Tips for Breaking in a Leather Jacket: The Schott NYC Jacket Giveaway

by Brett & Kate McKay on December 8, 2009 · 1,085 comments

in Dress & Grooming, Style

brando

Editor’s note: While the Saddleback giveaway last night, we’ve got another awesome holiday season giveaway of one the finest leather products in the land: a jacket from Schott NYC. Here Schott shares its tips in breaking in a leather jacket. For a chance to win one of their uber-manly jackets and coats, check below for details.

Tips for Breaking in a Leather Jacket

1. Figure out what type of leather you are working with. To break in a jacket, the leather must be strong enough to withstand abuse. Lambskin is soft and luxurious but does not have the same tensile strength of cowhide or goatskin. Leather is not like fabric in the sense that you can stitch up a hole; marks and scratches are permanent on skins. It is important to choose a strong durable leather to really wear it in and make it conform to you.

2. Take it slow. Anything you do to the jacket cannot be undone. Look at old leather jackets that are worn in and see where there is the most wear to the leather. Usually the collar, pockets and under the sleeves get the most wear from friction and rubbing. Leather will naturally break in unevenly over time so be sure not to be too precise.

3. Get caught in a light rain. Water will soften up the leather and allow you to stretch and crease at specific points on your body. Many people will tell you to put your leather jacket in the washing machine and dryer, which is a very effective method but will cause serious shrinkage of the leather. In order to avoid shrinking your jacket significantly, wear it through a light drizzle until the leather is damp. Bend your arms, find a punching bag, or do some pushups, anything you can to get some wrinkles in the right places while the jacket is wet until it dries on you. If you can’t wait for the weather, lightly spritzing the jacket with water will work too, but just be sure to do it slowly and not to drench it. As it dries it will form to your body.

4. Rough it up. To take off some of the finish in highly worn areas, use steel wool to lightly and unevenly scratch the surface. Sandpaper is generally too abrasive and harder to control. Remember to use uneven strokes and go very slowly to check your progress because you can’t go back and erase the scratches. However, the jacket will continue to change and break in over time so if you make a mistake just try rubbing this area more as you wear it to naturally break it in. Crumple the jacket in a ball, tie it up with twine and play catch with it; the more you throw it around and soften it up, the more it takes on your unique shape and fit.

5. There is no substitute for just wearing it. Each Schott jacket starts as a blank canvas for years of wear and customization. Each scratch and nick tells a story unique to the person wearing it whether it is on their motorcycle for a cross country road trip or to the ball game and back.

The Schott NYC Jacket Giveaway

A lot of leather jacket makers try to spin stories about their company’s heritage (even if they go way back to 1980) while making World War II-style jackets. Schott’s, on the other hand, is a true-blue, real-deal, slice of Americana. In 1913, brothers Irving and Jack Schott started making raincoats in a basement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Innovators from the beginning, they were the first to put a zipper on a jacket and the first to design and produce a leather motorcycle jacket (the Perfecto-named after Irving’s favorite cigar). At the start of World War II, Schott’s was commissioned by the military to make bomber jackets for its airmen and pea coats for its sailors. Schott’s would produce these leather and wool jackets for the US Military for the next 60 years.

Post-war, Marlon Brando made Schott’s Perfecto motorcycle jacket famous in the iconic film The Wild Ones. And James Dean added to the legend, wearing the jacket everywhere he went until his tragic death.

Today the company is still run by third and fourth generation members of the Schott family. They still make most of their coats and jackets right here in the USA. And they still design their outerwear with a rugged, manly style that manages to invoke both tradition and quality and freedom and rebellion.

Now one of these babies can be yours. Enter the Schott NYC giveaway for a chance to don one of these legendary coats and jackets. You have two ways to enter: leaving a comment or Twittering about the contest. Do both to up your chances of winning.

1)Leave a comment

Visit the Schott NYC website and pick out the coat or jacket you would like to win if you are so lucky as to have your name drawn. Schott’s will give you any jacket up to $500. If you have your eye on one over $500, that’s okay, as long as you’re willing to pay the difference.

