Wilsons Leather Contemporary Lamb Topper Coat Review – $569.99

Looking good is the last thing on your mind when it’s freezing out and you can’t feel your fingers and toes.  If you’ve lived in the northern tier of the continental United States, you have an acute understanding of the meaning of the word “winter”.  As we get further into December and closer to the New Year, I’m pretty ecstatic that Wilsons Leather asked me to review their Contemporary Lamb Topper Coat. Given that the last few weeks in Spokane have been filled with snow, wind, and cold weather, it was a perfect time to give the jacket thorough consideration as a winter coat.



Sometimes the company says it best.  In this case, we’re going to let Wilsons Leather tell you a little bit about them:

Wilsons Leather is a leading specialty retailer of quality accessories and outerwear. Currently operating under two formats, we offer fashion and value through an assortment of designer brands and special purchases for both men and women. Categories include outerwear and accessories such as handbags, briefcases and travel items. While holding tight to our leather roots, we also carry an assortment of additional fabrications such as wool, cotton and faux-leather to give our customers more options. Our e-commerce site offers an extension of our store experience and is intended to increase brand awareness.


Wilsons Leather has been around for a long time and understands the business of providing quality leather goods at prices appealing to leather enthusiasts.


The outer shell of the jacket is genuine chrome-tanned lambskin, with Thinsulate® insulation and a polyester interior liner.  The image on the Wilsons Leather web site boasts an open-slit pocket on the left chest, but you won’t find one on this jacket (the description on the site indicates that pocket doesn’t exist either).  That leaves you with two open flap pockets four buttons on each cuff, a 3-button placket, and a slit tail to allow for easy movement.


The stitching is black, non-contrasting, polyester thread that I found to be well done without any loose threads or uneven stitching, something I’d expect in a jacket of this caliber and price range.  Overall weight is 3 pounds, 5 ounces (1.48 kilograms), making it light in its class for 3/4-length leather jacket designed for colder temperatures.



A jacket like this is going to serve dual purposes: keeping you warm and looking good.  It succeeds on both accounts. I spent an hour walking outside in 20º (F) weather in downtown Spokane, and felt comfortable; I wasn’t sweating, and wasn’t cold. It fit well over the sweater I was wearing without constriction.  It fits to a few inches above my knees comfortably, without restricting any movement due to the slit tail in the back.


One concern I have is that the jacket opens into a “V” about 3/4 of the way up without the possibility of further closure.  Should you find yourself in the middle of downpour or snowstorm, that part of your suit or sweater is going to get wet.  This is a traditional design for many coats like this, so a scarf would be one easy way to keep the snow or rain out.

The two front pockets (remember there is no breast pocket) will let you hold a wallet and phone without making unsightly bulges in the jacket, though a ring of keys or pair of mittens might be too much.  Due to the angle of the pockets, you can’t really use them to keep your hands warm, but they will provide great security for anything you place in them.


The first time I wore this coat, I was impressed with how it fit my frame.  In coats, a size large will often feel tight across my shoulders, but this topper gave me plenty of room while conforming to my body type.  Made of lambskin, you can’t help but notice the soft feel of the outer shell.  With a coat this size, you might expect it to be heavy, but thanks to the Thinsulate® layer, the jacket remains light while you stay warm.  The buttons on the coat are large and non-contrasting, meaning you’ll be able to manipulate them even when wearing gloves.


The overall look of the jacket is very professional, and will match well with your suit or business casual attire.  Paired with a nice scarf and gloves, you’ll have no worries about staying warm and looking good at the same time.


I really do like the Contemporary Lamb Topper Coat, even having experienced the aforementioned snow attacking the open “V” design of the jacket.  I really should have had a scarf on that day in the first place. The quality of the jacket is quite good, with nice stitching, materials, and overall construction.  This jacket isn’t one you’re going to wear while you’re out chopping wood, but will lend itself admirably to your business formal/casual wardrobe.


With Wilsons Leather, you’re never going to pay the full MSRP.  At the time of this review, the jacket lists on their site for $569.99, marked down from $850.00.  With the site-wide 60% off sale going on, that brings the price down to $342.00. Some savvy shoppers who have access to a Wilsons Leather outlet may be able to wrangle an even better deal. For a coat of this size and quality, that is right in the ballpark of what you should be expecting to pay.

