Ten tips to buying the right Sheepskin jacket
Buying the right sheepskin jacket involves considering various factors to ensure you get a quality and stylish piece that meets your needs. Here are ten tips to help you make an informed decision:
Quality of Sheepskin:
When it comes to the quality of sheepskin jackets, opting for genuine sheepskin is essential. Genuine sheepskin offers a combination of durability and superior insulation. It's a natural material that has the ability to regulate temperature, keeping you warm in cold weather and cool in warmer conditions. Here's what to look for when assessing the quality of sheepskin:
Softness: Genuine sheepskin should feel soft to the touch. It shouldn't be overly rough or coarse. Run your hand across the surface to gauge its softness.
Suppleness: High-quality sheepskin is supple and pliable. You should be able to gently fold and manipulate the material without it cracking or showing signs of stiffness.
Thickness: Thickness is important for both durability and insulation. Thicker sheepskin tends to be more robust and offers better protection against the elements. However, it's worth noting that excessively thick sheepskin might affect the jacket's overall comfort and mobility.
Appearance: Authentic sheepskin should have a natural appearance. Avoid jackets that look too uniform or have a plasticky, artificial sheen. Genuine sheepskin has variations in texture and color, adding to its authenticity.
Type of Sheepskin:
Different types of sheepskin offer varying qualities in terms of warmth, texture, and style. Here are a few common types to consider:
Merino: Merino sheepskin is known for its fine and soft wool. It's lightweight, breathable, and offers excellent insulation. This type is suitable for those who want warmth without excessive bulk.
Toscana: Toscana sheepskin has long, wavy hair and a luxurious appearance. It's often used for dramatic collars and cuffs. Toscana sheepskin is more about style and texture than heavy insulation.
Shearling: Shearling is sheepskin with the wool still attached. It provides both warmth and comfort. Shearling jackets are usually lined with the wool on the inside, offering excellent insulation.
Choosing the right type of sheepskin depends on your preferences for warmth, texture, and style. Consider the climate in which you'll be wearing the jacket and whether you prioritize fashion or function.
Fit and Size:
Getting the right fit and size for your sheepskin leather jacket is crucial for both comfort and appearance. Follow these tips:
Sizing Chart: Most manufacturers provide sizing charts that include measurements for chest, waist, hips, and other relevant areas. Compare your measurements to the chart to determine your size.
Layering Room: Sheepskin jackets are often worn during colder months, so ensure there's enough room to layer clothing underneath. This is especially important if you're buying a snug-fitting style.
Trying Different Sizes: Sizes can vary between brands, so it's a good idea to try on different sizes, especially if you're buying in-store. The right size should allow you to move comfortably without feeling constricted.
Comfort and Mobility:
A well-fitting sheepskin jacket should offer both comfort and mobility. Here's how to assess these factors:
Range of Motion: Move your arms, shoulders, and torso while wearing the jacket. Your movements shouldn't feel restricted or hindered. The jacket should allow you to perform everyday activities comfortably.
Initial Fit vs. Break-In: Keep in mind that sheepskin jackets may feel a bit snug initially, but genuine sheepskin tends to stretch and mold to your body over time. This break-in period contributes to a better fit and increased comfort.
Lining and Collar: Check the lining and collar to ensure they don't cause discomfort against your skin. A well-designed jacket will have a comfortable lining and a collar that doesn't chafe.
Stitching and Construction:
The stitching and construction of a sheepskin jacket greatly affect its durability and overall appearance. Here's what to look for:
Quality Stitching: Inspect the seams and stitching throughout the jacket. High-quality jackets will have even and well-spaced stitches. Loose or uneven stitching can indicate poor craftsmanship and potential durability issues.
Reinforced Seams: Pay attention to areas that experience stress, such as pockets, cuffs, and the hem. Reinforced stitching in these areas enhances the jacket's longevity and prevents premature wear.
Well-Finished Edges: Examine the edges of the jacket for neatness and uniformity. Quality jackets will have clean and well-finished edges that contribute to a polished appearance.
Internal Lining Attachments: Check if the internal lining is securely attached to the sheepskin. Poorly attached linings can lead to discomfort and affect the jacket's overall structure.
The lining of a sheepskin jacket plays a crucial role in providing comfort, regulating temperature, and preventing excessive sweating. Here's what to consider:
Softness and Breathability: A good lining should feel soft against the skin and allow air circulation. Natural materials like cotton or silk are excellent choices, as they provide breathability and enhance comfort.
