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Am I the crazy one? customer service experience with Wested

Metatron

One Too Many
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United Kingdom
Simmons Bilt - whatever their sins and the long shadows they might cast - will do you an excellent custom jacket. It'll set you back about 900 quid, though.
Isn't it possible to stick to the standard hides and linings and just spend the base price on a jacket, say 550?
 

zebedee

One Too Many
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Isn't it possible to stick to the standard hides and linings and just spend the base price on a jacket, say 550?
If it's a full custom job and it requires new 'blocks', probably not. If it's a Levi's Menlo style you're after, it *might* be possible to get one used at a fair price. Simmons Bilt's base prices then attract extras as you choose options. Magnoli Clothiers might be an option.

I think that Aero's August in battered seal (or Seal goat) HH with an extra inch might approximate a Menlo.
 

Aloysius

Practically Family
Messages
941
Go with Aero for this. They co-developed the LVC jacket line and part of the deal with Levi's was that they would be able to keep making the jackets (sans Levi's red tab of course).

Otherwise, go Five Star with the project of someone here as your reference point. They're affordable with a lot of range.

Going Simmons Bilt (even putting their sordid history aside) is neither here nor there.
 

Metatron

One Too Many
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Oh no, I'm not at all interested in replicating a Menlo! :) It just happened to be the most vintage looking offering Wested had.
Really I'm just after a non bomber 30s-50s style jacket.
 

zebedee

One Too Many
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1,593
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Oh no, I'm not at all interested in replicating a Menlo! :) It just happened to be the most vintage looking offering Wested had.
Really I'm just after a non bomber 30s-50s style jacket.
Aero or Five Star are your high- and ok-price options. I'd go Aero if you can afford it. Simmons Bilt is marginally cheaper; their build quality is on a par with Aero and they have a wide range of custom options. People get upset about SB, though. I once bought a jacket from them, which has condemned me to Purgatory (at least) and blighted my years, although the stitching was really good.
 

Canuck Panda

One Too Many
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1,960
My SB jackets were all about £600 to £700, prices from two years ago. And Aero jackets were £50 to £100 on top of that. But Aero sale page prices beats just about everyone, especially when they run the additional sale.

If you are ready to spend at least £500 on a jacket, might as well save up a bit more and get either a SB or an Aero.

SB has the Kokkolan Elk hide and Aero has the Badalassi Steerhide. Aero has wider style selections but SB is open to do more customizations. It's gonna be a hard decision between the selections.
 

Metatron

One Too Many
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United Kingdom
I was thinking about going for a SB halfbelt with zero frills, just standard leather and lining to test the waters and stay at the base price.

Avi has released a rather nice looking halfbelt at an attractive price-I know they aren't made in Europe but they seem to be real enthusiasts that work from originals, so that is a plus.

Five star looks very convenient and the owner seems friendly, I am just a bit unsure if they are true vtg jacket enthusiasts or just found a niche business opportunity and capitalized on it-not that it matters A LOT, but it maters a bit. ;)
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,431
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London, UK
Avi has released a rather nice looking halfbelt at an attractive price-I know they aren't made in Europe but they seem to be real enthusiasts that work from originals, so that is a plus.

I wasn't aware they're still around. I recall they were all the rage for a brief spell on here, then the company who manufactured their A2s for them in China hit them hard by using their patterns and putting them on eBay for a fraction of the price. Ouch.

Five star looks very convenient and the owner seems friendly, I am just a bit unsure if they are true vtg jacket enthusiasts or just found a niche business opportunity and capitalized on it-not that it matters A LOT, but it maters a bit. ;)

I'm wary of dealing with anything custom and/or where there's any risk of it not fitting at that sort of distance, myself. Even at those lower prices, it's still a big enough loss if it doesn't work out. YMMV, though.

Wested have switched themselves up a bit since Peter Botwright died and Covid hit. I've picked up a few bits here and there from them over the years. Couple of weeks ago I picked up one of their new VII gasmask bag/ Indiana Jones bag repros. Very decent, extremely pleased, especially at that price - just about forty quid. might well go for one of the leather version come Winter. I've always found the jackets can be decent enough if you get the right size and go for one of their better hides. Course, one also has to be realistic, it's not going to be the equivalent of the likes of an Aero at that sort of money. I had one of their Indy jackets in the goat. Not as nice as Aero's goat, but very serviceable. Did exactly what I wanted it for. Sounds like their customer service end of things needs to be a bit more on the ball, though I expect folks on here aren't exactly their normal target market. They're mostly a costume house, all done and said. Used to be a shop, but post lock-down the new management have decided to go online-only, which is a shame. It definitely would have been an advantage to be able to go out there and try a few things on.

In terms of getting something with a particularly vintage vibe, one of the best I've seen recently on the more affordable end of the market was the Cathcart / SJC halfbelt. I think they call it the 'leather 33' or something along those lines now. Was tempted in their sale, but couldn't justify the cash spend at that point, and as the season has passed they're out of my size now. Might be worth a look depending on how fast you want to buy. Aero are still my go to for this sort of thing, really.
 

Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,353
Location
China
I wasn't aware they're still around. I recall they were all the rage for a brief spell on here, then the company who manufactured their A2s for them in China hit them hard by using their patterns and putting them on eBay for a fraction of the price. Ouch.



I'm wary of dealing with anything custom and/or where there's any risk of it not fitting at that sort of distance, myself. Even at those lower prices, it's still a big enough loss if it doesn't work out. YMMV, though.

