I’ve always wanted to buy a leather jacket, but I’m still trying to find “the one.” While many lurv that whole badass distressed look as the leather ages, I prefer crisp and tailored — which made me wonder how the eff you’re supposed to keep your jacket wrinkle-free (especially since I still can’t figure out how to do so for my face).
Luckily, the process of getting wrinkles out of a leather jacket isn’t as difficult as keeping your hydro-lipid balance in check (whew). Here are a few different strategies you can take for a spin, depending on the severity of your jacket’s wrinkles:
1. Steam it while you shower
Steam up your bathroom by turning on the shower and let your jacket hang out in there for about 15 minutes. The steam will make the leather more pliable, which will give you the opportunity to work out the creases by rubbing them until they’re less visible. To be on the safe side, I’d also use leather conditioner on your jacket once you’ve gotten all the wrinkles out because much like our skin, once your jacket’s out of the steam it will dry out slightly.
2. Iron it (carefully)
Set your iron to warm, place a large cotton or linen pillowcase over the crease, and gently press it flat for a few seconds. You can also use brown craft paper as a buffer.
3. Use heavy books
If you bought the jacket of your dreams and it ended up creased between the store and your closet, lie your jacket on a flat surface and pile heavy books on it overnight (or really, however long it takes to smooth out the fine lines).
4. Use alcohol
If your jacket is made of finished leather, you can use alcohol to smooth out the creases. (Finished leather is stiffer in texture because it’s been finished with a protective coating. If you lightly scratch your jacket in an inconspicuous place and the scratch is the same color as its surroundings, your jacket’s made of finished leather.) If your jacket’s suede or unfinished, then your best bet is the shower trick.
It’s best to test the alcohol on your jacket before using it: Choose a discreet spot and rub some on using a white, lint-free cloth. If your leather doesn’t become discolored and no color rubs off on your cloth, then you’re good to go. Rub out the wrinkles and reshape the leather as much as you can before applying, then apply a thin layer using your lint-free cloth. (Your jacket should feel damp, but not soaked.) Knead the wrinkled leather much like you would dough, putting tension on the crease until it disappears. Once the jacket’s to your liking, soak up any excess alcohol and allow your jacket to dry completely.
Since the alcohol also cleans the leather, you might want to clean the entire jacket once you’ve got the creases out. Just like when we do dishes, the last thing you want to see when your jacket dries are spots.
Finally, you’ll want to restore the moisture in your leather by using your favorite leather conditioner. Apply a light layer with a lint-free cloth and massage it into the leather using a circular motion. Once your jacket is all spotless, let it sit overnight.
Then get ready to strut your stuff!