At the top of most people’s shopping lists when they come to Argentina is leather. And for good reason. As one the world’s biggest producers of meat, Argentina has also got its fair share of top-notch leather and Buenos Aires shopping is a leather mecca. But with an overwhelming number of leather shops at your fingertips, it’s hard to know where to go to get the best hide for your money. Here’s my top ten tips for buying leather in Buenos Aires.
1. Quality Control
A lot of Argentina’s best leather is unfortunately exported overseas so you do need to exercise a bit of quality control and be selective when shopping for leather in Buenos Aires to ensure you’re getting first-grade leather for your buck. Check the stitching and seams on all of your leather goods: if they are a different color than the actual item then the leather might only be surface-dyed and the color may fade pretty quickly. If the leather feels very stiff and rough then it’s likely been treated and coated to hide the imperfections. While all leather contains natural marks, there shouldn’t be any large blemishes on first-grade leather and it should feel soft and smooth to the touch. Leather should also smell like leather so if you can detect a hint of chemicals, put that leather item back where you found it and keep on shopping.
2. Leather on a budget
A lot of Buenos Aires travel guides will recommend Murillo street as the place to go for leather shopping. While the street is lined with outlet stores selling a colourful array of leather jackets, bags, shoes, belts and other leather accessories, some of the styles and designs are a little outdated and the quality of leather varies greatly. Hunt around and you can find some good deals but this isn’t the place for on-trend leather goods or that much-sought-after buttery soft Argentinian leather.
3. The perfect leather jacket
A leather jacket has become a timeless wardrobe staple for its versatility and ability to carry you through all four seasons and so it’s an item worth investing in. Your best bet would be to go down the made-to-measure road and get a tailored leather jacket (or indeed any other leather garment) from one of the city’s talented leather tailors such as Bettina Rizzi who will measure you up and turn around a leather garment that fits like a glove in the style of your choice within 24 to 36 hours. You’ll find prices on a par with or even cheaper than an off-the-rack jacket from one of the leather boutiques around Recoleta or Palermo. Otherwise, Rossi & Caruso has a good selection of classic leather jackets for men and women while Doma and House of Matching Colours offer more edgy styles, the latter’s fringed biker jackets are currently highly coveted by the city’s fashionsitas.
To read the rest of our Buenos Aires leather shopping tips, go here
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