Leave a comment sharing your selection with us.

2) Twitter It!

Twitter this message to enter:

Just entered to win a Schott NYC Leather Jacket. Just retweet to enter yourself: http://www.artofmanliness.com/kOze

A winner will randomly be drawn and will receive one jacket up to $500 in value!

The contest ends Monday, December 14 at 11:00 pm CST.

Follow Schott on Facebook and Twitter:

twitter.com/schottnyc and facebook.com/schottnyc

901 Dwane Lay December 12, 2009 at 7:33 am

I think the 585. Classic.

902 Joshua H. December 12, 2009 at 7:57 am

I’d have to go with the Vintage Motorcycle Jacket 585–although it’s a tough choice.

903 Michael December 12, 2009 at 8:26 am

I would choose the Double Breasted Military Leather Jacket 650. It screams classic Military Jacket, yet looks modern enough.

904 Matt December 12, 2009 at 8:26 am

Like the others said, there are so many great choices, but I’d have to say I like the simple look of the casual weekend jacket (number 135).

905 Jeff Brendle December 12, 2009 at 8:54 am

hard to pick… so many that look great (585? 650?? wow!), but I think I’d go with understated & that’d be the …
“Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket 135″

906 Kevin December 12, 2009 at 8:57 am

I would choose the classic 32oz Melton Woo Naval Pea Coat 740. I have always wanted one.

907 Bubba Smiff December 12, 2009 at 9:07 am

I’d go for the Leather Naval Pea Coat 140 in black.

908 Jeff Collins December 12, 2009 at 9:09 am

What a great website. I have a new son in law who can use lots of the advice shared on these pages. I get a chance to bond with him while making him (and me) more manly.

909 Peter H. December 12, 2009 at 9:28 am

I would have to go with the wool car coat in gray!

910 Martin Cripps December 12, 2009 at 9:41 am

They’re all fantastic looking coats Forced to choose, I’d go with 140L, the
leather pea coat in long sizes. I’d gladly pay the difference.
Marty

911 Patrick December 12, 2009 at 10:08 am

Definitely would go with the classic Naval Pea Coat in Charcoal (740).

912 Bradley Black December 12, 2009 at 10:14 am

Definitely would have to go with the Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket, maybe not the best but you could wear it anywhere and it looks incredibly good.

913 Seth Fuller December 12, 2009 at 10:31 am

hard choice… but the Classic Perfecto Leather Motorcycle Jacket – Long Sizes, is about perfect.

914 Ruby December 12, 2009 at 10:42 am
915 Jared Payton December 12, 2009 at 10:54 am

I would happily pay the difference over $500 for a double breasted military jacket.

916 Jake Smith December 12, 2009 at 10:54 am

I’d love the Leather Naval Pea Coat

917 Will December 12, 2009 at 10:55 am

I love my old leather jacket, but I’ve…ummm…outgrown it. Need one in a larger size!

918 Jeff December 12, 2009 at 11:15 am

They are all great but I think the only one that I could wear most would be the Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket 135.

919 Jeff December 12, 2009 at 11:23 am

Man, there’s a lot of great jackets to choose from. I think I’d like understated and classic 135 casual weekend jacket. It seems pretty versatile.

920 Isaac Richert December 12, 2009 at 11:25 am

The Vintage Motorcycle Jacket 585 is calling my name.

921 Michael S December 12, 2009 at 11:26 am

Motorcycle Jacket 618. I have yet to find a good riding leather jacket new; I’ve been using my father’s leather jacket from the 1960s for years now.

922 Larry December 12, 2009 at 11:27 am

My favorite is the washed lambskin jean jacket.

923 Mike December 12, 2009 at 11:35 am

A-2 Naked Cowhide Leather Flight Jacket 184SM undoubtedly.

924 Dante December 12, 2009 at 11:41 am

Does llama make good leather? There is a bunch of new llama farms here in Virginia. Can they be sheared like sheep, is their skin high-quality, or are they just being kept as pets? This whole llama craze confuses me.

