Aero Premier Half Belt Review

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Vezio, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. Vezio

    Vezio Familiar Face

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Italy
    Hi, I am for a short time affiliate in Fedora Lounge.
    Last year I bought a "Aero Leather Premier Half Belt" jacket, that I will review. Everything I will write is only a set of subjective considerations, respect to my personal experience.
    I liked the Premier Half Belt because it's a pretty short jacket with a snug fit and with a particular style in the back, and for the cuffs style.
    a2.png a3.png

    JACKET STYLE AND SIZE
    " Aero Premier 1930s Half Belt" in Black Front Quarter Chromexcel Horsehide, size 40 (corresponding to a 50 IT), although all my jackets are in size 38 (48 IT/M).

    JACKET MEASURES
    PIT TO PIT 54 cm./21.25"
    SHOULDERS 44 cm./17.30"
    SLEEVES 65.5 cm./25.75"
    BACK LENGHT 62 cm./24.50"
    FRONT LENGHT 53 cm./20.85"
    FRONT DROP 4 cm./ 1.50"

    MY MEASURES (taken over shirt and sweater)
    HEIGHT 172 cm./5ft 7.75"
    RELAXED CHEST 98 cm./38.75"
    EXPANDED CHEST 102 cm./40.25"
    STOMACH 96.5 cm./38"
    WAIST 96.5 cm./38"

    The choice of the size is the result of a set of evaluations, but above all the help of Holly , who doesn't need for presentations. According to my experience it is good to rely on size indicated by Aero: they explained to me that, for Premier models, size is calculated on the basis of the expanded chest. Regarding back and sleeves length, instead, I took as reference one of my Denim jackets, which I liked the back length, while for the sleeves I used as a reference a Cafè Racer jacket. I chose a 24.5" back lenght (advice from Aero 24"): the jacket is perfect, as it covers both trousers belt and a sweater, very important for me. Sleeves lenght is 25.75" (advice from Aero 24.5"): I like the length I chose!
    An important consideration to do, if you determine the length of the sleeves on the basis of another jacket, is to evaluate the way which Aero takes this measure! In this regard, I attach the image that Holly sent me:
    a6.png

    Another important thing to evaluate is also shoulders width: if you want to increase, for example, the size of a jacket, but sleeves length is fine, you must consider a smaller length of the same, to compensate for the increase in shoulders.

    LEATHER
    My doubts were on three leather types: Chromexcel Horsehide, Chromexcel Steerhide and Vicenza Horsehide. I asked Aero for samples: I immediately excluded Vicenza , which, due to its softness and tactile feel, seems like "nappa": I immediately had the sensation of an excellent quality, but also of a certain fragility". Surely a jacket made of this leather is immediately soft and comfortable, but I was looking for something different. Even informations about a certain sensitivity to the rain has distracted me by the choice of vegetable-treated leather. Having already two jackets in Cowhide, my choice fell on Horsehide: a hard, compact and charming leather. A real challenge to wear it!
    a7.png
    This leather gives stiffness and form, contributing to characterize the jacket with an "important" style and provide strength and durability over time. There are very compact and shiny parts, others with a spectacular grain, which gives a sense of lived and alive to the jacket. Black color is very intense and pleasantly glossy, but there are parts in which a certain patina begins to develop. Over time folds have also developed on sleeves, which are not wrinkles of old age, but waves that suggest the thickness and quality of leather, which improves over time.
    About breaking in, after a year I would say that I am still on high seas: some movements are not easy yet and leather is still quite rigid. The jacket is indeed very hard, and even the simplest movements are difficult but wearing it is not oppressive. Driving the car immediately could help in this phase, but it wouldn't be safe, since there is a considerable impediment in the movement of the arms. Stiffness of the collar does not help, but, being small, not creates extreme discomfort. It is a thick and compact leather that will never become as soft as "nappa", but with time the hardness begins to yield.
    I haven't implemented particular techniques to break in the jacket but I preferred to leave its course to nature.

