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Aero Sheene/Seven or Aero 1930s Half Belt - Fit, Style, & Guidance

TommyMizz1

New in Town
Messages
17
Hi Loungers,


I’m brand new to TFL but have stalked quite often for information on Aero jackets (as I’m sure many of us have). The information, advice, and experience mentioned here has been unbelievably helpful.


A little about me: My name is Tommy and I’m from New Jersey and attending school for business at Centenary University. I’m 5’8,” 155 / 160 lbs., and into powerlifting / working out. My body shape isn’t particularly tapered, but I do have a bigger chest + back than my waist. My jean size is typically a 30” 30.” I like all of my clothes to fit slim and pretty tight, and my suit jacket is typically a 36 or 36S. I wear S and XS in everything else.


I’m in the process of ordering my first Aero Jacket. I’ve had one leather jacket before, a Schott Café Racer, which never fit me quite as I liked (long and tubular, with wrong back dimensions). I’m looking for a jacket that will fit at the belt or literally above (so pretty cropped). I want the jacket to be able to worn in 2-3 seasons (fall, some winter, and spring), and I also am looking for something that is fairly simple and can be dressed up and down. I’ve fairly extensive research now on Aero leather and am quite familiar with all their styles and most of their options.


I am placing my order through Thurston Bros, and Carrie has been lovely in helping my intensive interrogating-self in this somewhat maddening (but quite fun) journey. I am receiving an Aero Café Board racer fit jacket next week, and I may be also trying out a 1930s Half-belt jacket shortly as well, both in size 36.


I’m most likely going in one of two directions:

Modifying a board racer or café racer to be fit with a premier 1930s collar, something like the Seven or Sheene, OR: Modifying a 1930s half belt and trying to achieve that tapered, slim fit. Again, this jacket will be custom and ordered through Thurston using their processes.


Can you guys advise as to which of the above would be the best option for me? I don’t love the idea of CINCHING the half belt so it crinkles the leather to achieve the fit I want, so I’m hoping if I go the half belt route I won’t have to do that (maybe only a small cinch).


Here are the absolute “must haves” criteria:

- Thick and heavy CXL FQHH. I really want to get a jacket in this material with lots of grain that I can wear for life, break in (from simply wearing it) and develop unique characteristics and patina.

- Brown. I want a shade of brown, something like the Havana brown color I’ve seen around. Medium brown with no reddish coloring.

- SHORT length (see below picture links for an idea).

- SLIM fit (see below picture links for an idea).


With these criteria in place, I have a few questions I’m really hoping you guys can answer/guide me on.

1. Which lining material is most durable? I’ve heard: thick Cotton Drill, Harris Tweed, and corduroy. Will going with Harris Tweed be too hot for fall temperatures? Does a Harris tweed lining change the look of the jacket due to thickness?


2. The back. If I go the café racer/board racer/Sheene/seven route, what should I do to the back of the jacket? I LOVE simpler looks/back, and really want the leather to speak for itself. I like no yoke, but I don’t believe this is an option for a Café/Board Racer. So basically: High, straight yoke or slightly arched (I don’t like pointed or western) or kidney panel with no yoke? Does the kidney panel affect the way the jacket sits?


3. The back. If I go the Half Belt route, I’m 99.9% sure I’d want the no yoke, one piece back, which Aero does accommodate. No yoke seems to be my taste. Thoughts or precautions?


4. Action. On either option, should I think about shoulder gussets or bi swing?


5. Lining. Pocket lining material?


6. Collar. August vs. Premier 1930s collar? Love the slightly more tapered, slimmer collar on these. Any difference here?

7. "Drop." On the 1930s half belt, I understand it has a dropped front. Does/will Aero modify this to a flat or regular front so the jacket fits the same length, front and back, if I want?

8. Zipper. I'm really into talons, and probably want to go antique brass or regular brass. Is there ANY chance of convincing Aero to put a heavier zip on this jacket? Talon #8 or #10?

