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Leather Jacket Collecting on a Budget

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Coriu

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I think the notion of an average price is impossible. Unless you put a blanket over it. Average pre-owned/ vintage (under $1K, well maybe, depending on 8 billion specifics)

Average new $500-1k and up from there, depending on roughly another 8 billion things.

Her are two jackets that cost under $200 :
View attachment 434214View attachment 434216
I could post tons more….
It would unfair and untrue to tell someone new to this hobby they will have the same luck, because in all likelihood, they will not. Based on scarcity of product, lack of “institutional knowledge”, and of course, pure dumb luck.

@Coriu, I have noticed that the majority of your threads/posts seem to be focused on the money spent in this hobby. To me, this is in poor taste. It’s not your business and I’m not sure why you care. This thread would’ve been better off with the premise: “best bang for your buck for the noob leather jacket aficionado”.

There are plenty of resources for that here.
Point taken. I would like to think this forum is about more than people finding their next new jacket and showing it off in selfies.

I'd like to think we are here to help newer people get involved in this wonderful hobby. Yes, I talk about money. It is an expensive hobby and some of us don't have unlimited funds or are not willing to mortgage the house for our jacket collection. So, it's important to discuss costs and budgeting, unless this is the millionaire's club where cost is no consideration.

Each of us is on here to get out of it what we desire, and hopefully to give something back, ie contributing to Finds and Deals. I don't have any interest in getting/giving opinions about the fit of jackets. Subsequently, you will likely not find any related posts from me concerning these things.

If this thread was dumb/meaningless, give some of us newer dumbies a chance to discuss. There are guys on here who are in a completely different stratosphere than me in terms of leather jackets. They collect Lamborghinis. I collect Hondas. It would be nice once in a while to talk to others who are at the same place as me and not someone who has $20k of jackets in his closet.
 
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Point taken. I would like to think this forum is about more than people finding their next new jacket and showing it off in selfies.

I'd like to think we are here to help newer people get involved in this wonderful hobby. Yes, I talk about money. It is an expensive hobby and some of us don't have unlimited funds or are not willing to mortgage the house for our jacket collection. So, it's important to discuss costs and budgeting, unless this is the millionaire's club where cost is no consideration.

Each of us is on here to get out of it what we desire, and hopefully to give something back, ie contributing to Finds and Deals. I don't have any interest in getting/giving opinions about the fit of jackets. Subsequently, you will likely not find any related posts from me concerning these things.

If this thread was dumb/meaningless, give some of us newer dumbies a chance to discuss. There are guys on here who are in a completely different stratosphere than me in terms of leather jackets. They collect Lamborghinis. I collect Hondas. It would be nice once in a while to talk to others who are at the same place as me and not someone who has $20k of jackets in his closet.
I understand. I am not a millionaire either, by any means. But in what way is discussing a budget or “cost of collection” of any help at all? That should be set prior to the hunt by the individual hunting.

What occurs to me though is that you have omitted a very (most?) important part of the entire jacket process…the fit. To me this is absolutely first. Without the fit who cares what it cost or what it is made of, or if you got a good deal or a shit deal!???

So I believe people posting selfies are looking for fit feedback as much as “showing off”. At least that’s what I believe and have witnessed over the past decade. I don’t see how you can have any legitimate conversation about any item of clothing without considering the most important part.

Assuming everybody here is able to make there own decisions and set their own personal limits….I just do not see the point of the last question you asked in your introductory post….in what way would this help anyone in anyway, whatsoever?
 

El Marro

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It would be nice once in a while to talk to others who are at the same place as me and not someone who has $20k of jackets in his closet.
I have never seen anyone called out on this forum for spending too little on a jacket or not showing up with the right brand to impress.
But I have seen you belittle fellow members several times in this thread for having spent too much on their collection or buying jackets that are too expensive. That strikes me as rude.
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
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4,796
Carlos, you are obviously wildly wealthy to own tens of thousands of dollars of leather jackets, so obviously you don't have to worry much about budget.
Who are you to decide that Carlos is 'wildly wealthy' and that he doesn't have to worry about budget.
But if one is the type who is looking for the next jacket before the last purchase has even arrived, one better have limits or it can lead to financial ruin
I'm that type of guy. One could say I'm really passionate about this hobby. So now you're telling me I better have limits?

