Leather is famous for being a top-quality fabric, it’s hardwearing, long lasting and looks great which is why many of us choose to treat ourselves to leather clothing and accessories in a bid to ensure we’re buying pieces that will last. Leather Look on the other hand often gets a lot of bad press but just because it’s more affordable doesn’t mean you can’t also find terrific quality items.
Here at Slaters, we stock a vast selection of both leather and leather look products and we believe they are both equally essential to any man’s wardrobe. We’re going to be giving you all the facts about both types, as well as sharing with you which products we think look best in leather and which are perfectly dapper when made from leather look fabrics and textiles.
What Is Leather Look?
Leather look fabric is a material that is made to look like authentic leather, however it is made with a combination of fabrics opposed to real animal hide. It’s quite well-known how real leather is produced but how many people really know what leather look fabric is made from?
Leather look or artificial leather as it is also known is usually a layered fabric, made from a base such as polyester or cotton which is then covered with a plastic coating such as polyurethane or PVC to give it that leather sheen.
PU is a common leather look fabric and is one of the most used due to being the closest imitation to real leather. PU or Polyurethane Upholstery is made by coating a fabric such as polyester with a flexible polymer and then treating it to look like the authentic fabric.
What’s the difference?
Apart from what it’s made from, you may be wondering how else leather-look fabrics differ from real leather and the truth of the matter is, if you buy good quality, there shouldn’t be too much of a difference.
Authentic leather is known for having a more luxurious feel to it, you can often tell from touch whether fabric is real leather or a faux alternative, real leathers are usually thicker and stiffer, and they usually have a distinctive smell too.
Leather look fabrics can sometimes have more of a shine to them than the real thing as faux leather is treated to look like leather but is actually made with plastics, hence it can often have a high shine finish that real leather often doesn’t have.
In terms of the quality of the fabric, leather is known for being a hard-wearing material that lasts a long time and can stand a lot of wear, whereas because leather look fabrics are made of layers of lower quality materials, they often don’t wear as well and become damaged easier. Although that is generally the case, some faux leather materials are really good quality and can look as good and last as well as the real stuff.
Styling Leather and Leather Look
Our selection of leather look products here at Slaters are of a high quality and we like to think their appearance doesn’t differ too much from some of the real leather items that we stock, but are there certain items that work best in one fabric or another?
From a style perspective, we just love leather brogues! Choosing quality footwear is essential, which is why we recommend buying men’s leather shoes if you want a pair that are going to stand the test of time. Although leather look shoes can often look as dapper as authentic leather shoes, they often show signs of wear sooner and therefore need replacing quicker, whereas leather dress shoes and brogues can look as good years down the line as the day you bought them.
We rate leather for shoes due to durability, but when it comes to jackets, we’re all in favour of the men’s leather look jacket! Real leather jackets can often carry a large price tag whereas leather look jackets have the same style appeal but for a fraction of the cost and we think the selection we have here at Slaters look just as good as some of the authentic ones.
Whether you want a classic leather look biker jacket or a slightly smarter casual jacket, choosing a leather alternative fabric allows you to work the look without breaking the bank and when it comes to outerwear, leather look material will still keep you warm and dry.
In terms of accessories, it truly is personal preference. Leather belts and wallets are a nice addition to your look and make for a great gift, but if you’re working to a budget, leather look men’s accessories are just as good.
We hope you’ve found this useful if you’re in the market for some new pieces for your wardrobe and were facing the leather vs leather look debate. We’d love to know which you favour, so let us know on Twitter or Instagram.