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A plea for help in choosing a sheepskin jacket

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Cameron Hooper, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. Cameron Hooper

    Cameron Hooper New in Town

    Hi all,

    I began my quest to buy a sheepskin jacket around half a year ago when I saw a pre-war Irvin in a vintage store. I've always had a thing for sheepskin collars on coats, but when I saw the huge collar on the Irvin and it's overall design, my heart was set.

    I started researching, eventually coming across Aero Leathers and Eastman leathers. This was how I discovered my first roadblock:

    The irvin doesn't have pockets - perhaps not suitable for a winter coat? Holly at Aero recommended the B-6 or D-1 to me for pockets, so I expanded my search slightly.

    My research led me to this awesome forum, where I've effectively gone down a rabbit hole, and I'm now pretty torn. Here are my options as they stand:

    ANJ-4: This has the benefits of pockets and a BIG COLLAR - super cool. But then, a longer fit than the others, which might not look great on me being as I'm pretty short (5'7).

    B-6: As it stands, this is at the bottom of the pile for me, but that's only based on photos I've found online. This one seems to have the smallest collar?

    D-1: pockets and a wind flap (is that the right term - the bit that pokes out when you have the zip undone about 1/3 down?). More practical than irvin and anj-4 perhaps?

    Irvin: The beast. If i don't get one now, I will one day. The issues are firstly, no pockets and secondly, potentially too warm for the UK? I've read a lot of posts stating that it gets far too hot when you're walking around in temps greater than 5 degrees celsius.

    I'm going to make the pilgrimage to Galashiels to try all of them on and figure out the ideal size but any input would be much appreciated. I've looked into Eastman as well but I can't find many pictures of people wearing them, and the hide on the d-1 looks a bit weird to me on their website?

    Thanks for your time.
  2. Cooper A-2

    Cooper A-2 Practically Family

    Galashiels ...perfect choice...there you can try what suits you...your needs and your expected climate and your wallet...
    Try ELC as well...approx 300 miles south west of Galashiels...same reasons.
  3. Cameron Hooper

    Cameron Hooper New in Town

    I will do, thanks!
  4. dubpynchon

    dubpynchon One of the Regulars

    For English weather a D-1 would be a good choice, the fleece is thinner than in a B-3, Irvin or ANJ-4, and it's shorter than a B-6. If you're ordering with Aero and don't mind changing the pattern slightly you could order one with B-6 pockets instead of the standard, the pockets on the D-1 aren't really angled as hand warmers, they're more for storage. My favourite is the ANJ-4 but it's a heavy warm jacket and you mightn't get to wear it so much unless you run cold. It isn't particularly long either. You can find all the standard measurements on the HPA site.

  5. Gav

    Gav A-List Customer

    Eastman have their pop up in London in November. It is worth going to that too.
  6. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

    I have an ELC Irvin that comes out when it's very cold..not that often here, though worth its weight in gold during a cold Winter. To meet my shearling need I invested in an ELC D-1 & find that gets lots of wear when Summers over, pockets are useful for carrying things but generally I just sling a light-weight bag on anyway.
    Cooper A-2 likes this.
  7. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

    Eastmans 'Pop Up' is a good plan, I'm visiting on the 18th...have booked my Travelodge room for a couple of nights in the 'Smoke' :)
  8. Harris HTM

    Harris HTM Practically Family

    Cooper A-2 likes this.
  9. Cameron Hooper

    Cameron Hooper New in Town

    Thanks for the feedback chaps! The Eastman popup sounds like a good call. Are there any particular differences between aero and eastman in your opinions? I know eastmans are slightly more expensive but if I'm spending 700+, what's another hundred, right? I'm kind of leaning more towards aero at the moment as the photos I've seen have grabbed me more, but that could change.

    I didn't realise I could order a D-1 with B-6 pockets so that's great to know - thanks dubpynchon. Thanks for showing me the photos Harris, it's a shame that most of the photos on the older forums are locked off due to photobucket moneygrubbing.