With proper care, this jacket will last you for the years to come.  Always hang it up, dry clean only when needed, and don’t let it get wet.  It’s the basics of leather care, but these caveats will serve you well when caring for your expensive leather garments.


Wilsons Leather Roma Leather Tote w/Bar Review – $179.99

As an admirer of all things leather, I can appreciate the value in a quality leather product even when I see the product is intended for a different audience.  I’m also someone who values the contentedness of a happy home.  Thus, when given the opportunity to review the Wilsons Leather Roma Leather Tote, my wife was ecstatic, and I was grateful for the chance.

As an expert in all things fashion, specifically purses and shoes, I knew I would need my wife’s objective opinion to give this tote a thorough review.  As the product tester, her insight into the function and aesthetics of this bag were invaluable.


About Wilsons Leather

The Minnesota-based Wilsons Leather, formed in 1988 by a merging of Bermans Leather and Wilsons House of Suede and Leather, is a modern day leather clothing and apparel retailer known famously for their jackets, bags, and accessories.

In 2008, the G-III Apparel Group purchased Wilson’s Leather and E-commerce divisions.  Today, Wilsons Leather offers in-season, designer products at their outlet stores. Their online stores offer an even more extensive line of products in addition to increasing brand awareness and improving customer experience.

On a more personal note, my wife and I have been visiting the Wilsons Leather Outlet in North Bend, Washington, each time we take a trip to the west side of Washington from our home in Spokane.



The leather in this bag is sourced from India and is semi-vegetable tanned cowhide dyed red (the bag itself comes in three color selections at Wilsons Leather online) and is held together by non-contrast polyester thread and SPS zippers.  The gold-colored bar across the top contrasts the red color and doesn’t interfere with the top zipper closure.  Dual carry handles on the bag are attached to the tote with gold hardware that is sturdy and attractive. Weighing in at 2.2 lbs (1kg) with stitched-in sides, this bag is going to hold its constitution (shape) regardless of what you choose to carry in it.  At 16″ x 12″ x 4.25″, you’ve got over 800 cubic inches of storage space, more than enough space to store all but the proverbial kitchen sink.


Having purchased Wilsons Leather purses in the past, my wife noted that the black beading on the carry handles has a tendency to come loose after repeated use.  The beads appear mostly cosmetic, though they do function to give the straps grip when carrying it on your shoulder, so it is something to keep in mind.

On the outside of the bag, you’ve got one zippered pocket for carrying those odds and ends you can’t live without, while the inside of the bag shows a large interior pocket  suitable for tablets, large wallets, and other devices bordered by another zippered pocket and two open pockets.  The two open pockets are sized for carrying a smart phone or similar device.



I interviewed my wife for this portion of the review and she shared some very candid opinions with me, as she has done throughout our marriage.  She found that both the carry strap and handles fit comfortably over her shoulder. How she carried it depended on the wardrobe she was wearing that day. You’ll find the bag does not easily slip off your shoulder due to the black rubber beading in the carrying handles and straps.

The inside and outside pockets were convenient for storage, as she put in her phone, notepads, and various sundries a business professional might need on any given day.

While the bag itself lends the user a sleek and professional look, she encountered one issue with the design: the bag opening is far narrower width of the rest of the bag.  This led to her not being able to see to the bottom of the purse.  Smaller items got lost in the bottom of the bag and were difficult to find at a moment’s notice.  However, the design does lend itself well to carrying files, small laptop computers, and tablets, which is what she mainly used it for.


The design, as she stated, is highly professional, and made for a business woman with a sense of style. The gold-colored hardware combined with the rich red color of the leather is a striking combination that promotes sophistication and elegance with the right wardrobe.  As will all accessories, the shape is an important part of the appeal.  With the stitched in ends of the bag, you have a tote that will hold its shape for years.  This tote will work best with a business professional look, especially with darker colors where the bag will stand out as the showpiece of your entire outfit.





