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Irvin/B3/A2 inspirations... Burberry aviator jackets

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by mimaximax, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. mimaximax

    mimaximax New in Town

    Hello everyone, first time posting here !

    I was looking for opinions and I thought I could earn lots of good ones among the Fedora community. What I like with these jackets is that it feels like a modern view of classics jackets. Feel free to be honest regarding quality and shape. They are 100% lamb skin and very exclusive (about 5 pieces made worldwide for each size).




    Long version :

  2. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Welcome to the forum. They are not to my taste, but others here will have different opinions. I'm too much of a purist. At £2k plus for the same money you can buy three Eastman 1944 Irvins, or four B-3s or several original Irvins!
  3. I tend to side with Andrew. I hope I don't step on any toes here but when I see a high fasion model dressed in a jacket, I know the price will be somewhere out of sight. I also don't like lambskin that much. The lambskin jackets I've seen up close and personal seemed a bit too delicate for my taste. I'd rather save the excess cash and throw it at a really good and accurate Irvin or B3. A modern recreation doesn't have the meaning that even the replicas have. :)
  4. As a modern reimagining of the classic B3 / Irvin look (undoubtedly these jackets carry inspiations from both), they're not bad. While I prefer the originals, it is interesting to see them used not as inviolable models but as a starting point, with elements added (such as pockets) that would be of use to the contemporary civilian...

    With regards to quality and durability, there you might find an issue. When you say lambskin, do you mean that they are a true fleece jacket (the outer being the backside of the sheep's fleece, the skin), or are they a fleece-lined lambskin leather jacket? The latter would, in my opinion, be much less durable. Like Andrew, I fear I would baulk at the price too, given what is available from the established repro makers for much less - Aero and Eastman particularly. Eastman's jackets are somewhat more historically accurate than Aero's (I like Aeros USAAF sheepskins, myself, but the arms on a lot of their Irvins look a bit too skinny, somehow), though both are great quality garments for much less than the ones in your picture. If you want modern conveniences like pockets you could go for an adapted design (Aviation Leathercraft, who hold the rights to the Irvin trade mark, produce an Irvin of sorts with handwarmer pockets, while I've also seen an Aero B3 which has had zipped handwarmer pockets added). Alternatively, something like an ANJ-4 would give you an accurate historical repro (if that matters to you) with the bonus of the big patch pockets. All depends what you want for yourself, really. Is the look of the originals what you're after, or something more of a reimagining?

    FWIW, I always thought the Aero Bootlegger would look outstanding with a shearling liner (something close to the jacket from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow).

    ANJ-4 Repro by Eastman leather, GBP599.99


    Aero Bootlegger:


    Imagnie this in brown, with a fleece lining that extends out over the lapels, bit of tweaking of the design to extend the lapels, and you're coming close to:

  5. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

    As Edward rightly says lambskin is not the most durable material for a modern jacket. It will not stand the test of time like most wartime Irvins! There are plenty of alternatives available at a fraction of the price.
  6. normanf

    normanf One of the Regulars

    Expensive! I went looking for something more to my budget and I found a Columbia Aviator Jacket from Sportsmansguide. Its made with modern materials and faux shearling and the obvious inspiration is the B-6 jacket issued in place of the B-3 for World War II air ground crews:


    Its not a leather jacket but it is period correct. It seems like one to add to my collection. :)
  7. normanf

    normanf One of the Regulars

    Agreed. You don't have to break the bank for a good flight jacket. Burberry might be good for show on the runway but after my experience with lambskin, its not made for every day wear. Its shreds and tears and in no time you have a jacket you hate.

    If you go leather in a practical jacket, buy cowskin or goatskin and save your money for something else.
  8. Neophyte

    Neophyte My Mail is Forwarded Here

    That first model looks like he's about to cry lol . I wonder if it's the jacket.
  9. His partner was just too rough the night before.lol lol
  10. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

    Well I don't think I'll be trading in my ELC Irvin for one of these anytime soon.

