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

701 Sommelier December 9, 2009 at 9:00 pm

I’ve owned a few leathers over the years, and none has been as well made as a Schott!

702 Garrett Schwanke December 9, 2009 at 9:02 pm

I would be thrilled with the Leather Naval Pea Coat 140 in size 36! Here’s to winning!

703 Sommelier December 9, 2009 at 9:03 pm

If I win, I’ll have the Classic Perfecto Steerhide Leather Motorcycle Jacket. I’ve admired them since I was a boy!

704 Phillip December 9, 2009 at 9:04 pm

I’m torn between the Classic 32 Oz. Melton Wool Naval Pea Coat 740 and the Classic B-3 Sheepskin Leather Bomber Jacket 257S. Both look fantastic.

705 Clayton Creech December 9, 2009 at 9:08 pm

i have always admired the bomber classic jacket.

706 Mike December 9, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Entering the contest – for the Jeans Style Leather Jacket!

707 D. Turner December 9, 2009 at 9:16 pm

I’ve got my eye on that Classic Horsehide Racer Motorcycle Jacket.

708 Patrick Coletta December 9, 2009 at 9:20 pm

The Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket 141 (Black, of course) is the ultimate “everyday cool” jacket. Although the bomber jackets and Pea Coats are equally as cool in their own right, I think the clean lines, simplicity, and complete lack of frills sets the Classic Racer above the rest as “manliest” (without being too overbearingly so) and definitely most usable. Whether your on your motorcycle (sportbike or cruiser!), roughing it in the mountains, out for a night on the town, or just going to the store to get a gallon of milk for the kids, this jacket is up to the task and stylish.

The Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket 141 is the most versatile, instant-manliness outerwear that is as classic as it is fresh.

709 kev o December 9, 2009 at 9:28 pm

oh man, I’d have to go classic motorcycle leather jacket for sure. I might have to get a motorcycle to go with it though.

710 Michael December 9, 2009 at 9:38 pm

I would like to win a A-2 Flight Jacket. Schott NYC is a famous brand. Thank you.

711 Lee December 9, 2009 at 9:38 pm

How long does the typical leather jacket last? They always seem so expensive and easy to ruin for me to purchase them. Am I just judging them too harshly?

712 Mike Lewis December 9, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket 141… damn those are some nice lookin coats

713 James Moxness December 9, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Already own a *magnificent* Schott 641 which is absolutely awesome. Would love to add a double breasted 650 coa (size 36) to it!

714 James Bonine December 9, 2009 at 10:02 pm

I think that #233 would be great! I have have leather jackets before, lost one, nothing beats one!

715 Aaron Schnabel December 9, 2009 at 10:03 pm

I like the Vintage Motorcycle Jacket 585 found here: http://www.schottnyc.com/products/fabric/leather/vintage-motorcycle-jacket.htm

I would look awesome in it :)

716 Tman December 9, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket 141 for my son!

717 Amiel Blajchman December 9, 2009 at 10:52 pm

I would love to win the Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket 135

718 Joe December 9, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Military Style Antique Lambskin Leather Bomber Jacket 233
So awesome!

719 jrp December 9, 2009 at 11:02 pm

I’d love the 618 in a 40 or 42 — not sure

720 EBob December 9, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Double Breasted Military Leather Jacket 650 in a large would be very nice, the Vintage Motorcycle Jacket 585 would also be nice.

721 Jeff December 9, 2009 at 11:05 pm

I’ll have a Classic Perfecto Leather Motorcycle Jacket – Long sizes please.

722 Stephen December 9, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Washed Lambskin Jean Jacket JF202

723 Bobbie Jo Gardella December 9, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Oh there are sooooo many I would Love to have!! The one I would choose though would be the Women’s Lightweight Fitted Peacoat

What an amazing giveaway!!
Thank you for this chance!~

Twitter @BJGardella

724 Susan Smith December 9, 2009 at 11:28 pm

I love the Vintage Motorcycle jacket. It is gorgeous. If I gave it to my fiance, I could not keep my hands off him.

