This is Gentleman Within’s Best Leather Jacket Series where I review popular leather jackets from well-known and some lesser known brands in pursuit of the perfect fit.
Round 5 features the popular Peter Manning Lambskin Leather Jacket. This jacket could possibly take home the trophy for “best leather jacket for short men,” since clothing for the “Not-so-tall”™ guy (yeah, they got it trademarked) is their bread and butter.
But I’ll be taking a look at the jacket from a holistic point of view, judging it in terms of how it fits, the style & design, quality & comfort, durability & longevity, areas for improvement, the many ways I’ve styled it over the years and whether or not I think it’s worth the price tag.
Let’s get started.
Peter Manning Leather Bomber Jacket Review
Before getting into the leather jacket breakdown, I first want to detail my experience with Peter Manning over the years and provide some information about the brand.
You can watch the video review below:
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My Experience with Peter Manning NYC
This isn’t my first go-round with Peter Manning. I first discovered the brand in 2015 and even had the chance to interview Peter, the company’s founder, in early 2017 after visiting the brand new showroom (2nd day they were open) in Manhattan. You can read more about my initial experience here.
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Coincidentally, it was my first time trying on their Peter Manning Lambskin Leather Jacket, and it was love at first wear. I just knew I had to pick one up. That next day, I didn’t hesitate to place the order, even though it was easily the most expensive article of clothing I’ve ever bought — nearly $500! But I saw it as an investment piece, plus I knew it would make for the perfect first, real leather jacket in my wardrobe.
Fast forward a few years at the end of 2019, I had the opportunity to partner with them to create some content, specifically an article and lookbook video about smart casual winter style. Safe to say, I’ve been a fan of the brand for a while now as their mission is certainly one that I’m onboard with.
Enough about that though, let’s talk a bit about the brand.
About Peter Manning NYC
As mentioned at the start of this article, Peter Manning NYC is a menswear company dedicated to designing stylish and proper fitting clothes for guys 5’8″ and under — what they’ve trademarked as the ‘not-so-tall’ guy.
It’s always good to start with the why behind something. If you have a big enough why, you can do anything. Peter and his team felt strongly to create something that mattered. Something that meant something to someone. When it comes down to it, the Peter Manning story is one of finding the perfect fit. In this case, the perfect fit for shorter guys.
Over the past handful of years Peter Manning has expanded their offering of clothes. They’ve got everything from field jackets, puffer vests and activewear to henleys, joggers and hoodies. I’d say their specialty is men’s smart casual attire.
The best part is that they are providing a solution for a long underserved market. Peter Manning is still the outright leader when it comes to smart casual style for shorter guys.
Now that you’ve learned about the brand, let’s discuss the all important fit of the jacket.
» Related: You might like this leather biker and suede bomber jacket review of The Jacket Maker.
How Does It Fit?
Let’s start things off with the most important element when it comes to buying a leather jacket and that’s the fit. I think it’s important for a leather jacket to be fitted and feel like you’re wearing armor, while still allowing for comfortable movement.
When I first put on this jacket at the Peter Manning showroom all those years back, I was almost in tears because of how well the jacket fit me off-the-rack, no alterations needed. I was also in tears upon learning about how much it cost, but I was hooked and knew that I had to own it.
So, I picked it up and didn’t look back. The jacket I’m wearing in this review is a size 2 which fits chest sizes of 36-37″, has a back length of 24″ and a sleeve length of 32″ in case you’re wondering.
Since Peter Manning specializes in clothing for the “not-so-tall” man, it’s not a surprise that their leather jacket fit me like a glove. I’m 5’6″, 130-ish for reference. There certainly is a correlation between properly fitting clothing and the confidence boost that it can give you.
The lambskin leather jacket doesn’t have a tapered look to it and so you shouldn’t expect any type of waist suppression or a v-taper that you’ll find with many modern biker jackets. It’s like a mix between a classic fitting jacket and a more modern leather jacket.
I like that it’s got more of a classic silhouette which lends itself to being worn with a wider variety of styles from casual to smart casual and has some room to layer underneath.
As for fit specifics, the shoulder area and armhole position are two of the most important areas of a leather jacket fit, IMO. The lambskin leather jacket’s shoulders are appropriately fitted, hitting around my shoulder bone.
