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Aero vs Simmons Bilt - leather sample - customer experience

NamoAmituofo

Familiar Face
Messages
55
This is not about Aero vs SB who makes better jackets or what’s the history etc.

This is about my experience of requesting leather samples - and I’d like to share - I was absolutely astounded by what received from Debs at Simmons Bilt.

I emailed Aero for some light color samples - got asked to go to website to order them - as each sample cost £1.50 - and I’m a cheapskate - I only ordered 3 samples and had to pay for postage - £6 in total. They arrived quickly, nice looking 2x2 inch squares.

I emailed Debs at SB for exactly the same question - light colour samples plus elk if not too much to ask. It took her longer to respond to emails and send them out - but when I received them today - I’m so godsmack at how she went the extra mile of sending me 15 samples! Yes they are all smaller bits of cuts but who cares all I wanted are samples to give me an idea of the leather. Debs took the time to write their names on stickers each and she sent them to me free of charge.

Interpret what you like - im only stating the facts.

Of course I now have some really hard choices to make!!

SB samples top pile; Aero samples bottom pile (3 squares)
IMG_9214.jpeg


IMG_9215.jpeg


IMG_9216.jpeg
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,281
Blattwerk is really nice hide that no one else carries it. It is deerskin soft and has a velvet texture. The mahogany (orangey tan) one looks great, you don't have to wait for the raw naturals to get to that color.

Natural CXL is a ringer though. Doesn't look too exciting brand new but so much more patina potential than all other leathers I've had. It will darken into a mid brown with a lot of golden honey patina and darker burnishes around the edges.

I would soak all the leather samples and then put them under the sun for a few days. The one with the best end result after the soak and bake, still pliable and nice color, would be the choice.
 

BigPond

Familiar Face
Messages
77
The answer is either goat or Italian natural hh. You need to decide the question.

I do kinda like the look of the “pacific” tho.
 

NamoAmituofo

Familiar Face
Messages
55
Blattwerk is really nice hide that no one else carries it. It is deerskin soft and has a velvet texture. The mahogany (orangey tan) one looks great, you don't have to wait for the raw naturals to get to that color.

Natural CXL is a ringer though. Doesn't look too exciting brand new but so much more patina potential than all other leathers I've had. It will darken into a mid brown with a lot of golden honey patina and darker burnishes around the edges.

I would soak all the leather samples and then put them under the sun for a few days. The one with the best end result after the soak and bake, still pliable and nice color, would be the choice.
That’s a great tip thank you. It would be between natural CXL or natural mustang or blattwerk mahogany!
 

NamoAmituofo

Familiar Face
Messages
55
The answer is either goat or Italian natural hh. You need to decide the question.

I do kinda like the look of the “pacific” tho.
I would love a tan colour goat but neither aero or SB offer it. Italian natural is too light and I don’t plan to treat it myself.

I considered pacific indeed, plus Oakland. I’m hooked to the Daytona pockets and zips design - timeless and un-modernized.

If I am not a cheapskate I’d go for Aero KOTR
 

MickeyPunch

Familiar Face
Messages
59
I was surprised to find out that Aero doesn’t offer any kind of tan colour (at least what I understand as tan colour).

It’s all pretty much different shades of brown, black and burgundy.

I would’ve considered Badalassi in “olmo” colour if it was an option, although that one is a bit too bright. Oliva would be nice too.
 

MickeyPunch

Familiar Face
Messages
59
Natural is tan, no?
It’s definitely the closest they have to the “tan” colour in my head (I’ve seen sooo many colour variations of that colour).

To me tan has to have some orange in it, natural CXL seems to me more like a light brown, although it depends on the batch/pic I guess.
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,690
It’s definitely the closest they have to the “tan” colour in my head (I’ve seen sooo many colour variations of that colour).

To me tan has to have some orange in it, natural CXL seems to me more like a light brown, although it depends on the batch/pic I guess.

Tobacco Badalassi would count as tan.
 

zebedee

One Too Many
Messages
1,854
Location
Shanghai
Yes, I got a boatload of samples (for free) from SB. The Blattwerk Mahogany is a fantastic colour: I'm thinking about an SBV2 in it. The Klondike I got from SB is my best-fitting jacket, although the SB finish isn't quite as good as Aero's - a tailor here was so impressed that he got me to take off the Klondike and went over it inch by inch... and then found an asymmetry in the lapels which I thought was expected given the handmade nature of the thing, but which he thought was shoddy (there is the same discrepancy, to a lesser extent, in my Maxwell's collar, so I reckon it's fine). He raved about the stitching and seams, though.

SB handles sizing by taking a range of your measurements and then sending you a list of the measurements on their standard sizing for the type of jacket you're thinking about. What I like about the Klondike is the lack of 'neck hang'. This is something that I haven't really worried about in Aeros (as in it doesn't bother me that Aero collars seem to weigh a bit heavy on the back of the neck: I'm an Aero fan through and through and am generally happier with an Aero over an SB) but it's certainly a perceptible difference. SBs definitely fit differently to Aeros, but my 'ownership streak' is still 10 Aeros to 1 SB (although I might get an SBV2 soon).
 