    And 2,000 quid, now that really made me laugh lol
  11. It occurs to me, actually, that where lambskin excells is as a Summer weight leather (well, that and gloves) - seems a strange option, then, for a fleece-lined jacket...
  12. mimaximax

    mimaximax New in Town

    Thanks a lot for all your advice, but I can't help myself to adore this flying jacket. Is lambskin or shearling such a concern regarding durability ? Isn't there many quality of lambskin than can resist through time better than others ?

    The price is high but if I can wear it in the next ten years, it's ok for me.
  13. havocpaul

    havocpaul One of the Regulars

    Lambskin won't last regular/heavy wear for 10 years, you'll be worried about snagging it every time you go near anything rough or sharp. Shearling flight jackets from the likes of Eastman will last the time as they are made to wartime specs.
  14. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

    The price is not high but extremely high! It is not worth the money IMO. I would not spend £2.3K on a lambskin jacket which is not going to prove long lasting if worn regularly. It is really a fashion garment, not a serious flying jacket. But each to his own.
  15. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

    And there Andrew has hit the nail on the head. This is a gimmicky jacket which will not have the durability of either an original or repro sheepskin flying jacket and is quite frankly an absurd price.

    Even if you want a slightly "civilianised" version, you'd be better off buying from Cirrus or Aviation Leathercraft.

    To each his own, but IMHO I wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot barge pole and I certainly wouldn't blow over 2 grand on one.
  16. gyrobroyeur

    gyrobroyeur Familiar Face

    Just my two cents...
    Most of people here wants to have jackets as close as possible that the 70 years old jackets. This 70 years olds jackets are "references" like B3, irvins, A2 M422, etc... We are still talking of this jacket after all this time, so we can admit that they are "out of fashion".
    More the jacket is close from the originals, more it cost, and a very good repro is in the range of 1000$
    So, I don't think that you will easily find somebody here whom be agree with the following characteristics:
    - 2010 fashion collection
    - Not a repro.
    - fragile materials
    - 2300 bucks
    Anyway, if you like this jacket, and if you fell well with the price: go ahead...
  17. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Suspended

    Wow! For that price there must be a lot of good luck that goes along with that jacket!
  18. normanf

    normanf One of the Regulars

    I wouldn't go for delicate leather in an every day jacket. The look may be great on the runway and for evening wear but I wouldn't recommend it for routine use. My jacket costs a mere fraction of the price and I think most people look for a good winter jacket for the cold season and a three season jacket for other times of the year to deal with wind gusts and chilly evenings.

    I can't really justify spending that kind of money on a jacket whose durability is questionable.
  19. One thing that bothers me about the jacket is just like Smithy said, gimmicky.
    What's going to happen with a garment like that is just like what happened to the Von Dutch line of clothing. That line had absolutely nothing to do with who Von Dutch was. Paris Hilton showed up one day with a Von Dutch hat and everyone in the world had to have one also no matter how much it cost. (For those not familiar with Von Dutch, his real name was Kenny Howard and he was the father of automotive pinstriping. He taught the rest of the world how to do it. His logo was the Flying Eyeball, the white bloodshot eyeball with two yellow wings. ) I priced a flying eyeball belt buckle they advertised. It was $1000 bucks!! For a belt buckle. Sure it was sterling silver but a grand??? I would never pay over $100 bucks for a buckle unless it was really special like a Hundredth Bomb Group or AVG tribute piece. Somewhere, sometime, some trend setter is going to show up with one of those jackets and everyone will want one. Then all of us will look like a bunch of lemmings.
  20. Not a bad looker as a modern reinterpretation of the style, though TBH I'd be wary of pleather in general - in my experience it can be clammy to wear (not breathable), and if it tears it won't be as easy to repair as leather. Other problem is that it can stretch out of shape in a way that leather doesn't tend to (the most obvious example being the way a pair of fashion pleather trousers will lose its shape around the knees). If I was looking for something cheaper, I'd be looking at a decent B15 knock off or something simliar - more likely to be better quality at the same price. That said, if you really want the look of leather, visually this isn't bad.

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