Well, I’m right back at posting this morning, partly because I pretty much already had this post written before yesterday and partly because I got a good nap yesterday and got in snuggle time and game time with my kiddos. It was good, and I feel so much more rested already.


I’ve wanted a cognac brown leather moto jacket for…well…ever. I’ve trolled Ebay and brick and mortar and online clearance racks for the last 5 years or so, hoping to score the perfect jacket for a great price.


I was willing to pay a little more than I normally do (okay, way more than I do at Goodwill), but every time I found something close, I always chickened out at the price tag. Partly because I don’t like spending a lot of money on anything but mostly because none of them were ever perfect ,and I couldn’t be guaranteed to get the kind of price-per-wear that I was hoping for if I were going to splurge.

That all changed when, after abandoning my search for several months, I typed the words, “cognac leather jacket,” into the Amazon search bar on a whim several weeks ago, and the first result made me squeal out loud.


{Top: LOFT, $7; Jeans: Rich and Skinny/Clothes Mentor, $3; Booties: American Eagle, $35}

It fit all my criteria: real leather, a reputable brand (Kenneth Cole), the perfect rich shade of brown, tailored but-not-too-stuffy fit, gold-toned hardware. The reviews raved about the quality of the leather and the jacket itself. But then they said the fit was off. It ran big and was narrow through the shoulders. And did I mention the price? $120. (Originally $350). I had been hoping to pay no more than $100 and only then if it were absolute leather jacket perfection.

But this one seemed to be. Two things ended up selling me on it: 1) free return shipping, which took out all the risk of a bigger purchase, and 2) the fact that there was literally one medium left in stock (and no sizes below that), which would be the size I’d need for the fact that it ran large. Oh, and also? It came with Amazon Prime shipping, so I didn’t even have to wait very long to find out if my slightly impulsive (if anything you’ve waited 5 years to buy can be described as impulsive) purchase would work out.

When the box came, I ripped it open in a frenzy of  nervous anticipation. The first thing I noticed as my fingers brushed the leather was how soft it was (the reviews had mentioned this). Seriously, guys, the word “buttah” (yes, with that pronunciation) popped into my head, and all I could think was, “Well, there’s no letting Ezra get a hold of this thing, or he’ll try to make it the new comforter for his bed.” (Even at almost 8-years-old, he has a major thing for soft/silky materials, which I’m pretty sure is a holdover from his toddler years when we had to get rid of all blankies matching that description because they only fueled his then obsession with sucking his two middle fingers).


{Top: Goodwill, $3; Skirt: Goodwill, $3, Boots: Dillard’s, $26}

And THEN…then I put her on, and, my goodness, if she didn’t fit just like she’d been tailored exactly for my body. No pull at the shoulders. No sleeve length issues. No trouble zipping her right up.

It was leather jacket love, people.


The search was over.

My brother happened to be at our house when I came sashaying through the living room giving my new leather jacket a test drive, and he said, “Hey, nice jacket.”

“Why thank you,” I replied, wearing probably a little too similar of an expression to the ones I wore after birthing my children. (The proud one; not the exhausted, pained, I-just-pushed-a-human-out-of-my-body one).

“How much did it cost?” he asked.

I glanced around for Shaun, then lowered my voice. “Um, $120.”

Shaun heard me from the other room, though, and said, “Whoa! That doesn’t sound like you!”


{Top: GAP outlet, $8; Jeans: Old Navy, $10; Shoes: JCPenney, $15}

Now, don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t trying to keep my purchase from my husband. After all, he’s the man who encouraged me to splurge on an Anthropologie dress (probably the single other most expensive clothing item I own besides my wedding dress). But I felt a little silly, like I was betraying my frugal nature, and I didn’t want him to tease me.

And then, there were you guys. I know most of us won’t get to meet in real life, but I still think of you as my friends, and you’re always so sweet and encouraging and willing to celebrate with me when I get excited about things that I was bursting with a desire to show you my new favorite jacket.


Problem was, I’m the cheap-o girl here. I like to showcase 4 piece outfits I only paid $13 total for. And I wondered if you would judge me for my splurge.

