What are important things to look for when evaluating the condition of a used jacket?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Khilij, Mar 6, 2021.

  1. Khilij

    Khilij New in Town

    Messages:
    23
    Hi all,

    I'm new here and I'm looking to buy my first good quality leather jacket. Quite frankly, I have no idea what I am doing. I've seen a number of used jackets on eBay and similar sites, but I am lost when it comes to determining whether or not those jackets are in good condition. Some things, such as rips and tears, seem fairly obvious. However, I am sure that there is a wealth of information here that I am missing. Any advice you all may have is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you very much for your time.
     
    BobJ likes this.
  2. dannyk

    dannyk One Too Many

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    1,617
    Patina. 1. Patina is a misnomer something that applies to metals but I won’t get into because common vernacular has adopted that word to leather jackets. But a jacket will wear, shape, mold to its user and its use. A bit of discoloration from the sun. A bit dull or conversely a sheen to it from wear and dirt. Maybe a speck of paint. If it’s not dyed through the underside showing through. All acceptable. Make the jacket unique and sometimes makes it look cooler and better. But users will try to sell damaged, beat to hell, misshapen, dirty as sin, ripped, torn, and flaking leather as patina and unique. They are not. They are not worth a single thing. There is plenty discuss on this topic. Most of it will be agreed upon, some things matter more or less to us. But I will say falling apart, gross, flaking apart jackets being sold for amounts they have no business selling for. Don’t fall for patina hype.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
    Jin431, navetsea and El Marro like this.
  3. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    8,248
    Location:
    SoCal
    Collar cracks! They can’t really be fixed and are a sign that the jacket hasn’t been stored correctly or that a previous owner sweated a lot.
     
    Carlos840, Jin431, Will Zach and 5 others like this.
  4. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,041
    Collar check is really good advice.

    I always ask about odors and look for comments in the description that indicate it does or may smell.

    Review the zips and areas around all the zips.
     
  5. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,248
    Location:
    SoCal
    Yes, if the insert part (male side) of a main zipper is separating from the tape at the bottom, it means a costly zipper replacement.
     
  6. Khilij

    Khilij New in Town

    Messages:
    23
    Wow, this is some really great advice! I never would have thought of any of this. Thank you all again.
     
    sweetfights likes this.
  7. sweetfights

    sweetfights Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,740
    Location:
    Canada
    Bad smells and cracked leather.
    Cracked leather anywhere on the jacket is a deal breaker. Bad smells from the liner if all else is excellent can be worked with sometimes.
     
    Jin431 and JMax like this.
  8. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    1,430
    Location:
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    Check if the main zipper is original and in good shape. Sometimes a butchered replacement with a cheap YKK is not disclosed by the seller and not visible in pictures.
     
    Blackadder, handymike and dannyk like this.
  9. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead Practically Family

    Messages:
    882
    not related to quality, but obviously if the jacket don't fit, don't matter how nice it is. Ask for measurements and pics of those measurements. P2P, Shoulder, Bottom Hem, Sleeve Length, Sleeve Width, Back Length. Don't go with it's a Large or a standard fill in the number. It means zero.
     
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  10. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,248
    Location:
    SoCal
    On a similar note, sellers often make up sizes based on their chest measurements (like a 44 being 22” across the chest).
    Ask them to measure all the way into the middle of the side panels for a pit-to-pit, not just between the seams on the front.

    And NEVER go by the listed size...ALWAYS go by the measurements.
     
    dannyk, Jin431 and Blackadder like this.
  11. Arnold

    Arnold Familiar Face

    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Europe
    Try to get the seller to commit to shipping the jacket properly or its condition on arrival may differ dramatically from what you were shown before, and all the evaluating will have been in vain.

    If crammed too tight, metal parts may leave imprints on the leather, permanent folds may be left etc. If there's no padding around the jacket, tears in the parcel easily lead to tears or scratches in the leather, and it will also be more sensitive to temperature extremes and humidity. Keep in mind the pandemic is slowing many shipments down so that mechanical or chemical stress caused by improper packaging is likely to last longer and have a stronger effect than we're used to.

    Edit - Regarding "patina", German sellers often use that term when they actually mean copper rot/ verdigris. It's a frequent mistake in the German language, not an attempt at deception, but be aware of it. Copper rot is present around brass and even nickel hardware on many older jackets and it's not exactly healthy, so a seller who hasn't removed it - especially before folding and packaging the jacket, which may smear it - may not have cared well for the jacket.
     
    handymike and dannyk like this.

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