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Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,690
Yes, I got a boatload of samples (for free) from SB. The Blattwerk Mahogany is a fantastic colour: I'm thinking about an SBV2 in it. The Klondike I got from SB is my best-fitting jacket, although the SB finish isn't quite as good as Aero's - a tailor here was so impressed that he got me to take off the Klondike and went over it inch by inch... and then found an asymmetry in the lapels which I thought was expected given the handmade nature of the thing, but which he thought was shoddy (there is the same discrepancy, to a lesser extent, in my Maxwell's collar, so I reckon it's fine). He raved about the stitching and seams, though.

SB handles sizing by taking a range of your measurements and then sending you a list of the measurements on their standard sizing for the type of jacket you're thinking about. What I like about the Klondike is the lack of 'neck hang'. This is something that I haven't really worried about in Aeros (as in it doesn't bother me that Aero collars seem to weigh a bit heavy on the back of the neck: I'm an Aero fan through and through and am generally happier with an Aero over an SB overall) but it's certainly a perceptible difference. SBs definitely fit differently to Aeros, but my 'ownership streak' is still 10 Aeros to 1 SB (although I might get an SBV2 soon).

When did you get your SB?

Because it seems like their QC was much better in earlier years but is nonexistent today.
 

zebedee

One Too Many
Messages
1,854
Location
Shanghai
When did you get your SB?

Because it seems like their QC was much better in earlier years but is nonexistent today.
About five months ago. Sizing is a really tricky thing - I have limited (although also very long term) experience of professional tailoring. It is always better to get measured in person. Without that, sizing and fitting are professional judgement calls at absolute best. People tend to take their own measurements quite amateurishly (puts helmet on... this is when my mates try to measure their lumpen bodies) in comparison to an even half-decent tailor's measurements. The issues that arise in mail-order tailoring are that a given individual's shoulder width, shoulder movement, posture and abdominal 'holding' vary immensely from anyone else's. In terms of a jacket, sending self-taken measurements of inhaled/exhaled, sleeve length, etc. is a dice-roll that you hope gets slightly re-rolled by a manufacturer.

Good tailors here will meet you in person, take your measurements, watch you move in a jacket, get you to sit down, stand up, turn and so on to judge a fit accurately. This is why I'm happy with a 'fairly good fit' from Aero or SB, but I fully understand why people might (and will) disagree. From an HK tailor, I expect a ludicrous level of precision, and I would if I went for a personal fitting in Scotland, too - but I ain't gonna be doing that. I'd also expect to pay well over 1000 GBP for a leather jacket if I were going to want that degree of accuracy.

There's also what I'll willingly do to a leather jacket. I'll really demolish them given the chance... Aeros and SBs have both held up amazingly well to my near-clinical disregard for clothing that isn't suits.

Before people get too irked by this, these are just my opinions based on very good suits and quite a lot of Aeros. I think my tolerance for fit in leather jackets would be quite sloppy compared to folks here.
 
Last edited:

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,690
About five months ago. Sizing is a really tricky thing - I have limited (although also very long term) experience of professional tailoring. It is always better to get measured in person. Without that, sizing and fitting are professional judgement calls at absolute best. People tend to take their own measurements quite amateurishly (puts helmet on... this is when my mates try to measure their lumpen bodies) in comparison to even a half-decent tailor. The issues that arise in mail-order tailoring are that a given individual's shoulder width, shoulder movement, posture and abdominal 'holding' vary immensely. In terms of a jacket, sending self-taken measurements of inhaled/exhaled, sleeve length, etc. is a dice-roll that you hope gets slightly re-rolled by a manufacturer.

Good tailors here will meet you in person, take your measurements, watch you move in a jacket, get you to sit down, stand up, turn and so on to judge a fit accurately. This is why I'm happy with a 'fairly good fit' from Aero or SB, but I fully understand why people might (and will) disagree. From an HK tailor, I expect a ludicrous level of precision, and I would if I went for a personal fitting in Scotland, too - but I ain't gonna be doing that. I'd also expect to pay well over 1000 GBP for a leather jacket if I were going to want that degree of accuracy.

There's also what I'll willingly do to a leather jacket. I'll really demolish them given the chance... Aeros and SBs have both held up amazingly well to my near-clinical disregard for clothing that isn't suits.

Before people get too irked by this, these are just my opinions based on very good suits and quite a lot of Aeros. I think my tolerance for fit in leather jackets would be quite sloppy compared to folks here.

I also have bespoke tailoring and am generally happy with a RTW fit from leather, especially given the nature of the material.

But I don't think things like size 38 slim jackets with a 44" hem are acceptable by any definition of tailoring. If I got a RTW Schott Perfecto or Vanson like that they would be taking it back at their own expense, not insisting this is what the sizing is supposed to be.
 

zebedee

One Too Many
Messages
1,854
Location
Shanghai
I also have bespoke tailoring and am generally happy with a RTW fit from leather, especially given the nature of the material.

But I don't think things like size 38 slim jackets with a 44" hem are acceptable by any definition of tailoring. If I got a RTW Schott Perfecto or Vanson like that they would be taking it back at their own expense, not insisting this is what the sizing is supposed to be.
I'm lucky not to have had this experience with any makers so far. I had a Stockman that was too big, but I hadn't sized down. I kept it for years and years and just layered.
 

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