5 Quick Ways to Break in a Leather Jacket

5 Quick Ways to Break in a Leather Jacket

Nothing compares to the comfort, warmth, and style of a leather jacket. But when you buy a new one, it doesn't feel as soft and comfortable until you break it in. As you keep using your jacket, it will naturally break in over time, developing creases that make it easy to wear and supple. However, there are some tried and tested ways to break in the leather jacket quickly.  

What to Consider Before Breaking in a Leather Jacket? 

Assess the type of leather before buying a new leather jacket so that you have a clear idea of its quality and source. You need to know the right ways to break in a jacket without ruining it. 

If working with a type of leather with high tensile strength, such as cow leather or horse leather, the process to make them pliable enough to wear may differ, as the material can withstand roughening with abrasives. Such strong materials would be harder to break in as opposed to softer kinds, such as sheepskin or goatskin leather. For delicate leather types like lambskin, the jacket would adapt much quicker, but you need to be cautious not to use excessive force on it as it can get damaged.  

A fake leather jacket is not made of real animal leather, and hence cannot break in as a real leather jacket would do. 

Break in Different Types of Leather  

Leather quality is vital in deciding how flexible and comfortable the jacket will be. Full grain leather is the highest quality leather. Its surface is not sanded down, keeping the natural grain intact. Ensure you get a high-quality full grain leather jacket from a reputable brand like Poshele, and frequently wear it to break it in.  

Top grain leather refers to the second best quality of leather, making lightweight jackets that break in fast. Avoid using abrasive techniques on top grain leather.  

Genuine leather and corrected leather are also lower in quality. Avoid breaking in a genuine leather jacket with rigorous methods such as dampening or using steel wool on it. Make it softer by applying leather conditioner instead.  

Methods to break in a jacket don't work on fake leather jackets. Made with synthetic materials, faux leather jackets can rip apart if subjected to excessive pressure. 

5 Quick Ways to Break in New Leather Jackets  

Leather jackets are popular not only for their unparalleled appearance, but also for their particular "second-skin" feel. You should get a jacket that fits you right, so that it breaks in easily. A custom leather jacket is a good option in this regard. If your brand new leather jacket feels stiff, here are five no-fuss ways to break it in.  

Wear it Frequently  

Nothing beats the simplest way to break in leather-wear, which is to wear it as much as possible. Why is it the best way? Because the jacket breaks in where you want to break it in. You can wear your new leather jacket and move around to speed up the process, as idly sitting won't do much to the jacket. Moving your arms in circles and doing activities that engage your arms and torso is a good idea. A great way to conform the jacket to your body is to wear it as you sleep.  

Stretch the Jacket by Hanging It 

A jacket can also break in naturally if you hang it on a cloth hanger. This especially works for heavy jackets, as they stretch down with gravity. An added benefit of using this method is that it removes wrinkles from the jacket.  

Use a Leather Conditioner 

A leather conditioner is a must have product if you own leather goods. It helps soften up the leather, prolonging its life.  When the leather is conditioned, you have an easy time breaking it in. However, leather conditioners differ for each type of leather, so it is advised to check the care label on the jacket before using a conditioner on it. 

Dampen Your Jacket


You must have always protected your leather jacket from moisture, so this method might sound doubtful. But yes, dampening a jacket (with controlled moisture) is one way to break it in.  

Light rain is an excellent opportunity to expose your jacket to some wetness. Don’t take it off once you are indoors, and let it dry naturally in the air. Take this time to stretch the leather out by being physically active. Once dried, your jacket will crease and shrink to fit you perfectly. If you cannot bear to put on a wet jacket, roll up some clothes and stuff them in the jacket to avoid it from shrinking.  

You can also dampen a jacket made with leather by spraying water on it and wearing it till the moisture evaporates.

Use a Mild Abrasive 

For tough leathers, rubbing them with mildly abrasive elements such as soft steel wool is another way to scratch the surface, which helps lessen their stiffness. Remember that only a few leather qualities can withstand an abrasive method. Be gentle and use slow strokes to avoid unsightly scratches that cannot be repaired. Another way to break in the jacket is to fold it into a ball, tie it up, and throw it around to develop creases.  

Breaking in Leather: Soft Leather Jackets Vs Stiff Leather Jackets


Stiff leathers require more time and work to break in as opposed to softer leather types. Cowhide, steer hide, horsehide, and bull hide are strong and highly resistant to wear and tear. On the other hand, jackets made with lambskin leather, sheepskin, goat skin, and suede leather will break in quicker and feel supple just by wearing them a few times.  

Breaking in a Light Jacket vs Heavy Jacket

Contemplate the weight of your jacket before using a method to break it in. the leather conditioners for heavy-weight jackets made with cow or horse skin are not suitable for delicate leather such as lambskin. Leather conditioner softens lightweight leather jackets and helps break them in.  

How Long Will It Take for a Leather Jacket to Break In? 

The time to break in a new leather jacket varies for different types of leather. A goat skin leather motorcycle jacket would adapt to your body and feel like second skin much faster than a stiff full grain cowhide jacket.  

What to Avoid to Break Your Jacket In? 

Before you attempt to break in your jacket, make sure to steer clear of the following things: 

  • Soaking a leather jacket or wearing it in heavy downpours without an umbrella. Excess moisture will seep into the pores, cause staining, and damage even full grain leather jackets beyond repair.  
  • Washing it in the machine.
  • Not regarding the quality of leather, such as using harsh methods to break in genuine leather or imitation grain leather. 
  • Subjecting it to excessive pressure.  
  • Using hair dryers or other means to dry the jacket faster, as it can dry out the oils in the leather. 

Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions 

One method that worked to break in a jacket might not be suitable for another jacket. Leather jacket companies mention the cleaning and maintenance instructions and material details on the care label. When buying high quality leather jackets, the care label is your manual to treat the jacket appropriately.  


1. How can you break in a leather jacket fast?

The quick fix to breaking in a leather jacket is to dampen it by spraying water on it from a spray bottle and wearing it till it dries naturally. This will release stiffness from areas that crease while you bend, making the jacket comfortable. 

2. Does leather jacket get loose over time?

Over time, as the pliability of leather increases, it stretches. It is a natural process that is beneficial as body measurements also tend to grow over time. 

3. How to break in a Letterman Leather Jacket?

If your Letterman leather jacket is made of two materials, apply leather conditioner on areas made with leather to break them in.

4. How to break in a Leather Jacket naturally?

The recommended way to break in a jacket made with leather naturally is to wear it frequently. Layer it over your day to day outfits so that its flexibility improves with every passing day. 

5. Can I break in a Leather Jacket by Sleeping in it?

Even if you don’t have to, wearing a leather jacket indoors (or while asleep) is the best way to get accustomed to your body. It may seem awkward, but if you can wear the jacket as you sleep, it will bend and crease much faster.  

Wrapping Up 

Gifting a splendid leather jacket to yourself is a significant style move, as it can give you uncountable voguish outfits. You can choose from a range of styles, such as a leather motorcycle jacket or a bespoke leather jacket in bomber style, but comfort is a factor that you can’t compromise. Breaking in a leather jacket makes it pliant, allowing you to make it a part of any outfit confidently. However, reading the care label by the leather jacket company is essential to avoid any irreparable damage to your precious jacket.