The most attractive image of the sheep coat, unfortunately, is not its most effective advertising. Only Del Boy from Fools and Horses has consolidated for many the relationship between trustworthy sheepskin and trade in the market, a wide, fluffy neck for the wide boy. If not him, sheepskin was for many years a staple of football coaches screaming from the sidelines during icy winter games, or of John Motson, a little more welcoming in his comment box.
But what unites his appreciation for the sheepskin coat, better known as shearling, a coat that has been made of sheepskin, tanned and dressed in wool that remains as a natural lining, is the fact that few winter coats, outside of the highly technical ones, they are just as warm. Very warm, in fact. And often because they work so hard to make these coats, very expensive.
The same idea was not lost on World War II aviators. Undoubtedly more elegant, if only for its more sexist associations, the flying jacket associated with The Few of the Battle of Britain, all large and with a belt over those blue RAF, was also a leather jacket of sheep, with the exterior tanned and polished to a shine. but the woolly interior and the huge neck preserved. Before the arrival of electrically heated flying suits, a jacket like this literally kept you alive at altitude, as was the intention of its designer, a certain Leslie Irvin, who also invented the parachute rope system.
Those with a less patriotic inclination might suggest that it was the USAAF, the American equivalent of the RAF in wartime, that carried the style better, with its B-3 model, with several adjusters of waist and cuffs, zippers and pockets, and sometimes made. of untreated raw white sheepskin. He became an icon of military clothing. The model had been standard in the USAAF since 1934 and such was its success that it was still in use until the 1950s, when incorporating more technology into a cabin, and a new wave of synthetic fabrics, made the its volume was impractical. Not that it was a new idea for either side of the Atlantic: the Iron Age man wore sheepskin coats, which had their moments of high fashion both during the medieval, Tudor and Victorian periods.
But of course, the warmth of sheepskin or sheepskin is just one of its benefits. It’s the style that really sells it in these central heat times, and that’s also why, for ethical reasons, many modern interpretations are fake sheep, with the best examples just as good. The classic Levi’s trucker jacket with sherpa collar (sherpa is a kind of synthetic polyester fleece with a wool look) is an example. Many brands, from Zara to AMI, YMC to Stella McCartney, have rightly ridden this horse.
Not in vain did Skinheads, this austere-style tribe from which he derived Mod – Make a sheepskin your favorite winter coat, when cropped 501 pants or Sta Perst and cherry red Doc Marten kept winter out, but that MA-1 fire jacket he really didn’t. Worn on a gingham shirt with buttons and straps, the sheepskin looked better. The different panels that come together to make a sheepskin coat, sheep have not yet been born large enough to provide enough skin for an entire coat, although genetics certainly work there, they have to be sewn. And a good example is sewn with a precision flat seam that is so flat that the coat can be worn upside down, albeit at the risk of looking like something like a yeti.
Perhaps that is why, despite the lighter, warmer, more compact and ethical alternatives made by man today, the sheepskin coat persists. Check out Marlon Brando with his heart-neck jacket at On the Waterfront or James Dean’s ranch coat at Giant. Or, in the more market-to-market and hood-style style, look at Steve Buscemi in Fargo or Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049 (yes, even in 30 years they still wear them).
There’s something about the rope collar jacket that makes your wearer look great effortlessly, and something about the sheepskin full coat that makes your wearer look like he knows how to handle himself. It’s hard to wear a sheepskin coat without evoking any subtle touch of menace (see Tom Hardy as Bane for reference).
Since a sheepskin jacket is an investment purchase, before giving up your cash, it is prudent to consider the following.
Interestingly, you don’t find yourself much in the way of tight sheepskin. This is a sturdy outerwear with a thick silhouette and large lapels or neck. You feel the weight when you carry it. If you normally buy a larger size with winter coats for grooving a layer of knit below, note how thin your legs will be before heading to the box. For similar reasons, short, stout boys are advised to go for a long coat instead of a square jacket.