725 Bratboy December 9, 2009 at 11:30 pm

I would love the horsehide Perfecto D pocket!

726 Brett December 9, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Make mine a 618 perfecto.

727 J Kwon December 9, 2009 at 11:40 pm

I can’t wait to get my hands on the Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket 135. I’d rock it everywhere and break it in perfectly like I do with my dry denim.

728 Joseph December 9, 2009 at 11:42 pm

Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket 135 is pretty badass in its simplicity. I would love to rock that one.

729 Nick December 9, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Classic Racer Jacket in Long Sizes 141L : very sleek looking….

730 Matthew Glass December 9, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Classic Perfecto Steerhide Leather Motorcycle Jacket 618 would be perfecto for me-o

731 Anja December 9, 2009 at 11:51 pm

I would want the Women’s Washed Lambskin Fitted Cafe Racer. It is beautiful.

732 Patrick December 10, 2009 at 12:09 am

The Vintage Motorcycle Jacket 585 definitely caught my eye.

733 J.C. December 10, 2009 at 12:10 am
734 Saneef Ansari December 10, 2009 at 12:11 am

Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket 141 for me! :)

@saneef

735 Shaun December 10, 2009 at 12:15 am

I would love the Classic Wool Naval Pea Coat with Leather Trim 740C, size 36. Beautiful stuff!

Twitter @ShaunBarger

736 DaddyW December 10, 2009 at 12:21 am

The Perfecto – looked great on the Ramones, I figure it will look good on me.

737 Shelvy December 10, 2009 at 12:32 am

The Classic 32 Oz. Melton Wool Naval Pea Coat 740, size 40, in navy, would be outstanding.

738 Saulius December 10, 2009 at 12:46 am

A black “Men’s Slim Fitting Wool Peacoat DU704I” would be great. Thank you.

739 Lolita Wolf December 10, 2009 at 12:48 am

I need a new motorcycle jacket and would love to win. I would choose the Multi Pocket Perfecto Leather Motorcycle Jacket 125. The best! Thanks!

740 Ptarmigan December 10, 2009 at 12:59 am

I’ve got my eye on the Men’s Classic Horsehide Racer Motorcycle Jacket with Spread Collar 689H Size 38

741 Patrick December 10, 2009 at 1:00 am

A-2 Flight Jacket A2SM in black. Yes. It took me about 20 minutes to get there. But that is the one I want.

742 Ben December 10, 2009 at 1:04 am

I love then Vintage Motorcycle Jacket 585

743 damian December 10, 2009 at 1:10 am

Vintage motorcycle Jacket # 585 for me.

744 Lewis December 10, 2009 at 1:10 am

Wowza, I feel like I have been waiting for this contest my entire life. Schott is a true blue american classic. My choice is simple–the Classic Perfecto Leather Motorcycle Jacket 118, size 38. Thanks, Schott. It is so awesome that I have the possibility of winning this jacket, can’t wait to find out!

745 Ric December 10, 2009 at 1:39 am

The JF207 Leather Field Jacket-what a Wonderful Jacket! I bet it would look just incredible on me, should I be so lucky to own one of these…good luck to all!

746 Danny December 10, 2009 at 1:54 am

http://www.schottnyc.com/products/lifestyle/street/unlined-leather-rocker-shirt.htm

Unlined Leather Rocker Shirt J225

I would die for one of these.. Like I LOVE this jacket.. Please be with me luck! I need as much as possible!

747 Geo T. Jnr December 10, 2009 at 2:20 am

It would be really awesome to win and wear one of your jackets!!! I’d wear it just the way it was meant to be. ;) Classic Perfecto Leather Motorcycle Jacket 118 in a size large 42-44
Thanks.
-Geo

748 AHein December 10, 2009 at 2:28 am

I’d have to go with a Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket 141! Molto bene!

749 AHein December 10, 2009 at 2:29 am

It has to be a Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket 141 for me. Molto bene!