I feel like you're projecting your own spending habits onto others, which is bad taste imo.
 
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I would like to think this forum is about more than people finding their next new jacket and showing it off in selfies.

I'm 100% with @ton312 on this one - It's never about showing off a new jacket, or at least I don't see it that way. Ultimately, the jacket alone is utterly irrelevant and frankly, while I do appreciate all the little details that make each maker unique, I cannot bring myself to particularly care for it in any way other than how I would look in it. How it would make me look.
To me, leather jackets begin to exist only when worn. Sure, we can admire the stitching, the seams, details, this, that but the only thing that I want to know is what it looks like on someone.
 

JMax

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I'm 100% with @ton312 on this one - It's never about showing off a new jacket, or at least I don't see it that way. Ultimately, the jacket alone is utterly irrelevant and frankly, while I do appreciate all the little details that make each maker unique, I cannot bring myself to particularly care for it in any way other than how I would look in it. How it would make me look.
To me, leather jackets begin to exist only when worn. Sure, we can admire the stitching, the seams, details, this, that but the only thing that I want to know is what it looks like on someone.

Unless one is as experienced in this hobby as you, Ton, Marc, Carlos, Red, etc., I tend to think fit pics are about making sure one doesn’t look like a jack ass in a particular jacket. Which is all good. Totally legit and TFL is a good place to do it.

Me? I believe institutional knowledge/experience allows me to know if a jacket would work for me. Plus, mirrors help. I just don’t lust for fit pics. I post some here and there to roll with the TFL flow. Post just a jacket? Cool too. And I don’t see how a fit pic of you helps me, totally different body builds, dress styles… and I am handsome.

I do enjoy the group pictures, like the one recently posted by the European mob. Very cool.
 
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handymike

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I think maybe a new thread is a good idea. I took this one more as a helpful guide to great less expensive jackets for would-be collectors, but it didn’t go that way....
Something along the lines of @tmitchell59’s threads on brands would be very useful. Maybe we could group makers by price/value.
TFL Guide to Leather Jacket Collecting: ep1- on a budget.
 

Blackadder

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The title implies an assumption that a newbie would get straight into collecting jackets. It is a piece of clothing not stamps or baseball cards or toy figures. IMO most people here bought their first jackets for simple daily wear then some may gradually build up their collection when they want different styles in rotation.
I doubt a lot of people have in mind when they buy their first or first few jackets that they would build a collection or start a hobby.
There is also the notion that having a collection of jackets = collecting jackets as a hobby. I for one am not a collector of jackets and never consider collecting jackets as hobby. My hobby is bargain hunting or shopping, be it jacket, shoes or other items.
Reason I don't consider myself collector is I buy jackets that fit and I intend to wear them frequently. IMO collectors on the other hand do not usually consider fit and wearability as a must. For example, a vintage American clothing collectors in a different forum often post pics of kids overalls he bought. A lot of collectors also do not use or wear their collectibles for fear of lowering the value.
So to me having a collection of things under the same category at least say clothing does not equal collecting.
Let's just say some of us men are not different from women that we like shopping and nice clothing and do like to show them in pics. ;)
 

Coriu

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I understand. I am not a millionaire either, by any means. But in what way is discussing a budget or “cost of collection” of any help at all? That should be set prior to the hunt by the individual hunting.

What occurs to me though is that you have omitted a very (most?) important part of the entire jacket process…the fit. To me this is absolutely first. Without the fit who cares what it cost or what it is made of, or if you got a good deal or a shit deal!???

