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A plea for help in choosing a sheepskin jacket

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

  1. JacketAddict

    JacketAddict One of the Regulars

    Bought this one recently from Aero and its awesome - my only complaint is no handwarmer pockets just one big slide pocket.

    Type B-3, 42-5110-P, Redskin with Russet Vicenza Trim, 50"

    AeroB3_1.jpg AeroB3_2.jpg AeroB3_3.jpg AeroB3_4.jpg
    Dav likes this.
  2. Stand By

    Stand By One Too Many

    Yes, the difference between ELC’s 1940 Irvin and the 1942 pattern is in the number of panels and colours. So it’s really just a matter of preference.
    And having worn my bulky old AL Irvin for so long, when my first ELC Irvin showed up,I was shocked by how much lighter it was, because the fleece was thinner. I wasn’t sure I liked it at that time (I was overthinking like you) and then I called them and Alan told me that it’s the proper thickness and can be better tailored as a result of being thinner. “Think of the lagging on a boiler tank and if it’s too thick, there’s only so much you can do with it.” He said. And right away I got it and was sold on it. And I can’t believe I didn’t see it as the good thing it most definitely was right away.
    My brother got an AL Irvin about a year or so after I got mine in 1987 (and I paid 155 pounds back then and he paid 175 later. Those were the days) and I showed him my ELC when I got it and tried to sell him on the idea of him getting one- but he didn’t care enough about the upgrades to pay for them and the cost didn’t seem worth it to him. And he wasn’t unhappy with his. Fair enough!
    So even though not all Irvin’s are created equally, I think they are all worth looking at regardless - as then you will appreciate what you end up with all the more. One cannot appreciate the nuances a Krell amp until you began with an entry-level Hifi system and got to know separates and worked up through Marantz and Audiolab etc.
    Not everyone cares enough for finesse and historical accuracy and I believe there is a jacket out there for everyone at every price point and every company. No, I wouldn’t buy an Alpha or go back to AL, but I wouldn’t say you shouldn’t look at them either. I looked at an Alpha before I bought my Buzz Ricksons B15-D and yes, the nylon is worth shelling the extra $$$ for and those repro Crown zips. There’s no harm in it and you will only gain an appreciation in what you may end up paying more for in the end ( eg. a YKK zip versus a NOS or repro Talon) and feel better about coughing up the extra lettuce for what you want.
    Around here, we have all learnt the hard way of finding the right jacket and “you pay to learn” as my dad says. So we all know what it is to get a jacket and end up selling it or trading it in to get something better/closer to what we really want. That costs. So we’re all happy to try and steer guys in the right direction... but try not to overthink things! It’s a pleasurable hunt, remember!
    Enjoy the hunt!
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
    Cameron Hooper, El Marro and Dav like this.
  3. Cameron Hooper

    Cameron Hooper New in Town

    Wise words! The issue is £850 is significant for me at this point in my life so I'd like to avoid making mistakes if possible!

    This is a bit of a tangent but what are people's opinions on the Aero Leather Thunder Bay? I was just watching the music video for streets of philadelphia (The Boss!) and Bruce is wearing a jacket that looks similar. I'm pretty obsessed with him and i've always loved the various leather jackets he's had over the years. It's sheepskin lined so it would have decent warmth and it looks great, more versatile than an irvin I guess?

    Nonetheless, I'm definitely going to go up to Galashiels fairly soon. Might not have a jacket for this winter but definitely next.
  4. Stand By

    Stand By One Too Many

    I don’t know about the Thunderbay but there’s a fleece-lined Longshoreman that’s always caught my eye ... so go up with an open mind and a healthy credit card. :)
    Cameron Hooper likes this.
  5. GHarris

    GHarris New in Town

    This is a little late, and I'm sorry if I'm reviving a dead(ish) thread, but I just wanted to share one small detail. Cameron mentioned that he wondered whether the Eastman Irvin he tried on was too thick to wear often throughout the year.

    I have an Aero Irvin, I bought it this year, in person in Galashiels. In their showroom they had an old, original Irvin in one corner. I took a brief look at it whilst considering the late-war repro I eventually bought. I noticed that my repro had slightly thinner shearling than the old original, and the man I was being shown around by confirmed this as being deliberate to make the jacket slightly more wearable.

    A few months later I was making a fool of myself wearing the jacket at a stop-Brexit protest in London (yes, it IS too warm to wear in late September in the middle of a city, but I digress!). Someone I ended up chatting to took an interest, seemed to know a thing or two about Irvins, and remarked that mine was slightly thinner than ones he had seen.