925 Nico December 12, 2009 at 12:02 pm

I have to say, I’m liking these coats but my pick is a modest one. I would love to have a slim-fitting wool peacoat.

926 Cameron A December 12, 2009 at 12:15 pm

I love all of these coats. The wool ones are perfect, but I am in need of a nice leather jacket. I think the Pebbled Weekend Cowskin 135 would be the best fit for me.

Thanks for the tips on wearing in leather jackets too!

927 Nick S December 12, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I’m digging the Easy Rider Striped Leather Motorcycle Jacket 671.

928 Henry Popp December 12, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Owned the 118 in 1972. Was given to me by a neighbor. Miss that jacket.
Classic Perfecto Leather Motorcycle Jacket 118

929 Marc Neilson December 12, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Awesome jackets. I’d go with the classic racer, model 141 (maybe the 141L, as I’m 6’3″ and 200lbs), in black.

You can’t go wrong with a cafe racer.

930 Becca December 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm

I would love to get the 141 as a surprise for my husband!

931 Will McPherson December 12, 2009 at 1:34 pm

I’m entering to win a Shcott’s NYC jacket. I have my eye on the 140 Leather Naval Pea Coat, black, size 40. I think it’s great that there’s still a company with fine products still being made in the USA. P.S. I love the website and email information. Have a merry Christmas!

932 Joseph Mcpherson December 12, 2009 at 1:42 pm

entering shcott nyc giveaway. 740c classic wool naval pea coat w/leather trim

933 Aaron C December 12, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Great stuff – Men’s Classic Horsehide Racer Motorcycle Jacket with Spread Collar – 689H. Thanks for bringing Schott’s to attention.

934 Sherman Yang December 12, 2009 at 2:22 pm

I must say, being a motorcycle rider, and loving the classics….

The “Men’s Classic Horsehide Racer Motorcycle Jacket with Spread Collar 689H” would definitely be my jacket of choice. The traditional cafe racer jacket is LEGENDARY.

Thanks for the article AoM!

935 Eric G December 12, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Military Style Antique Lambskin Leather Bomber Jacket 233 would be my particular choice, seeing as I’m already well-equipped with a more traditional leather jacket. Schott’s makes some fine looking coats!

936 Aaron December 12, 2009 at 3:05 pm

That casual weekend jacket (135) does look pretty good, doesn’t it?

937 Sea December 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm

#135, the Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket. Simple and versatile, which is just what I want in a jacket.

938 Christian December 12, 2009 at 3:19 pm

I’m going with the Jeans Style Leather Jacket!

939 Edward December 12, 2009 at 3:26 pm

I would choose the A-2 Naked Cowhide Leather Flight Jacket because it looks great.

940 Omar December 12, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I own like 5 different Schott leather jackets. The perfecto is my favorite one. I would order the 618 if I could also customize it (ie. no belt, no epaulet) so it’s somehow different to my own. Otherwise I think I would go with the double breasted 650. The casual 135 is probably a great choice also…
Schott keep up your perfect craftmanship and style!

941 Kurt N. December 12, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Man, great looking jackets. I’d have to say the Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket 141 looks the best to me and man do I need some leather right now. Still riding daily here in Oklahoma but layering up my mesh jacket isn’t cutting it under 40 degree weather

942 Aylon Pesso December 12, 2009 at 5:33 pm

I love the Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket 141

Great look, seems top quality!

943 Ronn December 12, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Personally, I think the brown Vintage Motorcycle Jacket 585 looks the best and would look the best when broken in, and if Schott wants to hold up their end, I would be more than happy to pay 28+tax for one of those.

944 CJ December 12, 2009 at 6:04 pm

I think the Melton Wool Clasp Jacket JF704 is for me, but the Classic 32 Oz. Melton Wool Naval Pea Coat 740 is giving it a tight race.

945 Alison December 12, 2009 at 6:06 pm

I would select the Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket in brown as gift for my husband. He loves leather but doesn’t have a leather coat!