So I believe people posting selfies are looking for fit feedback as much as “showing off”. At least that’s what I believe and have witnessed over the past decade. I don’t see how you can have any legitimate conversation about any item of clothing without considering the most important part.

Assuming everybody here is able to make there own decisions and set their own personal limits….I just do not see the point of the last question you asked in your introductory post….in what way would this help anyone in anyway, whatsoever?
We are in a completely different place in terms of how we think, sir. Just so you know, I am disabled. When you struggle to walk and look like like some kind of weeble wobble, it really does a number on the silhouette.:rolleyes: The first thing people think when they see me is likely "How did that guy get so F'd up?":)...not, oh that leather jacket just doesn't work. And y'know what? I could care less.

And that devil-may-care attitude is what attracted some of the fringe of society to leather over the past decades..the disenfranchised...
..vets who returned from Vietnam, homosexuals who had to live in closets, and goth kids who don't feel like they fit in.

For me, wearing leather jackets, which I got back to later in life, has been a liberating experience...moving away from the stuffy Corporate world and back to my roots as a blue collar, "fringy" kid. In a manner of speaking, I came out of the closet, not as a gay man, but as a man not encumbered by what what society defines as "proper" It's about the lifestyle...not the jacket. If anyone out there thinks that is weird, you may want to consider expanding your horizons and do some reading concerning why different types of people have been in the leather game

I'd like to think we have a diverse community on here...old/young, men/women, gay/straight, Black/White, etc. Along with that should come different beliefs about what is important. Nobody is right or wrong. Just as some may think my line of thinking and questioning is bizarre, I think certain things I see/read on TFL are bizarre. As I tell my students, being around people who think differently is how we grow.
 

Coriu

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Who are you to decide that Carlos is 'wildly wealthy' and that he doesn't have to worry about budget.

I'm that type of guy. One could say I'm really passionate about this hobby. So now you're telling me I better have limits?

I feel like you're projecting your own spending habits onto others, which is bad taste imo.
Speaking for myself, it can be intimidating to new people on here and discourage active participation when people are talking about big numbers, ie $1000 jackets, and pursuing a jacket every few weeks. I think it could be very easy for someone to think, "This is not for me. These guys are high rollers." Maybe that's one reason why we often have ten times as many guests online as active members.

Sometimes when I say things in the classroom my students say, "You are telling me how to live my life." To which I reply, "I am not telling you how to do anything. I am suggesting something based upon the experience of thousands of people before you. It's your choice what to do with that piece of information."

Marc...you know 1000 times more about leather jackets than I do and likely always will. I have learned from you. Could say the same concerning a number of fellows on here. What I bring to the party is overall experience collecting fine things. I started collecting rare plants 50 years ago and have traveled the world pursuing them...even crawling through jungles. It has taught me much about the art of collecting.

Let's move on and try to learn from each other in the future.
 
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Johnny deadlifts

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I enjoy TFL for both of extremes that are being discussed in this thread. It's awesome and inspiring to see the large and expensive collections that some members have; the time and money invested and the knowledge and experience they have gained is formidable; opinions expressed by these gentlemen are golden to a newb especially when it comes to fit and hide selection. I also love the members that showcase older, less expensive jackets that have unseen character and value that is undeniable, and affordable. I myself bought a few jackets that were pretty expensive at first only to find I didn't understand fit, style and hide selection, but now I do a bit of a " budgeted" approach until I can zero in more on what I actually like then spend more money on a " great one". I like that this lounge is a place were I can ask any of the " Heavy Hitters" anything and they answer without any reservations. I also like that I can ask the "Thrifty" members anything and the gladly offer advise as well. I can see(and i use) the utility of a budget and cautious spending, but I also see that this is a place were the "Big Fish" swim and hunt; were else can they get a sense of community and share what they have acquired other than here? This is their lake as far as I can see, I'm greatful they let me swim in it
 

Marc mndt

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So I believe people posting selfies are looking for fit feedback as much as “showing off”. At least that’s what I believe and have witnessed over the past decade.
Personally I don't post fit pics because I'm looking for feedback. I can tell whether a jacket fits or not just by trying it on , I don't even have to look at the mirror for that.

