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ALL REPRO R.A.F. Irvin type jackets

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Hawk_Eye, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. Hawk_Eye

    Hawk_Eye One of the Regulars

    Anyone have size 42 and 44 ELC Irvin that they wouldnt mind measuring out? I need shoulder to shoulder, armpit to armpit, shoulder seam to end of cuff and collar seam to bottom. If youve already answered this on VLJ theres no need to answer again here, thanks!
  2. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

    I have a size 42 (1940 Pattern) which is currently in shipment from Norway to Australia which I can measure for you when I see it again.

    Otherwise FWIW if you are looking at getting one, I wear a size 40 dress shirt and suit jacket and the ELC size 42 for me means I have room for a jumper underneath but at the same time I can wear it with just a shirt without being swamped in the thing.

    My opinion is for anyone purchasing an ELC Irvin, get the next size up (2'') from your usual dress jacket size. Also be aware that if you are tall you will need extra length. Being 6' 1'' I had an extra inch and a half added to the body and arms which was perfect, but be aware this is more than ELC's usual extra 1 inch for long sizings.

    HTH slightly.
  3. Hawk_Eye

    Hawk_Eye One of the Regulars

    Thanks for the advice Smithy. I was wondering, early on in the massive Irvin thread you had a couple pictures of yourself wearing your Irvin right after you recieved it, however, theyve been deleted as you said you were a "tad tiddly" when you took them.:D . Would you be kind enough to repost them, or send me a photobucket link to my inbox? It seems we're pretty similar size wise, I take a 40 shirt/suit jacket and am 6'3, and I would love to get another look at how the 42 fits on you. Thanks!
  4. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

    No problem Hawk Eye. I'll post some pics this weekend. We're currently "in transit" at the moment so I'll have to hunt down the memory stick thingie so I can transfer the photos onto this computer to post them.
  5. boyorastroboy

    boyorastroboy Familiar Face

    Hey Hawk Eye,
    Are you ordering directly from ELC or going through HistoryPreservation.com? I've read here and there that ELC refers inquiries from our side of the pond to History Preservation, but there's a hell of a markup--especially with exchange rates as they are now. Just curious what your course of action has been/will be as I may be in similar straits sometime soonish.
  6. H.Johnson

    H.Johnson One Too Many

    ELC's arm length is size-for-size shorter that a corresponding WW2 jacket. Jackets from this period have unusually long arms for the height and chest size. The sleeve of a typical jacket that 'fits' (physically and according to the label) will often come down over the wearer's hands. People don't want that for everyday wear, so manufacturers make the sleeves shorter. For instance, if you're 6' 2" with a 40" chest a 'real' Size 5 from most makers will almost certainly fit you in the sleeve, but an ELC 40" certainly won't - you'll need a 'long plus' size.
  7. Hawk_Eye

    Hawk_Eye One of the Regulars

    Im definately going through Eastman themelves. If I went through HPA I would end up paying around 1600-1700 dollars, depending on how the exchange rate is that day. With Eastman I'll pay around 880-900 for a 42 pattern.
  8. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

    Hawk Eye,

    HJohnson is right about you needing a long sizing but I suggest you go for a bit more.

    I'm 6'1'' and take a 40'' dress jacket so we are fairly similar. Eastman's Long sizing adds one inch to the length of the body and arms but with my 1940 Pattern I had an inch and a half added to the body and arms and the sizing is perfect. I also went for a 42'' chest which was just right, large enough to wear a jumper underneath but not so big that I'm swamped in just a shirt.

    I found the memory stick so I'll post the pictures today for you.

    EDIT: Whoops, me being the dozy prat I am, I just realised that I'd posted all this sizing stuff above!
  9. boyorastroboy

    boyorastroboy Familiar Face

    WPG vs ELC

    This is a long shot, but has anyone had the opportunity to compare sizes between ELC and What Price Glory Irvins? Are they comparable? Is one bigger than the other?
  10. The most original repro IRVIN

    Which is the most original, true to history IRVIN jacket of all the repros?
    And why?

