never a good time to take the plunge.”
If you’re swayed by suede but aren’t sure how to get stuck in, fear not, because we’ve considered everything you need to know about wearing the softest outerwear on the block and compiled a list of the best men’s suede jackets you can buy.
The best suede jackets for men
Best Overall Suede Jacket for Men: AllSaints
It turns out that sad leather jackets is not the only luxury outerwear that AllSaints excels at. Just a quick thumb through the British brand’s rails will also throw up an impressive amount of stylish suede jackets.
You will find everything from classic bikers and bomber to more unusual suede holsters (think field jackets and even blazers), all of which make the range on offer pretty hard to beat for sheer variety.
Best suede biker jacket for men: Marks And Spencer
If you weren’t already aware of Marks and Spencer’s reputation as one of the best places to look for classic meets modern clothing, consider that you’re now in on the secret.
It might not be the first place that pops into your head when you’re looking for a suede jacket, but after a quick review of its cropped and buttery options, it might very well be the last. The standout? Their biker jacket in suede. A classic look that won’t go out of style, especially among this list of the best suede jackets.
Best Brown Suede Jacket for Men: Todd Synder
Using soft Italian calf suede, this brown suede jacket is tough enough to add a little edge to a more polished look, but still polished enough to add some continental cool to a more casual get up.
The perfect chocolate brown color that goes with most shades and hues, this will be one autumn booklet for your closet.
Best Black Suede Jacket For Men:
A reworking of the classic Button Vincent style from this East London fashion house, the pleated Denton suede jacket features Japanese denim jacket styling across the front panels and a slightly more cropped fit.
Perfect for layering over or under winter wear, this black jacket will be the everyday item that takes you from autumn to winter and winter to spring. Universally stylish, you can’t go wrong with this best suede jacket in your closet.
Best Suede Bomber Jacket for Men: Valstar
With more than eight decades of experience making ultra-beatable suede jackets, Italian brand Valstar can be considered a safe, yet solid shout.
One of the most iconic outerwear names to rise to fame in Milan, you’ll find plenty of different shapes to mess with – from bomber jackets to truckers – and there’s virtually no stone unturned when it comes to color either.
Best vintage suede jacket for men: Polo Ralph Lauren
If there’s one thing about suede jackets, it’s that they’ve always been in style. That means you sometimes have to go back a few decades to get a fit and style that really speaks to you. Luckily, Ralph Lauren has a knack for adding vintage flair — leading to this vintage-looking suede creation.
Don’t be afraid to go for what some see as a dated look. Instead, know that a vintage suede jacket will never really go out of style.
Best Suede Jacket for Men:
At the premium end of the high street, the floor
If you’re looking for something a little less ubiquitous, check out one of the many suede jackets that are guaranteed to fit like a dream.
Best Suede Sherpa Jacket for Men: Levi
This classic American brand knows how to instantly create classic sherpa suede jackets on top of their bread and butter denim coats and jeans. If you’re looking for that slouchy and edgy fit to help you usher in the colder months, Levi’s is your stop.
Every man needs a sherpa jacket in his closet to keep him warm.
Best Suede Shearling Jacket For Men: Closed
Menswear powerhouse Closed has their own spin on the suede jacket. This reversible jacket that uses lambskin will keep you stylish while staying toasty warm. It also has a hood to keep your head protected from the elements.
If you’re looking for something that’s sturdy and will actually get you through the cold winter months, look no further.
Best Faux Suede Jacket for Men:
We could keep investing in pieces until we’re blue in the face, but for wallet- (and whim-)-friendly faux suede styles,
How to choose the best suede jacket
There are several key areas to think about before choosing the best suede jacket for men.
Fit & Style
Choosing the best suede jacket for you means deciding what style and fit you want. Looking for something edgy and casual like a bomber or biker fit? Or something a little more streamlined like a trucker or overshirt fit? Whatever look you’re going for, be sure to consider the different styles your suede jacket can come in.
In addition to fit and style, knowing what color suede you want is key to choosing the best suede jacket. Looking for a basic black jacket that goes with everything? Or do you want to be adventurous and try a baby blue suede like the bomber from Valstar? Once you’ve figured out which shade you want, you can narrow down your choices.
Now that you have the fit, style and color, it’s time to consider how thick a jacket you want. Do you plan to make this a winter jacket or just a fall/spring jacket? Do you want the extra warmth of shearling or sherpa, or do you want something more layered? Once you answer that question, the jacket will come to you.
How to care for a suede jacket
Cool as it looks on a jacketas any man who has endured the brutal experience of dyeing suede knows, the struggle to revive a piece to its former glory can often feel like trying to nail jelly to a wall.
In layman’s terms, suede is leather that has had its top layer removed to reveal the stupidly soft fibers (its nap) underneath. This comes with the disadvantage of being thinner and more porous than leather: therefore keeping the intruders at bay can be a challenge.
Fortunately, if you can figure out the basics of how to operate a spray can, it’s plain sailing from there. Get yourself a dedicated suede spray, apply lightly and evenly from six centimeters away from the surface of the jacket. Allow to dry naturally, then repeat for extra protection. Job = done.
If defenses ever fall short and you have to go into damage-limitation mode, make sure a suede brush (or a cleaning pad for angrier spots) is within reach. Simply pray to the menswear gods while gently brushing the jacket’s nape to have the best chance of giving stubborn brands their marching orders.
If all this sounds like a bit of a pain in the back, then a nubuck jacket (which uses sanded cowhide leather) should be your go-to, as it’s more resilient than standard suede.
How to clean a suede jacket for men
The best way to clean a men’s suede jacket is to hand wash the jacket gently in cool water with a mild detergent. Then rinse the jacket thoroughly and use a towel to absorb as much water as possible before letting the jacket dry naturally. Do not twist the jacket!
How to style a suede jacket
Suede jackets can be styled up with a solid, slim turtleneck, trousers and loafers. They can also be styled down with a white or black T-shirt, jeans and boots. That is the exciting part of any type of suede jacket; it’s versatile and moves with you as you experiment with your style.
How to soften a suede jacket
There are a few ways to soften a suede jacket. You can tumble dry it without heat, blow dry the suede jacket, apply a specific suede conditioner to the surface of the jacket, have the jacket dry cleaned, or just wear it all the time.
How to store a suede jacket
The key to storing a suede jacket is to avoid excessive heat. Store your suede jacket in a cool place and be sure to avoid leaving it in garment bags, especially if they are plastic or woven. If you store them in garment bags or in hot, humid places, mold can form, which you want to avoid at all costs.