Wednesday, May 15, 2013

J.Crew Stockton Racer Leather Jacket Review

J.Crew Stockton Leather Jacket - US$ 895.00 for Americans, US$ 1,034.00 for Canadians. Overview video here.

"Honey, I did it. I went and bought a $900 leather jacket. I am now a man."

Or more accurately, I was bored and thought this was a beautiful jacket, they had it in my size, and I decided that everyone needs a leather jacket, so this one may as well be mine!

One 25% off coupon, $750, and a few weeks later, I got a very smelly new piece of dead cow. This was a good year and a half ago. It almost wasn't meant to be because I tried to cancel my order after it didn't ship for a week or two. Turns out the order was already processed and there was a backlog of deliveries, so it was siting in a warehouse among thousands of other packages. Thank you goes out to J.Crew and their first 25% off sale on their website in a long while at the time.

J.Crew Stockton Racer Front
Over a year later and I have probably worn this jacket less than a dozen times. It's not that it's not nice, it's that it's too nice! This is an almost $1000 jacket and, absolutely, the most expensive single item I own. Gotta check the weather before taking it out, no rain, this can never ever get wet. Unfortunately, good weather only comes around spring and summer when it's warm out. Did I mention that this is a really warm jacket? I have worn this with a pretty thin sweater when it was close to freezing (0 C) outside and was still sweating. With very light layering, this jacket is probably good up to 10 C unless you want a sauna. Below freezing, you would probably be up against snow, but with a proper sweater and scarf, it may be a reasonable winter coat. Your perfect option for chilly spring/summer/fall evenings otherwise.
J.Crew Stockton Racer Back
What I love about J.Crew are the little stories (read: peddling blurbs) and generally "classic" theme their clothes go for. The Stockton Racer jacket is one of those "timeless" items -- if you go by the number of years the exact same item with minimal, if any, design changes has been available. Something something about classic 1950s film stars wearing it. To be honest, that is probably true and this is a very standard leather jacket design available from many outlets for cheaper.

The thing that attracted me to this specific jacket was the colour. Also, it being the only leather jacket I found that came in XS for less than a few grand (damn you, Rick Owens, for tempting me). Being an elitist, the stupidly high price tag also made me feel like a big boy:). Back to the colour: it is not black. The pictures I looked at on the J.Crew website originally made it look black with a few blemishes -- I can assure you it's not. At the moment, the monitor I'm writing this piece on is showing the brown colour of my dead slab of cow properly. It is a dark brown colour with some light brown, "worn in" blemishes throughout. There are loads of pitch black motorcycle leather jackets out there, so this is definitely different.

J.Crew Stockton Racer "Action Back"
There are also a few details throughout this jacket worthy of note. Most prominent is the "action back", or whatever they call it, that should allow you to move your arms a tad more freely. Don't get me wrong though, this is an effing stiff jacket. It will stand up on its own if you stand it up on a table. With my limited experience with leather products, the leather appears thick-ish. It's not as soft as the cheaper, fashion leathers that I've come across every now and then. According to the website, it's Italian leather and the label on the jacket matches that description from what I remember. Unfortunately (?), it is still a Made in China product.
J.Crew Stockton Racer Interior Pocket
Other details include the interior button-up breast pockets, two exterior zip-up breast pockets, and the zip-up cuffs. The pockets are just pockets, so not much to say about them. I don't use them and they're a bit tight to get into. However, the cuff is interesting in that it is a working zipper, but unzipping it only releases some extra material. You will have more room at your wrist, you just won't be able to show off your shirt/sweater above your wrist (i.e. theres a layer of material under the zipper). I try to keep the zipper down due to paranoia about the heavy steel zipper scratching up my $1000 jacket. As you can see in the picture below though, the teeth of the zipper is covered by a thin piece of leather -- I just want to be super sure.
J.Crew Stockton Racer Cuff
I got the regular fit, XS size version. There is a "tall" version available for taller (duh) people. Let me remind you what my measurements: 30" waist, 37.5" chest, 5'4" tall, and I think my inseam is 28". Long story short, this jacket sits only an inch of less below my waist when worn unzipped. When zipped, it sits at my waist with a little bit of excess material bunching up at the back. The XS sizes are generally built for really thin yet still tall dudes. Being short and meatier is not a blessing. Oh well, I was absolutely ecstatic when i found out that a waist-high jacket actually hit around the waist level for once. Usually, I deal with waist-high, short-zip jackets sitting below my waist and covering part of my ass like a hip-length jacket.

Because the jacket is designed for thin people, my 30" waist is actually a tad wide for this jacket. Well, that's not ture, if it actually landed at my waist, I'd be fine. I should blame my height -- or my big ass? I like to tell people that it fits like a glove (someone's glove, specifically, but I won't name names). Unfortunately, I won't be doing much layering with this jacket. Thank goodness for the super thin hoodies I found at the Gap last summer. Even the super thin cotton-cashmere sweaters from J.Crew are too fat to make wearing this jacket comfortable. And one final note, the cuffs fit fine except wearing gloves makes it a bit tight. If only I could open the cuff zipper...

Everyday Wear

The only complaint I have about this jacket, in terms of design, is that it lacks easily accessible pockets when zipped up. Goes with the style, I guess. If there were side pockets, it wouldn't look the same. It's a very warm jacket, great for chilly nights, and amazing if used for layering. I just don't know about subjecting it to rain and snow -- it's your money.

I have no regrets about this jacket and am more or less set for life with leather jackets. That is, until I get fat and grow a few inches. Here's hoping?

J.Crew Stockton Leather Jacket Stand-up


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