I've always been a huge fan of the classic motorcycle leather jacket.
Maybe because of biker stereotypes from when I was young, I could never get into a textile, armoured style of jacket. Leather always seemed the only way to go.
I recently "semi-retired" the jacket below. Given to me by a friend close to 20 years ago,
this jacket has the been the best riding jacket I have ever had. It fit perfect, I can't recall ever being cold in it while riding even in freezing, wet temperatures, and it looked great!
But after 20 years it was time to find a replacement, which is when I realized how lucky I had been getting this jacket and how hard it has been finding a replacement
Since this jacket was a gift, I had no concept on just how expensive a good leather jacket can be.
So I began to hit the local used motorcycle clothing store to find a suitable replacement for under $100.
Patience was the key. I tried on many, many jackets. If it fit in one area, it didn't fit in another (usually the arms).
My first purchase was one similar to what I had, classic biker style. It had an overall pretty good fit but the leather had a weird feel to it. Thinking it would mellow as I wore it, I bought it. Patches are a must, so I methodically went through my "drawer-o-patches" to find the right ones for the jacket. My patch policy, for the most part, is once it has been affixed it stays. So you want to make sure you don't waste a primo patch on something you aren't going to wear.
The jacket served me well for a while but soon the feel and the fit (was a little large) began to bother me. I found myself wearing the original jacket more than the new jacket. The search began again for a replacement.
For months I couldn't find anything to replace it with. I came across a more "cafe" style jacket that seemed to fit good enough to risk the purchase (and... it was cheap). It didn't take too long to figure out this was a mistake. It fit well but it was bulky, more of a winter jacket perhaps, and I wasn't too sure about the pleating either. For now I had 3 jackets (including the original) to rotate between while the search continued.
After much continued searching, I soon came to the conclusion I wasn't going to find what I was wanting. Maybe I had been spoiled with having such a great jacket to start with. Maybe I had to settle for second best.
Then a milestone birthday came which meant a milestone gift courtesy of my mom (with help from my son). This was no $100 leather jacket. This was THE TRUE CLASSIC Leather jacket, The Schott 613.
At first, I was hesitant. I've bought many motorcycles for less money than this jacket. It was brand new so it was stiff, but it fit so very nice. I could feel the potential.
As you can see, patches have been affixed! I'll probably go with the classic "Motorcycho" painted on the back in the near future.
It's weird to think that this is probably the last leather jacket I will ever buy! By the time this wears out my riding days will probably be over... Hopefully that will mean I'm dead!