946 Jon M December 12, 2009 at 6:38 pm

The Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket 135, looks amazing!

947 Albert December 12, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Classic Perfecto leather. It’s beautiful.

948 Scott E December 12, 2009 at 8:08 pm

I would choose the Leather Naval Pea Coat 140. And that is one excellent choice.

949 Reed December 12, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Classic Perfecto Leather Motorcycle Jacket 118. I’ve been looking for a great looking bike jacket!

950 Mike L December 12, 2009 at 8:14 pm

After looking at all the great jackets, I kept going back to the Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket 141. It’s such a sweet jacket!

951 Joshua F. December 12, 2009 at 9:31 pm

So many amazing jackets but need to have the Multi-Pocket Lambskin Bomber 9H801 for my strolls in NYC!!!

952 Menza Dudley December 12, 2009 at 9:31 pm

I’d have to pick the Vintage Motorcycle Jacket 585. Looks great!

953 M Dudley December 12, 2009 at 9:32 pm

I’d have to pick the Vintage Motorcycle Jacket 585. Looks great!

954 JAM3Z December 12, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Very James Dean. I like it.

955 Eric December 12, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I would greatly enjoy the A-2 Flight Jacket in Men’s Long Sizes 184SML in a 44.

956 Tim December 12, 2009 at 11:13 pm

With the winters here in Montana, I’m going to have to go with the Classic B-# Sheepskin Leather Bomber Jacket #257S. Toasty warm!

957 ed December 12, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Military Style Antique Lambskin Leather Bomber Jacket

958 Paull December 13, 2009 at 12:36 am

An A-2 Flight Jacket in Long – 184SML – would be amazing. I’ve always wanted a leather flight jacket!

959 Jerry December 13, 2009 at 12:57 am

Nice article! Although I”m not sure I could take steel wool to a sweet new leather jacket… but I’d give it a Schott. I’ve got my eye on the Schott 585 Vintage Motorcycle Jacket. Would be an awesome match to my new Triumph.

960 Nick Vadala December 13, 2009 at 1:02 am

I tell ya, I wouldn’t mind having that Jeans Style Leather Jacket 100, that’s really sharp.

961 Jeff December 13, 2009 at 1:41 am

I love the Leather Naval Pea Coat #140, in black, size 50. It would be perfect for me to wear to work!

962 Jerad December 13, 2009 at 1:58 am

Men’s Slim Fitting Wool Peacoat please, in black. Or dark grey.

Thanks so much Schott N.Y.C. I know I’ll win this time!

963 Jake Bohlken December 13, 2009 at 2:55 am

I think a Classic Wool Naval Pea Coat with Leather Trim 740C would be outstanding! In a size 40, please.

964 Brian J December 13, 2009 at 3:20 am

I would get the Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket if I won.

965 Gabe December 13, 2009 at 3:46 am

I like the look of that A-2 Naked Cowhide Leather Flight Jacket 184SM. It would be my first leather jacket so I really hope to win it!

966 NS December 13, 2009 at 4:48 am

Don’t think I entered in this. I’d like the Perfecto Steerhide Leather Jacket #618.

967 Jonathan December 13, 2009 at 9:23 am

I really like the Satin Lined Duffle Coat DU748. In black.

968 Chris December 13, 2009 at 9:35 am

I would get the Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide leather jacket if I won.

969 Marty G December 13, 2009 at 10:04 am

So many beautiful jackets and hard to pick just one! I would be so happy to win the Classic Perfecto Leather. Thanks Schott.

970 Patrick B. December 13, 2009 at 10:17 am

I’m thinking the Double Breasted Military Leather Jacket 650 is the one for me.

971 Andrew December 13, 2009 at 11:01 am

Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket 135

972 mike December 13, 2009 at 11:41 am

Being retired Military, I really like the timeless look of Schott’s A-2 Flight Jacket A2SM.

973 JT December 13, 2009 at 11:47 am

The Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket 135 is a fine looking garment.

