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Schott 'Perfecto' leather jacket, $10

Let's face it, when it comes to leather jackets, most are worthless, but some are worth lots of money. One of the most powerful allies you can have in this business is a good understanding of the different brands of leather jackets to be on the lookout for. And the Schott Perfecto should be at the very top of that list!

Back in 1913, a couple of guys named Irving and Jack Schott started a business on the Lower East Side of Manhattan making raincoats, which they then sold door to door. A couple of years later, they were making a leather jacket they called the 'Perfecto,' named after Irving's favorite cigar. In 1928, The Schott Perfecto became the very first leather motorcycle jacket, aimed straight at the growing number of 'moto cycle' riders, as they used to be called.

The Perfecto was initially sold at a Long Island Harley Davidson shop for a whopping $5.50, and was immediately embraced by the biking crowd, becoming a symbol of the excitement, danger and adventure that they were quickly becoming associated with.

When The Second World War broke out, Schott made jackets for our air crews, as well as wool pea coats for the military people on the ground. As far as I know, Schott is still making these jackets for the U.S. Military.

In 1954, the classic motorcycle movie 'The Wild Ones' appeared, featuring a young Marlon Brando tooling down the highway in his Schott Perfecto jacket. A year later, the actor James Dean, another Schott Perfecto aficionado, was killed in an automobile accident. The Perfecto was rapidly cementing its place as the one, must-have accessory for the wild and crazy crowd.

As you may have already found out, this yard sale business can be really confusing at times. And the area of leather jackets doesn't help matters because you see them in every size, color, shape and style imaginable. Some are worth nothing and some are worth a bundle, but it's often difficult to tell which is which! That's why the Schott Perfecto jacket is such a dependable name to tuck away in your memory bank: it's been around for so long that you're actually going to run across it, people out there on eBay actually search for the Schott Perfecto by name, and they're willing to pay good money for them.

And don't forget... something else you've got going for you is the fact that all those other yard sale shoppers are so darned jaded by all the worthless pieces of garbage leather jackets they see all the time, that they're likely to walk right past the Perfectos. By the way, these jackets retail new for around $390 today. This one sold on eBay for $115.

Photo of Schott Perfecto     

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