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Best leather jacket brands?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by FullLeatherJacket, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. FullLeatherJacket

    FullLeatherJacket New in Town

    Hello Fedoras. I am looking for a new leather jacket but need informed opinions. I`m looking for a bomber-style or harrington-style jacket that is very simple and has no detailing on it - like one of those classic styles that have no lines, no zipper pockets, no extra pockets, no buckles on the side hips, no elastic waistbands, no epaulets, etc. Just a smooth-looking leather jacket. (I don`t plan to spend 2 grand on a jacket but other than that budget not really an issue here.)

    It seems that a lot of companies make leather jackets but it`s hard to tell of the quality, especially when shopping online. So far people have told me about Aero and Schott NYC and while those companies do make good-looking jackets, they don`t quite seem to have what I`m looking for.

    So...which do you think are the best leather jacket brands? (In terms of leather quality, craftsmanship, etc.)
  2. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

    Sounds like you're in a hurry....... One (post) and done. ;) Seriously, why not peruse the archives (thousands of photos and opinions) and decide for yourself, rather that take the opinions of the random folks that respond to this thread. Just a thought.......
  3. Peacoat

    Peacoat Call Me a Cab

    Welcome to the Lounge, FLJ.

    If you find something you like at Aero, http://www.aeroleatherclothing.com/ but it is too "busy" for your tastes, Aero will make it the way you want it.

    When you say "Bomber Jacket," I think G-1. There are usually a bunch of military issue G-1s on Ebay, that have a simple design as you describe. The current issue G-1s from and after the mid 70s are usually reasonably priced because the perceived quality is lower. The G-1s from the 60s and early 70s can be a little pricey, as they are of a higher quality, and more collectible, than the later years.

    A bit of snooping around ought to give you some ideas. And, as Tomasso said, do a search and see what has already been written on the subject.
  4. FullLeatherJacket

    FullLeatherJacket New in Town

    When I say "bomber jacket" perhaps I am getting my own terminology wrong. On the Aero site this jacket would be just about perfect if it didn't have the knitted cuffs and the knitted waistband - i.e., if it was just totally "plain" all the way, with an open bottom.


    It's just hard to find jackets like that, I've found.
  5. Peacoat

    Peacoat Call Me a Cab

    Aero would probably make that jacket the way you describe.

    The Highwayman is similar to what you want, except that it has the buckles at the waist (not visible from the front). I actually like the waist buckles as the fit can be made more tapered and tighter at the waist with the buckles tightened. Aero would probably make the Highwayman without the buckles, if that is what you want. The company is very accommodating.
  6. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61 I'll Lock Up

    Spend more time researching. Lots of obvious answers to your query. Lots.
  7. Aero.
    Here is another link to their main page. The one above did not work for me;

    And their "Classic Aero Leather section;

    And their "Aero Military Jacket" section;

    They offer many different styles, and will do modifications to them for you.
    You can email them with your thoughts and see if they have a suggestion.
    For instance, you could just ask for a Highwayman without zippered pockets. Have them leave pockets off all together, etc..

    Or, the HG-5, leaving the zipper off the front pocket.

    Or, the 1930's style Cossack...thought that has a half belt back design;

    A photo would be helpful, as when you say "classic design", that brings up images of things like jackets from the 1920's-1950's which generally DID have zippered pockets, angled front zippers, some form of side buckles....like many of of what Aero shows on their web page.
    And, "bomber jacket" is a very specific style, generally something along the lines of the A2 design, or G1.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  8. FullLeatherJacket

    FullLeatherJacket New in Town

    Thanks for all the comments. You people sure love Aero.

    By "bomber jacket" I don't mean old WW2-style "flight jackets." As for the word "classic" I suppose I just kinda threw that in there. ;)

    I am picturing a jacket just like this: http://charlottecommunitiesonline.com/files/2008/08/lewis_black.jpg

    Or if this "Washed Leather Bomber" by Brooks Brothers didn't have epaulets.


    These jackets have no horizontal or vertical "lines," no extra pockets, no side waist buckle things, no waist "elastic band" thing, no zipper cuffs or extra zippers, no nothing, really. They are very smooth and plain without any "details" and that's the look I am going for.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  9. I can't think of any other site with this high of a concentration of leather jacket junkies.
    That Aero is so highly thought if speaks volumes.

    I'd at least drop them an email with the photo link.
    Seems like it would be an easy design for them to match.
    If you look at some of the old threads on this forum where people talk about their Aero's, you will see a LOT of custom design alterations.

    Another manufacturer you may want to look up is Johnson Leather.
    Not sure if they will do alterations to one of their basic designs, but worth a try.

  10. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

  11. Aero Cafe Racer in mid weight jerky seal horsehide with A2 style leather collar instead of mandarin collar is probably what you are looking for. It's a slim fitting pattern which can be very simple yet elegant and stylish depending on the details and type of leather you specify..
    No pockets, two pocket, four pockets, all doable. Plain back, bi-swing back, back with top yoke....

    Go with Aero. They will make sure you'll get the right jacket. Plus you get a choice of leather and a degree of workmanship that clearly is above Schott, The Cockpit or Gibson & Barnes
  12. Or...another thought, start with the basic "Ace Cafe Rocker" design;



    On piece back (no yolk.)
    No side buckles.
    Simple sleeves (no zippers).
    However many (or few) pockets you want, with or without zippers.

    You get a wide selection of leathers to choose from with Aero. They will send you samples to choose from.
    I'd be thinking mid-weight black horsehide. (The one in the photos is heavy weight front quarter HH.)
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  13. FullLeatherJacket

    FullLeatherJacket New in Town

    Good stuff, thanks. Also I think I now know what a "yoke" is.

    Is there any discernible difference between the "Rocker" jacket link you provided and the "Ace" jacket here: http://www.acecafeshop.com/products/221

    They both seem the same to me.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  14. Radu

    Radu Familiar Face

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  15. The "Ace" is build on the slim fitting "Halfbelt" pattern whereas the "Rocker" is basically a motorcycle version of the Highwayman which is boxier, roomier and slightly shorter.

    The Highwayman tapers all the way down to hem. The Halfbelt is slightly waisted and generally closer fitting.
  16. Yep.
    The most noticeable difference is, if you look at pictures of the back of the jackets you will see a "belt" (hence the term "half belt design")(actually a "psuedo-belt"....a strip of leather sewn across the back) on the back of the "Ace" design, vs. no "belt" on the Ace Cafe Rocker.
    The "Ace" is based on the standard Aero "Half Belt" jacket,


    the "Cafe Rocker" on the "Highwayman",

  17. FullLeatherJacket

    FullLeatherJacket New in Town

    Definitely some good looking jackets from this company.

    Are there any other leather brands, other than Aero, that people here also enjoy?
  18. 767fo

    767fo One of the Regulars

    Good Wear Leather is the best in my opinion. Check out their Ventura or Arcaidia. Very nice examples of a vintage jacket. I am not sure when they will be accepting new orders but when they do it will be worth the wait.
  19. The top brands there are (in no specific order).

    -Buzz Rickson
    -Real McCoys / The Few

    To a lesser extent:

    -Gibson & Barnes
    -The Cockpit

    Edit: forgot our resident Mark Fisher "Fishmeok". He makes great stuff too
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  20. Rudie

    Rudie One Too Many

    Jan, do any of the other makers offer customization like Aero does?

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