The leather jacket and the mid-life crisis

SokaSoka Posts: 22MI6 Agent

A question I keep returning to:

Does a leather jacket (any style) scream mid-life crisis for those of us in our 40s and beyond?

In truth, I'm a little conflicted on this. Apart from Daniel Craig up until Skyfall (and only just), I think it looks increasingly difficult to pull off. It's certainly not your classic Bond look. I can't imagine Connery's Bond wearing a leather jacket or Roger Moore (if he did, he'd look terrible) though I'm happy to be corrected on this. Not sure about Brosnan.

But seriously, I'm really curious to hear your views on this.

TIA

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Comments

  • Agent EternalAgent Eternal Athens, GreecePosts: 115MI6 Agent

    I am 48 and still wear my suede jackets frequently. I feel comfortable and at home in them. :)

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,358MI6 Agent

    I'm 51 and wear leather jackets in the spring/fall all the time. I've got 2 Belstaffs and a Rag & Bone jacket that I alternate between depending upon my mood and I feel like a million bucks. I also have a couple of suedes (both of the SPECTRE jackets) that I wear.

    I don't see how this is a mid-life crisis thing. Wear what you want and be comfortable in your own appearance.

    Current rankings:
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>YOLT>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>OP>DN>
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    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • MFisherMFisher Posts: 686MI6 Agent

    I think it all depends on the styling of the jacket... There are plenty of leather / suede jackets with timeless appeal and classic style... However, if you're in your 40's and up trying to pull off a rock star / biker look - when in reality you're nowhere near that persona in real life - well yeah, folks may think you're shifting into a slight panic over your hair loss.. LOL

  • Royale-les-EauxRoyale-les-Eaux LondonPosts: 349MI6 Agent

    You can look good in leather at any age...after all Connery was 44 when Zardoz came out! 😁🍻

  • SokaSoka Posts: 22MI6 Agent


    This is RM in View to a Kill. It just looks completely off. It's a textbook example of a mid-life crisis and what not to wear. Thoughts?

  • The Domino EffectThe Domino Effect Posts: 3,215MI6 Agent

    I've had a leather jacket since I was about 15 years old, different styles and colours, but it has always been a staple. I am a wee bit older now and currently have two that I wear when weather and occasion permits. You need to find one that fits, that feels right to you...and then wear it with confidence regardless of age.

  • SokaSoka Posts: 22MI6 Agent

    PB looks amazing here on screen. But in real life (on a high street) it looks like a costume. It's not understated British elegance.

  • GaryorangeGaryorange Posts: 105MI6 Agent

    You may find this a bit cringe worthy but it does make some good points



    That said it comes down to this if you feel good in it then wear it.


    I have been through exactly the same feelings . (Suede is considered acceptable for older blokes if you worry about such things ) .


    I had an Indiana Jones Jacket and periodically I really want to get another . The trouble is in my opinion with the exception of a lucky few , leather and the over 50s don’t mix .

    Stick to suede but….like I say …if you think you can pull it off then go for it

  • CheverianCheverian Posts: 1,169MI6 Agent

    Bikers seem to be able to pull it off, beer bellies and all. Maybe it has to do with the tats and the facial hair.

    There's all kinds of crap on YouTube saying that guys over 40 shouldn't wear leather jackets or even jeans!

    But like everything it comes down to what kind of shape you're in and how you style the entire outfit. What makes Garyorange's meme so scathing is that the old guy is 1.) fat 2.) wearing distressed black leather, with 3) a tucked-in button down, with 4.) jeans. It's a mid-life mishmash.

    If he was wearing a dapper suede jacket over a jumper and gabardine trousers (everything color-coordinated), he would still be fat, but he wouldn't necessarily look like an ass.

  • SokaSoka Posts: 22MI6 Agent
    edited August 31

    Interesting video. A bit too generic. Theroux looks very cool. Totally pulls it off. It depends a lot on your physique and vibe, but I don't know if DC always gets it right, e.g. here with dad jeans:


    Or here. It looks off to me. Screams mid-life crisis.


  • CajunCajun Posts: 336MI6 Agent
    edited September 2

    As others have said, it boils down to style and physique IMO.

    A Members Only or similarly-styled “mall” jacket will always look cheesy regardless of wearer. At the same time, a dad bod will always look like a dad bod regardless of wardrobe.

    The “X” factor is the comfort zone and attitude of the wearer. Guitarist Brian Setzer will look at home in a motorcycle jacket until his last breath. A middle-aged guy trying to portray an image that has never aligned with his personality will never convincingly pull off the look.

    I’ve been wearing aviator and Indy-style jackets most of my life. You’re never going to convince me the classics are no longer age-appropriate.

    I edit, therefore I am.
  • canoe2canoe2 Posts: 1,668MI6 Agent

    If you're worried about wearing a leather jacket, and people can see you're worried about wearing a leather jacket, you shouldn't be wearing a leather jacket.

  • Royale-les-EauxRoyale-les-Eaux LondonPosts: 349MI6 Agent

    Should we be engaging with style videos from 2019 with people dressed as Julian Casablancas from 1999?

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,358MI6 Agent

    a million times THIS.

    it's all about attitude. If you're not feeling it, don't wear it.

    Current rankings:
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>YOLT>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>OP>DN>
    TWINE>TND>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • SokaSoka Posts: 22MI6 Agent
    edited September 1

    Great point. But surely only true to an extent. One thing is how you look in your mind; another is if you're able to zoom out and look at yourself from a distance. Take David Brent. In his mind, he looks seriously hot. But of course, Gervais knows he looks like a dog's dinner. :)


  • Charmed & DangerousCharmed & Dangerous Posts: 7,218MI6 Agent

    To paraphrase Vesper Lynd, there are leather jackets and there are leather jackets. You need to have an eye for style and what to pair the jacket with.

