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Aero Board Racer after first one was too tight

snoopy84

New in Town
Messages
4
Dear fellow Loungers,

I’ve been reading here for quite some time both in 2018 when I bought my first Aero jacket and also more recently when I started thinking about my new jacket. It’s a lovely place with tons of great advice. A little bit of backstory as to why I am writing my first post reaching out for help: in the fall of 2018, I bought my first Aero jacket while living in the US through Thurston Bros. Carrie was a great help but unfortunately the jacket is just too tight especially around the armhole, shoulders, arms, and most notable chest (I can barely breathe). Looking back, I should’ve gone with a size 40 straight from the start. After hoping that the jacket would stretch a bit or that I would shrink (I haven’t really gained weight in the time since I bought the jacket), I have come to the solemn realization that I need to buy a new jacket and decide the costs of the initial jacket are just sunk… Since I really like the style, I still want to go with the Board Racer and a slim fit. I want to be able, however, to wear a sweater underneath (and be able to breathe…).

What I intend to do with the jacket/what I look for in the jacket:

I don’t ride motorcycles so it’s not for riding. I do intend to ride my bicycle with it, drive my 911, fly a plane, drink beer, carry my children, etc. So a no fuss/all-day/everyday jacket. I mostly wear only a t-shirt underneath but would like to be able to fit a light to medium sweater for colder days.


What I believe to already have decided about the jacket:
  • Aero board racer
  • 4 pockets, with two angled chest pockets
  • Buco collar
  • Chain with ring zippers on pockets, zippers with leather on sleeves and main zipper
  • Nickel hardware
  • T-stitching on back
  • No green olive/contrast stichting
  • No windflap, no kidney warmer
  • Lightweight Lochcarron Tartan lining
  • Color: black/blackened brown; teacore leathers are great!
  • I want less distance between lower end of jacket and where the main zipper ends (similar to my current jacket)

What I need help with:

Sizing: Size 38 is obviously too slim as it doesn’t allow me to breathe and just feels way too tight overall. Based on the pictures attached (size 38!), what size/size alterations would you suggest?

Leather:
I am trying to choose between Jerky HH in black (with the redish undertone), Badalassi in black, blackened brown Vicenza, FQHH in black, tumbled CXL Horsehide in black, and regular black steerhide (even though I believe regular Steerhide might be too heavy). Holly from Aero sent over samples of Vicenza blackened brown, Jerky HH is black (with the redish underneath), and black Badalassi. I find it incredibly difficult to picture a jacket in a few years on the basis of those samples, though. I also have a few years’ experience with Vicenza blacked brown (from 2018) and really like the leather even though it hasn’t gotten as soft as I would’ve expected. Even though I have worn it quite a bit over the years, it hasn’t really changed much, to be honest.

What I am looking for is advice which leathers you would recommend from your experience for a slim cut jacket like the board racer, taking into account what I intend to use the jacket for. I don’t mind a break-in period but I want the jacket to be somewhat soft eventually. I also don’t like it to shine very much. I love when it develops a patina by showing through some color in some areas (like the brown in my current Vic). How do the different leathers change over time in terms of softness, gloss/shine, shine-through of underside for teacore leathers, etc.? Does anybody have any experience with black jerky HH with the red underside; how much does that show through over time? I tried to find pictures of broken in jerky HH in black but couldn’t really find any.

Thanks in advance for any help you guys rock!!

PS: I haven’t decided what to do with the jacket in 38. Either I’ll keep it to wear in the warmer months unzipped with a t-shirt, sell it, or keep it for my son whom we’re expecting to be born in the next week or so. :)
 

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zebedee

One Too Many
Messages
1,609
Location
Shanghai
Aero's Cafe Racer and Board Racer are slim fits. I usually take a size 40 jacket in terms of suits (hang on, this is just an approximate way of explaining) and got a size 40 Cafe Racer which was too tight. The second time around, I got a size 42 CR which is a good fit (although only a T-shirt goes under it if I still want it to zip up easily; I can j.u.s.t. about get a thin hoodie under it and zip it). If you want to layer under a BR or CR, I'd go a size up, possibly two. The alternative is to consider one of the roomier patterns, like a Highwayman or 50s Half Belt.

