The touch. The feel. The fabric of our lives. No, not cotton. Leather, man, leather. It’s the stuff men are made of. From head to toe, men (and even women) just can’t resist this allure. But how to care for your leather stuff? That is the all-important question. Here are some tips to help you maintain, clean, and store your hat, jacket, wallet, belt, and boots.
Leather can be expensive, but it sure is impressive. So don’t be afraid to show it off and wear it is much as you like. You just need to care for it properly. The two big detriments for your animal hide are water and heat. Too much water can shrink your leather stuff, and too much heat can dry it out and make it crack, damages that are too often irreversible.
You also want to avoid abrasive materials like sand or gravel. If needed, you can apply a special leather moisturizer or cream to keep your stuff supple and fresh. And don’t do anything to stretch it out; trust me, it will not go back to its original size or shape.
Whatever you do, do not throw your leather items in the washing machine. A weekly brushing and damp cloth cleansing is all you need. Carefully remove any dry or abrasive material from the garment, and then wipe it down with a damp cloth; you don’t want to saturate the material. Do not use soap or another cleaning solution because these could cause the leather to break down or become weakened.
Let your stuff dry naturally at room temperature before donning it again. If you get it really soiled (you know, oil from your motorcycle, grease from your monster burger), consider taking it to a professional leather cleaner.
If, for whatever incomprehensible reason, you need to put away your masculine leather stuff, be sure to use proper storage procedures. Do not enclose your garment in plastic, but rather place it in a cool, dry place where it can continue to breathe. Nothing could be worse than pulling that most beloved leather jacket out of the closet to find it discolored and smelly from mildew. And framing it behind glass to commemorate some splendiferous event is not the answer either. Remember, cool and dry is where your leather wants to be.
Women have diamonds, but a man’s best friend is his leather. Caring for it properly will ensure a lifelong relationship and an enduring fashion statement.