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Hollowpond's Californian/Surrogates Style Half-Belt

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by hollowpond, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. hollowpond

    hollowpond One of the Regulars

    Ok, so I have been on the hunt for a Californian/Surrogates style Half-Belt for ages it seems. Most of the repros I see around are in the $1000 range though. Not knocking those jackets at all, but I'm a teacher for Pete's sake!!! I'm on a budget!!! I was really looking for a nice repro in a sturdy cowhide for around 3-500 bucks. Horse would be nice, but that would immediately put it out of my price range. What to do right?

    Well, phase two of my plan was to get detailed pattern notes from owners of these types of jackets and pitch the idea of a mid-price range quality vintage repro to some jacket producers who have not tackled a project like this jacket. I believed there would be quite a market for a product like this. Well, while I and a few cohorts plotted and schemed, someone else was doing just that...and they did it first...AND they did it better than I could have ever dreamed of!!!!

    Rick and Mike over at filmjackets.com came out with a dead-on half-belt in a very vintage looking cowhide for $300 shipped!!!! And not only that, but the body length and sleeve length is customizable at no extra charge!!! Enough jibbering. Here's some pics
    Here's some closeups of some of the details on the filmjackets.com website
    It is the perfect blend of ruggedness and style to me. The stitching and craftsmanship is on par with jackets I've had that cost twice this amount. The hide was a little dry on the onset, but an application of Pecard's leather dressing and it was good to go!!! Rick and company have got a good thing going over there and they have delivered to me what is quickly becoming my favorite leather in my stable...
  2. guygardner

    guygardner One of the Regulars

    Very nice. How thick is the hide?
  3. hollowpond

    hollowpond One of the Regulars

    It is a heavy cowhide. I would trust it as a riding jacket...
  4. mattp

    mattp One of the Regulars

    Nice looking jacket, it fits perfectly too. Sounds like a great deal at that price, well done!
  5. Metatron

    Metatron One Too Many

    Very nice indeed. I wonder if they do a non-pre-distressed version? The distressing does look pretty subtle though.
  6. Cooperson

    Cooperson Practically Family

    Really like the cut of this jacket. Do you have a pic with it zipped up?
  7. Jingo Mastapone

    Jingo Mastapone Familiar Face

    So what makes an Aero Highwayman $700 better than this? Anyone got any input?
  8. hollowpond

    hollowpond One of the Regulars

    Well for me, nothing does. Not knocking those that do, it is a matter of taste, but Rick and Mike are filling a niche in this market that has been overdue for a long time. I'm as satisfied a customer as I've ever been.

    Zipped pics soon...
  9. Grayland

    Grayland One Too Many

    Nice looking jacket and the sleeves look pretty slim as well. Great fit. A fellow charcoal guy as well, I see.
  10. Hammer Down

    Hammer Down One of the Regulars

    Nice jacket for the money. I think the "distressing" looks fake though and the back does not hang like an Aero. To me, the jacket is a little "off" from your mid-back down. The straps also look a little off to my eye. Could it be the way you are standing with your arms out slightly in the last pic? Perhaps. You certainly have a wonderful jacket, but judging from those picks, it is no Aero. The cowhide almost looks spray-painted. Also, IMO, horsehide will break in better and age better, eventually getting a "patina" and graining. Aero's FQHH horsehide is fantastic. Hard to beat and HH of equal quality hard to find elsewhere. Aero knows how to pick their hides and how to use them to advantage, as well. Their jackets hang like a million bucks.

    None of this is meant to take away from the satisfaction of your purchase, or from Film Jackets. I've been to the website before and I still may buy a jacket from that fine company. You got a great deal for the money. Enjoy!
  11. hollowpond

    hollowpond One of the Regulars

    Well, its not meant to be an Aero. It is a repro of a Californian. The distressing look is all lighting I assure you. That was my worse fear about this jacket. I am not a real fan of predistressed hides but i took a gamble. It paid off. I'll try to get better photos of the hide itself tomorrow. As to the look of the back, its probably because my 8 year old took the pics. He was so short he had to stand in a chair, do its sort of a birds eye view. Lol.