    I wonder if I could get an irvin or ANJ-4 with a thinner fleece? I'm not fussed about historical accuracy, I just think the military jackets are the coolest/best out there.
  10. daw

    daw New in Town

    What about the M444? At the moment my favorite fleece jacket, with somewhat thinner fleece.
  11. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

    Not sure where you are in the UK, but I've found Aero's Irvin fleece easy to live with, it's not much thicker than the B-6. It's good for temperatures under 10C. An ANJ-4 is much heavier proposition: I love mine, but it's very much a deep winter jacket.
    bn1966 and Cooper A-2 like this.
  12. Cameron Hooper

    Cameron Hooper New in Town

    Do you know a good place to get one?
  13. seres

    seres One of the Regulars

    US Authentic offers an M444.
  14. MeachamLake

    MeachamLake One of the Regulars

    I've got a B6 on order from Aero at the moment...not sure when it's going to arrive, but when it does I'll post pics :)
  15. l0fielectronic

    l0fielectronic A-List Customer

    Speaking of differing styles, this caught my eye earlier today...


    Its from Matchless so likely twice the price and half the quality and I think the zip/brasswork on it looks really kind of cheap considering but I liked seeing the style done this way. Apparently its a film tie in with the Justice League film.
    Edward likes this.
  16. Reminds me of Sky Captain.

    I live in London and own both a Lost Worlds B3 and an ELC 42 pattern Irvin. No problem wearing either in the London Winter, typically November thru February. I would in future consider also an anj4, a Coastal Command Irvin, a Thunder Bay, and maybe a Barnstormer (not sure about shearling liner there, maybe a blanket lining like a B2 given would be for over a suit).

    Shearling is far from too much for me in London... All depends on the individual, though. Trying everything on is a good idea. Fwiw, with the Irvin I don't miss pockets so much, but if wearing it to work I might wear a waistcoat over my shirt underneath, with room for pens, phones, et al.
  17. daw

    daw New in Town

    I've seen a number of Willis and Geiger versions of the M444 for sale over the past few years and have one myself as an everyday wearer-a pretty nice jacket, though not nearly as nice as the RMNZ one I own. There's one W&G in 46 on ebay right now. What's your size, roughly? The US Authentic looks pretty nice too, though I think not super accurate.
  18. Cameron Hooper

    Cameron Hooper New in Town

    Hi chaps! So I went to the eastman popup in Shore ditch...my mind has been expanded. I tried on an Irvin and it was like being hugged by the universe itself! Hand down the best jacket i've ever worn. I'm near enough dedicated to getting an irvin now. The question now is do I wait and head up to Scotland to try out Aero Leathers or just order the Eastman. One point to Aero is that they do Seal brown, whereas Eastman only do russet. It's still nice in russet though.

    Do you guys have any insights on the benefits of going eastman or aero for an irvin? Price doesn't matter, I'm already dedicated to spending up to 850 - it's a jacket for life! Photo attached of me wearing one of the beasts!
    Siggmund, PeterO, BobJ and 7 others like this.
  19. MeachamLake

    MeachamLake One of the Regulars

    I tried on that same Irvin last week, and whilst it's very badass (it looks super cool on you!), I could never ever imagine myself wearing it. These aren't really practical jackets to begin with - I found the belt to be really annoying, the lack of pockets frustrating, and the general feeling that I was wearing a costume was inescapable for me. I would think very carefully about ordering such a big, heavy jacket too - are you often walking around cities or out in the countryside? Still, this is all just my opinion - if you absolutely love it, and can live with it's flaws, then you should absolutely go for it! :)

    Having read your first post, I would personally say that an Aero D1 would serve you very nicely indeed. Good sized collar, practical zip pockets and a very classic, clean design. The redskin version is especially beautiful. Aero make their lightest sheepskins in 1/2 inch thick fleece vs Eastman's 1/4 inch (which you may have seen on the B6 at their pop up shop), so it's a little thicker and fluffier. My B6 is in the same fleece and it's toasty and warm at -1 degrees, and is more than comfortable enough to wear whilst walking around the shops, for instance.

    You might also consider if Aero could make you an ANJ-4 out of the 1/2 inch shearling - this would give you the big collar badass look you are going for, with more than enough warmth - plus you'll be able to wear it more often.

    Regarding the Aero vs Eastman thing in general...they're both awesome companies who make brilliant products, and are run by incredibly nice people. You'll be delighted whichever you choose! :)
    Cameron Hooper likes this.
  20. MeachamLake

    MeachamLake One of the Regulars

    I should also point out that the D1 is quite a short jacket to begin with, so a custom made Aero, for instance, would look more in proportion. I'm 6'3 and I chose the B6 because of it's longer fit - scaled up to my size, it looks just right. I'm sure the D1 would do the same for you!

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