Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Red and Black Leather

While I was in San Francisco in March, I had a couple hours free, so I decided to stop by the Mr S Leather store in the SOMA (South of Market) district. Over many years, I have purchased a lot of my leather gear from them. They make good stuff, and have quality leather. They do good tailoring as well.

I remember my first visit to that store back in 1991, some 20 years ago. The store was in a different location then. It was small and dark, and crowded too. (Actually, there were probably 3 or 4 people in the store, but it felt crowded.) Scared the bejeebers out of this curious guy. I don't know why I was so afraid. I did not buy anything on my first visit.

However, I saw some things that I liked, so my next trip to San Francisco, I screwed up my courage and went back to Mr S. This time, I was there by myself with one employee. The guy greeted me nicely and asked what I was looking for. I told him that I wanted to look around. He let me explore.

I spotted what I was looking for: a pair of leather jeans and a leather shirt. Back then, all the leather garments that they sold were black. I picked out what I liked, and tried it on. The shirt fit fine but the jeans were too long. The store employee was very helpful -- he measured my legs and asked me to give him the jeans to have them hemmed. A short while later, the jeans were returned (the person doing the hemming worked on an upper floor). I put the garments in a bag and left.

I wore those leather jeans and shirt a lot. I loved how they felt and how they looked. Subsequently, as I both became more mature and self-confident, I returned to Mr S a lot -- and bought a lot of leather gear!

Since I have so much leather gear now (most of it is custom made), I didn't think that I would see anything that I would want to buy when I visited Mr S again. But it didn't hurt to look, and admire the gear. They carry a lot of rubber and alternative types of clothing, too, as well as tons of sex toys, and some boots. Hmmm, boots -- last thing I needed ('cause I have everything that they sell and didn't need expensive duplicates ... plus, I want to keep Stompers Boots in business so I always give my boot business to them.) And the sex toys -- I tell 'ya, if I weren't the confident man that I am, I probably would have run out of there screaming. Gosh some of that stuff looks intimidating and painful. But there I go again -- being judgmental about stuff that other people are interested in; just not me.

The store staff were friendly as usual, and were laid back and let me explore some more. Nowadays, Mr S carries a lot of leather gear with colorful accents, or made completely from leather in colors other than black -- red, white, blue, hunter green. Their adjustment to offering colorful leather reflects both the times, and their accurate perception that some of us older guys already have all the black leather we will ever want or need, so to entice us to make a new purchase, they have to offer something different.

Then I spotted just the thing: a black short-sleeved leather shirt with red pocket flaps, epaulets, and collar, with a red stripe accent on the end of each sleeve. Wow, cool! Very different, and to me, very interesting.

Thankfully, they have different sizes of their various garments, and I found one -- the only one -- that was my size. I tried it on. It fit fine. Perhaps a little tight, but I know that as I exercise more this Spring, I'll loose a little weight in the middle and also I know that leather stretches slightly when it is worn.

The shirt was marked down a little bit -- I didn't know why. The price was right. So despite having to pay humongous sales tax, I bought it. Okay, so I'll help the local economy. (I could have avoided paying the sales tax if I bought it on-line and had it shipped to my home which is not in California.)

Now, before you go asking about signals that I may be giving, the answer is "no." Red leather has nothing to do with the Canonical Hanky Code, where red-on-the-left means doing something sexually with a fist (maintaining my G-rated status of this blog ... you can figure it out.) I'm not into that. But I do like the contrast of red leather with black leather.

To complete the look, I got a very good quality red leather tie from 665 Leather in West Hollywood, California (on-line). I'm not sure where I will wear this outfit, since I don't hang out at leather-oriented runs or fashion shows any more. But I'll enjoy the shirt, and wear it when I ride my Harley. I'll also wear it on occasion when I go about my daily personal business. For example, I had this shirt on when I went to a local building supplies retailer last week. Two customers saw me and said, "cool shirt, dude!" LOL!

Life is short: enjoy leather!

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