February 25, 2014

The Dapper Man: Leather

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By ERIC DING

I’m not the type of person to care too much about materials. Cotton or polyurethane? Hey, as long as it looks good, fits nicely and is of good quality, then I’m in. However, the one material I have fallen head over heels for is leather. Faux leather is good too, just as long as it’s good quality, of course. I’ve realized recently that leather is a mature man’s material. You don’t see little kids running around with leather clothes or accessories. Leather is a material that should be used modestly and effectively, so here are a couple of my favorite leather pieces that I personally own.

H&M Leather Briefcase

I got this bag recently as a gift from my wonderful, beautiful older sister. For starters, this particular bag has been featured on Esquire’s “10 Stylish Everyday Bags” list. It is 100 percent premium quality real leather. It looks surprisingly handcrafted despite coming from the colossal clothing giant, H&M. It comes with two buckles, a handle and a strap, and I’ve been comfortably using it as my school bag for a couple of days now. The one caveat is finding it since it’s unfortunately not yet available online. The only way to get your hands on one of these quality bags is to actually go into a H&M store and pray that the bag will be there.

Obey Rapture Jacket

This faux leather jacket is insanely popular. I see it around campus often, but for a good reason. This is a great, warm jacket that has a faux leather shell and a hooded sweatshirt insert underneath. It’s literally doing the stylish layered look for you. This jacket comes in three color combinations, all of them a mix of either grey, brown or black. You can zip the faux leather shell or the insert separately and there are side pockets as well as breast pockets. This is one of those jackets that Obey sells all year, further solidifying this jacket as one that has clear lasting value.

H&M Derby Shoes

The first time I saw these shoes, I knew they were perfect for me. They’re very affordable, they’re made out of imitation leather (actually 100 percent polyurethane) and they are the perfect mix of casual and dressy. These derby shoes are classic oxfords with the low, thin design and lacing over the instep.The shape of the shoes is slimming, and the heel gives you a nice bit of height. You can dress them up with a dress shirt and tie, or you can dress them down with some slim jeans and a pullover. They add a dash of style to every outfit. Also, for those of you who want a better version, H&M does sell a higher quality pair of shoes that is 100 percent leather with reinforced soles, but it cost about twice as much.

Timex Elevated Classics Dress Watch

I can’t emphasize enough how much better this watch looks in person than it does online. Online, the gold case looks unimpressive and fake, but in person, the gold case is shiny, sharp, and strong. The gold casing is perfectly complemented by the strap, which is an embossed genuine leather, crocodile patterned buckle strap. I am very particular about my watches and it took me almost a year of watch searching to finally discover this one. The brown strap, gold case, white clock face and black lettering all contrast each other so well, and I’m planning on keeping this valuable item for years to come.

If you don’t own leather items, I suggest you invest in searching for some. They will definitely make you feel like such a manlier man.

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