Item: &Other Stories Leather Jacket
Appearance: The Magician’s Apprentice, The Witch’s Familiar, Under The Lake, The Woman Who Lived
Original Retail Price: £300
Materials: 100% real leather, black lining: 54% polyester, 46% viscose, sleeve lining: 53% viscose, 47% polyester
The readers who know me personally or through Instagram chats will know how often and loudly I proclaimed that I didn’t want this jacket. Firstly, I’m not very keen on real leather and even though I love this jacket, cosplay items are where I make the only exception. Secondly, I might be allergic against some compound they use in making leather, I have yet to get tested, but I’ve had reactions when leather was around and luckily for me, I haven’t had a reaction to the jacket yet. Well, as you can clearly see from the headline: I changed my stance on the jacket because I saw it at a price I simply could not resist.
The leather jacket completes three different outfits for me and it is worn by Clara in The Magician’s Apprentice, The Witch’s Familiar, Under The Lake and, for a brief moment, The Woman Who Lived. Clara wears many different &Other Stories outfits throughout S9 and none of them are particularly cheap, but when it comes to the original retail price, the leather jacket takes the crown with roughly £300. I’ve seen a couple of them around on the various websites (especially Depop and Vinted) and I have personally bought two jackets for other cosplayers before I bought my own. The prices I’ve seen range from £25 to £250 from what I’ve seen. It should be said, however, that the £25 one I bought for another cosplayer was already well worn. I was lucky to find my own for £35 and it was listed as new and unworn. Judging by the look of the jacket, it really hasn’t been worn more than a handful of times, so if you just wait long enough (in my case 2 1/2 years), you can get lucky even with such a rare and expensive item.
Sadly, like all of Clara’s &Other Stories clothes, this jacket is on the rarer side, but one does pop up every couple of months. Some I’ve seen were only size trades, but if you’re patient and willing to maybe spend a little bit more on this item, I’m sure one will come your way eventually. Even if it takes 2 1/2 years. I’ve never seen this one on the second-hand websites for designer clothes like Vestiaire Collective or VideDressing, but I’ve seen around ten of them on Vinted, Depop and the DW Cosplay Sales Community.
Now to the jacket itself. I have to admit, I often struggle with the fit of leather jackets in particular. When I bought my alt, I did so in a mall and I tried on so many different leather jackets, all of which were anything but suitable for my body shape. I don’t know if the problem sounds familiar to you, but most of the jackets I tried so far were bulky and stiff and either too large or too small for me. As I’ve mentioned before, I bought two of these jackets for other cosplayers before I got my own, both of which were a size EU38 (which is the equivalent to a UK10). Naturally, these were too big for me because I’m usually between a UK6 and UK8 in jackets, but the UK10 really looked massive on me. Judging from that, I had always assumed I would need a UK6, but the jacket I bought was a UK8 and it really is the perfect fit for me. I found that the UK10 of this jacket ran quite big, but the UK8 is very true to size. I can’t really make a statement about the UK6, but some online sellers have claimed that it runs big as well. I have no way to prove or disprove it, but my advice would be to stick to the size you normally wear in jackets. I can comfortably fit a jumper underneath my UK8, so I’m sure the UK6 would have fit me as well, but I don’t know if I’d have been able to wear a few layers underneath it. If you stick to your size, it will be fine.
Of course, you could always try to trade the jacket if you happened to stumble across a good deal that isn’t your size, but with this particular item, your changes will be slim because it’s not an item that you’ll find in every cosplayer’s wardrobe because of its rarity.
On the dress form, the jacket can look quite bulky and intimidatingly big, but when I first put on the jacket in my right size, I was surprised how well it fit and how good it really looked. The bulkiness disappears instantly and the sleeves have the perfect length.
Another problem I usually have with leather jackets (at least fake leather ones) is their stiffness. Here, it’s not a problem at all because the leather used for this jacket is very, very soft. Especially the shoulder and elbow patches feel very soft to the touch and give off the impression of extra padding. If the jacket wasn’t a precious cosplay item, I would definitely be tempted to wear it on my motorcycle, but since I’ve already had two accidents, I don’t think I want to risk my gorgeous leather jacket. The pockets are a decent size, but not big enough to fit a modern phone. Both of them are secured by a zip. The zips are the only part of the jacket I’m not entirely fond of because they are rather large and heavy looking, but that’s a design detail that is entirely dependent on taste and just because I don’t like it so much doesn’t mean that no one else can. Other than that the jacket is actually perfect when it comes to material, size, design, fit and length. The leather jacket is also surprisingly warm and keeps away the fresh autumn air.
Speaking of material. The outer shell is 100% real leather. The black lining is 54% polyester and 46% viscose. The sleeve lining, which is a white pinstripe fabric, is made of 53% viscose and 47% polyester. The care label instructs you to only have the jacket cleaned by a leather specialist and I honestly wouldn’t recommend machine washing.
Overall, I’m very glad that I changed my mind about the leather jacket because it is truly a lovely item and since it came at a very decent price, I don’t regret the purchase in the least. I’ve already worn it on trips to the supermarket and the doctor’s office and combined it with Clara’s ASOS Floral Dress from Kill the Moon (which looks great, by the way) and I know that this jacket will probably get a lot of wear outside of cosplay purposes. It’s a jacket that goes with almost everything in your everyday wardrobe as well as your cosplay collection and if you find it at a good price, I would definitely advise you to go for it. If you find this under £100, it’s a steal. Whether or not you want to spend more is entirely up to you, but seeing as it’s real leather and will last for a very long time with proper care, it’s a good investment in a nice autumn/spring jacket.