Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
I’m not the type of person to fixate on purchases, and I know people tend to throw around the term “obsessed” when talking about clothes they’ve bought or want to buy. But there’s one item I’ve legit been obsessed with for years: this leather motorcyle jacket from The Cast, a tiny punk boutique on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. And on Tuesday, I finally bought it.
I first fell in love with this coat in 2012, when I borrowed the same one from my roommate at the time (who has great style and owns more black clothing than anyone else I’ve ever met in my life). The few times I wore hers, I’d get compliments from such disparate types — my normally unfriendly bartender, Opening Ceremony employees, nerdy coworkers, actual bikers — this is a crowd-pleasing, no-one-can-deny-it’s-cool kind of jacket.
Back then, The Cast’s “Terminal Collection” Bowery Jacket was offered in a slightly thicker, softer leather, which meant it was a little more expensive than the style currently listed; the $650 price tag put it squarely out of reach for me and my assistant editor salary. By the time I could (maybe not responsibly, but comfortably) afford to drop that much at once, I already had a leather jacket — a super-nice designer one that was a gift — so it seemed like a silly, unnecessary purchase.
But you know what? The flame has been burning all these years. It’s not that I wanted a moto jacket, I wanted this moto jacket. It’s just so... perfect.
Lined in red satin and cut in buffalo-hide leather (which would probably protect you if you fell off a bike), it’s sturdy and sharp, in the exact shape your mind’s eye would conjure if someone said “motorcycle jacket.” It’s got two interior flask pockets and shiny silver zippers and hardware. I love it as much as a human can love an inanimate object.
At $395, it isn’t that big of a purchase by some standards, but I’m still pretty sure it’s the most I’ve ever spent on something to put on my body. Mind you, this is only The Cast’s entry-level offering. The brand makes several options for men and women in all kinds of gorgeous leathers, including this amazing baby pink one, as well as custom creations where your imagination is the only limit.
Maybe someday I’ll upgrade — if dropping over a grand on a jacket ever feels comfortable — but as of this week, I’m going to wear it every single day until the heat of summer stops me.