Smart Dressing

Five of spring’s sharpest suede jackets and how to style them

The Jackal’s Style Director brings you the chicest suede jackets out there this spring, complete with his tips on how to wear them

Words by
Gareth Scourfield

Trust us, suede jackets are your safest go-to layering piece this spring. While the fabric is not a wet weather friend, suede makes for a great transitional material from crisp, chilly days to the longer, lighter weeks ahead. Of course, suede doesn’t come cheap, so it’s an investment that’s worth considering. It’ll pay dividends to look at colours, styles and fits to suit your lifestyle – and to think about current trends versus long term wearability. With that in mind, here are five versatile jackets to get you prepped ahead of spring’s arrival.

Valstar suede jacket

1. Valstar

This refined Italian maker is a best kept secret for devoted suede-heads. Its origins date back to 1911, and in 1935 it was responsible for developing the sporty Valstarino A1 flight jacket; a timeless style that remains one of the brand’s best sellers. This classic bomber is modelled on the original, with military inspired detailing such as the buttoned throat latch, flap pockets and ribbed trims. It’s well suited to spring layering, thanks to its unlined, unstructured design. Pair it with dark denim and merino knits now and white denim and chambray shirts come summer.

£770, shop now via Mr Porter

Enlist suede jacket

2. Enlist

Enlist specialises in smart non-seasonal essentials, so it’s no surprise to find some suede in the mix this season. This slim fit zip-through suede jacket is a great example of how suede can work all year round. The smooth shape created by removing any extraneous details makes it a smart layering piece to pair with a classic white cotton tee and unstructured wool topcoat. Alternatively, let the rich burgundy colour do the talking and opt for a navy or charcoal roll neck underneath. Wear with trim tailored cotton trousers and Chelsea boots, or lighten things up with washed denim and white sneakers.

£685, shop now via Mr Porter

Tom Ford suede jacket

3. TOM FORD

Suede is up there with corduroy when it comes to referencing seventies style, but unlike its cotton contemporary, which is a little more at home with comfy brogues and a cardigan, suede is a little sexier, a little richer and certainly more expensive. No brand embodies all those qualities quite like TOM FORD. This suede shirt-jacket is a case in point; with its authentic Western patch pockets and topstitching, it’ll work with worn-in denim and stacked boots, another spring trend. If that feels too much like Texan ranch territory, then pair down with a plain T-shirt and wear with wide, soft cotton trousers. Turn the sleeves up for a louche finishing touch.

£3,690, shop now via Mr Porter

Ami Suede Jacket

4. AMI

Alexandre Mattiussi has always designed for his eponymous label with one objective in mind; to offer all the wardrobe staples that any man could wish for, delivered with a dose of understated Parisian cool. This camel suede bomber is a signature example of that modest elegance; it’ll look as good now as it will ten years hence, provided you give it the care and attention it deserves. Contemporary design touches include the deep ribbed hem and oversized front bellows pockets. Wear yours with a simple navy or white crewneck, black slim denim jeans and dark Chelsea boots for an authentic Left Bank look.

£905, shop now

Oliver Spencer Pink Suede Jacket

5. Oliver Spencer

I think we can agree that men wearing pink is old news. The good news is this softer version of the colour is popping up in a number of collections this summer and it couldn’t work better in velvety suede. Oliver Spencer has been pushing pink for a few seasons now, and given the way it sits comfortably against navy, olive and rich brown tones we can see why. This butter-soft suede shirt jacket (Spencer calls this style his ‘cowboy jacket’) works well with a Breton striped knit, or with double-denim (yes, it’s a thing). Wear with loose pleated linen cuffed trousers and suede loafers for a touch of continental ‘Joie de vivre’.

£739, shop now