Additionally, the higher armholes are well-positioned, ensuring a proper fit. Furthermore, the sleeves are the proper length along with the jacket’s overall length—it’s not too short or too long, hitting the sweet spot.
All in all, the size 2 Peter Manning leather jacket fits pretty flawlessly on my frame. It’s a modest fit with or without layering underneath, all the while allowing full range of motion. It’s hard to find anything to complain about.
» Related Video:
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The Style & Design
The Peter Manning lambskin leather jacket is a classic leather bomber jacket style. If you’re curious as to why that is, the elongated, knit collar is a telltale sign. In my opinion, a stylish and flawlessly fitting leather jacket can make a man feel powerful, almost as if you are wearing armour, at least that’s how it should make you feel.
And while the Peter Manning lambskin leather jacket isn’t the badass double rider motorcycle jacket design of the AllSaints or The Jacket Maker leather jackets that I reviewed in previous editions of this series, it still manages to give me that powerful feeling of confidence every time I wear it, mainly because of how well it fits, but also the classic bomber jacket style just looks really good.
This jacket is very simple in its design. All the details of this jacket are modest and so there’s nothing that screams for attention or seems out of place.
Hardware & Lining
There’s not much in terms of hardware with this jacket. The zippers are modestly sized YKK zips. I haven’t had any issues zipping the jacket up and down like I had with the AllSaints Milo biker.
There’s double button cuffs at the wrist with two exterior zip pockets and two interior pockets, one zipped and one buttoned. The jacket is comprised of a quilted soft chambray lining and it feels like there’s a thin layer of polyester wadding inside to provide a bit of insulation, but this jacket isn’t equipped for winter weather.
All in all, the style and design of the lambskin leather jacket seems minimal and thoughtful. Sometimes no frills, simple style is what it’s all about.
Next up, let’s talk the jacket’s quality and comfort.
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Quality & Comfort
I just want to start off by saying that the Peter Manning leather jacket is the most comfortable leather jacket I own and have tried on, period — there’s no competition. The lambskin leather is so silky smooth and buttery soft, it has to be felt for yourself.
Moreover, the stitching is clean throughout the entire jacket’s exterior, although there are some minor loose threads on the inside chambray lining, but it’s no cause for concern.
Leather Skin, Grain & Tanning
Now, according to Peter Manning, their leather jackets are made from high quality, full-grain, New Zealand lambskin leather. I don’t know much about the leathers from New Zealand, but if all their other leathers are like this lambskin, I’ll have to look into other varieties of leather jackets sourced there.
It’s worth noting that lambskin leather is much softer and inherently less durable than much thicker horse, buffalo or bovine leather. This is a jacket that prioritizes style and comfort over functionality. Overall, the Peter Manning leather jacket is mid-weight, leaning towards more of a lightweight leather jacket. It’s definitely not going to keep you warm during winter, but is a great spring and fall jacket.
» Related: You might like this ASOS Barneys Leather Jacket Review.
Durability & Longevity
This leather jacket has gotten perhaps the most wear in my entire jacket collection, I love wearing it that much.
I’ve worn it day and night, to bars with friends, on dates, to meetings, grocery shopping, casually strolling thru the city, abroad on my sabbatical to Australia a few years back, to Atlanta for the Menfluential Conference, New York for the MAIP Summit, countless photo shoots, on and on…the jacket really has been through and seen a lot.
And through it all, the jacket has held up surprisingly well. Given the extreme softness of the lambskin leather, you would think durability would be a concern. And while I’ve read a review online of someone who experienced issues with the leather ripping, that seems to be an anomaly.
In my experience, there’s no cracking or deterioration of the leather, it’s as soft as it was from when I first got the jacket. Moreover, it’s still soft as ever and hasn’t torn, ripped or gotten warped out of shape. There is some visible wear with a sign of possible leather fraying on the cuffs of the jacket, but beyond that, the leather is aging perfectly.
It’s worth noting that the jacket stretches a bit, but doesn’t stretch to the point that it’s stretched out of shape. It retains the shape nicely and forms to your body over time as all quality leather jackets should.
Overall, the lambskin leather jacket’s durability and longevity over the past 5 years has been quite good. No complaints from me.
How to Style It 6 Ways
There are many ways you can style a classic leather bomber jacket. While you could go super simple with a basic white t-shirt as you would wear one with a motorcycle jacket, I feel that the bomber style is slightly more elevated and better suited for smarter layered looks.