    Eastman Leathercraft
    Aero in Scotland
    Aviation Leathercraft
    What Price Glory

    I know this has been discussed here and there on the pretty large Irvinthread, and if you've got time to spare, you might find something usefull.
    But in order to give interested buyers a good overview, I figured this would be a good way to do it.
  11. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

    Soren, I might be biased but to my mind the Eastman offerings are the closest if you disregard the zips. Their fleeces, tanning procedures, jacket patterns are all extremely close to originals. No one makes a 100% perfect repro but Eastman must be in the running to be the closest.
  12. H.Johnson

    H.Johnson One Too Many

    and (although they don't acknowledge it) the Eastman RAF jacket is an identifiable reproduction of a war-time maker's 'house style'.

    If I wanted a really good reproduction, I would buy a second-hand Eastman and some NOS zips and have Steve Silburn install them.
  13. CBI

    CBI A-List Customer

    No question ELC
  14. Hawk_Eye

    Hawk_Eye One of the Regulars

    Eastman is generally regarded as the best repro. The pattern is very close (esp the arm shape, which seems to be a problem with most other repros). The collar is accurate and the jacket contains the little details present on originals, such as the elastic collar strap. The zippers, while they do have their flaws (RiRi stamp, Eastman stamp, strange Lightning puller/DOT slider box combo, and plastic bit at bottom of zip) they are better than any other makers offerings so far and I personally give them high marks for trying.

    Aero is usually regarded as the next best offering. From what I hear, a very well constructed jacket, build quality is not an issue. The main problem seems to be the inaccurate tube-like pattern of the arms. The collar is more curved than the Eastman jacket, but it is accurate to the "Links" made jackets which had very curved collars. The sheepskin is very thick as well, making the fur look very big and bushy. However something like that will probobly smooth down with wear. Aero also provides a repro zip, however its not very detailed and seems to be only roughly patterned on a late-war zipper pattern. Overall though, a very nice jacket.

    WPG makes a very nice jacket for the price. But you can see where the cost savings come in. the sheepskin is thinner, feels softer, and the pile is not as dense. The collar is generally regarded as being inaccurate, being closer in style to a B-3 collar than an Irvin. The seam tapes, belt and back of the collar dont use cowhide, I'm fairly sure its some synthetic material. A big issue is the quality of the zips. They are very cheap and flimsy and fall apart very quickly. However overall its a nice, warm jacket which looks pretty close to originals in colour and style.

    Aviation Leather craft, while owning the rights to the Irvin name, are the least accurate of the bunch. Build quality is outstanding, but the pattern, colour, and details are all off. A very nice, well made sheepskin jacket, but shouldnt be considered a Irvin "repro". (Note, this applies to the new jackets, older Aviation Leathercraft offerings seem to be far closer to original jackets)

    These are just my impressions and opinions of those 4 makers, others may disagree.
  15. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

    As has been said already ELC Irvins are the best repros on the market, let down only by the zips and the spec label, which is not a copy of any particular contract and of course "RAF sheepskin Flying jacket" was never on original labels. I have a 1942 ELC jacket which I am very pleased with and it appears to based on an IAC original.

    As for ALC, they made some fairly accurate pocketless Irvins in the 1970s which do not have the teddy bear appearance of their current offerings.

    Unlike original USAAF shearling jackets, most original Irvins have stood the test of time well and for the same price of a high end repro one can buy a good wearable original.
  16. H.Johnson

    H.Johnson One Too Many

    On a visit to Eastman's premises some years ago I was shown the original jacket that they had copied to make their reproductions. It was made by Wareings and had a Lightning main zip with a Dot box fitted. I have seen other original jackets with the same arrangement, and some with Dot zips (box and track) with Lightning pullers. It has been speculated that these are repairs, as the later 'double trunnion' cast Dot puller is notoriously fragile.

  17. I agree with the comments made by other more knowledgeable members.
    Eastman every time. I just love the arm shape, and the body cut.
  18. ethanedwards

    ethanedwards One of the Regulars

    Nice post Hawkeye.
  19. I can only repeat myself: What a lot of knowledge in this great forum.
    Thank you all.:eusa_clap
  20. Windsock

    Windsock A-List Customer

    If I ever had the need for a repro Irvin (he says wearing but a sarong in a balmy Summer's evening) based on what i've read and seen it would be an ELC for sure, and preferably the black one.

    The few opportunities I have I grab my favourite orig (pre War ex RNZAF flight Trainer's) but next year it will probably be my RCAF AG's.

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