If your fashion style leans towards tough, cool and a little bit dangerous, crocodile leather is an element you should add to your wardrobe. Traditional black or brown leather is certainly the classic choice for jackets, boots, and accessories. But if you want to really stand out from the crowd you should add a few items made from this exotic skin.
Here are four reasons you should consider adding crocodile skin to your clothing collection.
1. Crocodile Leather: Tougher Than You Think
Because of its high cost and reputation as exotic, some people think that crocodile leather is delicate. They don't want to purchase wallets, belts or shoes made from this material because they think they won't last too long.
This is actually a myth: this leather is, in fact, one of the more durable leathers used in men's fashion today.
The most valuable crocodile skin used in fashion products comes from Crocodile Porosus, which are the world's largest living reptiles. The skin of these creatures have scales of varying sizes: the scales on their flanks are oval shaped, and the scales on their stomachs are small and rectangular.
Because there are many fakes out there, you can tell a true crocodile leather item by looking carefully at the joins between the scales: these should be flexible.
This kind of leather is hard to work with: the scales themselves are stiff. This makes the leather harder to finish in the tanning process and thus contributes to the higher costs of goods made with crocodile skin.
These skins also have an additional bony layer. While this adds to their durability, it prevents the leather from stretching significantly, making it harder to work with.
Despite the high costs, owners of crocodile leather wallets and belts claim that these items can last up to forty years. If you consider the initial investment over the course of that length of time, it is well worth it.
2. Crocodile is Versatile.
Crocodile leather's distinctive look works well with many pieces, small and large. Depending upon your budget, you can add a little or a lot.
If you are considering one item to add to your wardrobe, a crocodile belt packs a big impact. You can select from a wide variety of styles depending on where on the animal the skin is from. There is a different look associated with the scales from the belly (smaller, more smooth texture) compared to the backbone (larger, more dramatic scale patterns).
There is also a wide variety of colors available: you can choose from more conservative black and brown colors, to natural tones, to brightly dyed hues ranging from red to blue to everything in between.
There are many products beyond belts and wallets which look great in exotic skins like crocodile. Cell phone cases, watch bands and sun glasses cases all look amazing in crocodile.
For a more dramatic statement, a crocodile leather coat or jacket will definitely do the trick. Remember, however, that a little croc can go a long way. With the extra shininess that comes with this material, you are never going to slip into the crowd if you are covered with it from head to toe.
3. Crocodile accessories aren't just for girls.
A few celebrities have been featured in the fashion and Hollywood press flaunting what some call "murses. " As actor Terence Howard said when he attended the Oscars with a crocodile clutch, "a man needs a bag."
Pharrell Williams is another star who has been seen with a crocodile bag.
Where else are you going to put your motorcycle keys and your back stage passes?
The cool thing about leather is that it transcends gender, genre, and generation.
Black leather jackets have become fashion must-haves for people of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds. One could actually say they have become commonplace.
Not so for crocodile leather. This unusual material makes a bold statement.
Whether you choose a designer bag or biker style accessories made from crocodile skin, wearing this material will show off your ability to stand out as a leader of the pack.
4. Don't be fooled by fakes.
So many people seek the panache of exotic leathers but are put off by the exorbitant price tags. They are often tempted by vendors who offer variations on real crocodile leather.
You will find that many products are offered which look like crocodile, but are actually made with the skin of other members of the Crocodilian family like caiman.
Caimans are small relatives of crocodiles and are sometimes called “Columbian crocodile.” They are farmed and grown for their skins, similar to ostriches. This makes their skins less costly than alligator or crocodile.
Generally, the skins of the caimans are less coveted for use in the fashion because they are drier, duller, and less soft to the touch. The scales are smaller as well, in addition to having pockmarks and appearing concave in shape.
Items made with caiman leather are significantly less expensive than crocodile leather, but the quality and aesthetics are simply not as high as the crocodile.
The best way to make sure you are getting real crocodile is to measure the scales (also called "tiles".) Real croc scales measure from one and one-half to two inches, while those of the caiman are about one-half inch tall.
You should also always check the price tag. Low prices are a warning sign.
Some manufacturers will offer a deal, when in fact the material they are using is not crocodile at all but traditional leather or synthetic material with a crocodile pattern imprinted on it!
High-quality leather always costs more, but its value lies in its authentic vibe, sharp look, and sexy texture.
Croc: You're Worth It
If you want to show off your wild side, check out some of the ways you can integrate crocodile skin into your wardrobe.
It's worth a little extra money to get the durability and high level of cool. Don't settle for less for the true luxury of leather.