Go for a mid-weight horsehide; if you want a dark brown with undertones, battered seal is flexible, substantial and will 'vintage' very quickly. Aero's tumbled hides and the mid-weight horsehides are also good options. Goat will look new forever. Here is the battered seal HH:

J. 218656-08c1bf2d822912e564f11da7c2076a8c.jpg 218657-ca053b201665eb10b4d456d1965ce5ed.jpg 218658-748522972eeee15f91148576f3065c0c.jpg 218659-a470abdd1dfcf8eee91b8b2bacae6e19.jpg 218661-c8cbbc70e4bd6b86253016352466cb8e.jpg
 
Last edited:

Jasonindenver

One of the Regulars
Messages
114
Location
Denver
I have a Seven (Board Racer pattern) in a size 44.

I wear a 42 in a tailored fit suit jacket and 40-42 regular.

The 44 is a nice form fitting jacket comfortable when wearing a t-shirt or light long sleeve shirt but a bit snug with a sweater or fleece underneath. If I needed to layer, I would probably be better off sizing up one more size to a 46. However, that might look sloppy through the shoulders.

i have been tempted to try a black badalassi next. Otherwise, some the the Vanson offerings Thurston Brothers is doing in Vancouver and Bainbridge hides have me thinking,
 

ProteinNerd

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,803
Location
Sydney
Ask Carrie about speccing the Cafe Racer pattern to look like a board racer. It is roomier in the shoulders and has deeper arm holes which are both features needed if this is something you want specifically to layer under. You will just need to add 0.5inch or so to the sides to even out the sharp drop.

Honestly, the BR pattern just isn't designed for layering under.
 

nickv

One of the Regulars
Messages
145
Location
south australia
I have 2 Aero board racers. A "Seven" and a " Buco J100" design .My chest size is 39 , im inbetween sizes .So i can squeeze into a 38 , but i optioned for size 40 for both jackets.

Honestly, the BR pattern just isn't designed for layering under.
i agree with Protein Nerds statement, The Board racer are not really ideal for thick layering , but i have worn very thick sweaters underneath both jackets . with a slight reduction in arm mobility, becuase the sleeves are narrow and of the high armholes.
2 pics of me wearing my board racers, The Seven with just a tshirt underneath ,The Dark Seal Buco J100 pic im wearing a thick merino wool fishermans ribbed sweater underneath.
700_5143.jpg
D4C_6585.jpg
 

Brandrea33

Practically Family
Messages
701
Sounds to me like it might be a pattern not best suited for your wearing likes.

I ran into this with half belts (Himel Imperial vs Goodwear Hercules). The jackets looks similar and are the same size. In fact, the Hercules pattern measures smaller in the chest but is much more roomy to fit a layer … go figure.
 
Messages
10,127
Location
SoCal
@nickv makes a great point, the sleeves are very trim on these styles-you especially feel it in CXL. I actually developed a rash from the cotton drill liner rubbing the inside of my arms. I suggest you order sateen in the sleeves.
 

snoopy84

New in Town
Messages
4
Thank you guys very much for your responses! And apologies for the delayed response but was busy with the birth of my son. :)

I believe I have made some progress leather-wise: I am leaning towards the FQHH oder even Steer. I reaaaallly love both leathers, especially the steer. I am also perfectly fine with a longer break-in period as long as the leather eventually becomes softer. What I like about the CXL leathers (vs. Vicenza) is how they age over time. My 38" Vic BR has a few areas where the teacore brown shines through but other than that, it looks exactly like when I bought it. I played around with the samples Holly had sent to me and I really love how the CXL leathers show the grain after you play around with it for a bit. It seems the FQHH takes a lot longer to adjust than the steer though which would have me choose the steer. However, I am also a bit cautious of the even higher weight of the jacket (4oz compared to 2.5oz of Vicenza) compared to my current jacket.

