Esquire (USA) - - The Code: Leather Up - —E. C.

When it comes to car­ing for leather, it’s im­por­tant to remember that it has a life of its own. It breathes, it wrin­kles, and, most of all, it’s meant to age. ¶ So keep­ing your leather jacket kick­ing shouldn’t feel like plas­tic surgery. Clean it with a damp cloth when it gets dirty, and if it gets wet, let it dry nat­u­rally. Con­di­tion it ev­ery three to six months to keep it from dry­ing out (use sad­dle soap or a leather con­di­tioner), and give it a pol­ish when it’s look­ing drab. ¶ Most of all, let your leather breathe. Water­proof­ing prod­ucts can suf­fo­cate its nat­u­ral ab­sorbency, so opt for a water-re­sis­tant pro­tec­tant in­stead. And if you’re stor­ing it, don’t body-bag it. Put it in fab­ric and give it some air when you can. ¶ Ag­ing grace­fully isn’t about mask­ing gray hairs or wrin­kles; it’s about em­brac­ing them. Same goes for a few scuffs on your leather jacket. Just ditch the leather pants if you haven’t al­ready.

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