Clothing of Comfort

My Venerable Leather Jacket

By Jeff Salter

For this week’s topic, our Friday Fox asked about our “most comfortable piece of clothing.”

Coming up blank initially, I finally realized this would my go-to jacket — my leather coat styled after the military’s A-2 flight jacket.

I’d seen these flight jackets in WW2 movies, of course, and some of the pilots at my various Air Force bases [during the Vietnam timeframe] still wore them on occasion. I guess I’d always wanted one, but knew I’d never be able to afford it. Cooper – one of the companies which made them for the military during the war – was still making them in the 1980s (and beyond, BTW) when I finally bought mine. But I had no $400 for a leather jacket.

jacket-1

One evening, when Beall’s was still one of the anchor stores in Pierre Bossier Mall – in Bossier City LA – I spotted a small display of military-styled jackets and tried them on. I think there were four left which were marked in my size… though they varied considerably in measurements, cut, and fit. I tried them all and this one fit best. It was around $65 — made in India.

That was the mid-1980s and this jacket has been my constant companion during the springs, the autumns, and even in some of the milder winter months ever since. That represented some 21 years in northwest Louisiana.

And, even though Kentucky’s winter weather is more severe, that jacket still gets many months of wear for each of my eleven years (so far) here in Possum Trot.

Why would a jacket make the top of my “most comfortable” list? Well, it’s warm enough to ward off the cold… even down to the mid-30s. But it’s still light enough to wear (rather than carry) even when I’m going to be indoors for an hour or two — like at a trade show. It likes being worn 6-8 months of the year and it’s not even afraid of the rain.

As I told my daughter, Julie, one time: I’m kinda glad I didn’t have $400 to spend on a fancy, “official” flight jacket 32 years ago. Had I bought one of those Coopers, I would have babied it, fretted about it, and kept it out of marginal weather. In other words, when I most needed a jacket, my Cooper would have been protected away in the closet.

Not so with this no-name, copycat flight jacket — it goes where I go. And we both like it that way.

Question: What’s YOUR most comfortable piece of clothing?

[JLS # 333]

 

 

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About jeff7salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Twelve completed novels and five completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015, "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015, "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015, "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014, "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014, "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014, "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014, "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013, "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013, "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013, "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012, "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012. Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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15 Responses to Clothing of Comfort

  1. Anonymous says:

    It would have to be my cap. Not any specific one, I have a couple of dozen, usually any one that is handy. Something to protect my balding head from the sun in summer and cold and rain in winter. Most of the caps that I have are, Gimmie Caps, with Feed Store logos and advertising, Cat Diesel Power, Mobil Oil, Livestock Auctions, Gun Companies, Crop Dusters, you get the point. Then I have a few favorites, my USMC green sateen utility cover that I wear on Veterans Day, Marine Corps birthday and sometimes to Lowes to remind them of their 10% discount to veterans. I’ll wear my IDF cap to show my support for Israel, I wear my Elmer Fudd cap with the flaps down if the wind is really blowing and bitterly cold, like in the 40’s. In Louisiana we call that, Blizzard Conditions. And I have caps that will make children cry and start fights but I seldom wear them anymore. Although I do occasionally wear this cap that makes you look like you have a full head of shaggy yellowish white hair that has been dyed to look like fake fur. That one gets a lot of stares, even at ball games where anything goes. It’s time to go feed my chickens, now where did I put my, Chicken Feeding Cap?

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      Lowe’s gives a 10% discount to vets? Hmm. Didn’t know that. I was there Tuesday and paid full price…
      Thanks for visiting today. I have an “elmer Fudd” had also… and it serves me well in bitter cold with harsh wind.
      Give me your name so I’ll know whose chickens to steal…

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        I hate filling in the blanks so I just signed off. Now I am anonymous. Phil Bazer

        Liked by 1 person

      • jeff7salter says:

        oh, so THAT’s who you are. Cool. Glad to see a fellow writer.
        When you get your blog up and running, let me know. You certainly have lots to write about and I love the way you paint with words.

        Like

  2. jbrayweber says:

    I love bomber jackets. So cool…
    I had a fancy for black leather biker jackets. They were very popular among non-bikers in the late eighties and early nineties. I was able to get one at a discount of $75 from the head shop I had worked at. Loved it and I still have it tucked away in my closet.

    But my most comfortable piece of clothing…? Yoga/workout capris. Not the most attractive, but oh-so-comfortable.

    Jenn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      Yeah, it’s great to get a really good deal on a cool leather jacket. Quality leather can just about last forever… even though the lining can deteriorate.
      I don’t think we’ve seen your yoga/workout capris, Jenn.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff! I am in shock! I thought that you would certainly record for posterity your brown tee shirts as the most comfortable piece of clothing!!! You never cease to amaze me!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love that jacket! My older sister had a knockoff bomber jacket in the late 80s. It was the first thing she bought when she got her first job. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. There was no way she would allow her sister (9 years younger than her) borrow it, though I often begged.

    I can imagine a $400 jacket would hardly ever get worn. Seems like the one you did get has served you well over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      The Cooper A-2 flight jacket (as well as the bomber versions they also manufacture) is more authentically styled and the leather is some kind of special goatskin, I think.
      I think the reason they stay in business (selling at those prices) is that so many — like me — want the jacket from the same company that made them during WW2.
      That said, the ones they’ve made for the past several decades have a side entry pocket that was not in the original military versions.
      In the military, you’re never allowed to have your hands in your pockets.

      Like

  5. Isn’t that the way? I used to keep and keep things and never use them. I have decided that life is too short and now out they now come!
    I have my post written and didn’t think to include outerwear. My sister has given me several expensive outer garments that I never would have worn as much as I have had I spent the money on them,(She had received them as part of the perks of one of her jobs). One was an oversized sweater-coat that finally wore out after many years in Denver, then here in KY. The other is an all-weather coat that has taken me through very many rains, chances of rain, windy weather and just cool temps. When I think I should retire it, the replacements never cut the muster, and out comes the pink short coat/long jacket again. (I wore it to Kroget this morning.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Nice jacket! It sure looks authentic. I have some favorite jackets and fleeces – lately I’ve been wearing a few that belonged to my dad. He passed away in 2009, and when mom gave them to me it was a way to keep him close by.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      I have a few things of my dad’s. Only one will actually fit me and I wore it quite a lot in the couple of years after he passed away.

      Like

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