    (Which is not to say the lining is thin - it's still an Irvin.)

    I've no idea how the thickness of Aero Irvins compares to Eastman Irvins, I've never seen an Eastman in person. But given the above there's a possibility (maybe) that the Aero is slightly thinner, and therefore more wearable in less-cold weather.
    Cameron Hooper likes this.
  6. Cameron Hooper

    Cameron Hooper New in Town

    Thanks GHarris, that's interesting. It's cool that your jacket ended up being a talking point. I guess its like turning up somewhere with an old model BMW - my dad's got a 2002tii - someone will probably take notice.

    My next stop is Galashiels so I'll be trying on the entire showroom and posting pictures on here!
    Edward likes this.
  7. MeachamLake

    MeachamLake One of the Regulars

    You weren't in Manchester city centre yesterday were you? There was this big pro EU gathering going on in Saint Anne's Square and I saw a bloke walking around wearing an obviously high quality Irvin repro and a big "We Love EU" sticker on it.

    I was wearing my B6 and I did think about going over to say hello and comment on it, but the atmosphere was a bit too heated to do so - especially since we clearly didn't share the same political views! :D
  8. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

    I traded my ANJ-4 for a red-skin modded D-1 at Aero today. Will be starting a review thread tomorrow. Very happy with it.
  9. Bfd70

    Bfd70 One of the Regulars

    Please include the reason for the switch in the review. I'm interested in the AN, and would like to hear why you switched.
  10. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

    Much as I loved the ANJ-4, I just wasn't getting enough wear out of it to justify holding on to the beast. It's a serious piece of kit but we're just not getting the sort of temperatures you need to make it comfortable to wear.
    If I was living in Chicago, I would absolutely invest in one - I was there a few years back when it was breath-stealing -15C at night, ideal ANJ-4 weather - but our winters are mild in comparison and I was just using it to go to work very early in the morning in the colder months and more generally in January to February. It really wasn't getting the wear such a fantastic jacket deserves and I was beginning to feel bad about having it lying in my dining room, so I took the decision to swap it for something lighter but still very warm and the D-1 fulfills that remit.
    Stand By and Cameron Hooper like this.
  11. Bfd70

    Bfd70 One of the Regulars

    Thanks. Yes, Chicago winters are brutal.
  12. Cameron Hooper

    Cameron Hooper New in Town

    A good way to advertise Irvins - 'Irvin jackets, bringing the remainers and brexiteers together with their warm embrace!'
    Stand By and MeachamLake like this.
  13. MeachamLake

    MeachamLake One of the Regulars

    We would all get along better if everyone wore sheepskin jackets! :D

    How is your search going? Are you any closer to making a decision? The sheepskin bug caught me once again as I've just placed an order for an Eastman D1!
  14. It's on my wants list, the Thunderbay, as a depth-of-Winter black jacket. I would guess that it might be warmer than an Irvin by just a touch - certainly a smidge heavier. Whereas the Irvin is made from unlined sheepskin, the Thunderbay is a leather jacket with a sheepskin lining. Essentially, it's like an Irvin with a leather shell over the top. The leather will definitely help to resist the Wind, while the sheepskin is, welolo, warm.... Lovely bit of kit. I want a black one with a rust mouton collar.
    Sloan1874 likes this.
  15. Harris HTM

    Harris HTM Practically Family

    I own a black fqhh lhb with thick black shearling lining. Weighs a ton. The fact that the sleeves are lined with cord makes it less warm, luckily, than my 25mm b3.
  16. Bfd70

    Bfd70 One of the Regulars

    Would anyone like to post opinions on an-j-4 vs m444
  17. Never handled both together, but based on the spec - lighte fleece and so on - it seems that the m444 was the USN equivalent of the D1/B6. There was a heavier M445 model, which was very similar to the ANJ4, the latter (much like the ANJ3, which was intended to merge the A2 and M442a types) being an attempt to create a jacket for both navy and army services (hence the 'A' and the 'N').
    Sloan1874 and Stand By like this.
  18. Cameron Hooper

    Cameron Hooper New in Town

    It's just occurred to me - how do Irvins etc fare in rain? Would rain ruin the collar?
  19. dubpynchon

    dubpynchon One of the Regulars

    They look better after you've been wearing them in all weathers for a few years. Sheepskin does soak up water so it's not too comfortable after a heavy downpour, and it takes ages to dry, but there won't be any long term damage unless you go swimming in one.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
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