Years ago, I had an amazing coat. It was heavy tweed with a heavy leather cross the shoulders and elbows and across the trim down the front and on the pockets.
I wore the coat for years and seriously, I still remember just about every amazing feature it had; ginormous leather shoulders were only the beginning of it's amazing virtues.
As much as I loved it, there came the time to let it go...our first-ever family garage sale.
When the day came, I cleverly hung it from a tree branch so some lucky fashionista would be sure to see it and score.
For some reason I can still not identify, the coat didn't sell quickly. In fact, as we the day wore on the coat still hung from the lone maple tree branch looking more orphaned than high fashion.
I knew I had to up-my game so the coat would sell. And, all these years later, I can still remember how clever I felt when I came up with my fantastic idea; I took an early-edition Sharpie (I believe they were called magic-markers back then) and some masking tape and created some hellagood signage. On the left shoulder, in big black block letters, I taped a sign: "REAL LEATHER". On the the right shoulder, in the same big black block letters, I taped on "ONLY $5!"
Well needless to say, my early marketing skills didn't pay off and the coat didn't sell. (I'm still seriously puzzled by that, but whatever). The good news is what followed was far more valuable than any five dollar bill could have possibly been.
As it turned out, my sister saved my coat from the fate of a second-hand store as she took it home where It hung in her coat closet. It hung there until it was time for one of her husband's swanky corporate parties; it was perfect for the occasion and she was thrilled to wear it.
It wasn't until after the party however, that someone came from behind and I complimented her on her "real leather coat" and her bagin hunting skills.
Yep. She had forgotten to take the masking tape garage-sale-signage off the shoulders and had walked around all night advertising, in big, bold, black magic marker block letters, that her coat was "REAL LEATHER" and "ONLY $5".