Finding the perfect leather jacket in Florence
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Finding the perfect leather jacket in Florence

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Tue 12 Apr 2016 8:10 AM

The perfect Florentine leather jacket is more than just a piece of clothing you’ll have forever: it’s a power statement. When you wear it, you feel like you can conquer the world. The way the soft leather seamlessly breaks into each elbow curve and hugs the back of your neck is like a protective shield.

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When you’re on a mission to find a Florence-made jacket that reflects who you are, doing your research is an important first step. Don’t be duped into purchasing fake leather, letting the infamous ‘fire test’ or chemical scents trick you.

Here are three main things to look for:

  1. Leather is all about the feeling. It should be soft and lightweight.
  2. Quality leather comes with a price to match. 200 euro is a reasonable starting range.
  3. Jacket detailing should reveal appropriate labor time.

Now that you’re a leather expert, start your quest. Reflect on your personal style to recognize what jacket is meant for you. What can you see yourself wearing for the next 20 years? Do you prefer a classic look, biker chic or something with feminine appeal? Pay attention to the details on each jacket: some may have thick silver zippers, an edgy belt hung loosely off the jacket, shoulder stitching or even a peplum back.

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If you need some inspiration, take to the cobblestone streets for some people-watching. Walk through luxury shopping street via de’ Tornabuoni, taking note of the city’s chicest shoppers and the bold boutique window displays. Italians always dress for the season, so get ready to sport your leather coat in the fall and spring, or under a parka jacket or layers in the wintertime.

To get an idea of the form and fit you’d like to find, observe Oltrarno locals or brush up on your knowledge of high-fashion looks. Designer styles without the hefty price tag can be found at places like Davide Cerasi, a quality leather shop located on Lungarno degli Acciaiuoli.

Once I defined all the components I wanted in my investment piece, I had a specific vision: classic, feminine, minimalistic and form-fitted. Know what you’re looking for in terms of quality and style, and shop with integrity.

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Don’t ignore your instincts when walking into a store and assessing the quality of the inventory. How did the store clerk greet you? Were they pushy or interested in your purchase and preferences? Did they educate you about high-quality leather and offer you options? Don’t be afraid to ask if you can take a photo in the jacket so you can revisit how it fit you. I did this in every store that allowed me to, and it was much appreciated.

Having the space to try on different styles with the assistance of a shop owner may seem like the norm, but in Florence this is not always the case. Street vendors do not have changing rooms. If you’re lucky, there may be a mirror available nearby. The solution? Walk right on by and say, “Ciao!” As a general rule, you won’t find quality leather along the street, no matter how insistent the vendor may be.

As a customer, these are all important considerations. So, next time you’re walking through the San Lorenzo streets and various vendors are immediately offering special prices or same-day customization, remember what it means to shop with integrity. Do not give in to the appealing discount or tempting trend: instead, hold out for something high-quality. You’ll be glad you did when you feel your perfect leather jacket squish right into place.

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