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leather jacket: smart fit vs ability to wear sweater or layers underneath

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by music321, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. music321

    music321 New in Town

    I've never had a thick leather jacket, but I'm looking to get something of quality.

    I did have a thin mall-bought jacket once, and was able to snug up the hem with a snap on either side (for a trim fit), or keep the snaps undone in order to wear a sweater underneath.

    It seems this isn't an option with the better jackets (aero, etc.).

    How have you dealt with this "dichotomy of jacket fit" :p ?
  2. You're kidding right? It's pretty obvious to all here that you need ~12 jackets to cover weather, mood, location, etc. :)
  3. music321

    music321 New in Town

    that's funny :)

    Maybe I'll get one with a removable liner, so I can take it out and wear a sweater.

    Are jackets with removable liners as comfortable as those with fixed liners?
  4. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Remember leather jackets aren't all that warm (no matter how thick) so if warmth is an issue, get one with room. I don't personally like a tight fit. I like any jacket of mine to be able to accommodate a thin jumper/sweater at least.

    Your questions on comfort are largely unanswerable, depends on the jacket, your build, the quality, personal taste, etc, etc. Best thing is try some on somewhere and see.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  5. Splitcoil

    Splitcoil One of the Regulars

    The key is not to rely on unnecessarily thick Cosby sweaters. Go to merino, cashmere, and silk and you can get quite a lot of warmth out of a thin sweater. Horsehide isn't very warm, but it is impenetrable to wind, and with a good (even a thin) merino sweater under it, it can be quite toasty. I order my jackets with enough room in them for such thin sweaters and I think they still fit nicely when not wearing a sweater. Your mileage may vary.
  6. To be serious, my Aero 50's HBD in oil-pull HH ith tartan lining was awesome this winter in Europe. I got it big enough to let me wear a heavy shirt under and the removable fur collar finishes it off. I can wear it in less cold weather without the collar and lighter shirt. I'd say it's very versatile for a leather jacket.
    It's good in all but really warm/hot temps.
  7. music321

    music321 New in Town

    thanks for the advice.
  8. Depends on the liner. I have several 1930s European jackets with extremely heavy wool liners, and I boil in them, even with just a T-shirt underneath.

    For the original poster, heavy doesn't always mean quality, and a lack of thickness doesn't mean lack of quality. Check out ButteMT21's A1 thread. That's certainly not thick leather, but is of the highest quality.

  9. Dr H

    Dr H One Too Many

    You'd be surprised Baron - that capeskin is certainly high quality, but is almost as thick as horsehide in places - it's very pliable with great drape but around 1.5 mm. I've recently sold my older GW A-1 and I found that it was a very warm jacket that needed little layering.
  10. Ian is 100% right. The arms are a bit thinner and more pliable. The front and rear main pieces are very thick and almost stiff. It is undoubtedly the location of the hide - the place it existed on the animal that makes it one way or the other. My understanding - which could be wrong - is that the arm bits come from down lower near the stomach region. The thicker, stiffer bits from the back area. Feel free to correct me if needed. But the way it works out is perfect. And looking at the samples JC has thus far, I'd say others are going to get A-1's as beautiful as the one I have. Get in line fellas! :)
  11. leopardstyle

    leopardstyle One of the Regulars

    Get it neat fitting. You'll be surprised how warm you feel when your jacket looks good on you.
  12. I agree. Neat-fitting is always best. With thick hides such as horse, you don't want any surplus hanging off you or sticking out. It should be like good-fitting armour. Good-fitting and very stylish armour. My Aero 30s HB is still my best-fitting jacket.

  13. jksu

    jksu Familiar Face

    a vote for smart fit here, but mostly because it doesn't get cold enough here to need a sweater much...thus i'm not muchof a sweater guy, be it for fashion or warmth. some colleagues definitely sport the shirt/tie with a thin cashmere sweater. not me...yet.

    for warmth, i do like the other gent and have warmer leather jacket with a wool liner...don't have 12 jackets yet, but working on it ;-)
  14. Tony B

    Tony B One of the Regulars

    Spot on, the best way I saw this described years ago was that the bits underneath neaded to move and a weatherbeaten bit on top didn't , a hide I was cutting samples off this morning to test something on is 1.4mm and soft near the belly and front end and 1.8-1.9m and stiff almost like tooling leather across the lowerback. Cowhide BTW but you get the idea.
  15. Peacoat

    Peacoat My Mail is Forwarded Here

    First of all I don't think you will be wearing leather when the temps are below freezing. And I doubt you will be wearing leather much above the lower 60s. So, your temp range will be about 30 +- degrees. No need to get a large fit in order to layer under it. If it is cold, wear a peacoat or other non leather warm jacket. For for your purposes--I assume for street wear, not for motorcycle wear--you should concentrate on a well fitted jacket. As another poster mentioned, a jacket fitted close to the body will be warmer than one that is fitted larger and allows for more air transfer.

    If you will be wearing the jacket in the 30s and 40s, you will probably want one with built in insulation. I think the built in insulated liners fit better and are warmer than the removable liners. I have a bunch of leather jackets with removable liners for motorcycle riding, and seldom wear the liners--just wear my own vest or sweater for warmth. But most of these jackets are a little oversize to accommodate the layers--not a trim fit as you are looking for.

    I have a Johnson Leather jacket, 3 1/2 oz. cowhide, with a built in insulated liner I got for street wear. For me it works in temperature ranges of the 30s up to the mid 60s. It is closely fitted, but comfortable to wear. You might want to check out the website, which isn't too good, BTW. The jackets are much nicer than they appear in the online catalogue. They will send leather swatches and a test jacket for sizing, and you can go from there--either off the rack or custom.

    Too summarize, I think for your purposes--street wear--a closely fitted leather jacket with an insulated lining would give you the best look and work with a wide range of temperatures to make it a versatile jacket.
  16. My most enjoyable cold weather rides are with either a cortech jacket or leather jacket (somewhat tight) and an electric vest. Say what you will, I smile all the way and I'm a better rider with warm blood flowing through my body. I put a plug on the bikes hidden under the side frame and plug it in. Wait a few mins for it to warm and take off. That way, all I have is a t-shirt under and not tons of layers fighting the control of the bike. My 2¢
  17. Peacoat

    Peacoat My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I, too, use the electric vest and think it is the only way to go in cold weather. But I didn't get the idea from the OP that he was looking for a motorcycle jacket for cold weather wear. It appeared he was looking for street wear--thus my recommendations, but I could be wrong. Maybe he will clarify. If he is looking for cold weather wear on a motorcycle, that is a completely different analysis.
  18. Sorry, all the mentions of riding and bikes and I got sidetracked :)
    That, and not enough coffee yet!
  19. Joel Shapiro

    Joel Shapiro One Too Many

    Lewis Leather is selling a 1930's jacket made of 2.75 oz. chromed sheep leather with a wool lining. It's called The Countryman. I agree that thickness won't necessarily make your jacket any warmer. Also, a lot of heat escapes through the waist and wrists. That's the beauty of the A-2. Although it's a lightweight jacket, the windflap/horsehide combo keeps out the wind and the knits keep in the warmth.

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