Altering a leather jacket

I expect to reach my goal weight soon, and as a reward I’ve promised myself a leather jacket that I’ve been wanting for a while. I love the jacket but it has one problem – it has no fasteners (zipper, buttons, etc.). I still want it, but I want to add some sort of fastener. I have no experience with leather work.

Zipper seems like it’d be the most difficult. The easiest seem to me (just a guess) to be either buttons or metal snaps. Does anyone have any experience with this sort of work on a leather jacket? Do you know what tools are required? Any other suggestions?

I know I shouldn’t call you this but surely there’s a tailor or leather shop that can put something in.

What kind of jacket has no fasteners?

If it’s too hard to do it myself, a specialty shop is an option, but I’m hoping this isn’t too difficult of a job.

This one. Feel free to call me a nerd… I have a (very small, but growing) collection of movie leather jackets, and I like to wear them out sometimes (not as part of a costume). Usability is more important to me than strict accuracy, so I’m willing to modify it.

How about Velcro? Those just stick on.

Though the piece on the outside would be visible when the jacket is open.

I’d prefer something that looks better – I think bronze snaps would probably look best, but I’m open to other options.

The chocolate brown one has a zipper and snaps??? You might have to call the company.

I believe that installing snaps would be easier than installing buttons or zippers. They’re typically installed with special tools (punches and anvils) that are fairly inexpensive. Here’s what’s involved. This is within the realm of a do-it-yourselfer, just be prepared to mess up a few snaps learning/practicing. Take some care to get snaps of a size and durability suitable for leather, and a correspondingly sized tool.

Yeah, but I don’t want that one. I like the lighter color in the link.

Thanks. Have you done this before yourself, or is this just from googling?

I strongly recommend getting this professionally done. Your dry cleaner may have someone who can do it; also, shoe repair places often do alterations/fixes to leather goods.

Putting snaps in isn’t that hard–there’s a pliers-like tool that pushes them through the leather. But screw up once and you’ll be sorry. Let someone who knows what they’re doing add the fasteners.

If they don’t have the exact snaps you want, you should be able to find them in a sewing store or online.

Zipper might be harder and more expensive due to sewing leather, buttons would require cutting and sewing the button holes. Snaps are probably easiest and you’ve expressed a preference for them.

Thank you. Is this from your own experience?

I have installed snaps in canvas-like materials. I have not worked with leather.

Thank you!

Okay, I just wanted to make you aware. It’s unusual to sell the same thing in different colors and then have one be a completely different product.

Yeah, I noticed that, but from the customer reviews, the light colored one really doesn’t have any fastener. I suspect the different colors were all sourced differently, or something like that.

I’ve installed snaps in leather. It wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t a very expensive product or one that I would have particularly cared if I messed up a bit.

I’ve never done it myself, only had it done–fixed snaps/zippers on leather jackets, wife’s purses.

I would not do snaps! Ruins the look of it.

I’d want to open those lapel seams and glue in some RE magnets.

CMC fnord!

The front of that jacket really doesn’t look like it can overlap nicely to work with snaps. If this was mine, I’d have a zipper added so the two sides can butt together like the dark brown version and add the two snaps to that overlap. You’re looking at probably around $35-50 to have it done. As jacket zippers go, this would be almost brain dead easy to do.

Thanks for the input, especially the zipper recommendation.