750 Evan December 10, 2009 at 2:33 am

I would like the Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket #141

751 Diego Villero December 10, 2009 at 2:48 am

Must say I’m smitten for the “Classic 32 Oz. Melton Wool Naval Pea Coat 740″

752 Rebecca Graham December 10, 2009 at 4:43 am

I like the Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket.

753 rrrrob December 10, 2009 at 7:17 am

If I win I would choose the black A-2 Naked Cowhide Leather Flight Jacket in a size 38. =) Good luck everyone! (crossing fingers)

754 Dave Caldwell December 10, 2009 at 7:58 am

I would like a leather jacket, please. That way, I could wear it around. People would say things like, “Hey, look at that guy. He’s got a leather jacket.” Other options include, “Whoa daddy,” and “Man, he sure looks spiffy in that leather jacket of his!”

755 Thomas Duff December 10, 2009 at 8:18 am

I think I could be quite happy with this one: Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket 135

756 SGNY December 10, 2009 at 8:40 am

My favorite Schott pick would be the Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket. Perfect style for an investment piece. Works just as easily with jeans or over slacks for work.

757 Simon December 10, 2009 at 8:41 am
758 Carson December 10, 2009 at 8:54 am

The Classic Racer 141 would go well with my old Honda cafe conversion. The minimal design and clean lines make it more comfortable wearing it on a bike you’re leaning over on, especially for trips out of town. It’s also made in the good ‘ole USA.

759 Jake December 10, 2009 at 9:04 am

Cowhide Casual Racer would look great on me when I am riding my ’85 Honda Interceptor.

760 Otto December 10, 2009 at 9:14 am

I’d have to say the Vintage Motorcycle Jacket in the brown would look pretty darned good on me.

761 Kevin December 10, 2009 at 9:14 am

I would love to have the Classic Naval Pea Coat w/Leather Trim. I had a Naval Pea Coat in high school and I miss it.

762 rob December 10, 2009 at 9:38 am

leather field jacket would get a lot of wear

763 Joshua December 10, 2009 at 9:43 am

I like classic racer jacket 141

764 Joshua December 10, 2009 at 9:43 am
765 Jim December 10, 2009 at 9:46 am

JUst as I was shopping around. These are great jackets. Hope I win!

766 Jacob Elling December 10, 2009 at 9:48 am

The Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket (135) size 40 is definitely right up my alley. It’s a nice looking jacket that doesn’t look like a motorcycle jacket and would be perfect to throw over a shirt and tie.

767 John Armitage December 10, 2009 at 9:58 am

That double breasted military leather jacket has my name written all over it. I don’t have $530 handy but I do have $30 burning a hole in my pocket.

768 matthew nelson December 10, 2009 at 10:17 am

i really like the Melton Wool Clasp Jacket JF704. It would be great to own one of these!

769 Matthew Coad December 10, 2009 at 10:30 am

It’s the Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket 135 for me.

770 Mark Vorenkamp December 10, 2009 at 10:41 am

I like the Double Breasted Military Leather Jacket 650.

771 Jeffery C Hlatko December 10, 2009 at 10:43 am

The Easy Rider Jacket is the only way to go.

772 Jennifer B. December 10, 2009 at 10:45 am

I would love to get my husband the Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket. I think he’d like that on the best! He needs a nice new coat.

773 MaCayn December 10, 2009 at 11:12 am

A Classic Perfecto Steerhide Leather Motorcycle Jacket 618 in a 46 would suit me just fine.

774 Josh Booth December 10, 2009 at 11:20 am

Call me simple, but I really like the Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket 141… but that Easy Rider Striped Leather Motorcycle Jacket 671 is tempting too…

775 Joel December 10, 2009 at 11:59 am

Just like Joshua, I’m a fan of the classic racer look, and as such, this would be my ideal leather jacket:
http://www.schottnyc.com/products/lifestyle/motorcycle/classic-racer-leather-motorcycle-jacket.htm

776 Corey Radford December 10, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Leather jackets look good online, but would look much better on me.

