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Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Leather Jacket ... for me?

Executive summary: Yippee! I bought a new motorcycle jacket!!!! I'm so excited to get back to Colorado and have this yummy jacket delivered to into my arms!!!!! Its a Fox Creek and the best leather I've ever come across.

Tip: Always feel how the jacket fits when sitting and when reaching.

now, the long story...

Not the I'm any aficionado of leather... but I've always appreciated the feel and the scent of leather.

I've been toying with the idea of getting a leather jacket for months and months (like since February) to supplement my mesh jacket and extend my riding into deeper cold. Early on I came across Fox Creek Leather and have been drooling over their jackets ever since- reading every review I could find, their testimonials, etc. The fact that their jackets are made here in the United States was appealing too. I google mapped the store and its in Independence, VA - southwestern corner of the state. Like I'd ever make it there... so I thought while sitting in Colorado.

The Vented Touring Jacket looked like just the right one - long enough to cover the hips a little and is under-stated so that I could wear it other settings.

Time passed.

Once I knew we were headed to North Carolina to visit family, I re-googled the store. huh. 2 hours from Greensboro. I started scheming (see recent post). So yesterday, we went to the mountains, crossing over the Eastern continental divide into Virginia to check out Fox Creek. As we're driving, the snow starts flying and then while we're in the store a furious snow squall hit! Nothing like pressure to choose the perfect jacket with the DH pacing, peering out the window, shaking his head... if we scratch his bro's car, I'm toast...

The saleslady was really nice and helpful. We were the only customers during the ~2 hours we were in the store. She made me feel comfortable to try on anything I wanted to. Yes, I could have gone custom. And I was in such a zone that I don't remember her name :oops: Let's call her Marcy.

I tried on four jackets:

Vented Touring Jacket

Women's Classic Motorcycle Jacket I

Fitted Classic Motorcycle Jacket

Vented Racing Jacket

Of course I went for the Vented Touring first.


Well, its on sale because they discontinuing it (and it being on sale appeals to that daughter of depression era mother gene). All they had were a few sizes. Rather apologetically Marcy said that the jacket runs rather small. Well, usually I'm an XL woman. My Olympia jacket is an XL and it fits perfectly. Marcy pulls the XXXL. With a slight gulp and vowing to get back on the program after being fed to the gills every day by my southern relatives, I tried on this jacket (with a thick wool sweater on).

It fit OK, a bit more tight in the chest than I'd prefer and moving my arms was a bit restricted. Without the sweater, it was fine. I'm slightly bummed.

I moved on. OK, if I can't 'hide' my motorcycleness then I'm going to blare it out to the world! Let me try on the Classic Motorcycle Jacket I!

Now this oozes biker. And did I mention that the jackets smell like leather and the texture is so smooooth and yet thicker than anything you find in a regular or HD store? But will it go with my blue butterfly helmet? Here it is:


Marcy helps me put on the jacket and steps back with a slight smile. I can feel my whole demeanor changing...I'm gonna look bad with this jacket on. Wait! Its squeezing me tight! I, I can't breath! Quickly Bob and Marcy let out the laces on the sides before I turn blue. It feels great (in xxl). I can breath and yet its not too loose in the front. The sleeves aren't too long. Getting the zipper started is easy.

But I'm thinking I should try on a longer jacket, so I try the Fitted Classic Motorcycle Jacket which is 2 inches longer than the Classic I or II


Its fit is slightly more snug than the Classic I, and I notice that while the extra length to 'cover the hips' looked great in the front, the leather flipped up in the back leaving a sizable gap where the jacket should have been flat on my body. Proudly being Member Number 5 in the Flying Fat A$$es Scooter Club, its like there's a ledge where my torso ends and my b*tt begins; plus my torso is short (otherwise known as short waisted). This jacket does not flatter my figure.

An Ah-ha moment occurs, maybe a jacket designed to be short - ending at the waist on most women will be just the right length on me!

So I try the shortest cut jacket, the Vented Racing Jacket, also on sale. Its cut a little shorter in front and longer in the back for sports bikers who are leaning over the gas tank to form the ultimate aerodynamic shape.


Yee gads! Did I mention that its also the most fitted jacket?

The word 'fitted' is a designer's code word. Fitted is what gives dresses that upside down triangle look - broad shoulders and narrow waist. For me with my slightly triangle more-like-a-rhomboidal shape it means 'uh uh, no way.' No amount of loosening the side laces would give my rib cage room to expand. I could feel my internal organs being rearranged (just joking) and a moment of sympathy to my 18th-19th century corset-encumbered relatives crossed my mind. While this jacket flattered my figure and if I were at my ideal weight of 140 lbs, this would be a great jacket; however, my requirement to breathe while riding overcame fashion and I put the jacket aside.

After another round of trying on all of the jackets without my sweater on... and with the sweater on... (and now Bob is trying on jackets for himself)... maybe in a bigger size for the Vented Racing...now walk around the store...did you guess it?

Yes! I chose the Classic Motorcycle Jacket I!!


On try number 3, I realize that this jacket stays snug around my waist and hips whether I'm standing or sitting. The leather doesn't flip up in the back. I can cross my arms, reach down, up, etc without the jacket pulling weirdly. And then Bob says, 'you know, lots of people around home wear their MC jackets all the time, even to fancy restaurants.' What a good guy.

And then the snow stopped, the heavens opened to blue sky, the Hallelujah chorus started playing on the radio (not quite), and I bought my first real biker babe leather jacket!

Thanks for reading. Mean it!

And if anyone is keeping track. The order of internal roominess (from most room to most tight) went as such for me

Women's Classic Motorcycle Jacket I ... Fitted Classic Motorcycle Jacket ... Vented Touring Jacket ... Vented Racing Jacket

jacket.... . ....jacket ... ..... jacket .... jacket

About Me

Join me in my adventures as I learn to ride a scooter and experience the world through two wheeled transport.