The best pleather jacket will look like authentic leather, fit well, and be affordable. Pleather is a synthetic material, like vinyl or plastic, which looks like leather but is completely man made. Usually, it is much cheaper than leather, although some designers who are conscious of the animal rights design pleather jackets that are as expensive as leather jackets.
Before you begin shopping for a pleather jacket, decide on your budget. If you are choosing a classic design, you may wish to spend more to get a higher quality product. Likewise, if you are purchasing a trendy style, it makes sense to save since you'll probably be shopping for a new jacket for the next fashion fad in a matter of months.
Once you have decided on your budget and the style of jacket that you want, measure another jacket that fits you well or have a friend measure your body. Having your shoulder to shoulder, chest, sleeve, and length from neck to high or low hip, depending on your preference, are helpful when shopping. If you take a tape measure with you into the store, you can measure the jacket on the rack to check your size, saving you time and trips to the dressing room to discover the correct size.
With your measurements in hand, you are ready to start shopping. You will probably have to purchase a pleather jacket new. Unlike leather, which has an appealing aesthetic, even as it ages, pleather typically does not age well. It is possible to find pleather jackets in vintage clothing shops, but a new pleather jacket will last longer and look nicer.
When you find a jacket that is within your budget, is your size, and is made in a style that appeals to you, inspect it thoroughly for quality work. Lined jackets are often more comfortable than unlined jackets, and lining typically indicates higher quality. Check that the seams are tightly woven and that the fabric is not fraying or tearing. You may also want to smell the jacket, since some plastics have an offensive odor that does not dissipate. Finally, look at the jacket overall and consider whether it looks like real leather or is obviously fake.
Always try on the jacket before purchasing. Fasten the closures, whether zippers or buttons, and make sure they close easily. Even if you plan on wearing the jacket open, the closures should function properly. Make sure that the jacket sleeve falls at a comfortable length, usually somewhere between your wrist bone and the knuckle of your thumb. The shoulder seams of the jacket should fall right at your shoulders, and the arm opening should leave enough room for you to take the jacket on and off without feeling tight.
Of course, it is much easier to know if a jacket is right for you if you can inspect it and try it on in person. Even so, there are many catalog and online retailers that have a wide variety of styles and sizes of pleather jackets. If you wish to order a pleather jacket, make sure that the company's return policy entitles you to a full refund if you decide you do not like the jacket. If possible, choose a company that provides complimentary shipping on returns as well.