In recent years, flight jackets have been the most common sheepskin coats, possibly to the point of overexposure. They are masculine, practical and style up or down quite easily. Shearling or borg truckers are more casual – think of the aesthetics of Brokeback Mountain, winter in Wyoming. Longer styles include feathers and coats, but you will also find a sheepskin parka or raincoat. They all have some decay, especially because of the number of digits you’ll find on the price tag.
There is a complicated riddle about what it constitutes ethical fashion these days, and it shows up when you’re going to buy sheep. Some conscious consumers refuse to buy the real thing for reasons of animal cruelty. But if you opt for borg, the vegan alternative, you’re likely to buy oil-based polyester, which may not last as long and removes microplastics. Only you can decide which is the right option.
The brown sheep is the most natural and common style you’ll see, but it comes with these Del Boy connotations. Black is a smart alternative, especially in a flight jacket, but don’t discount chocolate brown or even navy blue or the occasional green. A contrasting lining or white sheepskin neckline leans traditional, while many modern styles have the lining dyed to give a tonal look.
The best brands of heart jackets
Now that you’ve figured out exactly what type of sheepskin jacket you want to buy, here are the brands you should look into.
Closed originally started as denim brand in the late 1970s, but since then it has become a full-fledged fashion brand, with lines for both men and women … and some of the fur coat pieces of nicer sheep out there. The brand uses Spanish lambskin to make its sheepskin coats and jackets, with designs ranging from classic firefighter and aviator styles to parkas. But whatever the style, expect these jackets to be warm, soft, comfortable and stylish.
Sitting at the premium end of Main Street, Reiss has built a reputation for production high quality and affordable leather jackets, and their versions of sheepskin certainly do not disappoint. Launching a small, selected line every fall / winter, you can expect butter-like soft sheepskin in a wide range of classic colors and silhouettes, from aviators to truckers, updated with contemporary details and design elements.
Schott NYC began supplying fire jackets to the U.S. Air Force during World War II before shooting to fame after Marlon Brando put on his Perfecto biker jacket in the movie The Wild One. Widely considered the ultimate leather outerwear brand, the American company offers sheepskin versions of all its classic models, including the B-1, G-3, trucker and biker.
The sheepskin jacket was a natural progression for a brand that turned the leather biker into an integral part of its collections during Hedi Slimane’s tenure. The designer may have left the company since then, but his characteristic aesthetic remains, with Saint Laurent designs exuding the arrogance of rock ‘n’ roll.
Known for crossing between the realms of culture, art and fashion, the experimental turn of Acne Studios Scandinavian style it has earned him legions of loyal followers around the world. Her sheepskin outerwear stays true to shape, with the Swedish label giving this old silhouette a contemporary update through color, shape and detail without deviating from its minimal design ethos.
If money is no object and you are looking for a true investment piece, Brunello Cucinelli offers some of the most luxurious sheepskin jackets and coats on the market. The highest quality sheepskin is complemented by top quality details such as cashmere embellishments and subtly engraved hardware to create a superior product. Expect to pay over £ 5,000, but they are worth every penny.
He unconditional preppy offers an excellent range of authentic American workwear through its RRL sub-brand, with sheepskin outerwear occupying a place of pride. Expect classic, masculine shapes, such as trucker, firefighter, and ranch jacket that will fit directly into your weekend wardrobe. Meanwhile, Ralph’s Purple Label line offers high-end versions with sleek shapes that exude luxury and are priced up to par.
Artisan producers of sheepskin jackets
This French tannery makes some of the best leather jackets around, and it’s a surprise given its history: Lindbergh wore a Chapal jacket for his transatlantic flight; and Chapal invented a lamination process by which sheepskin coats can be waterproofed. But expect to pay: your B-3 is € 5,000.
British Sheepskin Company
If you want a B-3 chalet or a sheepskin coat, this family business might be the place to come. BSC emerged from Somerset’s formerly important sheepskin industry, which sadly went into rapid decline in the early 1980s.
Eastman Leather Company
This company has rightly earned the reputation of manufacturing some of the best military reproduction jackets on the market, and its sheepskin designs are no exception. His B-6 is a more toned-down version of the B-3, better combined, at least for adventurers, with A-3 sheepskin pants.