I post fit pics because I think they could help others in learning about different styles, makers and fits. When I joined the lounge I struggled to understand 'fit' because I couldn't compare one jacket to another just by looking at selfies of jackets as worn by different loungers. @Carlos840 jacket archive was of great help to me in understanding fit: The same guy wearing different jackets while doing the same poses.
Speaking for myself, it can be intimidating to new people on here and discourage active participation when people are talking about big numbers, ie $1000 jackets,
think it could be very easy for someone to think, "This is not for me. These guys are high rollers."
When I first joined here I didn't have a clue about the cost of the jackets that were discussed here. Because that wasn't discussed (and rightfully so imo because it's not about that).

I feel like this is a place for everybody no matter what budget one's on. Personally I don't care about the cost of some jacket. I own (and reviewed) $20 jackets and $2K jackets and I equally enjoy wearing both. For me it's about the quality, design and fit. Not about the money.
 

Agent Black

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Dunno what the average price I've paid is. Only a few purchase costs stick in my head: my first was £25 when I was 17 for a Ketts cross zip, it seemed like a fortune at the time but it you forget how little money you have when you are that age. Circa 2000 I bought an old school Lewis Leathers Sportsman for £40 in Afflecks Palace vintage shop. That was a bargain even then. My first Lewis Leathers metal tag Monza was also £40 about 10 years later.

My general impressions of price trends are:

Prices asked have risen faster than inflation but while leather jackets have always been one of the world's wardrobe staples "Biker" jackets have usually seesawed in and out of fashion the last 15 years or so may be the longest period they've been mainstream.

For vintage, shops tend to be cheaper than online, which is the opposite of a lot of retail. Vintage shops tend to be in marginal shopping areas though and are often on short term lets. This may explain. I typically see £50-60 asked on shops and closer to £100 on line.

Charities tend to ask less both on store and Ebay.

Sizes are getting bigger. There used to be a lot of 38" chest jackets and they were often cheaper. I once got told this was due to lads typically buying their first motorcycle when they were a young man and growing out of the jacket before the bike, so the used market was dominated by the too-small for average items. Now when I look on Ebay I see a lot of 42" and 44" chests and less smaller ones.

My impressions are based onwhat I can remember paying and shop prices + Ebays BIN prices, I haven't looked at sold prices.
 

Kenan

One of the Regulars
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I think maybe a new thread is a good idea. I took this one more as a helpful guide to great less expensive jackets for would-be collectors, but it didn’t go that way....
Something along the lines of @tmitchell59’s threads on brands would be very useful. Maybe we could group makers by price/value.
TFL Guide to Leather Jacket Collecting: ep1- on a budget.

This is a great idea! Maybe with a brand list and general pricing. Something we could do collectively
 

Doctor Strange

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I represent a subset of the longtime jacket fans here: I do not buy used jackets at all, much less buy and sell them frequently. I have not spent thousands searching for a grail jacket. I do not collect jackets just to hang them in the closet as historical objects. I only buy new jackets, and I only keep them if they fit. Yet I've read this forum every day for almost 20 years.

I'm retired now and have essentially no disposable income. Frankly, I didn't have very much when I was working either. For a long time, I allowed myself to buy just one jacket and/or hat a year... and if I splurged one year on a $500 Schott, I'd be sure to get an under-$100 cloth jacket the next time. I own only a single premium jacket, a Good Wear A-2 I got a decade ago when prices were still a little under a thousand dollars. After years on this forum, I needed to get one excellent repro just to see what the excitement was all about: I also only own a single custom fedora after a lifetime of hats. (Mind you, neither one gets any more wearing than my other jackets and hats that cost a fraction as much. That's a lesson in itself.)

