I ended up getting a new iPhone last week. I wasn't planning on upgrading until I had a more consistent source of income, but a visit to the Verizon website indicated that the trade-in value of my 4S was equivalent to the upfront cost of a new 5S, excluding the tax. So I ordered it up and it arrived in a couple of days.
Right after that came the padded envelope to submit my old phone for its trade-in assessment. Off it went the same day (it's nice when our mail gets delivered early enough in the day to accomplish things like that), and yesterday I got an email confirming the appraised value, which I will receive in the form of a Verizon Wireless gift card, which I can apply to my balance.
I knew that when I eventually upgraded my phone I would need to get a new case, because the 5S, like the 5 before it, is taller and slimmer than my 4S. As much as I liked my book-style case from Pad & Quill, I had decided that I didn't want another of the same thing, but I still wanted to be able to remove the phone from its case fairly quickly and easily, mainly because I'm so much in the habit of doing so.
Bumpers and molded cases are meant to stay on the phone all the time, so I knew I didn't want to go in that direction. I had bookmarked a few styles that I had seen and liked, so I started going back and evaluating them more carefully. Twelve South, the makers of the BookBook case, also have a very minimal leather cover that adheres to the phone but can be removed, and also folds back to make a stand so you can watch videos without having to hold the phone. At first I thought I was going to get this, but I realized that it would probably end up annoying me.
Ultimately I decided on a vertical sleeve style, with an opening at the top that the phone slips into. Many of the cases I saw of this type also have an opening on the bottom for connecting the charging cable, but I always remove my phone from its case to charge it in a desktop dock so I did not want or need this feature. Many cases of this type also have a pocket on the outside, or sometimes more than one. I understand the utility of this, but I didn't want that either.
Castello DaVarg. They craft all their products in the US, and use only leather from US tanneries. My case arrived yesterday, and their commitment to craftsmanship and quality is evident in the finished product.