    And like I said, this is not to step on other vendors toes. Just to show off a cool repro. I love it!!!!
  12. Hammer Down

    Hammer Down One of the Regulars

    Thanks for sharing. It's a terrific looking jacket. Well done.
  13. Grayland

    Grayland One Too Many

    I'm impressed with the fit, esp. in the sleeves as many jackets are way too large in that area. $300 w/ free shipping? Damn nice deal!
  14. I think it looks great. I do like the antiqued appearance of the cowhide. The stylish shape of the shoulders,too. Looks well made. The side straps seem a little long..but how can you quibble at such a good price..? You did very well..!
  15. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I like it and there really is a market for a more reasonably priced half-belt. I'm looking. I'm just not sure how a jacket made in Pakistan like that will last. Is the thread a good quality? Will the lining tear or rot away in a two years? Etc. I wonder why Schott or G&B don't do one? I think there is room for something between the Aero and the Film Jackets catagory. Imagine a nice half-belt by G&B in goat and with that indestructable nylon twill lining of theirs. Yummy.
  16. jksu

    jksu Familiar Face

    i think it looks phenomenal! i'd definitely consider one... aeros/lost worlds/etc. appear on classified/ebay on occasion but often not of the size or style i'm interested or are priced out of my budget, even used. to get one like your's new, at a very reasonable price, is a great option for those of us on a budget. will definitely check it out.
  17. jksu

    jksu Familiar Face

    can you show pics of the liner?

    also, did you end up customizing, either jacket or sleeve length? mind sharing what size you bought and your own measurements (chest/waist)? i appreciate their "sizing" page listing the measurements? can you verify their accuracy with the jacket you got?

    i think $300 shipped is already decent price for a stock jacket but to be able to customize, that's impressive. agreed, we'll have to see how it holds up with time, rain, wear, etc.
  18. hollowpond

    hollowpond One of the Regulars

    As far as the quality goes, I own two other jackets a G&B and a Vanson and I would put the stitching details and thread quality in the same ballpark...seriously. The lining is a a heavy black cotton and I don't see it rotting anytime soon. Matter of fact, this is one of filmjackets.com's first offerings and the wait was a little long for this one ONLY because Rick and Mike refused the jackets TWICE for QC concerns. Now the manufacturer and the guys definitely seem to be on the same page.

    I also thought that G&B would be a great contender for this jacket, although I think their goat is not a heavy enough hide to pull of this style very well. Don't get me wrong, I own one and its tough as nails!!! I just think its a little too floppy for this style. I contacted them about it before this jacket came about. They were not interested. Matter of fact I contacted quite a few jacket producers and had no bites. One even told me, "We're not interested in making fashion jackets" Seriously!?!?!?!? These things were the workhorses in the late 30's and early 40's!!!

    Anyways, to answer other questions I opted for a size 44 with 26.5 inch sleeves and 25.5 inch back. I have started wearing the sleeves buttoned as the unbuttoned was a little aggravating. There will be more pics today!
  19. hollowpond

    hollowpond One of the Regulars

    Also, I think I need to add that there is going to be a price increase across the board for their jackets of $50 in early May. Still a great deal, but if I was thinking about it I would want to know that...
  20. rick5150

    rick5150 One of the Regulars

    If I may, I wanted to take a moment to address a few things...

    To be clear from the start, our jackets are not made to compete with other companies like Vanson, Aero, Schott, Bates, Lewis, Langlitz, Belstaff, etc. These companies – and many others – make amazing jackets; there is no question about it. I have many first-hand experiences with these companies and their products. With that said, we understand that there will be comparisons and we are completely okay with that.

    Of course horse hide is a superior choice. But comparing our jackets to Aero FQHH would be like you buying a new Mustang, and me telling you that a Ferrari would be faster. Ferrari’s are not an option for everyone. What we are offering is our unique portrayal of jackets seen in films and on television. We give you high quality, great attention to detail and exceptional customer service – at a price that is affordable to the average customer. Oh, and they are all custom made, regardless of the sizing.

    We know that our jackets are not for everyone. Will they last? I think so - and I am staking our reputation on it. They feel very well made, but only time will tell. In any event we are ready to stand (or fall) on our own merits.

    The last thing that I want to mention is that, unfortunately, the timing of this thread is coinciding with our price increase in May. We have been selling jackets since October 2011, with the Bruno Halfbelt – as seen in Hollowpond’s images – making its debut as a production jacket in November 2011. The introductory period is nearly over now.

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