This has been my own modest-budget approach to this crazy interest. I don't try to compete with folks who have huge budgets and greater interest, and I don't claim to have handled/worn a wide range of expensive and/or vintage jackets. Yet I've still amassed a nice wearer collection over the years, and I have learned an awful lot and enjoyed being part of this community.

I just wanted to mention that you can be into this stuff in moderation too.
 

red devil

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A bit late to the party

The average cost per____ can be a rough reflection of someone's taste. I have two friends who are rabid pistol collectors. One has guns that average about $500 each and the other has pistols that average about $1000 each. Yes, the latter has VERY good taste. Unfortunately for him, he is a rabid collector with very good taste..a terrible combination that has already cost him one wife.

Maybe some folks on here don't consider themselves collectors. I think anyone who owns more than a few leather jackets is a collector. If not, I am not sure what one would call it, but it is not just your average Joe.

Surely there were more issues than just his collector's mindset that led to the breakup? Was this the reason they gave you for their break up?

It is true that men and women approcah buying and keeping things in wildly different ways. A man once asked his wife: "Would it have impressed you if I had a Ferrari?" To which she said yes. And then the follow up question " What if I had 10?". You might have guessed the answer " What for?" lol

In any case, if a woman were to leave me because I collect jacket, then we were not compatible to start with.

Don't overthink it. The main purpose of this thread was to give newbies a sense of hope that I can play in this game without busting the bank. Think about this from the perspective of a person completely new to leather jackets with little concept of cost of these jackets. What price range should I consider? What is realistic? When I started, I had NO idea what that range should be...not a clue.

For me, part of the fun and challenge of collecting is limiting myself to what I spend and seeing what I can come up with. Based upon my taste and tolerance, I've established a basic target range(bracketed by the average price) that I rarely veer from. That range might be different for different people depending upon their budget, tastes, etc.

One thing I've learned from spending my life around collectors of many types...if one is willing to spend "X" today for something, they'll likely have no issue justifying it tomorrow if a nice shiny new thing comes along. Some are disciplined enough not to, but many aren't.

There may be some new people out there thinking, "I could never afford to collect leather jackets." And many likely could not if they buy new or splurge on $900 used jackets. But if patient and willing to buy used, you one could have 5 beautiful jackets in your closet for $1500.

I find it strange that you say newbies can be put off... If anything it is to the contrary. If you post as a newbie that you would like a jacket under a specific budget, you temd to get really good advice. The beauty of this forum, ist hat you can come with almost anything in mind, and you will get help getting what you want.

You have also been using the word "discipline" a lot, what is exactly yout point here?
 

CBI

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after seeing the OP, this thread has gone down the exact road expected. Lots of circling around the issue. The OP just isn't an appropriate question. Asking people how much they spend is a personal matter. I know people ask this about anything, how much do you spend on groceries, cars, childcare, etc. Although perfectly "fair" questions, just not really proper to ask. strangers, how much do you spend. its up to each person to figure out and its easy enough to look around a bit and see what the various types of jackets cost. I don't thing the OP is "wrong" or anything bad, just perhaps a misstep.
 

Coriu

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This forum IS a wonderful place for new people to get advice. It can be an intimidating place, at times....as one person described, being a small fish swimming in a sea of big fish

The main purpose of the thread was to facilitate discussion. I thought it might be encouraging for some newer folks to learn, "Wow, I can collect beautiful jackets that average $300." That was a mindblowing epiphany for me and one that lead me to start collecting.

I have observed numerous examples of people ridiculing sellers concerning pricing of their jackets. Not everyone has the time/inclination to spend hours per week on sites searching for jackets and get a feel for such things. So, for some, discussion of pricing may be very helpful.

Frankly, I really wanted to hear from some newer people...not get into debates and have to explain myself ad nauseum. If there was a better way of framing out the topic and facilitating such discussion, that's great. Help us along by making a suggestion. Or if it's a poor suggestion, let it die on the vine and move on.
 
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