Desirable Damage?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Superfluous, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. Superfluous

    Superfluous My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Would you wear your $1,000+ leather jacket when engaging in an activity certain to materially damage the jacket? Or, if you knew your forthcoming activities would likely damage your jacket, and the activity did not require the added protection provided by leather, would you wear something else instead? Perhaps something less expensive . . . something that you have no qualms about thrashing.

    To be clear, this thread is NOT about character and patina derived from normal daily wear. Rather, this thread is about intentionally subjecting your jacket to a likelihood of significant damage.

    If you knew that whatever jacket you wear will be thrashed by your daily activity, and the activity does not require the additional protection provided by leather, would you nevertheless freely wear your $1,000+ leather jacket and allow it to be thrashed? Or, would you choose a different, lessor jacket and preserve your leather jacket for normal wear (and the character/patina that is derived from normal wear).
     
  2. Dav

    Dav One Too Many

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    I suppose the short answer is no. I'll wear the Highwayman in most situations but there are limits, I wouldn't do any painting, push through brambles or crawl under a car in it for example but pretty much anything else goes.
     
  3. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    My answer is a contradictory. I own jackets that cost $30 or less that I wouldn't risk damage too. In fact, I'd be inclined to swap some of these 'cheapies' with a jacket that cost much more if I were to do something risky. Reason: it's about how much I value an item not how much it cost me.

    I have a bunch of nice jackets that I bought from thrift shops that mean more to me than a $1000 half-belt. For instance, there's some Harris Tweeds and a calf skin utility jacket that I know I can't easily replace. Total value of all around $100.

    As a general principle, I have avoided buying jackets over the $700 mark and even at that price, the Protestant-thrift voice inside me says 'what a waste of money'. Access to money is not one of my problems but I have psychological barriers to deal with.

    I struggle to bond with expensive items. Apart from jackets, I don't own any item of clothing that costs more than $80 - my work boots. My budget can afford high end but my value system makes me shop at Kmart.

    Hypothetical. If I had a $1200 custom or a $300 eBay Brooks cafe racer in mint condition, I would be more inclined to wear the custom jacket if I had to paint the house or change the car's oil. Because the Brooks would matter more to me as an exemplar of a classic era jacket in fine condition.
     
  4. Wallman

    Wallman New in Town

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    Interesting subject.. would also have to say no at this point - However, I did wear my Aero HB Deluxe whilst playing with my dog, after having briefly concidered the fact that deep scratches were almost inevitable.. and my premonitions were accurate..oh well!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  5. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    No way. Unless there was some great act of importance attached to it, such as using a piece of torn-off A-2 knit to ignite a fire while being stranded in the forest.
     
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  6. Benny Holiday

    Benny Holiday My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    No. I wear a $20 cheapo hoodie, old flannel shirt & track pants for labour that I know is gonna be brutal on clothes. I'm happy to work in my leather and chinos but not with grease & oil and filth or where it's pretty much a certainty to get actually damaged as opposed to building patina and character.
     
  7. navetsea

    navetsea Call Me a Cab

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    I don't relate things that way, I mean if something is designed to do certain things then of course I will use it no matter the price, motorcycle helmet for example or racing suit, on the other hand exposing something not designed for specific task just for being a rebel is not who I am, I won't swim with my leather boots or jacket, I won't change motor oil wearing a suede shoes, no matter how little I pay for them, I like to see my jacket creased or stained if must, but not in a wrong way like spilling paint on it, ketchup stained, etc. anything that indicates the wearer is a sloppy person, but a bit of grime from normal use or a bit of dust or water stain I will happily accept, I went to the beach wearing suede shoes but I don't get into the water.
     
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  8. Mich486

    Mich486 Practically Family

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    Absolutely not. I don’t baby my leather jackets but I don’t think they are a piece of workwear either. I would not mow the lawn for instance wearing one. I find it extremely unnatural.

    Also I think that while I like the idea of patina and signs of wear I probably feel more comfortable with a jacket that looks new. That’s probably because I try also to wear my jackets in a semi-casual setting (or whatever that is called, sometimes smart-casual/business-casual). Working in an office environment I can’t turn up like a biker or dressed like a lumberjack.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. zebedee

    zebedee One Too Many

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    Yes, I would. They're expensive (an Aero for me is expensive) and well-built, offering good protection from the elements and good abrasion resistance. If a jacket was made unwearable as a result of an activity I was involved in, it probably kept me in good nick.

    The exception is where the jacket would not be practical or superseded by gear designed for a specific activity. I don't think I'd submerge a jacket in salt water, but I don't think I'd intentionally be in the sea wearing an Aero.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  10. Carlos840

    Carlos840 Call Me a Cab

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    I don't baby my leather jackets by any means, i don't usually lug wood around wearing them like Dav, but i wear them without being paranoid about what might happen. A little scratch here and there doesn't scare me, it happens. I like my leathers to look worn, not brand spanking new.
    If i do something that i know can terminally damage them, stains, holes or tears then i will usually wear something else that is easier replaceable, like a Carhartt EJ-001. I actually have one living in the boot of my car just in case i need to crawl under my car and happen to be wearing my LaBrea that day!