777 Greg K December 10, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Nice Jackets.
Black Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket 135

778 Chris December 10, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Classic Racer (141)

779 Steve B. December 10, 2009 at 12:50 pm

The Split Cowhide Leather Rancher Coat 359 looks good to me. Size 42 should do just fine. Functional? No doubt. Classic? Absolutely.

780 aliotsy December 10, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Love the clean lines on the Casual Weekend Pebbled Cowhide Leather Jacket 135.

781 Erinn Beckner December 10, 2009 at 1:15 pm

These jackets are amazing. I ride a vintage 1976 Honda motorcycle and nothing makes you look cooler than a schott jacket on a vintage bike.

782 Christopher Hall December 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm

My entry for the contest: Classic Schott Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket in Horsehide 641HH

Good luck to everybody!

783 Eric Eberle December 10, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Man, the Cowhide Casual Race just has a classic feel to it.

784 Ryan S December 10, 2009 at 1:57 pm

I would look very manly in a Classic Schott Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket in Horsehide 641HH, size 42, whether in my ’50 Ford Custom Deluxe, at the track with the race car, or on the bike my wife might let me buy after seeing me in this jacket… :)

785 Chris Wood December 10, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Definitely Classic Schott Racer. Got the bike, need the coat.

786 Rob Rolley December 10, 2009 at 2:28 pm

I need a jacket that will get the ladies to flock to me when I wear it. So, I gotta have the 395 – The “Western Fringe”. This chick magnet will guarantee me all the hotties next time I go to a hoedown or a square dance.

787 RGP December 10, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I like the Perfecto classic – can’t beat a Brando.

788 ryan wilson December 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm

The “Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket 141″ is probably the best looking in my opinion, and its definitely getting cold enough to need a good jacket.

789 matthew piotrowski December 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm

If i could have my choice of Schott leather jacket I would choose the 141 classic racer leather size 42. what a classic clean look.. and these tips for breaking in a leather jacket really work well…..

790 Adam Rogge December 10, 2009 at 2:54 pm

My entry for the contest is…
Cowhide Casual Racer 654

Good luck to all.

791 Troy December 10, 2009 at 2:54 pm

I like the Classic Schott Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket in Horsehide

792 Chris Davis December 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Classic Schott Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket in Horsehide 641HH — That’s an awesome jacket. It may be cooler than I am, but that’s ok.

793 Maxwell December 10, 2009 at 3:10 pm

The Vintage Motorcycle Jacket 585 would be a nice Christmas present surprise.

794 Gryphon MacThoy December 10, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Horsehide Perfecto D Pocket 1928H

That’s my style and pretty much would be the last jacket or coat I’ll ever have to own. Made a mistake with the last one – let a friend borrow it because she was cold. NEVER again. She threw up on it. Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. Lesson learned. I’m buying a new one for myself for Christmas, but if you pick me to be the winner, I’ll be able to get a WAY better one than i can afford right now.

795 Shane December 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I love the Vintage Motorcycle Jacket 585 in Brown. Size Large, please, and Yes, I’ll pay the difference!

796 Clark December 10, 2009 at 3:35 pm

My ideal jacket would be the black Multi-Pocket Lambskin Bomber 9H801. Wow.

797 David Miller December 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Definately the Military Style Antique Lambskin Leather Bomber Jacket 233 in Antique Size 36. Good luck everyone and happy holidays.

798 Eric December 10, 2009 at 3:44 pm

I’ll tell you what, you provide me with a striped 671 motorcycle jacket, and I will proudly wear it when I quit my job and ride from New York to San Francisco next summer!

http://www.schottnyc.com/products/lifestyle/motorcycle/easy-rider-striped-leather-motorcycle.htm

799 Andrew Woo December 10, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Vintaged Perfecto Leather Motorcycle Jacket 618V1. The things I could do with that jacket. Oh God just thinking about it is making me salivate, “ggguuuhhhhHHHhhhHHhh…*smack* *smack* Someone hand me a towel.”

800 Adrian December 10, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Classic Racer Leather Motorcycle Jacket 141 if possible please

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