Moisture Regulation: Look for linings that can wick away moisture from your body. This helps prevent sweat accumulation and keeps you comfortable throughout the day.
Temperature Control: The lining should help regulate body temperature. It should keep you warm in colder weather without causing you to overheat in milder conditions.
Quality Attachment: The lining should be securely attached to the jacket to prevent shifting and bunching over time. Loose linings can affect both comfort and appearance.
Collar and Cuffs:
The collar and cuffs of a sheepskin jacket contribute to its warmth and style. Here's what to examine:
Insulation and Fit: The collar should fit snugly around your neck, providing insulation and protection against cold air. Cuffs should fit comfortably around your wrists without being too tight.
Adjustability: Look for jackets with adjustable closures on the collar and cuffs. This allows you to customize the fit according to your comfort and the weather conditions.
Sheepskin Quality: Pay attention to the quality of sheepskin used in the collar and cuffs. They should match the quality of the rest of the jacket and offer the same level of softness and durability.
Hardware and Details:
The hardware and small details on a sheepskin jacket contribute to its overall aesthetic and functionality. Here's what to consider:
Zippers: Zippers should glide smoothly without catching or snagging. They should also be durable and able to withstand regular use.
Buttons and Fasteners: Check the buttons and other fasteners for sturdiness. They should be well-attached and able to endure the stress of opening and closing.
Quality Finishes: Evaluate the quality of finishes on hardware, buttons, and other embellishments. These details should complement the overall look of the jacket and demonstrate attention to detail.
Functionality: Ensure that zippers and closures are functional and easy to use. They should securely fasten the jacket and contribute to its overall comfort.
Style and Design:
Sheepskin jackets come in a wide range of styles and designs, catering to various tastes and preferences. When choosing a style, consider the following:
Classic vs. Modern: Sheepskin jackets have classic styles like aviator, bomber, and shearling coats. There are also modern interpretations with sleeker silhouettes and contemporary details. Choose a style that resonates with your personal aesthetic.
Complementing Your Wardrobe: Consider how the jacket will fit into your existing wardrobe. Opt for a color and style that can be easily paired with your favorite outfits.
Versatility: Think about the versatility of the jacket. A versatile style can be dressed up or down, allowing you to wear it in various settings, from casual outings to more formal occasions.
Length and Fit: Pay attention to the length of the jacket. Longer styles provide more coverage, while shorter styles can be more stylish. Choose a fit that suits your body type and offers the level of comfort you desire.
Price and Brand Reputation:
Sheepskin jackets are an investment piece, and their price can vary based on factors like quality, brand reputation, and design. Here's what to consider:
Quality and Investment: Higher-quality jackets tend to come with a higher price tag, but they also offer better durability, comfort, and style. Consider your budget and how much you're willing to invest in a jacket that will last for years.
Reputable Brands: Research well-established brands known for their quality craftsmanship and materials. Reputable brands often have a history of producing reliable and stylish sheepskin jackets.
Customer Reviews: Look for customer reviews and testimonials online. Hearing from other customers who have purchased the same jacket can provide valuable insights into its quality, fit, and overall satisfaction.
Value for Money: Consider the jacket's features, durability, and the benefits it offers. Sometimes, paying a bit more upfront for a high-quality jacket can save you money in the long run by lasting longer and maintaining its appearance.
Bonus Tip: Care and Maintenance:
Taking care of your sheepskin jacket is crucial for maintaining its appearance and ensuring its longevity. Here's what to keep in mind:
Cleaning Guidelines: Before purchasing, inquire about the care instructions for the jacket. Some sheepskin jackets require specialized cleaning methods or professional cleaning to avoid damaging the material.
Storage: When not in use, store your jacket in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid hanging it on sharp hooks or wire hangers that could damage the sheepskin or lining.
Regular Maintenance: Gently brush the jacket to remove dust and dirt. Use a soft brush or cloth to spot-clean any stains, and follow the manufacturer's guidelines for cleaning and conditioning.
Avoid Moisture: Sheepskin can be sensitive to moisture, so avoid wearing the jacket in heavy rain or snow. If it does get wet, let it air dry naturally, away from direct heat sources.
Professional Cleaning: If your jacket requires professional cleaning, seek out a cleaner experienced with sheepskin garments. Regular cleaning and conditioning can help maintain its softness and appearance.
By considering the style and design that aligns with your taste, researching reputable brands, understanding the investment you're making, and learning how to properly care for your sheepskin jacket, you'll be well-equipped to make a confident and informed purchase decision.