So, I was faced with two choices (well, 3 really):

1) “hide” the jacket by taking it off and putting it aside when I took outfit pictures

2) take pictures with the jacket but carefully avoid mentioning the price tag and hope you didn’t ask


3) ‘fess up and trust you to either be kind, not care, or storm off in a huff at my betrayal of self.

I guess if you’ve made it this far into what is essentially a big long post that could be summed up in the words: “I bought an expensive leather jacket, and I don’t regret it for a second,” then you know which option I chose.

Because, even though there are definitely things in my life that need to remain private for the sake of my family or just good ol’ common sense, I don’t want to lie (even by omission) to you about things like how much money I’m willing to spend on clothes (every once in a blue moon) so that you’ll like me better or have a (falsely) elevated opinion of my virtue.

So, now you know.

I found my perfect leather jacket, and it wasn’t cheap.

Have you lost all respect for my thriftiness? And, perhaps more importantly, have you ever splurged on something you’ve been stalking for ages? 

P.S. In case you’re wondering, I’ve only had the jacket for a few weeks, and the current price-per-wear is already down to about $15. As you can see from the pics, I wear it with everything from skirts to dressy jeans to errand-running outfits. Worth.every.penny.

Linking up with Lindsey.


  1. Isn’t the definition of thrifty “saving money on what you don’t need to spend it on so you CAN spend it on what you DO want”? If not I’m messed up. : ) It’s just stingy to save needlessly. Nice jacket!

  2. I think one of the great things about being frugal is that you CAN take the plunge when something more expensive comes along…good for you AND it looks great on you too!

  3. Sadly, I’m trying to lose weight, so I’m not buying any clothes until I’m down a few more sizes!! Maybe someday I’ll find something fabulous to splurge on. I’ve always wanted that perfect denim jacket!

  4. Yay! For an amazing find! That jacket is gorgeous! I wish it could come live with me part-time …..haha! I love the way you styled it…..it goes with everything! Thank you for posting this and being honest with us (I would expect no less from you, of course ;). It actually makes me feel better that you splurged on this and didn’t find it at GW for $5…..it seems several of the blogs I follow with thrify ladies are always sharing their great finds……”check out these awesome Frye boots I got for $3!!!”……and I never find these deals (would love to, but never do!). So it makes me feel better that I’m not the only one who has splurged on a much wanted item (leather boots) that I couldn’t find at the thrift store. ;). Although, when you do find awesome things at the thrift store I love to hear about those….don’t get me wrong…..ok, I better quit cuz this is just getting long & confusing…..lol!

  5. We as a country treat fashion poorly, you shouldn’t feel bad at ALL for buying something that will last you years! That is as gorgeous jacket and I, she who dropped $300 on a wool parka years ago, can not judge! 🙂

  6. I normally don’t spend much on my clothes, either, but once in a while I’m not above splurging on something I know I love and I’ll be able to get a good cost-per-wear out of. I do have one pair of boots that cost about $120…but oh, I love them and I’ve worn them 1-2 times per week since September. I think I’ll get my use out of them. 🙂
    I actually have a jacket in a very similar style to yours but it is just faux leather–I love that style!

  7. I just received a leather jacket myself as a gift and almost choked knowing how expensive it is. But I wear it so often it’s definitely earning its keep. Yours looks great on you and it’s a piece that will be in your closet for a long long time.

  8. One of the reasons I am thrifty is so that when a truly great option (like this darling jacket;) is available I have the funds to purchase it. It appears you absolutely love it so- well done!

  9. I love jackets. And boots. For years (5, at least) I’d purchased sub-par faux black leather boots that would end up falling apart a few months later. Finally, I decided that if I ever found the perfect pair of black leather boots, price would be no object. I. Would. Buy. Them.

    Fast forward 4 years. I was perusing the shoe racks at Nordstrom and I saw a really cute pair of boots. I tried them on. Come to find out they were made by someone that hates feet! I tried on another pair. They were Cole Haan black leather boots. They were perfect. They were the boots I’d been searching for…for years. Needless to say, I bought them.

    i’d like to be able to say that they were one sale and I scored a great deal. I did not. I paid the full retail price. The price may have had two 5’s and a zero in it (in that order). By far, the most cash I’ve ever dropped on a pair of boots. Worth every penny.

