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Aero vs Eastman A2

Bfd70

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3,559
Location
Chicago
There are several different patterns of A2 often following different WW2 contracts. That much more than brand should be your deciding factor. How do you determine which pattern is best suited for you? Buy and sell a bunch. Kidding a little but not a lot. What size are you approx? 36-42 tend to come up used here and at .vintageleatherjackets.com
 

barnstormer

New in Town
Messages
3
There are several different patterns of A2 often following different WW2 contracts. That much more than brand should be your deciding factor. How do you determine which pattern is best suited for you? Buy and sell a bunch. Kidding a little but not a lot. What size are you approx? 36-42 tend to come up used here and at .vintageleatherjackets.com
I'm a size 48.
 

Damon141

Practically Family
Messages
788
I'm a size 48.
Not sure how tall you are but they can make you look heavy in the larger sizes if your on the shorter and wider side like me.
I tried one on and was like no way, my waist looked wider than a house with the blousing of the midsection
 

barnstormer

New in Town
Messages
3
Not sure how tall you are but they can make you look heavy in the larger sizes if your on the shorter and wider side like me.
I tried one on and was like no way, my waist looked wider than a house with the blousing of the midsection
I'm 5' 9.5"
 

Boyo

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,145
Location
Long Island NY
Eastman only make up to size 48 and it’s a small size 48 in my experience.
That said I think the Eastman is the “better” jacket but Aero will also make you a great A-2 no question about it, way more options and choices
 

Tom71

One Too Many
Messages
1,838
Location
Europe
The main difference is in the leather, IMO. Eastman´s "house" horsehide is very nice, subtle and rather lightweight (regardless of wether you chose the "time-worn" finish or not), whereas Aero offers their regular choice of leather (including any upcharge on their high-end hides).

If it´s worth the price for YOU will also depend on the specific contract you chose, as @Bfd70 pointed out. Eastman has a huge variety and offers very competent sizing advice but will only offer stock sizes (with "long" sizes available). Aero can go "custom" as per their usual routine, but I find that everyone gets a decent A2-fit with a stock size, but will have to cope with the usual caveats (blousy fit on certain contracts etc.).

I am an open "Aero-Fanboy", but for an A2, Eastman would be my personal preference (I have deliberately ignored RMC here...)
 

bn1966

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3,011
Location
UK
I’m a 46” and size up with my ELC A-2’s to a 48 to get the fit I want because of wide shoulders. I currently own two and am very happy with them. There are differences between contracts including measurements so it’s worth knowing what will or won’t work for you. ELC are very approachable by phone call, email or in person if near enough to visit.

HPA vend ELC products in the USA and were good enough (thank you Charles) to measure up the various contracts and sizes putting their findings on their website which makes for a great resource. Aero for custom though as mentioned.
 

Richard Warren

Practically Family
Messages
682
Location
Bay City
I bought an Eastman Monarch reproduction about 10 years ago. This was before they started treating them to show grain.

I have often thought of going online and venting my displeasure at the jacket. It is the most disappointing clothing purchase I have ever made. I find it hard to believe that the US government with all its faults designed and built such a jacket for use by its pilots, and tend to attribute its faults to Eastman, but who knows?

The zipper sticks, I had to remove the clasp at the neck, the pockets are unusable and placed in an awkward place, and the jacket refused for years despite a lot of wear to break in either in terms of comfort or looks and draping.

And the armholes are huge, which is why it is so uncomfortable to wear even after I finally got in the shower to soften it up a little.

I really think the efforts to reproduce the original resulted in a jacket-like artifact rather than a wearable jacket.

I understand that people were generally thinner back in the day. I am 6 feet 175 pounds and the size 44 I have is big enough, it is just ill fitting because of the armholes.

Thanks for giving me a chance to get that off my chest.
 

CBI

One Too Many
Messages
1,392
Location
USA
yep, there may be no more of an awesome looking jacket than an A-2 but its not the most ergonomic jacket ever made. I really don't wear A-2's very much, they just are not comfortable. That said, you will be happy with either Aero or Eastman. You might want to look at Five-Star as they offer some nice original maker options (stick with RW or Dubow) for a great price. I don't think I could justify buying an ELC these days with their ever increasing prices.
 

bn1966

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,011
Location
UK
Picked up an ELC Monarch recently & have been very happy with current pattern and fit. Hide shows grain, pockets work, zippers fine and it’s broken in quite nicely showing some character.

Had a RW years back where I always found the hide too ‘flat’ for my liking & have had zipper problems in the past.
 

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