    LINING
    Inner lining I chose is Lochcarron Tartan Custom Medium Braeriach "PATRIOT MODERN". Also for this material I requested some samples directly from Holly and directly from "Lochcarron Tartan”.
    As for the thickness, I chose the Medium Braeriach: it seemed to me to be sufficiently resistant and protective compared to the use I designed for this jacket. I live in Napoli, and winters are not particularly cold: a few times we get to temperatures close to 0° C. Tartan is not, however, the hottest lining among those Aero, but I excluded other linings for two reasons: the first is that I wanted to buy this jacket mainly as a winter garment but thinking of a possible use both in late autumn and early spring (late October - early April); the second is that I didn't want to alter too much the slim line of the jacket with thicker interior linings such as Shearling or Alpaca wool. The consideration I can make is that the best use is with temperatures ranging between 15° C and at most 7/8° C. I specific, however, that I love the cold, but I suffer it a lot! In fact, in the temperatures and periods of the year indicated by me, I wear the jacket with, in the following order: woolen underwear, shirt and woolen pullover. My considerations are really very subjective!!!
    a11.png

    CUSTOMIZATIONS
    My jacket basically reflects the standard configuration of the Premier Half Belt model:
    - standard front with two handwarmer pockets and an oblique front pocket on the left;
    - standard back with double-pointed yoke, half-belt and pleats above the half-belt;
    - standard cuffs with classic buttons and leather interior. Some Fedora users ask if they can put their hands in the cuffs smoothly without unbuttoning them: I have no problems, but my hands are not very big. I believe, however, that the buttons and their seam could damage with such a thick and hard leather, at least in the softening phase;
    - hand warmer pockets and sleeves interior in cotton drill ;

    The customizations I chose are the following:
    - Internal lining customized for both type of design and thickness of Tartan;
    - 2 inside vertical pockets with open fastening, to maintain a thick symmetry in both the right and left sides. After about a year I own the jacket, I don't have found signs of internal pockets on the outer leather.
    - Standard nickel Talon zippers: they are the classic Talon zippers used by Aero. I believe that on such a thick skin, perhaps, Aero should consider a larger measure zippers, type n. 8, but with a careful use I have not encountered big problems.
    - Classic Aero label (airplane, car, bike).

    FIT
    The appearance and the feeling of quality of the jacket are truly exceptional! It is an adherent jacket, especially in the chest, while leaving a little room in the abdominal part, obviously adjustable through the side straps. I initially asked Holly to eliminate the lower flare, to have a tubular configuration like the "Board Racer" model. But I reconsidered this option to not distort the classic line of the jacket, and I must say that also Aero advised against this variant. Armholes are high, but they're certainly not bothersome.
    Regarding the occasions in which to wear it, I consider that the Premier Half Belt is quite versatile to be worn quietly with jeans and T-shirt, but also with classic trousers, shirt and tie. Surely it is a jacket that is noticed! Hand warmer pockets are well coated and deep, but they are not as comfortable as they are positioned slightly high.

    DEFECTS
    Although it is a jacket produced in a traditional way, I have encountered only one small defect, which I report only because found by other users, and, however, easily resolvable: one of the side straps tends to widen compared to the other. This happens because the thickness of the leather with which it is made is a little thin, and tends to loosen from the belt buckle. I solved the problem by making a sort of knot around the belt with a black lace for pendants and necklaces: it disappears behind the buckle and holds the strap firmly.

    FINAL CONSIDERATIONS
    Further advice I can give to people interested in this type of jacket regards the choice of this model: it is certainly a simple model, without too many frills, suitable for different occasions. The use is certainly more suitable for periods of the year not too cold. Obviously it is a very subjective data, as I have seen photos of Fedora users wearing similar jackets even in the snow: it is certainly not my case :).
    In the end, I would like to say a few words about Aero. My contacts have been exclusively with Holly, of which I would like to praise the professionalism, but also the great kindness and patience in answering the many ritual questions with great respect of the customer (though certainly trivial after receiving and read them thousands of times!). Aero is a good company, with a policy now rare today, not because of companies, but because of a system that no longer allows you to manage things in artisanal way, with the consequence of the disappearance from the cities of small commercial realities that once were the backbone of the economy.
    Now I post some photos wearing the jacket.
    a25.png a26.png a28.png a30.png a31.png

    I apologize for my English and I hope I haven't been too boring, but above all I hope to have helped to dissolve some doubts on the choice of this jacket.
    Vezio.
     
  2. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,504
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Looks good. Thanks for the review and the photographs.

