My Leather Sources Revealed: Langlitz

I have been enjoying a dialogue with a guy who told me that he has used this blog to learn about leather and boots as he considers future purchases. Unlike some other “old-school” leathermen, I am happy to share my experience and knowledge. It really is not a deep dark secret. Good quality leather and wearing it proudly is something I know a bit about!

Question 1: It’s been difficult to find good quality leather, so I decided from here on, I am going to stick with reputable brands like Dehner, Mr. S, and Langlitz. Here are my questions for you:

1. When you had gone to visit the Langlitz store, did you require an appointment? Also, at the store, do they have sample jackets or pictures that show the different features you can get on your custom jacket?

I have written on this blog about a visit to the Langlitz store in Portland and a re-visit years later. Here is my response to this question:

Visiting the Langlitz store is the best way to get measured and fitted for Langlitz gear. It is much better for one of their pros to measure you, as opposed to doing it yourself.

I did not have an appointment when I visited the store. They say that they prefer appointments, but took me as a walk-in just fine. It may depend on staffing so it wouldn’t hurt to call ahead to let them know you want to visit and what you want — such as measurement and discuss selection of leathers and choices of gear designs (jackets or vests).

Yes, they can show you actual garments they have in the store what the various choices of features and add-ons are for their gear. When I was there, they had about 30 or so jackets hanging around. Some were for sale, some were waiting for pickup, some were reconditioned. (I ended up buying a new jacket right off the rack.)

They let me look at, feel, and even try on different styles. They gave me time without rushing me and didn’t seem to be pushing me to buy, although they were happy to make a sale.

However, seldom do they have a garment that would fit you in stock. Further, there is no price difference between “in stock” and custom-made gear. So I recommend to get measured and create a custom order for just what you want.

The options are many — from number of pockets, placement of the pockets, closures, belt loops (or not), zippers, padded/quilted (or not), and more.

Ask them what they recommend based on what the most requested and most sold features are. They seemed to me to want me to get just what I wanted and not try to “upsell” me. After all, their prices are quite high, so “upselling” could easily turn someone off.

The guys I spoke with when I visited seemed to be straight bikers. They know, though, that their gear appeals to the gay male clientele, so they are generally accepting. Being based in Portland, they are rather open-minded.

I noted that when I spoke as a biker with knowledge of how motorcycle jackets fit while operating a Harley, they were more attentive. So don’t be surprised if asked “what bike do you ride?”

Then if you don’t ride a motorcycle, just be honest and say that you like the style, like this (and show some photos of what you like and your style.) If you show photos, make sure they are not on the risque side (like holding a crotch or holding another man kneeling as a sub.)

If you decide to place an order for custom gear, once you select what you want, they ask for a deposit (usually 50%), then give you an idea of when the garment will be completed (varies, but usually 8 – 12 weeks). Then they contact you for final payment when it is ready, then ship it to you (unless you can return in person.)

Note: they do not provide progress updates and seem annoyed when I called to ask about order status. They were also not very good with email. Talking to them on the phone was quicker and generally better.

They are also great with after-sale service. A jacket I ordered had something goofy with the zipper. I talked to them on the phone about the issue and they agreed that something was wrong and that I wasn’t doing something to create the problem (couldn’t zip it closed for the life of me.)

I returned the jacket (at my expense). They replaced the zipper and a few other things they noticed were not to their standards (snaps), and then they paid for return shipping. That whole process took another 12 weeks, but was worth it in the end.

Next — other sources of leather I wear.

Life is short: be cool in Langlitz!