One of the most important articles of clothing for any rider is a decent glove. No one should really go riding without one on each hand. Not only will they give you protection from the elements, but if you go down soft or hard, they'll also offer you protection from asphalt, cement and gravel road rash.
Up until this point, some of the finest riding gloves were made of soft and flexible leather. Leather gives superior abrasion resistance; it is supple enough to let you grip the handles, and it provides a modicum of protection from the weather.