Smart Dressing

Here’s why shearling is a better investment than leather this season

Looking for a casual jacket that avoids 'dad dressing' clichés? Shearling is the solution, says our Style Director

Words by
Gareth Scourfield

Confession time. I have a problem with leather. Beyond wearing it on my feet or carrying it as a bag, I struggle to find where it might work in my wardrobe. The truth is, I’m the wrong side of 40 to pull it off with any conviction and I’m certainly no petrol head to give it authenticity. Neither do I hanker after the ageing rocker look.

We may all like to think we become some sort of reincarnation of Mr Brando, Dean or McQueen when wearing leather, but, invariably we are not. It’s bad dad dressing at worst, a mid life crisis, at best – think Jeremy Clarkson meets Bruce Willis.

So, it’s with some relief that this season’s influx of shearling is well upon us. For a start, it’s less age defining than leather. It also offers more insulation against the cold and affords more flattering style options, from a shorter aviator or bomber to longer length overcoats.

More often than not, a shearling coat is a serious investment, so choose wisely. This is no time for impulse buying; you want to look more Alain Delon than Derek Trotter. With the likes of Daniel Craig, Brad Pitt and Tom Hardy all favouring this furry stuff you can be assured you’re in good stylish company. Below, we’ve selected five of this season’s best shearling options to get wrapped up in this winter.

Officine Generale Ian Shearling jacket
Shearling jacket edit, The Jackal magazine
Meet the quintessential tan shearling jacket, given a contemporary update with minimalist details. The clean-cut silhouette makes it an adaptable winter staple. With its practical half-moon pockets, simple two-way zip and ribbed collar and cuffs, this shearling is devoid of fussy details so the quality of skin can do all the work. Embrace the tan colour and wear this with a traditional cream Aran knit sweater or camel rollneck. Team with a pair of white jeans or jumbo tan cords, along with a pair of chunky tan brogued boots. £1,490, shop now

Valstar Valstarino shearling lined suede bomberValstar shearling, Jackal magazine
Valstar knows about timeless classics. The brand created one of the world’s first suede bombers back in 1911 for the Italian airforce – the design of which has remained virtually unchanged. This is a fresh take on that same design, the Valstarino, a sporty interpretation of the A-1 flight jacket. Made from buttery soft suede and fully lined in shearling, this is a sound investment jacket. Cut for a regular fit, it’s finished with knitted ribbed trims to keep out the cold. Wear with slim indigo denim, a rich claret or mustard merino knit and simple white trainers. £795, shop now

Joseph York shearling jacketJoseph shearling, The Jackal magazine
This ‘York’ jacket is exclusive to Mr Porter and a deft example of how effortless shearling can be. The navy colour lends it versatility and a smartness that looks just as good at the office or Sunday lunch at the local pub. Made in Italy from supple storm-blue shearling, it’s cut in a boxy shape, so there’s room (should you need it) for layering up underneath. The buckled throat latch and ribbed knitted cuffs add extra insulation. Wear with a soft grey cable knit crewneck, heavy blue denim and black Chelsea boots. £1,295, shop now

Reiss Toni Shearling bomberreiss shearling bomber, Jackal magazine
This short bomber gives a style nod to the original WWII RAF fighter jacket.  Expertly handcrafted from super-soft leather in rich chocolate brown, it’s a pretty versatile piece that will work well across your seasonal wardrobe. It features a generous shearling collar – ideal to pop up during those frosty morning commutes – geometric buttoning side pockets and practical zip closure. A piece that’s practical and smart in equal measure, we recommend you wear with charcoal flannel trousers, a bottle green merino rollneck and a pair of dark full-grain leather boots. £895, shop now

Massimo Dutti Limited Edition Shearling Jacket

It’s well known that the Spanish produce some of the softest luxury leathers around, and this example of a shearling lined jacket doesn’t disappoint. As part of the brand’s limited edition range, you’re getting serious quality at a favourable price point. The jacket is given a relaxed, sporty feel with its adjustable and removable hood. Complete with ribbed cuffs and hem, it’s a perfect piece for those casual comfort days. Wear with black slim denim, a grey marl sweatshirt and a pair of box fresh leather sneakers. £599, shop now