    Some here like to think they are devil may care with their leather jackets, but i don't think many of them would do an oil change, burn some brushes or paint their houses with their expensive leather jacket on, workwear or not.
     
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  11. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

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    If I know that the activity would inevitably lead to the downright destruction the jacket and in a very short period of time then no, I definitely wouldn't wear it as clearly I don't want to lose it...

    I wouldn't even wear it while doing something I know would be seriously harmful or damaging to it. Damaging as in making the leather dry or pealing it off or something like that. Stains, water, scuffs wouldn't bother me, no. These happen in everyday wear anyway...
     
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  12. JMax

    JMax Call Me a Cab

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    Interesting topic. In addition to thoughts on the matter, it may be interesting to read about actual odd situations that folks have worn an expensive or prized jacket.

    As for me, just the usual circumstances and riding. No deep sea diving, spelunking, skydiving, or even changing the tranny on my car.
     
    roadking04 likes this.
  13. ton312

    ton312 I'll Lock Up

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    Damage is never desirable in my opinion. Damage requires a repair. I would never expose any of my clothing items to damage willingly, although I'd be more willing to accept it on some forms over others.
     
  14. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie One Too Many

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    Only a fool would intentionally damage his own property. If I know my jacket would take serious damage doing whatever is ahead, I'd take it off - unless the alternative is me taking serious damage. But a scenario in which I have to damage my jacket to literally save my skin is fairly unlikely in everyday life.

    I would do most regular physical work in my leather jackets though. If it is safe for me to do in the first place, my jacket should be able to handle it as well. Gardening, woodworks, all that I have done in leather jackets, knowing they may get scratches there. And now that I think of it, technically speaking scratches are damage, so I guess I don't mind minor damage as long as the jacket remains functional and while I would never perform actions whose sole purpose is damaging the jacket, I would do stuff where these minor damages are a side-product.

    In all fairness though, not all leather jackets are equal though and on some scratches are a bigger deal than on others. I don't own any BR, RMC, Goodwear, Himel or other Japanese high quality jackets. My stuff is Aero and Vanson, jackets that don't look too fashionable to begin with and where scratches just blend into their generally more rugged appearance. Meanwhile on a jacket of the brands mentioned before, a scratch wouldn't blend in as well and rather be perceived as damage because jackets are very stylish pieces and usually worn in accordingly more sophisticated social events and environments..
     
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  15. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

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    I can't even think of any activity that actually would cause significant physically damage to a leather jacket. I mean, what would you have to be doing? Weld in it?

    Oh, wait...

    [​IMG]
     
  16. JMax

    JMax Call Me a Cab

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    My kind of woman.
     
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  17. Carlos840

    Carlos840 Call Me a Cab

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    But then welding gloves and suits are usually made of leather even today, so that's a pretty normal thing to wear leather for.
    Leather has been used to protect from fire for ages, firemens helmets and coats were even made of leather.

    I think the main danger to leather are:
    Major abrasion to the finish, ie crawling under a car on concrete/gravel/road.
    Puncture/slashing, ie gardening/forest work where big thorns are involved, or working on a site full of metal sharp pointy things. (old building with apparent nails/screws).
    Any sort of solvent/paint stain, ie i would not work in a greasy engine bay, handle white spirit, or paint a white ceiling in a fancy leather jacket.

    Anything else, the leather is coming out...

    Actually, the kind of leather also comes into play.
    I would be ready to do a lot more wearing my Vanson Chopper than i would wearing my Himel Chevalier, and that isn't because it is worth a quarter of the price. The Comp Weight leather just feels like it could deal with a lot more before things went bad!
     
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  18. El Marro

    El Marro One Too Many

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    I’m an electrician and I do wear my leather jackets at work. I have to admit though that I take them off before crawling under a house or working with caulks, sealants, or other materials that would probably stain the jacket. I have gouged and nicked the leather on several of my jackets and I felt like an idiot each time this occurred. On the other hand, my Aero Teamster saved me from a nasty cut while working over a rusty razor wire fence. That was one ding that I was happy to see in the jacket rather than my own hide!
     
  19. Carlos840

    Carlos840 Call Me a Cab

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    The first thing i would do before getting close to a razor wire fence would be to take my leather jacket off!
    You are a brave man...
     
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  20. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

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    I often see people in construction going to work wearing their expensive boots and watches. My fd had to replace the vamp of his RM Buco engineer boots because a piece of metal at the site cut right through the side of the vamp. He could have worn one of his Red Wing.
     

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