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AVI LTHR A-1

bn1966

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,956
Location
UK
Eastmans made my version, not cheap but it gets a lot of wear so in the long run its very good value & I feel great wearing it :)
 

Gamma68

One Too Many
Messages
1,896
Location
Detroit, MI
The AVI LTHR A-1 has a cotton sateen lining as opposed to a plain wave cotton lining on its A-2.

Is a sateen prone to pilling and snags? Has anyone had experience with this type of lining in a jacket over a period of time? Will it look like a** after a season of wear?

Then again, Eastman uses a cotton sateen lining in its A-1, so maybe sateen isn't a sub-par material.
 

Gamma68

One Too Many
Messages
1,896
Location
Detroit, MI
So, I've sent some questions to AVI LTHR via email and have finally received some replies about its A-1. They are not the most responsive company, to say the least.

  • The capeskin is sourced from South Africa.
  • The main buttons are horn. The backing buttons are plastic.
  • There are no ventilation holes at the arm pits.
  • Even though my chest measures 40", they recommend I purchase a size 38 for a "trim fit."

The plastic buttons don't bother me, as they could be easily replaced. The cotton sateen lining I asked about earlier doesn't bother me, as other A-1 makers at higher price points use the same lining material.

But what about the lack of ventilation holes? Would this be a deal breaker, or are they even necessary with a light capeskin leather jacket?

Also, what about VAT? I've never had to deal with this, so would I incur significant customs expenses if I place an order?
 

Brettafett

One Too Many
Messages
1,304
Location
UK
At the price, I would pull the trigger... If its not great in person, return it for a refund... A little hassle, but only way to know for sure. If its a winner... so will you be ;) Good luck!
 

Gamma68

One Too Many
Messages
1,896
Location
Detroit, MI
My AVI LTHR A-1 arrived today. Here are my initial impressions.

I was a little concerned about fit, but I think it's fine. I ordered a 40 and the company recommended a 38. This didn't seem to reconcile with AVI's online sizing chart, so I opted for the 40. Could it be a little smaller? Maybe. But I don't think returning it to Denmark for an exchange would be worth the hassle.

The capeskin color is very close to AVI's online photos. I chose the lighter color instead of the seal brown, since I plan on wearing it in warmer weather. The leather is very lightweight and quite nice. Will it acquire a darker patina in some areas over time?

The interior cotton sateen lining and knits are of good quality. The horn buttons are very nice. The pocket sizing is what I expected (small as on the originals). The jacket came boxed inside a small canvas bag with a cinch drawstring, although I'm not sure if this is a good idea for storage.

My only quibbles are minor. The backing buttons could be upgraded to bone or something resembling bone rather than clear plastic. The stitching could be in black or brown to provide some contrast with the leather. And the leather loops for the collar buttons seem less than robust (but I don't plan on buttoning up at the collar anyway).

For $263.20 (which includes free shipping), I think this is a solid buy--particularly when looking what competitors are offering at a much higher price point.

Oh, and there were no customs or import charges!

I'm eager to hear your impressions.

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BobJ

Practically Family
Messages
610
Location
Coos Bay, OR
Looks great! Good thing you didn't go down a size, judging by the shoulder width and sleeve length. It's going to be interesting to see what kind of grain is going to pop out of that leather, and how that light color ages.
 
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l0fielectronic

Practically Family
Messages
667
Location
UK
As said, size looks spot on.

As to the jacket, the only thing that looks a little non traditional A1-ish to me is where the knits meet the jacket. I think this is maybe just the thickness of the knits combined with the slim cut of the jacket, plus them being so much darker than the jacket makes it stand out.

Great write up/review.
 

Gamma68

One Too Many
Messages
1,896
Location
Detroit, MI
After wearing around the house all day, every day, since it's arrival, the grain is starting to pop:

Think I should spring for some vintage bone backing buttons and replace the cheap clear plastic ones?

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ProteinNerd

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,785
Location
Sydney
I'm also skittish about buying through aliexpress.com. Returns to China seem like they could be a pain.

Just thought I'd respond to this. I've bought a few things now through Aliexpress and cant say enough good things about it.

