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Aero 1920s Original Hercules

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ProteinNerd

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Hercules was Sears's house brand in the 1920s-1940s, not a specific model.

If you want to take a look through the lengths of various vintage leather jackets, flip through here: http://vintagehaberdashers.com/category/leather-2/

Thanks for the link. I'd have to go back and have a better look when have more time but a quick look at the first page shows jackets were either really cropped or really long....not much middle ground which is probably where my preference is...guess thats just more modern styling?
 

schitzo

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Very interesting stuff Mr Dinerman, thanks for those!


Re this one. When I went to Galashiels it was Ken who suggested I try on this model. The stock 38 is 24.5" long, excluding collar. I went there in my jeans with belt, and shirt tucked in, and according to Ken the length was perfect on me. {For the record, he approved of my shirt being tucked in but said my belt should be higher.} Anyway, I felt it could be a smidge longer and he agreed that half an inch could be squeezed on - but no more. I think he's right and that if you start adding on extra inches the jacket'd become something else. With those same jeans and shirt on it covers my belt at the back but shows a bit of the belt at the front.

As someone who has previously had sleeves shortened more than once I know that anything over 27.5" is too long for me. 27.5" is as long as I can go and on me that's the length I have for longer fitting jackets - the length that would meet with universal approval on here. I had 27.5" on the first version of this jacket and realised that for a short one like this for the sleeves to align that was too long. So I chopped half an inch off and went with 27". In the photos I think maybe with there being no shirt sleeve underneath the sleeves have ridden up a bit which makes them look a bit shorter than they really are. In my view these sleeves are neither long nor short (I maybe can add another pic later to demonstrate this). On this subject, Ken told me that he likes short sleeves, and after a long time I finally understand where he's coming from with that. If I had to adjust these again I'd have half an inch off before I had half an inch on

As for fit of the jacket, I once read my old mucker SimonC say of his shearling lined Hercules that it took him for a walk. This one is the opposite of that and I feel like I wear IT as opposed to it wearing me. The armholes are totally comfortable and it is no way restrictive. With it on, I actually forget it's there, which is of course a good sign.

Have to say I agree with Tropical B that black is the best colour for this model. In addition, I think Dr Seuss raises a good point about body type and I would surmise that I consider this a good choice for slim people. It may be an even better option for slim and short guys.


Thank you very much for all the opinions and feedback

Best wishes
Schitz
 
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handymike

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This style is my favorite of the vintage styles. I've been looking for one for the past few years, but to no avail. The Rainbow Country version is tempting, but the sizing isnt just right for me. I've turned to one of the experts for help, and hopefully I'll have mine done in plenty of time for Fall...
Thanks so much for the pics DM. It's interesting that the chest pocket doesn't show up until '38.
I've also seen them with the art deco Talon zipper box instead of the grommet zippers...I'm guessing those were post 1940.
 
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Plumbline

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Interestingly my Aero and AL halfbelts measure exactly the same length at 26" from collar edge to the bottom of the jacket ... 42" and 44" are an identical length. So pretty much on period pattern if the Ad's are to be believed give or take a 1/2".

I am also always surprised that the ad pictures almost always show looser fitting and also slightly longer jackets than the current trend ( even allowing for high waist trousers etc.) .... and I have looked at A LOT of vintage ads. and pictures. It is true to say that ( as with today) some people preferred longer / looser / shorter or tighter jackets even back in the 30's.

Plus ca change, plus c'est le meme chose !

:D
 

Edward

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Thanks so much for the pics DM. It's interesting that the chest pocket doesn't show up until '38.

Makes me wonder whether there was a developing trend by 1938 as to what men carried in their pockets. I've noticed with suit jackets and blazers I've handled over the years that some time in the mid seventies there was a marked transition from a single insider breast pocket to two as the norm. Perhaps one pocket for wallets, the other for a cheque book (remember those?)? Given the proliferation of mobile phones, ipods and all sorts nowadays, most if us are carrying a lot more around, so there would be more deamnd for pockets and such. I just wodner if there was some sort of 1930s equivalent that would have led to such a marked change in design.
 

Edward

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Interestingly my Aero and AL halfbelts measure exactly the same length at 26" from collar edge to the bottom of the jacket ... 42" and 44" are an identical length. So pretty much on period pattern if the Ad's are to be believed give or take a 1/2".

I am also always surprised that the ad pictures almost always show looser fitting and also slightly longer jackets than the current trend ( even allowing for high waist trousers etc.) .... and I have looked at A LOT of vintage ads. and pictures. It is true to say that ( as with today) some people preferred longer / looser / shorter or tighter jackets even back in the 30's.

Plus ca change, plus c'est le meme chose !

:D

It seems implausible to think that there wasn't some level of variation as to how people preferred to wear their jackets back in the day, though the photos I've seen of civilians on leather jackets during that era don't suggest there was quite the degree of variation there is nowadays.
 

handymike

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Makes me wonder whether there was a developing trend by 1938 as to what men carried in their pockets. I've noticed with suit jackets and blazers I've handled over the years that some time in the mid seventies there was a marked transition from a single insider breast pocket to two as the norm. Perhaps one pocket for wallets, the other for a cheque book (remember those?)? Given the proliferation of mobile phones, ipods and all sorts nowadays, most if us are carrying a lot more around, so there would be more deamnd for pockets and such. I just wodner if there was some sort of 1930s equivalent that would have led to such a marked change in design.

Maybe the depression led to more smoking, or at least a big push to buy cigarettes. Seems that was what the chest pocket was for.
 

Dinerman

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Also probably had something to do with the short leather jacket transitioning from more of a shirt-style lightweight, unlined windbreaker to a heavier, lined piece of outerwear.
 

handymike

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I'm also interested to know when the D rings went into use instead if the diamond shaped buckles for the adjuster straps.
 

Edward

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On this one at least, the breast pocket was rubber lined to act as a humidor to keep your tobacco fresh.

Jinkies! I'd not heard that before. Makes sense in an era when something like fifty percent of men (at least that was the stat over here) smoked.

Maybe the depression led to more smoking, or at least a big push to buy cigarettes. Seems that was what the chest pocket was for.

That would make sense.

Also probably had something to do with the short leather jacket transitioning from more of a shirt-style lightweight, unlined windbreaker to a heavier, lined piece of outerwear.

True... I've not really considered it from that angle before, but I suppose this was around the time that the sportcoat / suitcoat stopped being quite so much the default daywear option, at least in the more workwear oriented sphere, and so an outerwear jacket could be shorter and neater fitting as it didn't have to fit over that?
 

Seb Lucas

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My Dad worked on city building sites in the late 1930's and in his view many workers chose not to wear leather because it wasn't all that versatile if you were active and it didn't keep you warm. There were many strong and warm fabric short coats to choose from which were cheaper too.

What he noticed was middle class people interested in the outdoors who wore leather; campers, golfers, fishermen, day trippers, Sunday drivers, etc - probably the kinds of the people who now wear that awful The North Face stuff today. And of course leather was also chosen by young men who wanted to look cool and (in his words) a little butch.
 

robrinay

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The original Hercules on the Aero website is listed as based on a 1935 model. Is there a 1920's one somewhere else or is this a wikipedia type update?
 
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