Wested have switched themselves up a bit since Peter Botwright died and Covid hit. I've picked up a few bits here and there from them over the years. Couple of weeks ago I picked up one of their new VII gasmask bag/ Indiana Jones bag repros. Very decent, extremely pleased, especially at that price - just about forty quid. might well go for one of the leather version come Winter. I've always found the jackets can be decent enough if you get the right size and go for one of their better hides. Course, one also has to be realistic, it's not going to be the equivalent of the likes of an Aero at that sort of money. I had one of their Indy jackets in the goat. Not as nice as Aero's goat, but very serviceable. Did exactly what I wanted it for. Sounds like their customer service end of things needs to be a bit more on the ball, though I expect folks on here aren't exactly their normal target market. They're mostly a costume house, all done and said. Used to be a shop, but post lock-down the new management have decided to go online-only, which is a shame. It definitely would have been an advantage to be able to go out there and try a few things on.

In terms of getting something with a particularly vintage vibe, one of the best I've seen recently on the more affordable end of the market was the Cathcart / SJC halfbelt. I think they call it the 'leather 33' or something along those lines now. Was tempted in their sale, but couldn't justify the cash spend at that point, and as the season has passed they're out of my size now. Might be worth a look depending on how fast you want to buy. Aero are still my go to for this sort of thing, really.
The SJC one looks pretty good. I was tempted too but Western cut don't really fit me. I have a SB I bought on their sale page when they first started. I have worn it once. The sleeves are way too long. Still figuring whether to get rid of it or bring it to the local tailor
 

Merv

Practically Family
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848
Location
San Francisco
I can understand your frustration. I’ve had similar experiences with vendors. Everything ranging from not having size charts at all, to totally wrong measurements. I find that certain people’s brains just work differently- some are just incapable of giving a concise answer to a question that requires any form of analytical thought.
 

Metatron

One Too Many
Messages
1,536
Location
United Kingdom
The SJC was very good, almost perfect but it was let down by a very flimsy zip puller which broke right away and put me off. I ended up selling it-silly maybe but I like details to be taken care of. I don't need it to be a repro talon or whatever, I just want everything to be sturdy.
 

Tom71

One Too Many
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1,524
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Europe
I can understand your frustration. I’ve had similar experiences with vendors. Everything ranging from not having size charts at all, to totally wrong measurements. I find that certain people’s brains just work differently- some are just incapable of giving a concise answer to a question that requires any form of analytical thought.

That made me laugh big time! Reminds me of the colleague who flat out refuses to give you a YES/NO answer, no matter how cunningly you ask the question.
 

HongerSpelen

New in Town
Messages
1
Location
Netherland
I have to say I experience the exact same thing. Was trying to order a custom sky fall jacket and I've told customer service that my chest is 40" and which size is appropriate for me since we all know 40" doesn't mean you have to go size 40 it's gonna go a lot bigger, whereas I just can't get the answer.

I already ordered a custom Skyfall jacket size 40" and let's see then, wish me luck :)
'
 

Merv

Practically Family
Messages
848
Location
San Francisco
That made me laugh big time! Reminds me of the colleague who flat out refuses to give you a YES/NO answer, no matter how cunningly you ask the question.
Yeah, I've sort of gravitated towards specific stockists who are very concise and clear about measurements etc. Also, I know just from trial and error, what manufacturers products fit my particular body type. I try to help others out about size/fit on social media sites, to save the the hassle of getting something that doesn't work for them.
 

willyto

One Too Many
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1,445
Location
Barcelona
The SJC was very good, almost perfect but it was let down by a very flimsy zip puller which broke right away and put me off. I ended up selling it-silly maybe but I like details to be taken care of. I don't need it to be a repro talon or whatever, I just want everything to be sturdy.
Was that the brown goatskin jacket?

Mine is lasting very well and actually is my most worn jacket. It’s a bit on the loose side with the sleeves but it’s just such a great beater. Two chest pockets inside, chest pocket outside, handwarmers,etc.

Might not be the best because it was a sample but I really like it.

The halfbelts were a bit too long for my taste.

The pattern in the neck/shoulder area isn’t the best but for the price can’t complain.

I would have sent a message to Cathcart to ask for a puller replacement.
A8BC7064-FF3C-41CE-B95A-696D893D13E9.jpeg
9EF22CAE-9FA6-4159-824D-400E3EF6FC4A.jpeg
 
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Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,431
Location
London, UK
Was that the brown goatskin jacket?

Mine is lasting very well and actually is my most worn jacket. It’s a bit on the loose side with the sleeves but it’s just such a great beater. Two chest pockets inside, chest pocket outside, handwarmers,etc.

Might not be the best because it was a sample but I really like it.

The halfbelts were a bit too long for my taste.

The pattern in the neck/shoulder area isn’t the best but for the price can’t complain.

I would have sent a message to Cathcart to ask for a puller replacement.View attachment 451887View attachment 451888

That one looks great. I'd like to try the grizzly at some point. The Mackinaw looks nice too.
 

Metatron

One Too Many
Messages
1,536
Location
United Kingdom
Was that the brown goatskin jacket?

Mine is lasting very well and actually is my most worn jacket. It’s a bit on the loose side with the sleeves but it’s just such a great beater. Two chest pockets inside, chest pocket outside, handwarmers,etc.

Might not be the best because it was a sample but I really like it.

The halfbelts were a bit too long for my taste.

The pattern in the neck/shoulder area isn’t the best but for the price can’t complain.

I would have sent a message to Cathcart to ask for a puller replacement.
Glad you are enjoying your jacket, it looks great in black! That style had a sturdy chest zipper-I was referring to the halfbelt, the chain of it's puller was very soft, like paperclips-it would not survive repeated use.
 

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