9. Cuff. I love the half belt's button cuffs, fell in love with them since I first saw them. I don't think it is possible to put these, or the similar false cuffs (as found on the bootlegger) on a board racer, is it? How about on a cafe racer? Any info. there? Thx!

10. Misc. Anything else I should know? How about in terms of sizing, working with Aero, etc.?


Here are a few pictures of the exact “look” I’m going for:


Half belt:


https://www.instagram.com/p/BPxehv3gGvy/?hl=en&taken-by=thurstonbros


https://www.instagram.com/p/BOD1dOvABAo/?hl=en&taken-by=chuaszechun


https://ibb.co/dwVKFz - this one could fit a little higher for my taste.


https://ibb.co/fY1fsp - insane - for my taste, this is the best half belt fit I’ve ever seen.



Café Racer/Board Racer:


https://ibb.co/fQyBTK - Sheene - love this look, but just in FQHH instead of Vicenza.


https://ibb.co/gieuJU - Nice fit, board racer I think (could be café). Looking to put a collar on this, unless I randomly fall in love with the fit jacket’s no collar.


https://ibb.co/irzuJU - Nice fit on this jacket, along with the added collar.


What I'm looking for: Random Georgetown Designs jacket, but this is a great summary of the look I want: very short, simple, where the fit and leather are the most accentuated parts:


https://vintagehaberdashers.com/tag/georgetown-leather-design/


Obviously once I get the fit jacket(s), the question of “Seven/Sheene vs. Half belt” will be easier to answer. But I’m really looking for a preliminary answer to that question, so please advise.


Thank you all immensely for your help!

- Tommy M.
 

marmalademan

Banned
Messages
373
if I may be so bold..

get a vanson comet in octagon The current batch is a righteous russet and they've lengthened that mother. Thurston can let you customise it too. What could go wrong?
 

TommyMizz1

New in Town
Messages
17
if I may be so bold..

get a vanson comet in octagon The current batch is a righteous russet and they've lengthened that mother. Thurston can let you customise it too. What could go wrong?

Thanks for the advice, those Vansons are beautiful. Definitely looking to go with the Aero brand though.
 
Messages
16,553
Hey, Tommy! Welcome to TFL.

Seems to me that a modified Cafe Racer pattern is definitely what you're after. Regular Half belt is a somewhat boxy jacket. Not as much as the HWM, though - it's a very nice pattern for a proper leather jacket but it definitely isn't as slim fitting and tapered as the Cafe racer. So if you're slim at the waist, in order to achieve the tapered fit, you are going to have to cinch the straps considerably on a HB. Much depends on the size of the jacket too, of course.

Premium 1930's HB I haven't tried but I think it's a slimmer fitting jacket than the regular HB. Other members might have more info on this matter. But anyway...

1. Material - All linings are equally durable and we're talking decades at least before either starts showing serious signs of wear. Some might be tougher than the other in the long run but it's going to take helluva lot of time for you to find out which.
I don't think that any lining can change the appearance of the jacket. Except for shearling, of course.

2. Back - Your call. Kidney panel won't significantly affect the way the jacket fits as it's doubled down from the inside, regardless of whether you chose to delete it or not.

3. Yoke - Again, up to you. :) It's merely a cosmetic issue.

4. Reach - I'd say that in the long run, shoulder gussets are always a good addition as they only make the jacket more comfortable to wear. Another good thing is that Aero's shoulder gussets are quite "discreet" and won't detract from the clean back of the jacket.

5. Pocket lining - Aero will use moleskin for pocket bags by default. It's a good material. I never thought I ought to change it for something else. Another option is corduroy and possibly even leather. It's been done in the past though I'm not sure if it's still an option.

6. Collar - Not sure, best you ask Carrie.

7. Drop - No, they will not modify the pattern of the jacket to such an extent.

8. Zipper - Sadly, no. #5 is the largest zipper Aero will install into their jackets. There's a reason for that though, as a heavier zipper would also require a slight modification of the pattern.