    In general though I agree with Canoe2. You need to be comfortable in what you wear.

    "How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."
  • canoe2canoe2 Posts: 1,668MI6 Agent

    I think you're trying to make "style" an objective thing. Personally, I think it's very subjective. What looks bad to you can be a killer look to someone else. For example, I really like that leather jacket Craig wore during the Knives Out press tour. I doubt I could pull it off effectively. But I can appreciate the style on him.

    And that's the key word: doubt. As soon as you're doubting how you look, all potential to be "stylish" goes out the window. I don't remember who said it, but there's that old quote: You're not wearing that hat; that hat's wearing you.

    I know a few guys in their 40s, 50s and 60s that can definitely rock a black double rider. Am I one of them? No, because it's a jacket style I never felt comfortable wearing. I would have looked like a poser in one in my 20s, nevermind my 50s. But I have plenty of other leather and suede jackets (mostly cafe racer or trucker styles) that I'll throw on without hesitation.

    TL;DR: Style is 90% confidence. So wear what makes you feel good.

  • ichaiceichaice LondonPosts: 399MI6 Agent

    I’ve got several leather jackets and wear them regularly. As others have said if you feel good then it probably is good 👍

    Yes. Considerably!

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lukey_sparrow/
  • Charmed & DangerousCharmed & Dangerous Posts: 7,218MI6 Agent

    Perhaps I should have said, you need to have an eye for style which suits you. Knowingly how to pair things helps. A shirt and tie rarely looks good with a leather jacket; Ricky Gervais would look better if the jacket was teamed with a casual shirt or t-shirt which toned with the tan colour of the jacket.

    "How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."
  • HalfMonk HalfHitmanHalfMonk HalfHitman USAPosts: 1,987MI6 Agent
    edited September 1

    This question is a different sort of thing in an era where almost no one wears suits, and jeans and sneakers are some sort of conformist uniform. Put on anything from the Craig era - even his most casual pieces - and you're going to stand out, and possibly look a little "try hard."

    Almost no one wears the items we obsess over on here. Grown men write blog posts about how neckties should become extinct. $600 shoes, $300 sunglasses would get us judged harshly by friends and acquaintances if they knew the price.

    You'll always find a consensus of people who don't share your priorities telling you yours are bad. Even on this forum :P

  • canoe2canoe2 Posts: 1,668MI6 Agent

    +1 as well. I rarely post links to my website outside of the dedicated thread here, but I had a really fun talk with Jeremy Kirkland about this topic: how we're approaching "luxury" today and how different demographics don't even acknowledge the same luxury brands. We may think of Tom Ford or C&J or whatever as being luxury. Some other guy is thinking a limited edition Supreme t-shirt or a rare Nike colorway is luxury. They would never spend $250 on tie or $4000 on a suit. But they'll drop $700 on a pair of sneakers or $400 on some artisinal Japanese selvedge jeans. As you say, different priorities.

    Jeans and sneakers are definitely part of the uniform today. But to be "in fashion" you still have to be wearing the "right" jeans and the "right" sneakers. Even with basic things like that, there is a level of luxury we're supposed to pursue. And someone else is always determined to you what the "right" thing is (or perhaps it's better to say they won't hesitate to tell you when it's the "wrong" thing).

    This is kind of drifting off the topic of Soka's original question. But I guess it all relates back to what everyone has been advocating so far: wear what makes you feel good.

  • sunny01sunny01 Posts: 462MI6 Agent

    Just watched the video posted above - IMO if you're in good shape you can be 40+ and look great in a leather jacket. Can you honestly tell me its more appropriate and looks better on a fat 25yr old in a leather jacket...who looks better then, the "old" guy or the youngster??? Age is not the differentiating factor. Its physique and confidence. If you are in good shape and fit you are likely to be more confident as the clothing will fit better, so again that will come across to others.

  • walther p99walther p99 NJPosts: 3,399MI6 Agent

    Brosnan is one of the best looking men of all time, especially back then. When you're that level of handsome you can pretty much pull off anything style related.

  • CajunCajun Posts: 336MI6 Agent

    Am I outing myself by asking what’s wrong with DC’s jeans? :D

    I edit, therefore I am.
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,358MI6 Agent

    Move over, Cajun. I'll join you on the FAIL BUS.

    I have no idea what's wrong with DC's jeans either.

    Current rankings:
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>YOLT>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>OP>DN>
    TWINE>TND>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • SokaSoka Posts: 22MI6 Agent

    I don't think DC's jeans work: the fit, colour, the bunched up fabric in part because of the massive belt. A darker more fitted pair ala QoS is the benchmark.

    BWT, do you guys have a view on his orange jacket? For me, it's hideous. :) It's very David Brent worthy.

  • walther p99walther p99 NJPosts: 3,399MI6 Agent
    edited September 2

    I'm with you guys, the jeans and whole outfit looks absolutely fine to me. Opposed to Justin Theroux who looks really try hard with his super tight jeans.

  • CajunCajun Posts: 336MI6 Agent

    I’m not a fan of the russet-colored leathers either. DC pulls it off as a 60’s throwback look, but the color alone paints the jacket into a fashion corner IMO.

    I edit, therefore I am.
  • Westward_DriftWestward_Drift Posts: 2,573MI6 Agent

    Daniel Craig and his fondness for prominent belts and buckles is rather well known.

    The jacket DC is wearing isn't orange. It's brown.


    I personally do not like the jacket because of the cuffs. Otherwise it's fine.

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