1. With a Quarter Zip, Slim Chinos and Plain Toe Boots
For one, you could wear a casual button down shirt and layer a quarter zip over top, throw on some well fitting chinos and your favorite pair of boots and you’ve got yourself a prime look.
2. With A Crewneck Sweater, Slim Jeans and Cap Toe Boots
Another way you can wear it is with a button up shirt, crewneck merino sweater, slim jeans and more rugged cap-toe boots.
3. With a Performance Dress Shirt, Performance Pants & Sneakers
A simpler idea is to wear the leather jacket over a clean white button up shirt, performance chinos, classic sneakers like the Nike Killshot.
4. With a Cashmere Sweater, Wool Trousers and Suede Boots
For a fourth look you could again, rock it over top of a merino or cashmere sweater and casual button down, paired with wool trousers and suede boots to finish off the look.
5. With a Chambray Button Up, White Jeans and Chelsea Boots
For the fifth look, this leather jacket looks great with white jeans and suede chelsea boots. Give it a try. All in all, the styling possibilities with this leather jacket is endless.
6. With a Light Vest, Selvedge Jeans and Rugged Brown Boots
For a sixth and final look, I wore the trust Peter Manning lambskin leather jacket over top of a plaid patterned flannel shirt and light quilted vest. And down low I rocked a pair of slim selvedge jeans with a double cuff paired with rugged brown boots.
» Related Video:
Subscribe to the GW YouTube channel.
How Much Does It Cost?
Currently the price of the lambskin leather jacket is $495 USD, which is about average for many real, quality leather jackets out there. Depending on who you ask, some would say that this is an entry-level jacket while others would say it’s a grail piece.
For comparison, Asos Barneys leather jackets can be had for $100, the Jacket Maker leather jacket is $300, and the AllSaints Milo biker is $600. And then there’s the Schott Perfecto which starts at around $750+
If we’re comparing, then the Peter Manning lambskin leather jacket is middle-tier among the other leather jackets that I have reviewed.
» Related: If you’re enjoying this article, then you might like this ASOS Design Biker Jacket Review too.
Areas for Improvement
Okay, so the jacket isn’t boxy by any means, but I do have some recommendations for them to potentially improve the product.
I say they should keep the current silhouette and create another version with a bit of a taper to the jacket for a more modern cut. For the “tailored” or “trim” fit, they could perhaps add a the same knit material from the collar to the waistline as homage to that classic bomber jacket style.
It’s always good to have a bit more variety and provide another option for those who want something trendier with a slicker, modern fit.
Pros & Cons
- Classic, stylish design
- Perfectly fitting ready-to-wear leather jacket for shorter men
- The lambskin leather is super soft and supple
- Quality made leather jacket that can last for years if not decades
- Comes in classic black or brown colors
- Not the most affordable leather jacket on the market
- Could benefit from a more fitted version of the jacket
- Taller gents, you’re out of luck!
Is it Worth It?
And so wrapping things up, is the Peter Manning lambskin leather jacket worth it?
I bought this jacket over 5 years ago now, and have gotten so much value from wearing it thru the years that the nearly $500 price tag is an afterthought. So yes, to me this jacket is well worth the price tag and some.
Honestly, I viewed it as an investment piece when I purchased it and that’s exactly what it has turned out to be. And thinking in terms of cost per wear, the jacket is among one of the most affordable pieces I’ve ever bought.
In the end, I’m partial to the lambskin leather jacket because I’ve had it for so long and it’s earned a permanent spot in my smart casual style rotation, and so I don’t really have many negative things to say about it. I still love wearing it just as much as I did when I first put it on. As I said before, it was love at first wear. I recommend it highly.
What do you think about the Peter Manning Lambskin Leather Jacket?
Let’s continue the discussion over in the Gentlemen Within Private Facebook Community.
Looking forward to seeing you in there.
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Michael Thomas Oesterwind says
The problem is, they’re not cheap to buy and there are so many out there. So how do you know what to choose?
Khoi Nguyen says
At under $500 it’s in the entry-level to mid-range pricing tier, of course depending on your budget. It’d best to choose a leather jacket it not only fits well, but is suitable for your style and makes you feel 100% your best self. –K