Spent an hour cleaning and moisturizing my leather jacket last night.
I remember the days leading up to buying it. We started off Italy with Milan where we barely had 36 hours, but next was Venice where Erin got her leather jacket from this one spot in this labyrinth of stores we were walking around in. It looked so cool and I wanted one too but I figured I’d wait until we had more time.
I found a leather school in Florence and once we got settled in and met up with Sofia too in our Airbnb, we split up. Some went to the Uffizi, I’m pretty sure, and I was honestly sick of looking at the same kind of paintings. I think Erin came with me? We went to Scuola del Cuoio and because it was a whole school, it was cool to see people working on their leather crafts. It was a lot of bags and wallets and when I mentioned I wanted a leather jacket, this man showed me two. One was pretty feminine with the wide collar and a bit longer torso too. The other was the one I got, a bit more simple and clean lines and two zipper pockets on the upper chest. My only gripe was that the zippers were silver and I was on a gold kick. Haha !!! I paid, like, $400 for it which was the most I had ever spent on one piece of clothing, and just one thing in general. It was Columbia’s financial aid money. Ha !
I was so skinny and it fit pretty snug even then. I remember telling myself, if I wear it every single day for a whole year, I’d be basically paying a little over a dollar to ‘rent’ it for that day. Great deal!
Now it’s 8 years later. They sent me some invites to their trunk shows and show rooms years after I bought this jacket. I wish I remembered the name of the man who sold me this jacket and kindly told me that my middle school level Italian was perfectly good. I didn’t realize how important that specific part of that trip was. I had also bought a wallet for Pa and Erin bought a bag that was the perfect size for her iPad, I think.
I wore it a lot for the remainder of college and then on and off in 2017-2018 but then stopped completely until, like, 2022. There left bottom part of the front zipper fused a little from some heat accident, probably. The corner of the left pocket lining was torn. I would smoke and put the roaches in that pocket and I remember it would smell like gnarly pot for months. I thought, oh maybe I’ll replace the lining with something dramatic, like red satin or get the zippers replaced. Maybe I’ll sell it or do away with it because it fit so snug now, almost like second skin and I was still not sure if I liked that feeling. My shoulders are rounded out now, my back is wide and built, I don’t slouch as often so my chest puffs up and makes the soft leather stretch. It sits a bit awkwardly when I zip it up now with a bump from just below my chest up to the top of my bulky belt. But it’s fine when I have my hands in the pockets and my left index finger pokes through the torn corner lining and feels the inside of the leather shell. Sometimes, I would store a single dollar in the upper zipper pockets because I wanted to be able take cash out quickly when people asked for money on the subway. I replaced that dollar so religiously that when I wore it again after years of not taking it out, I was so happy and surprised to see cash in that pocket.
I dawdled. I was like, oh I’ll look for a leather specialist, I’ll go to the cobbler, I’ll maybe even just drop it off at dry cleaning. There were a few times where I’d catch my cuffs or back of the sleeves and see just how dry it was, to the point of discoloration. It’s like seeing an ashy elbow framed with an expensive tattoo. Like girl, what are you even doing ??? So then I started reddit’ing and googling, and months of ‘Should I get mink oil? Do I need saddle soap?’
And it’s like okay dude, just fucking start. So I wiped it with plain old water last night, just the front and the sleeves. Some of the discoloration stayed, some other marks faded immediately. I followed up with this leather wax I bought last year to make pad an Amazon purchase for the free shipping. (Like, oh I’ll eventually get to leather care.) I used my finger tips even though the instructions said to use a microfiber cloth. Immediately the wear on the cuffs darkened and softened. The stitching along the zipper and looked soft and supple again. I noticed that the stitches around the pockets were coming apart in the corners and I got a bit worried and then chilled out. Of course they’re coming apart. I’m using the hell out of them.
Today, I’ll do the back and maybe reapply to the front because it really is thirsty, I think, after eight years of wear and no TLC. I love wearing it!!! I love taking care of it !!!