When you want to get into quality leather products without breaking your bank, Wilsons is always a great place to start.  With the noted exception of the rubber beads lining the handle, the bag is solidly constructed.  Known for their great sales, the bag’s MSRP is set at $460.00, listed online at $179.99, and right now (as of this writing), you can get an extra 40% off, bringing the price down to a smoking $108.00 and free shipping on your first order.

To recap, you’ve got genuine leather, overall great construction, good, looks, and plenty of carry space in a great looking tote for under $110 shipped.  While we did note a couple of potential, albeit minor, functional issues, using the tote for the larger items it seems to be designed for will serve you well.  The Roma Leather Tote is a nice way to start your collection of fine leather purses, bags, and satchels without breaking the bank while still looking great.






Wilsons Leather Dark Rugged Double Gusset Brief Review- $249.99

If looks were everything, there would be no question about picking up Wilsons Leather Dark Rugged Double Gusset Brief. Dark leather, contrast stitching, and antiqued brass combine to give this bag an appeal that is universal to the modern business world.

Wilsons offers the brief as a lightweight bag to hold your laptop, tablet, and office accessories. With the aesthetic appeal of the bag being obvious upon inspection, the question is whether or not the bag will hold up to the daily demands of the office and the roads you travel on to get there.


About Wilsons Leather

Wilsons Leather is a U.S. leather retailer, selling jackets, belts, shoes, handbags, and gloves. At its peak in 2002, the Minneapolis-based retailer had 763 stores in Canada and the United States.

In 2008, the G-III Apparel Group purchased Wilson’s Leather and E-commerce divisions.  Today, Wilsons Leather offers in-season, designer products at their outlet stores. Their online stores offer an even more extensive line of products in addition to increasing brand awareness and improving customer experience.


The bag is constructed of semi-vegetable tanned cow leather sourced in China, measuring 16” x 12” x 4” and is light for its size and construction. It weighs in at 2 pounds, 14 ounces (1.2 kilograms) without the strap or 3 pounds, 3 ounces (1.5 kilograms) with it. The lightness is due in part to the 2 mm thickness of the leather shell.  The leather shell is well supported by foam padding encased in nylon between each section of the bag.  The foam padding on the smaller accessory pockets is a nice touch.


On the outside of the bag, everything is held together by gold contrast stitching using polyester thread. Antique brass rivets hold down the D-rings (for attaching the carry strap) and one piece of the handle.  The other side of the handle is inset into the bag and stitched in place.  The zippers are constructed of the same antiqued-brass slides and plastic elements (the teeth) and are non-branded, unlike the traditional YKK zippers found in many of Wilsons Leather products.  I would like to see metal elements in the zippers to increase product longevity even with the minor weight increase to the bag.

The insides of the bag are made up of two main compartments and three outer pockets.  The small outer pocket has slots for cards, pens, a smartphone, and room for other accessories. The larger exterior pocket adjacent to it is available for slightly larger accessories.  The outer pocket on the other side of the bag is identical to this pocket.


The main inner pocket has three large side pockets (5.5” wide by 8.5” deep) for electronics and a velcro nylon strap for securing your laptop.

The last piece is the carrying strap, made of nylon with a sliding leather pad for your shoulder.  At the end of the pad, antique brass swivel snap hooks allow you to attach the strap to the bag.



I work in an office and occasionally in the field, so need an all-in-one bag to carry my laptop and various sundries around.  This bag does just that.  With numerous zipped inside and outside pockets, it was very easy to store and access all of my equipment on the fly.


The adjustable-length canvas strap was nice for longer walks.  Even with the sliding leather pad on the strap, keeping the strap crossed over my opposite shoulder was the easiest way to carry it. I was able to access the zippered pockets even with the bag slung over my shoulder, which was nice when reaching for my wallet or phone.

If you need more space, you’ll appreciate the double gusset zip-around for more storage. It adds 3 inches of width to the bag, which is very generous for a bag of this type.



The dark brown leather looks good with almost any business attire.  The stitching is even and well done, a must when you use a contrasting thread color.  The black zipper elements add a subtle appearance, though antique brass elements on the zippers would fit in well with the sliders.

I like the size of the bag for carrying it around.  It’s easily going to fit in the overhead compartment of any plane, though you’ll probably elect to carry it with you considering the cargo it carries.