9. Cuffs - Don't think so but... I'm not 100% sure. Again, you'd better check to be sure.
 

Guppy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,286
Location
Cleveland, OH
Button cuffs on a BR/CR jacket would look silly, to me. It's meant for riding, and zippered cuffs.

Don't go nuts with customization, and focus on the fit. Being a body builder, you're going to have a harder time than someone with an average build. That said, 5'8" 160lbs isn't huge, so maybe it's not a problem right now, but you're young and you are going to fill out as you mature. Don't count on it fitting in 10 years if you are starting out with a slim fit already.
 
Messages
11,025
Location
SoCal
I'm honored to be on your list.
Wait and see if the board racer fits to your liking. If not, try the CR. It's important to figure out what cut you like first. Then work out your mods. I think these 2 options (seven/ sheene) are a cleaner look than the 1/2 belt. And they don't have to have a yoke. Here is the back of my seven:
IMG_5187.JPG
The Half-belt definitely has a "vintage" vibe...depends what you prefer.
Going through Carrie sure is the right way since she will provide various jackets for you to try-on.
 
Last edited:

Peter Bowden

Practically Family
Messages
602
Location
united kingdom
Hi
I really don't think you can go wrong with Aero's 1930's Half Belt,especially as you are having a bespoke jacket.I have this one which has a single point yoke-I don't know if it can be supplied with a plain back though.This is in heavy steer, possibly close to your choice of colour.A very versatile style of jacket.
 

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Messages
17,291
Location
Chicago
The 30's HB is slimmer through the chest and shoulders but the waist is still pretty large. I'd recommend dropping a size between waist and chest with any straight zipped HB pattern. Even in so doing I have plenty of room in the waist in my 50's HB. Conversely the standard CR or collared equivalent is quite tapered to the waist, while the BR and it's children have a more tubular body...
 

TommyMizz1

New in Town
Messages
17
Hey everyone,

Thanks for all your advice and kind words. @Monitor, thanks for the detailed answers to my questions!

I tend to agree with @handymike, the Sheene/Seven are definitely a cleaner and slimmer look. First I need to find fit, and then add my custom mods.

If anyone has anymore advice, please chime in!

Again, thanks everyone.

Here's another question: can anyone relate to the feeling of CXL in a board racer / cafe racer? How is movability? Thanks!
 

felix03

One of the Regulars
Messages
124
Location
Castro Valley, CA
We're roughly the same build (although I wish I had your waist size) so this might help. I'm 5'6" 165 and i wear a 33/30 in most denim. I have a sz 38 cafe racer in FQHH with the full bi-swing back (not just the shoulder gussets) and a sz 42 Seven in Vicenza with no shoulder gussets
  • Armholes are much bigger on the CR vs the Seven
  • CR: pit to pit = 22.5; shoulder = 18.5; waist = 38
  • Seven: pit to pit = 22.25; shoulder = 17.5; waist = 41.5
Overall, I like the fit of my Seven a lot better. The CR has an extreme V shape whereas the Seven I'd describe as having a gentle taper to the waist. I find them to have equal range of motion in the shoulders. Since you said you wanted to be able to dress it up or down, my vote goes to the Seven. I wear mine every day -- on the bike, to work, on the weekends, etc. I'd have no issues wearing it with a dress shirt and tie, with denim, etc. Here are more pics of mine: https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/new-aero-seven.94176/#post-2430215
 

TommyMizz1

New in Town
Messages
17
Thanks for this input Felix, that's a killer jacket you have there! Love the look of it, looks like you can wear it fore everyday activity.

Everyone - can you provide any information on sizing that I should know? I'm using the Thurston fit process - what is the best way to measure, etc. ? Thanks!
 
Messages
11,025
Location
SoCal
The best wat is to measure an existing jacket that fits well- like a jean jacket.
Otherwise, go buy a soft tape measure...
Have someone else measure you over a t shirt:
Around your chest (nipple height) inhaled AND exhaled.
Across shoulders (where seams should be). From the same shoulder spot down to your wrist (I like sleeves between my wrist bone and first thumb knuckle). Measure around your belly button, AND around your belt. Last is back length (measure a jacket for this one.
Then send it all to Carrie and see what she advises.
 

