Sitting in a pub down Broardway market on Saturday evening just, mumbling obscenities into my pint about my criminal lack of luck when it comes to football accumulators while my girlfriend and her mate tried to get me to put my phone away and involve me in their conversations, I was secretly following the final minutes of an eBay auction for something I've been meaning to get for a very long time.
It obviously doesn't take mastermind to work out that that something was in fact this beautiful Belstaff International that's plastered all over this post.
To add to my proud collection of one other, the other being a vintage Trialmaster, I bid and bid and bid again and finally landed this for a fair price, while all the while in the back ground I got a healthy bollocking off my missus for buying yet another jacket, so much so that I was forced to enter into a pact with her that I will not buy any more coats and jackets until after Christmas - which suits me fine actually because I can just stick them on her Christmas list instead.
Rarely seen on the younger generation and usually more suited to 40 something professionals who read The Times style pages through their Oliver People frames, I've always loved the suave and sophisticated aura that these jackets give off.
In my opinion, Belstaff's a label that's pretty much out on it's own for me in terms of the style of garment it's known for and the quality and longevity that it produces those garments in. A well loved and worn-in example always looks exquisite and there's no surprise that they can fetch large sums of money when they go under the hammer.
I've often wondered where and when it had been worn and by whom because that's what I find so special about these jackets; They have a lifetime of history attached to them and numerous tales woven within the fading wax and worn in cuffs.
Take this one as a prime example, I found nuts and bolts in the pockets, roughed up edges on the hem and small wear marks in the sleeves. Some people might find this off putting, but then these are the flaws that give the jacket it's undeniable character and makes it what it is, in my opinion anyway.
As is the usual protocol whenever I buy something that I'm made up with, I went out for a walk earlier on today and took these snaps to share with you. I'd have to be honest and admit that although my trusty lens usually gets things pretty right, I don't think it really does this jacket the complete justice it deserves.
Let's make no mistake about things, this is a garment full of striking character and has been loved previously in time. I'm happy to give it a new home and a new lease of life and will no doubt add a few more chapters to it's story...
After all, true beauty never dies.