While you may not find yourself looking at the interior of the bag that much, it bears mentioning.  The copper color of the nylon has a nice sheen to it, and the stitching is equally well done.  Attention to details like this are what help to elevate a leather product over other designs.  Of note, the blue tags around the zippers are there as a protectant and easily removed.  I left them on in some photos to show detail in packaging of this product.



The Dark Rugged Double Gusset Brief is a professional, lightweight case that will serve you well in the office and on the road.  It is attractive, has plenty of room, and should hold up well in the world of a business executive, college student, or anyone else needing a small briefcase.  As I mentioned earlier, my biggest concern is the use of plastic zippers if you’re constantly getting in and out of the bag.  Time will tell, though as of this writing, I’ve not encountered any issues.

Considering the price point of $239.99, the bag is a good value for a cowhide leather brief.  What I appreciate about Wilsons Leather is that they often have sales on their products, whether you are shopping online or at one of their outlet stores; they tend to have quite a few sales where everything is 40% off online, meaning you could pick the bag up for $149.99 – an excellent deal.  In the world of leather briefs, this bag would make a great gift for the young entrepreneur or graduate student.



Wilsons Leather Black Rivet Distressed Leather Moto Jacket Review – $319.99

As a young boy of eleven, I was first introduced to the MacGyver television series right about the time the Nintendo Entertainment System was released in America.  Splitting my time between my two new loves, I noticed that  during the show, MacGyver had a habit of wearing a brown distressed leather jacket.

I was rather pleased when asked to review the Wilsons Leather Black Rivet Distressed Leather Moto Jacket, as it immediately reminded me of those days thirty years passed.  While not identical to the one Richard Dean Anderson wore in the series, there are enough similarities that it took me back to nostalgia-land for a while.



About Wilsons Leather

The Minnesota-based Wilsons Leather, formed in 1988 by a merging of Bermans Leather and Wilsons House of Suede and Leather, is a modern day leather clothing and apparel retailer known famously for their jackets, bags, and accessories.

In 2008, the G-III Apparel Group purchased Wilson’s Leather and E-commerce divisions.  Today, Wilsons Leather offers in-season, designer products at their outlet stores. Their online stores offer an even more extensive line of products in addition to increasing brand awareness and improving customer experience. On a more personal note, my wife and I have been visiting the Wilsons Leather Outlet in North Bend, Washington, each time we take a trip to the west side of Washington from our home in Spokane.


The shell is constructed of hand-distressed, semi-vegetable tanned sheep’s leather sourced from Pakistan with a cotton body liner and interior sleeves lined with polyester. The filler inside the jacket is also made of 100% polyester, with the total weight of the jacket coming in at 2 pounds, 7 ounces (1.1 kilograms).  The jacket is light into comparison with other jackets on the market


The zippered hand and chest pockets, the main zipper, and the banded wrist cuffs all use YKK antiqued-brass zippers.  The seams of the jacket are double-stitched with non-contrasting brown polyester thread for strength.  The stitches themselves are even and add to the overall look of the jacket.



When talking about leather jackets, their function is pretty straightforward: you wear them when they fit the situation, whether it be a cold fall day or a night out on the town. I recently wore it to the premier of a television series they are filming here in Spokane, Washington, and was perfectly comfortable with the outside temperature in the low 60s.  Much higher than that and it would be too warm.  Depending upon where you live, I imagine it would be suitable for winter and spring months as well.  For most locations in the summer, it’ll be too warm as with most coats and jackets.

As a side note, I did find the two inner breast pockets rather handy for storing my phone and my wallet.



Before anything else, I noticed how soft the leather shell of this jacket is. The second thing I noticed was the beautiful cognac brown color of the leather and the way the distressed look played in the light.


This is the first brown leather jacket I’ve had a chance to review, and it’s quickly becoming my favorite.  It’s MacGyverish (a word meaning “outstanding” that I made up) good looks easily makes the jacket a classic for those of us who appreciated that era of TV.

Even if you aren’t an old school TV enthusiast, the look and feel of the jacket will draw you in. If you like Wilson’s, they are also great when used with leading brands like Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, and Sandbanks Clothing, as their shirts, shorts, and hats perfectly match leather products.  I felt like I could wear it with a plain black t-shirt, as well as a nice dress shirt depending on where you are going.  The jacket is balanced in its look and feel , giving it the ability to skirt the line between casual and formal.


