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Monday, June 18, 2012

San Diego Leather, in National City

This is a re-post of something I wrote in a social column a few months back:

I'm sure that some folks reading this already know about this, but it's all news to me - I wanted to get a new leather jacket, and I was quite prepared to spend some serious bucks for one that actually FITS me.  I have "heroic proportions" that make me damned hard to fit for gear. I was searching Google for "Custom Leather Jacket" and saw a listing that said "San Diego":

San Diego Leather Inc
340 National City Blvd
National City, CA 91950
(619) 829-2517

I looked at the Web site - "" - How cool is that? Tandy Leather, which owns Radio Shack, which ALSO owns Fry's Electronics, tried to buy the domain-name from them for $50,000. No deal. The store seemed to be a nice place, with very cost-effective gear, but I was doubtful - I have seen some creepy-cheap leather jackets made from mystery hides in far-away lands, and I didn't want to trust them until I saw what they actually offered.
I decided to head down to National City to check them out in person. It was a quiet Monday morning, so I had the place pretty-much to myself. I wandered past the racks of shirts, vests and jackets to the rack topped by a motorcycle jacket.  I wondered what size would fit me, looked at the size 52's, and all three motorcycle jackets in that size fit me perfectly… Perfectly.  This is not normal for me. They even fit my apelike arms. I had doubts about the fit of one of the epaulets on one side of the first jacket I looked at, but the third jacket that I tried was perfect for me. It was comfortable, was quality-built, and had a very nice "drape" to the leather. It didn't scream "cheap cardboard crappy bargain leather", as I had feared beforehand.

The jacket cost me $179, and I think that it was the most-expensive model they offer. I would have been perfectly willing to pay quite a bit more, frankly. Watch for me wearing it at future events. 

Looking around, I saw that the usual demographic that shops there is Harley-riding motorcycle groups. As a result, there are plenty of "Fashion Leather" items that simply didn't appeal to a kinky gay male like me who doesn't ride a motorcycle, but there was plenty of stuff that DID appeal, mixed right in. Lots of gear for women. I saw several racks of chapsanimal tails that the Puppy-play crew would like quite a bit, and a big rack of leather gloves. I also bought a very nice whip for fourteen bucks that has turned out to be a real treat to use this morning, after being flexed for a few hours to break it in. I might be throwing it around at the BELT PARTY on Saturday. It was the only whip they had, so I really lucked out.

I'm told that they are selling Harley-Davidson boots at 50% off, because the manufacturer lost their franchise.  I didn't investigate further, because, frankly, I've got too many pairs of boots already. Maybe somebody else can do that for me.

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