    I am surprised Aero measures the sleeves the way the photograph indicates. I thought the proper method was the photo labeled as "Incorrect." Good to know that is the way Aero measures the sleeves.
     
    ton312, Cooperson, AeroFan_07 and 5 others like this.
  3. Vezio

    Vezio Familiar Face

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Italy
    Holly sent me a picture of how Aero takes measurements of the sleeves, as a result of this image, which I sent to communicate my measurements:).

    a5.png
     

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  4. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,248
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Me too. Nicely fitted jacket, though, so it obviously works.
     
    Vezio likes this.
  5. MET

    MET A-List Customer

    Messages:
    317
    Location:
    Ankara
    Complimenti.
     
    Harris HTM and Vezio like this.
  6. TREEMAN

    TREEMAN One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,073
    Location:
    USA
    Good fit and review.......
     
    Vezio likes this.
  7. ai00344

    ai00344 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    162
    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks for the detailed review, this clearly took some time to put together! Good choice in leather, FQHH is still king in my view.
     
  8. seres

    seres A-List Customer

    Messages:
    386
    Location:
    Alaska
    Excellent review! The fit look perfect!
     
    Vezio likes this.
  9. dubpynchon

    dubpynchon Practically Family

    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Ireland
    Great detailed review.
     
    Vezio likes this.
  10. rocketeer

    rocketeer Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,583
    Location:
    England
    Looks a great jacket, a good review too :) Nice to see you do not check your sleeve length ZOMBIE strangle style ;)
     
    Vezio likes this.
  11. MeachamLake

    MeachamLake A-List Customer

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    North West, UK
    Great looking jacket you have there! Perfect fit!
     
    Vezio likes this.
  12. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,833
    Location:
    Iowa
    Vezio - no need at all to apologize for your English. Very well written and detailed review, I was highley impressed reading this and understand the time you took to do it right. Your observations largely match mine with a Steerhide 1930's HB, however mine had the benefit of being "pre-broken in" as a Fit jacket for Thurston Brothers, the US Stockist of Aero situatied in Seattle. The jacket was about 50% broken in when I recieved it.

    As to the Horsehide and flexibility, take a nap with it on, and the more you wear it, the more flexible it will indeed become. This is true both from a break-in perspective as well as temperature of the jacket itself. Enjoy it! It looks great on you! :)
     
    Alexlutov and tweedydon like this.
  13. Peter Bowden

    Peter Bowden Practically Family

    Messages:
    503
    Location:
    united kingdom
    Fantastic review.You now need another in dark brown FQHH so that you can compare them as they mature.
     
  14. Vezio

    Vezio Familiar Face

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Italy
    Thank you very much:)
     
  15. Vezio

    Vezio Familiar Face

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Italy
    I just received, some days before Christmas, another Aero jacket, type B6 in seal, which I will soon review.
    The only thing I could get, buying another jacket, is a divorce from my wife. And I really do not know what is more expensive!:confused:;)
     
  16. Mark

    Mark Practically Family

    Messages:
    520
    Location:
    UK
    Great review, your personality shone through! Beautiful jacket but now you need another jacket in brown FQHH, it is a sight to behold. I do not quite get the fuss over Vicenza, it appears rather dull and characterless to my eye.
     
    Vezio likes this.
  17. willyto

    willyto Practically Family

    Messages:
    954
    Location:
    Barcelona
    If you say so:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The problem is that not many used Vicenza jackets are seen around basically because people own 100000 jackets and don't get to use them enough for it to develop character. For me FQHH is like cardboard or armor, way too stiff and uncomfortable, also I could barely wear it due to temperature.

    Fantastic review and jacket! The fit is stunning.
     
    Powerband, navetsea, FrankGAO and 2 others like this.
  18. Bfd70

    Bfd70 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,082
    Location:
    Chicago
    Thanks for the detailed review. I actually have a picture of you in your b-6 saved on my computer. When i order one this summer i’m going to send along the picture and a note that says “i want it to fit just like this.”
     
    Vezio likes this.
  19. Vezio

    Vezio Familiar Face

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Italy
    Thank you very much. In my future plans, very future, I'm thinking of an Aero A2 "38-1711-P" or "Bronco" in Seal Jerky Horsehide, and, in the end, a Black Vicenza Board Racer....
     
    Mark likes this.
  20. Vezio

    Vezio Familiar Face

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Italy
    Thank You very much. B6 is an amazing jacket: not bulky and pretty warm for mediterranean winters (not Polar!!!!). My wife loves "B-7 Arctic Issue Parka". An amazing coat, but too much for Napoli and Rome (where I work) winters!
     

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