It’s not often I treat myself to a big splurge but before Christmas 2012 I bought an Irvin Flying Jacket.
I’ve wanted a leather and sheepskin flying jacket for many years. In fact many more years than I care to count.
But I didn’t know that I wanted an Irvin flying jacket until I started to research the market in detail. And as I’m interested in what creates customer preference, I was intrigued by what was happening in my mind.
Why I Wanted A Warm Leather Flying Jacket
I’ve admired flying jackets worn by other people and felt a strong pull towards having one.
Perhaps it’s because I wanted to be a pilot -and especially an RAF fighter pilot when I was young as I eagerly ready my Biggles’ books.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve seen and admired them in shops and always denied myself the pleasure of owning a flying jacket because of the high cost.
More pertinently, I get very cold and particularly in my body core. The thought of being wrapped up in leather and thick sheepskin is very appealing.
I’m not exactly what made my search with buying intent but something made me starting looking on the Internet and the more I looked and the more I read, the more I wanted a flying jacket. I knew that the winter of 2012 was going to see me buy one unless they failed the order qualifier tests.
Why I Bought An Irvin Flying Jacket
I’d started off my search expecting to pay about £300 to £350 for a leather flying jacket. That would have made it the most expensive coat I’d ever bought.
As I looked at what was offered in the market, my budget kept edging upwards. The more expensive jackets looked better and warmer and if I was going to spend a significant sum, I decided that I was going to do it properly.
Then I found the Irvin flying jacket and read the Irvin story.
That converted me from someone who wanted a flying jacket to someone who wanted an Irvin flying jacket.
I wanted the authentic article that was made for the RAF in World War 2 and what has continued to be made available to RAF pilots. And it did look great too.
The problem was that it was twice as expensive as my original budget. I was moving rapidly up the customer value curve.
They say that decisions are made emotionally and justified logically. This was an emotional purchase. I wanted an Irvin jacket but could I make a legitimate case for spending so much?
I went back to have a look at the other jackets I “liked” but they weren’t authentic. I came to see them as imitations and I didn’t want to spend £500 or more on an imitation.
Then I delved deeper into the qualifiers. I’m very tall and Irvin offered the jacket in two lengths for the body and sleeve. The longer length was the longest I could find.
I didn’t want an expensive jacket that would ride up and expose my stomach to the cold and wind but I didn’t want a long coat either. That was one of the original attractions in the flying jacket. It covered what I wanted to cover.
I was hooked.
Emotionally and logically I’d made the decision to buy an Irvin Flying Jacket if I bought any flying jacket.
But because of the cost, I wondered whether I should buy at all. Paying £350 was one thing. Paying over £650 was another.
I had my doubts but I decided that I’d wanted one for over 20 years and I decided that I deserved a treat. I was worth it.
My Irvin Flying Jacket
I love it.
When I ordered I left a note to say that I was very tall and wondered if it could be cut a little longer.
I had a phone call saying that there was some extra flexibility and I had an extra inch added to the body and sleeves.
The Irvin flying jacket is exactly what I wanted. Very warm and very stylish.
If I had settled for a lesser make, I think I would have always regretted it and if I’d met anyone wearing an Irvin, I’d have been eaten up with envy.
I’m very glad I bought it and if you want a leather and sheepskin jacket and decide to treat yourself to an Irvin, you will be too.
I’m not a pilot so I don’t fly. I do fancy a beautifully restored E Type jag to give me an excuse to wear it more often.