The business model is great, from what I understand the money you pay for the items isn't actually released to the individual merchant until you acknowledge they have arrived and are happy with it by clicking on a link you receive on your order confirmation thus, customer service is amazing and the products have been exactly as described.
 

tropicalbob

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,956
Location
miami, fl
After wearing around the house all day, every day, since it's arrival, the grain is starting to pop:

Think I should spring for some vintage bone backing buttons and replace the cheap clear plastic ones?

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That leather looks very nice indeed and will just get nicer. Congrats.
 

Gamma68

One Too Many
Messages
1,896
Location
Detroit, MI
I got my jacket back from the tailor today and think replacing the clear plastic backing buttons with bone buttons really enhances it aesthetically. The buttons have a nice aged patina and work well with the leather, knits and main bone buttons.

I even went the extra mile and had the backing buttons behind the pockets swapped out.

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nkang

One of the Regulars
Messages
120
Location
Sweden
Just thought I'd respond to this. I've bought a few things now through Aliexpress and cant say enough good things about it.

The business model is great, from what I understand the money you pay for the items isn't actually released to the individual merchant until you acknowledge they have arrived and are happy with it by clicking on a link you receive on your order confirmation thus, customer service is amazing and the products have been exactly as described.
Just curious did you buy any leather jackets from aliexpress? Could you please provide a link or two? Thanks!
 

jonesy86

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,592
Location
Kauai
Thinking of pulling the trigger on an AVI LTHR A-1. Any updates almost a year on? Still seems like a good deal to me.
Peace
 

Dr H

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,004
Location
Somerset, UK
I've seen vintage photos of A-1s with buttons instead of snaps at the bottom, so I just made an assumption. I don't know if snaps are considered correct or incorrect. Seems like all repros today have snaps.

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The earlier jackets were fastened using buttons at the waist; later contracts had snaps.
Similarly, some of them earlier jackets were fastened by a single button at the collar; changed to two buttons in later contracts.
 

Dr H

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,004
Location
Somerset, UK
I'm leaning toward capeskin -- bn1966's quote steered me in that direction. :)

Those I've seen who offer a capeskin A-1 are (in order of ascending price):
The Good Wear looks like the very best A-1 reproduction available, but it and the Eastman are way beyond my budget.

The Headwind looks nice, but it's double the price of the AVI LTHR. To my eye, the Headwind doesn't seem much different to justify the extra cost.

That leaves the AVI LTHR. Capeskin, horn buttons and member Brettafett gave a solid review of the construction of his AVI A-2 here. The AVI knits will have a seam and the sleeves are two rather than three-piece construction. But I can overlook that. If the backing buttons are cheap or inaccurate, they can be swapped out. Everything else looks like an pretty accurate representation of an A-1 to me (unless I'm missing something). It's too bad AVI doesn't insert a label that more closely resembles an original. But I'd probably forget about that after a short time. Free shipping and free returns.

Now, seal brown or that lighter brown?

I’ve owned many examples of the various GW and ELC A-1 jackets and the BK prototype. For my money, the .50 cal ELC A-1 that I have now is the most accurate (convincing) that I’ve owned.
 

Gamma68

One Too Many
Messages
1,896
Location
Detroit, MI
Thinking of pulling the trigger on an AVI LTHR A-1. Any updates almost a year on? Still seems like a good deal to me.
Peace

I still give this jacket a thumbs up. I wore it quite a bit last spring and then last fall. It's a lighter capeskin that I like wearing on cooler days when you might otherwise reach for a windbreaker.

Some graining has begun to show, but it still needs some breaking in. The knits and lining have held up very well. In some areas, the leather seems to have darkened a little bit. I'm not all that hard on my jackets, so it hasn't picked up any scuffs yet. I'll try to post some updated photos this weekend.

The best thing I did was replace the awful clear plastic backing buttons with the antique bone buttons. Gives it a more authentic feel.

I believe it's a very nice product for a very good price.
 

tropicalbob

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,956
Location
miami, fl
Thinking of pulling the trigger on an AVI LTHR A-1. Any updates almost a year on? Still seems like a good deal to me.
Peace
I emailed them Thursday evening but haven't heard anything yet. I'm trying to find out if they have the new russet A-2 ready to go.
 

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