Regarding sizing, I really haven't made up my mind yet and am between 40 and 42. If I decided to go with 42, I guess I could take body and sleeve length from my original 38". Weist I'd make a bit trimmer (closer to the 38") to fit my body shape better.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,730
Location
London, UK
Honestly, the BR pattern just isn't designed for layering under.

I think this is an important point to remember. Different jacket styles have different designs and design intents; you really need to think about what you want out of the jacket and buy the right one, imo. The Seven and the other one, the name of which escapes me but it's a Cafe Racer with a shirt-style collar - were born out of a customer demand for a jacket with the clean and simple lines of the standard Highwayman, but in a slim fit. Many years ago, during the Lauder/ Anything Goes era in Galashiels, somebody ordered and specced up a slim fitting Highwayman by changing the measurements. Thing was, as a pattern it was never designed to be slim-fitting, so it just looked like, well, a boxy-designed jacket being worn too small. Same thing happens if you just downsize radically. The reverse can happen if you go for a jacket that's very slim fitting and try to size it up too much.

It's worth remembering that the board racer was designed as a nod to early motorcycle racing leathers; long before this style of jacket became known as a cafe racer, it was commonly called a "racing shirt"....

If I were looking for something in this vein but with a bit more room to fit a submariner sweater on a colder day, I might be looking at an Original 59er Highwayman. That model is the classic rocker / ton-up boy fit: a touch less boxy than a regular HWM (an Americanised version of the design, deliberately so, that was intentionally a bit roomier), but with a little more room than one of the cafe-racer / board racer types.

As ever, OP might find it worth having a chat with Holly @Aero wrt what you're after and what models they suggest. Bear in mind Aero will occasionally agree to some modifications, subject to cost as long as they don't require modifications that would amount to a new pattern, and subject to their aesthetic discretion. Which is fair enough, really, given that it's their name on everything that leaves the factory, so they want to be happy with it!
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,730
Location
London, UK
Thank you guys very much for your responses! And apologies for the delayed response but was busy with the birth of my son. :)

I believe I have made some progress leather-wise: I am leaning towards the FQHH oder even Steer. I reaaaallly love both leathers, especially the steer. I am also perfectly fine with a longer break-in period as long as the leather eventually becomes softer. What I like about the CXL leathers (vs. Vicenza) is how they age over time. My 38" Vic BR has a few areas where the teacore brown shines through but other than that, it looks exactly like when I bought it. I played around with the samples Holly had sent to me and I really love how the CXL leathers show the grain after you play around with it for a bit. It seems the FQHH takes a lot longer to adjust than the steer though which would have me choose the steer. However, I am also a bit cautious of the even higher weight of the jacket (4oz compared to 2.5oz of Vicenza) compared to my current jacket.

Regarding sizing, I really haven't made up my mind yet and am between 40 and 42. If I decided to go with 42, I guess I could take body and sleeve length from my original 38". Weist I'd make a bit trimmer (closer to the 38") to fit my body shape better.

Congratulations - does this mean you'll be holding onto the 38? Junior should be in that in fifteen or sixteen years' time! ;)
 

snoopy84

New in Town
Messages
4
Maybe to clarify a point about the style intended and the layering: I am not looking to wear another jacket underneath the BR or multiple heavy wool sweaters. I guess I am just looking for a size that allows me to wear a sweater underneath like with any other jacket. It's okay if it's a bit tight then (as described by @nickv above). However, I do understand the risk of tampering too much with the style. So maybe I'll stick with a size 40 which should give me sufficient room in the chest and shoulder and solely adjust arm and body length to make sure it fits well and keep everything else as intended for size 40.
 

Peter Mackin

Practically Family
Messages
910
Location
glasgow
I personally would go with one of the lighter weight leathers aero have.
I have sold everything in fqhh I have ever bought, but I really enjoy jerky, goatskin and vicenza, I also don't like the finish that rubs off if you look at it the wrong way.
 

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