Overall, I found the look and feel of this jacket to match my tastes pretty closely.  As a guy with slightly larger shoulders, I did find the large size a little tight around the shoulders, but not enough to prevent me from wearing it comfortably.  This has happened with most of the leather jackets I’ve tried on in the last few years.

Wilsons Leather outlets and online stores always have pretty good sales going on; I don’t think there is ever a time where I’ve paid the price listed on the tag for my purchase.  The Black Rivet Distressed Leather Moto Jacket is no exception.  The MSRP is $700.00, with the purchase price set at $319.99.  Were this the final price, I’d still consider purchasing the jacket were my budget to allow it. At the time of this review, you could get an additional 40% and free shipping if you’re purchasing online, bringing the cost down to $192.00 out the door.  I wholly advise checking their online site for deals if you’re in the market for a leather jacket.


With the proper care and cleaning, if you decide to invest in the jacket, it’s going to last you a long time.  Well-cared for leather products can have a lifetime of service, and this jacket is no exception.  For looks, durability and comfort, I found this jacket to be well worth the price.


Wilsons Leather Black Rivet Distressed Leather Duffel Review – $350

You travel the world, making your mark wherever you go. You look good. Is that enough, or do you want to look damn good? As I wrapped my hands around the handle of the Wilson Black Rivet Distressed Leather Duffel, I had answered my own question. The genuine leather exterior with contrast stitching, accented by distressed metal hardware had me looking for an excuse to plan my next overnight business trip.


About Wilsons Leather

Wilsons Leather came about in 1986 as the merger of Berman’s Buckskin, founded in 1899 when fringed buckskin shirts and jackets were de rigueur, and Wilsons House of Suede and Leather, made famous in the 1940s for its suede and leather apparel. The Melville Corporation merged the two companies into Wilson’s Leather in 1986. Today, after a series of acquisitions and brand name changes, Wilsons Leather products can still be found online and in its outlet stores across the United States.


The Wilsons Leather Black Rivet Distressed Leather Duffel is crafted with cow leather weighing a mere 1 pound, 11 ounces and uses a semi-chrome tanning process, giving the leather a soft, supple feel. The dark brown leather is complemented by contrast stitching and antiqued brass hardware on the padded leather handles and removable nylon carrying strap.


Turn the bag over, and you’ll encounter the same antiqued brass on the protective metal feet riveted to the structured base. At 21” W x 11” H x 10” D, there is plenty of space for two to three days of travel in this carry-on bag. It is just under the FAA guidelines of being less than 45 inches in total dimensions for carry-ons, so its sizing is perfect.


The interior is constructed of a black rip-stop nylon featuring a zip-across pocket and organizer panel with a cell phone holder and four slots for bank cards. The cell phone sleeve held my wife’s Galaxy S3 phone, but will not fit phones much larger. The zip-across pocket neatly holds any extras you’ll need for a two or three-day trip.




Function and Aesthetic

The Black Rivet Distressed Leather Duffel is sans doubt your go bag. If you need more space than this bag provides, it means you’ll be checking a bag at the airport. Sling the bag over your shoulder, and you won’t get uncomfortable with the leather-padded carrying strap. The two leather carrying handles are well-stitched, and afford another way to carry the bag. The hardware is heavy duty, so you won’t have to worry about the bag coming apart. The darker brown leather goes well paired with most any color, and stands outs by its looks alone.


I didn’t use the cell phone pouch or credit card pouch much, as I keep those items in my wallet or in my pocket. They might have been better replaced by another zippered pouch, but you may still find them useful when you’re in a hurry.



Distressed leather is very popular for a reason – it is beautiful when crafted well. The Black Rivet Distressed Leather Duffel exemplifies this beauty in its masculine appeal. Unsolicited compliments are common when I’m carrying this bag to and from my downtown office. It retails for $350 and is worth every penny, but you won’t be paying that much for it. It is $169.99 through Wilson’s Leather online, and if you happen to live close to a Wilson’s Leather Outlet store, you may find it for even more of a steal than that.