Leather jacket in Italy
October 19, 2019 2:49 AM   Subscribe

At what store would or did you buy a ladies leather jacket in Milan or Florence, Italy, for under $500USD? How has the jacket held up if you did buy one?

I’ve seen suggestions for entire shopping neighborhoods but I’m easily overwhelmed, this is a gift from someone else, and I’ll have about three hours to accomplish the whole thing in whichever city.

I have broad shoulders and prefer simple clean lines without lots of buckles or studs or other hardware.
posted by bilabial to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I bought a great men's leather jacket at the Florence School of Leather (Scuola del Cuoio) for about $400. Buttery soft and has held up great for a couple of years now. I'm sure they also have women's jackets.
posted by Lady Li at 8:41 AM on October 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

I can't help with Milan, but I've done this twice in Florence (the first time was also a gift! and with similar time constraints!), and I don't think you need to go with a specific store in mind. Like anywhere else, different stores will have clothes cut for different body types, and Florence is a small enough city to visit at least half a dozen in your timeframe before circling back to buy your favorite. It's also a city that's full of leather -- you're getting suggestions for neighborhoods rather than stores because it's easier to just walk down the street and step into every store that looks interesting than it is to find a specific store that may have moved. Ask for a business card from the store, and it'll probably have a map on it so you can find it again. Touch enough leather, and you'll figure out quality pretty easily. If/when you feel overwhelmed, there are tons of coffee/gelato shops to take a break at =)

If you want a specific place to go, I started at the Mercato Nuovo, which gives you a great concentration of leather jackets to try on and get a sense of what you like. Also, I have a soft spot for outdoor markets. Many of the vendors with stalls there also have stores nearby -- so if you like something but want different colors/sizes, you'll get taken to the actual store. If I recall correctly, all of those tended to be well within your price range, and some will be lower quality, so be picky.

If I was doing this, I'd probably plan to start at the Mercato Nuovo, then walk to the Scuola del Cuoio recommended by Lady Li that's ~1km away, stopping at a few interesting stores on the way. If you find something you like at the last stop, buy it, otherwise, backtrack to your favorite.

At least in Florence, the price tag on the jacket seemed to have almost zero to do with how much I would actually have pay for it. ALL of the merchants (including the upscale ones out of my price range and at the top of yours) seemed to be claiming "one day sale! special price!", and haggling seemed expected, and would be conducted in English. (At least, if I looked doubtful / said I was going to look around the city and maybe come back later, the asking price usually dropped. I would then get them to write down the jacket style + price on their card to be sure it didn't go up again when I came back.)

Also, I was very pleased with the range of sizes available. The leather merchants seem to have figured out that tourists with money to burn aren't all size 4, so almost every place I went had options that fit me, while in the US I'm usually right at the edge between straight and plus sizes and shopping sucks. Broad shoulders + clean lines should be quite doable.
posted by Metasyntactic at 9:10 AM on October 20, 2019

Response by poster: We each got a jacket in a different place in Florence. No haggling for my jacket but the seller offered to take 75€ off the price (our first purchase, after visiting 6 shops this was the one we circled back to). His jacket we also circled back to, and the seller had already said he could do better on the price. We bought a purse also in that shop and did a little haggling. The gift giver felt good about the prices.

I’m a bit overwhelmed. This is the most expensive new clothes item I’ve ever owned and I chose a very sturdy leather because I want it to last forever.

It’s beautiful. It fits so well (accounting for it will stretch a little) I feel like a million bucks.
posted by bilabial at 10:32 AM on October 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

« Older What are the odds that this was a mouse poo?   |   Tipping your host in the UK? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.