How long do suede jackets last? And how to make them last longer

I love suede jackets. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I have given up on other classic pieces like the biker leather jacket; it’s just that no other piece of outerwear can match the luxe feel of a quality suede jacket.

Like regular leather jackets, suede jackets are also available in several styles like the bomber, motorcycle, cafe racer, and more. But still, I see people spending a lot more money and thought on buying a leather jacket compared to a suede jacket.

Why’s that?

I personally think that people spend more money on a leather jacket because they feel that a quality piece would last them a lifetime. And on the other hand, people consider suede to be a pretty flimsy material that would not last more than a couple of seasons.

If this sounds like you, then you could not be more wrong.

So how many years does a suede jacket last?

A quality suede jacket, if properly taken care of, can easily last a lifetime. Even slightly cheaper suede jackets can last for 4-5 years if worn occasionally, provided that the jacket is made from real suede and not something like faux suede.

I have been in love with suede for a few years now, and these numbers have come up as the direct result of my personal experiences. However, the longevity of your jacket will mainly depend on two things – the quality of the jacket, and how well you maintain it.

I have already talked about quality here, so let’s take a look at maintenance.

How to make your suede jacket last longer?

suede jacket

It would be foolish to expect your jacket to last more than a couple of years if you constantly wear it in rain, take zero care of it, never clean it properly, and refuse to do any sort of maintenance work at all.

There are a bunch of different things that you can do to increase the life of your suede jacket. Some of them include but are not limited to:

Don’t wear suede in the rain

Water and suede generally don’t mix well together. In fact, I have lost count of the number of suede pieces I have lost to the rains of New York. Basically, don’t wear your suede jackets when it is raining, and the life of the garment would already become 5x longer.

Along the same lines, don’t expose your suede jacket to any kind of water. It would completely ruin your jacket.

Use tools like suede protectors and suede erasers

While you should try to keep your suede jacket as dry as possible, it will sometimes inevitably get wet, especially if you live in places like New York or London where the weather is absolutely crazy.

suede protector
How a suede protector generally looks like

A suede protector spray would come in really handy at this point. Spray it all over your jacket in order to make it waterproof. Similarly, try to use dedicated suede erasers when you are trying to get rid of the scuff marks on your jacket.

Don’t try to DIY this stuff, as you would probably end up doing more harm than good. Besides, both these items are pretty cheap and are available on Amazon.

Store your suede jacket properly

Another important piece when it comes to increasing the life of your jacket is proper storage. Doing this properly can easily double the life of your jacket.

Storing suede jackets is not that complicated; just keep these few pointers in mind.

  1. Store you suede jackets in a cool and dry place. This fabric does not react well to heat or humidity.
  2. Don’t put your jacket in a plastic bag, as this can alter or destroy the natural flow of the nape of suede. The jacket should be able to breathe.
  3. Hang your suede jackets, never fold them. And try to use broader wooden hangers instead of the cheap wire ones to maintain the shape of the jacket.

Is buying a suede jacket worth it?

My lovely suede jacket.

A quality suede jacket is well worth its price. If you opt to go with a classic suede jacket that will stay in style for the next 20 years to come, buying a quality piece will definitely be a good investment.

Remember, I’m talking about a well-fitting suede jacket here. Otherwise you would need to hire a quality professional to tailor your suede jacket.

I will give you my personal experience. About 10 years ago, I purchased a top-quality suede jacket from a leather manufacturer in Naples. It cost me 500-600$ as far as I can remember.

Now that may seem like a steep price to you, but considering the amount of use I have got out of this single piece, my investment has been well worth it. And the best part is that it still looks absolutely brand new, and I can also see myself wearing it 10 years from now.

Do suede jackets age well?

Suede jackets do age extremely well. Over the course of time, they tend to develop some discoloration around the collar and the armhole, which serves as a natural patina and enhances the look of the jacket in the long run.

Of course, looks are subjective (and even more so in the case of outerwear). But in my personal opinion, an aged suede jacket looks much better than a real suede jacket because of the level of character it achieves.

See, a new suede jacket is great. It looks beautiful, feels luxe and makes you look rich. But over time, when the nape of the suede isn’t equally spread anymore and there’s some slight discoloration here and there; that’s when the real beauty of the suede comes out.

At this point, the suede jacket becomes differentiated from every other suede jacket in the world. It no longer looks mass-produced. It looks handcrafted. And I think there’s something absolutely beautiful about that.

Are suede jackets difficult to care for?

Bob Odenkirk suede jacket
Bob Odenkirk rocking the suede jacket in Nobody

Suede jackets can be a bit difficult to care for, because caring for suede usually involves a lot of dry cleaning which can be a hassle for most people.

However, these dry cleaning costs increase only if you spill something on the jacket or get it wet somehow. If you preside some caution, you may only need to send your suede jacket for dry cleaning twice a year – at the beginning of the season and at the end.

And it’s not like you have to send your jacket to the dry cleaners for every little thing. Lately, many products have been coming up in the market that help people in taking care of their suede. While some of them are worthless, I highly recommend that you get a suede eraser and a waterproof spray.

They are dirt cheap, easily available on Amazon, and are a lot of help when it comes to cleaning suede (because suede inevitably gets a bit dirty). Here’s my recommended suede eraser and suede waterproof spray.

  • Includes a suede eraser, a waterproofing spray, a cleaning brush, and a suede cleaning solution.
  • Can be used on all different types of suedes.
  • Makes the nap of the suede look new.

There you have it; now you know everything that’s there to know about caring for suede jackets and how long you might expect them to last. Since you are so interested in all things suede (or is it just my writing style), I believe you will really like this article where I talk about the fit of a suede jacket.