  10. Being thrifty most of the time is what ALLOWS for the occasional splurge. Thrift doesn’t merely “justify” the splurge; it literally PROVIDES the money for it!

    Actually, I don’t even think of this jacket as a splurge, because that word has a frivolous connotation. You have simply made a wise choice. You can occasionally buy something you really love, because you are content with thriftier purchases most of the time.

    The people who paid $350 for that jacket, without a moment of thought or hesitation, will never appreciate their jacket as much as you do.

  11. I’m rediculously ‘frugal’ and have been looking for YEARS for the perfect purse/diaper bag, not too big, not too small, short hadle, but long enough for my shoulder plus a long handle for crossbody, etc, etc. my hubby was so tired of me buying $30 target purses that weren’t quite perfect. I just found the perfect, real leather purse and spent $130! Eek! But he was proud of me and it’s so worth it!! So good for you 🙂

  12. I love the jacket! I have a leather jacket that isn’t quite the same but was a hand-me-down gift years ago and I love it! But, the arms are too short, but I love it so much I try to wear it anyway. One day I’ll splurge and get one that fits 🙂
    How do you like Clothes Mentor? We have a few near-ish to me. I’m just hesitant to drive the hour out of my way on the chance that I won’t really like their prices and when I’m in the neighborhood I’m always there for a reason that keeps me too busy to pop in. I love the $3 price tag on those jeans!

    1. Oh my goodness, Rebekah! I totally meant to respond to this a LOOOOOONG time ago and got distracted. Sigh. Such is my life.

      Anyway, to answer your question about Clothes Mentor, they do generally have good pricing and really cute stuff, but the $3 for designer jeans is rare. They do an end/beginning of year clearance (just had one, I think) where they liquidate a bunch of their old stock, and I came away with 14 pairs of designer jeans to wear or sell (including those Rich and Skinnies I’m wearing) last year for $3 each. It was AWESOME! But their normal prices are closer to $10-$50, depending on the item. I still think they’re really reasonable and have a really great selection…at least where I am (which is in a rather affluent area, so that may help).

  13. It’s beautiful and you shouldn’t feel guilty. I am glad you don’t. No judgement here! I have not had such great luck on buying brands online I haven’t tried on first. The Loft is about the only place I can do that with.

  14. I love the jacket….and thanks for being honest….plus you save so much on your other items….good for you!

  15. I agree with all of the above. about 20 yrs ago I bought a beautiful wine colored dress for $80 brand new, no sale, just straight out of the catalog. I almost choked. but I am still wearing it. every other week I wear it somewhere. so I would say it was worth it. and it taught me a great lesson. buy what you love and buy quality

  16. I love your jacket, and I think it is totally worth the splurge. It looks great on you, and I’m glad you resisted buying one for 5 years until you found just the right one. 🙂 I try to stay with the idea of not spending much on clothes, but being willing to invest in a few quality things. There are a few things, I’ve gotten for a steal, that I wear over & over. That’s always nice. But most of my “quality” items cost a bit more.

  17. What a gorgeous jacket! I’m like you – I mostly buy thrifted/consignment store bargains, but sometimes only a splurge on the perfect piece will do! I’m so happy for you – you will get YEARS of enjoyment out of it. It’s classic, yet modern, and oh so chic!

  18. I am a big lover of thrifting too but sometimes when you find a jewel… you just have to go for it! I can’t say how many times my husband has said… “why don’t you just spend more money on one thing you really love than 10 things you kind of like”. So… congrats on your new find!

  19. It’s a genuine leather, Kenneth Cole jacket. $120 is not a bad price AT ALL. Plus, it’s super-cute. I love the color. I like to be very frugal and thrifty with my clothing budget as well, but I have no problem whatsoever spending $100+ on a new leather handbag that I will carry daily for years, or spending even more on a pair of awesome leather boots that I will also wear to death. Some things really are worth the expense.

  20. I love it and I a think it was total worth the splurge. I am also very thrifty and enjoy reading about your goodwill adventures but it is nice to know that sometimes you just have to pay for the look you want and that’s okay. Thanks for being honest its one of the reasons I love your blog so much!

I love hearing from you guys!