TommyMizz1

New in Town
Messages
17
Great, thanks so much Mike! I'll measure and send all to Carrie. I have a great fitting jean jacket that should do the trick
 

Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,373
Location
South of Nashville
I didn't see that anyone else answered your question about Harris tweed. If they did, my apologies, but Harris tweed is not bulky, nor is it very warm. I have it in my Sheene, and it isn't a cold weather jacket. It is a good all around jacket that I can make warmer by wearing a vest or a wool sweater.

The Aero brown is one the most beautiful hides on the planet. You can't go wrong with it.

As @Guppy said above, don't go overboard with customization. Just because you can do something different, doesn't mean you should. Going through Carrie is a good decision. I have used her (and Wade) for two of my Aeros. Takes the worry out of the most important part of the process—the fit.

Good luck and let's see how it all works out.

BTW, welcome to the Lounge. PC
 

TommyMizz1

New in Town
Messages
17
I didn't see that anyone else answered your question about Harris tweed. If they did, my apologies, but Harris tweed is not bulky, nor is it very warm. I have it in my Sheene, and it isn't a cold weather jacket. It is a good all around jacket that I can make warmer by wearing a vest or a wool sweater.

The Aero brown is one the most beautiful hides on the planet. You can't go wrong with it.

As @Guppy said above, don't go overboard with customization. Just because you can do something different, doesn't mean you should. Going through Carrie is a good decision. I have used her (and Wade) for two of my Aeros. Takes the worry out of the most important part of the process—the fit.

Good luck and let's see how it all works out.

BTW, welcome to the Lounge. PC
Thank you for this info Peacoat, I was wondering about the Harris Tweed. It's beautiful!

So as of right now, I am definitely going with one of these liner choices: harris tweed, herringbone tweed, cotton drill, or moleskin. Can anyone comment as to which would be the *definite* best option? Most durable / long lasting?

Thanks all!
 

Bfd70

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,110
Location
Traverse city
F4B63ED1-354E-4731-A7A6-13F896B8DD84.jpeg
C0C16870-3E0B-4BBE-9553-3E478879CA47.jpeg
Certainly the most knowledgeable members have replied to this query already, so i’ll just add 2 fit pictures since we are similarly sized. I’m 5’10 155#. I have a 28” waist. My 1/2 belt is a stock 36 with just sleeve length added. It is as tight as i would want it in the waist, but being 20 years older, i may like a little more....comfort. Vanson is a stock 36 as well. (Actually in looking at my photos again i’m thinking you’d prefer a slimmer jacket)
 

TommyMizz1

New in Town
Messages
17
Wow, wonderful jackets @Bfd70, the fits on both are excellent, though yes, I'd probably prefer something slimmer and shorter.

A few more questions that I'd love some advice on:

1. Straight chest pockets, or slightly angled? If angled, how much so? Can you space chest pockets further apart, or order smaller/large ones (I've noticed some jackets tend to be closer and further... don't know if this is natural, or perhaps smaller sizes result in closer pockets)?
2. Does Aero add leather strips to the bottom interior of the jacket's lining for durability anymore?
3. Are there different weights of Cotton Drill? What is Aero's best lining to be worn in multiple seasons?
4. On a straight yoke back, is this a one-piece back and is the yoke merely a design element? Or is it actually two pieces? How about with the kidney panel (I'm assuming that is definitely a two-piece back)?
5. Depending upon how the fit jacket works out, is there anything I can do / know to prevent a baggy fit in the shoulders/ back? I've noticed this tends to be one of the most ill-fitting areas on Aero jackets (in my mind).
6. Thoughts on the collar? I'm definitely thinking August for a streamlined look.
7. Hand Warmers: none, regular, or zipped (if zipped, which direction)?
8. Has anyone here had experience with how the kidney panel feels/looks/sits on your waist?
9. I've noticed different lengths of "split" at the bottom of zippers, which I know you can request. Any reason to go shorter or longer? Or just cosmetic?