974 Eduardo Quintana December 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm

A man’s jacket! I will be getting this one if I win: A-2 Naked Cowhide Leather Flight Jacket 184SM
I used to own one much like this one. A good old friend handed it down to me. He was a WWII Vet. He told me there is nothing that makes you feel manlier than wearing this jacket!

975 Bryan Hacker December 13, 2009 at 12:12 pm

I have been eyeing the 141 in Brown for months now…. I am really close to pulling the trigger on this thing, but free would be the best price :)

976 Robert S. December 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm

some things you see once and they stay lodged in your mind. the vintage motorcycle jacket would be perfect for me, i loved the military jackets but im a Marine not a Flyboy

977 dan December 13, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Leather Navy Pea coat for my daughter who is headed to the Navy in March then on to the Defense Language Institue in Monterey.

978 Chris Nyaradi December 13, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket 135
I think it’s a very clean look.

979 Brian J December 13, 2009 at 2:02 pm

I think the JF 207 Leather Feild Jacket is really sharp. It may be time now to get a leather jacket regardless. Thanks for the tips on breaking them in.

980 Adam S December 13, 2009 at 2:17 pm

I think the best way to weather a jacket is to just wear it. Just have patience and it’ll end up looking better than anything you try to do so artificially.

I’d absolutely love a Schott’s A-2 Flight Jacket A2SM, myself.

981 Hai December 13, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Classic 32 Oz. Melton Wool Naval Pea Coat 740 :D

982 Richard Sampson December 13, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Classic Perfecto Leather Motorcycle Jacket 118 size 32

983 Timmy December 13, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Definitely the Classic 32 Oz.Melton Wool Naval Pea Coat 740 in Navy.

984 Ned December 13, 2009 at 2:52 pm

The Wool Car Coat DU 738 for me!

985 Joel December 13, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Wow…I’d really like one of those flight jackets…I need something more substantial for the colder months.

986 John W December 13, 2009 at 3:08 pm

My choice would be the Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket. Looks like a new version of the one I have now–more than well broken in after 10 years of wear. But as they say, “it’s not the years, it’s the mileage” and I am looking for a new jacket to put some serious miles on.

987 Woody Markert December 13, 2009 at 3:20 pm

G-1 Lambskin Flight Jacket is the one.

988 Jason December 13, 2009 at 3:23 pm

I love the Classic Schott Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket in Horsehide 641HH. Can’t mess with horse hide!

989 Nicholas December 13, 2009 at 3:28 pm

If i win i’m going to have to go with the Men’s Multi-Zip Wool Field Jacket 7H803 in a 2XL. It truly is a beautiful and manly coat worthy of a Utah Winter.

990 seth December 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Multizip Racer Jacket JF221

991 Beau Birkholz December 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm
992 Jacob M. December 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm

I’d be happy with either the JF207 Leather Field Jacket or the Multi-Pocket Lambskin Bomber. Both are classy, functional, and manly jackets that would make a great addition to any man’s wardrobe.

993 Jason December 13, 2009 at 4:33 pm

I would have to go with the Vintage Motorcycle Jacket 585.

994 Matt December 13, 2009 at 4:50 pm

I too would have to go with the Vintage Motorcycle Jacket 585.

995 Jarrett December 13, 2009 at 4:53 pm

I have had my eye on the Classic Racer Jacket for quite some time.

996 James December 13, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I really like the Black Slim Fitting Wool Peacoat DU704I and the Double Breasted Military Leather Jacket 650 in Small. Both look like excellent fitting jackets.

997 Brian December 13, 2009 at 5:30 pm

I love the Vintage Motorcycle Jacket 585 and I wear an L

998 Nicholas H. December 13, 2009 at 5:50 pm

If chosen, I would like the Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket 141 in brown in size 42.

999 Michael H December 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm

I’d love either the Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket in black. What a beautiful jacket.

1000 Dan December 13, 2009 at 6:44 pm

I’m going with the classic look, the Jeans Style Leather Jacket 100: http://www.schottnyc.com/products/lifestyle/street/jeans-style-leather-jacket.htm Respect your elders, I always say

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