Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,

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I've been keeping an eye out for a new leather jacket for the last couple of years. My old one, which my parents bought for me several years ago, is really worn beyond the point where it can be repaired usefully and affordably.

jacketEarly this fall, not having seen anything new that really struck my fancy, I brought the old jacket to Hage Tailor in the Community Corners to ask Mr. Hage to fix it. He's the same guy who'd refused to clean it when I spilled a little lemonade on it right after getting it, saying it was too nice a jacket, and in far too good condition, and cleaning it would ruin the great leather.

Mr. Hage looked at the torn lining and the spots with worn leather, and shook his head as he added it up. He'd have to tear out and replace the entire lining, fix or replace the cuffs, and try to repair some of the leather, and while he'd be happy to (repeating his assessment that it was a great jacket), he'd have to charge $200, and I could get a brand new jacket for that. But, if I didn't find one I liked, I could come back and he'd be happy to work on the jacket.

Well, I've been actively looking for the last couple of months. The Bon-Ton, where I'd gotten the last one, had nothing even remotely appealing. There were a couple of viable candidates at the Tysons Corner Galleria a couple of weeks ago, but the only one I really liked was $1,700. No thanks!

Meantime, I was contemplating ordering from Wilsons Leather after seeing Brian's jacket. Luckily, I saw the style I was considering at the Crossgates Mall last weekend on the way back from Boston, and crossed it off the list for having far too shallow an inside pocket to be useful.

I'm very glad I decided to get off I-80 at The Crossings, an outlet mall in Pennsylvania, on the way back from Sara's yesterday afternoon. They had a Wilsons store, but they were clearing it out to close that holiday-only outlet, and there was hardly anything decent left. I took a moment to ask if they thought anyplace else in the mall would be worth checking. They suggested Ecko and Eddie Bauer.

Well, after having poked into several stores, I was going to look in Eddie Bauer and then leave. Happily, they had one perfect jacket! Dual pockets on the front for my hands and gloves, and a nice deep inside pocket that I don't have to worry about my checkbook falling out of. I love the color, and it feels nice and heavy. The price tag said $299, but the post-holiday clearance sale would make that reasonable. So I told the counter girl I was interested, and she said she thought it was already marked down. She checked, and sure enough, it was $229... minus the 40% clearance discount, so under $140!

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