Thanks again loungers! All input and advice would be greatly appreciated - I'm getting close to my final specs/mods aside from fit.
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,944
Location
London
Wow, wonderful jackets @Bfd70, the fits on both are excellent, though yes, I'd probably prefer something slimmer and shorter.

A few more questions that I'd love some advice on:

1. Straight chest pockets, or slightly angled? If angled, how much so? Can you space chest pockets further apart, or order smaller/large ones (I've noticed some jackets tend to be closer and further... don't know if this is natural, or perhaps smaller sizes result in closer pockets)?
2. Does Aero add leather strips to the bottom interior of the jacket's lining for durability anymore?
3. Are there different weights of Cotton Drill? What is Aero's best lining to be worn in multiple seasons?
4. On a straight yoke back, is this a one-piece back and is the yoke merely a design element? Or is it actually two pieces? How about with the kidney panel (I'm assuming that is definitely a two-piece back)?
5. Depending upon how the fit jacket works out, is there anything I can do / know to prevent a baggy fit in the shoulders/ back? I've noticed this tends to be one of the most ill-fitting areas on Aero jackets (in my mind).
6. Thoughts on the collar? I'm definitely thinking August for a streamlined look.
7. Hand Warmers: none, regular, or zipped (if zipped, which direction)?
8. Has anyone here had experience with how the kidney panel feels/looks/sits on your waist?
9. I've noticed different lengths of "split" at the bottom of zippers, which I know you can request. Any reason to go shorter or longer? Or just cosmetic?

Thanks again loungers! All input and advice would be greatly appreciated - I'm getting close to my final specs/mods aside from fit.

Hi, welcome to the lounge.

1: With chest pockets you will always shave the same problem. If the pocket bag is deep it fits big things, but getting small things out is a pain. Or it will have a short pocket bag, and small things will be a breeze to get out, but big things wont.
The angle doesn't make it much easier to reach the bottom if it is deep. IMO chest pocket angle is mostly a visual thing.
Choose what you prefer. I don't think they will allow you to chose the angle, you might be able to chose angled or not on some models.

2: No, i think they do it on a few models as part of the design, or use corduroy with specific fragile liners, but that's it.

3: No, drill is drill. The cotton tartan looks and feels awesome and is a bit thinner than the cotton drill.
Season wise, doesn't really make a difference, even the Strome lining (super thick tartan) isn't that warm (it will boil you in summer though!). What you layer underneath is what will keep you warm. If i only had one jacket i would get cotton (drill or tartan) just so that i could wear it more often and layer underneath it.

4: Straight yoke back is two pieces. Nothing wrong with more than pieces though!

5: Aero doesn't allow modification of shoulders, but they allo tapering and widening at the bottom. All you can do is change size and adapt the bottom hem to fit. Or change pattern.

6: Personal choice, no right or wrong.

7: Same, personally if i need to warm my hands i wear gloves. Pockets without zippers have a tendency to age badly and end up gaping and deformed. I avoid them.
Zipped up or down depends on you. Since i keep my pockets closed at all times, i prefer to have them closed down.
If they close up it can start looking very busy if you also have chest pockets. If you don't have chest pockets, then closing up might be a way to break things up.

8: Kidney panel feels fine. On Aeros it is just a double layer of leather, it will break in,soften up and more or less mold to you. On my Vanson Chopper there are layers of nylon sandwiched in there i think, and it is annoying as it is very very stiff.

9: I doubt you can request different lengths of split at the bottom.
They are very much design features, most jackets with a drop front will have a zipper starting higher up on the lapel so that the jacket doesn't ride up when you sit down.
The 30s HB for example has a drop front, zipper starts a couple inches up from the bottom. The 50s HB on the other hand has a straight bottom and has the zipper start at the bottom.
Same deal with the board racer and the cafe racer. The J-100 for example has a good 4" at the bottom before the zipper starts.
 

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