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Big guy needs sizing help; Leather A2 repro...

Per Hansa

New in Town
Messages
16
Hello everyone,

Have been stalking this site for years, and finally decided to order a quality A2. I am built like a sasquatch, so could use some help. I've been in contact with David from Eastman, and he has been incredibly helpful, providing me with measurements of their size 46 and 48. Everything is in-line with sizes I have in my closet...except for his "shoulder-shoulder" measurement, which comes in at 1 - 2 inches" less than what I currently own in the same sizes. I'm wondering if I'm just measuring that one incorrectly, or if they really run that much smaller in the shoulders. I'm tempted to just go with it and hope for the best, but I would need a "Long" size, which would render it non-returnable.
For those of you who own an Eastman A2, do the sizes seem to run "true to size", or do they run smaller in the chest/shoulders than modern jacket sizes? I actually feel good about the length he quoted, it's just the chest/shoulders I'm worried about.
I'll attach a couple jackets I currently own. The first is an LL Bean, size 46 Long, and the second is my USAF issued A2, size 44 Long (which actually fits larger than my LL Bean 46). I am 6'5, 225 pounds. What do you guys think, should I stick with size 46 Long with Eastman, for that fitted look I'm after, or should I size up to 48? Does anyone have experience with their sizing, especially those on the bigger side?
...as a bonus question, I'll also take opinions on Bill Kelso, as I'm thinking about ordering a Dubow 1755 as well--true to size, or runs small? Thanks so much guys. I look forward to posting some more as I continue down this road with you all!
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Damon141

Practically Family
Messages
928
I know nothing about A2 jackets either but one thing I noticed in all of the pictures is the guys that wear this style seem to like the shoulder seam hanging slightly over. It’s the one style I think that it is actually preferable and you can possibly loose mobility but that is probably dependent on the cut/pattern design.

Check around for a site which offers an exchange or refund policy. If you are in the USA then History Preservation carries them.

You can check out Thurston Bros for an Aero A2 and they will send you a fit jacket and then take it from there if you need custom measurements.

Hope that helps a little.
 

El Marro

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,526
Location
California
The jacket from Eastman, and all other quality reproduction manufacturers as well, are going to be trimmer throughout than any modern version of the A2.
I would be very nervous about ordering a jacket that I could not return. I have to say it might be worth ordering the regular lengoth jacket just to verify that it fits through your chest and shoulders and then exchanging it for a long version if all is good.
The A2 is one of the toughest jackets to get a good fit in and I have had more failures than successes with this style.
 

Per Hansa

New in Town
Messages
16
Thanks Peacoat for getting things kicked off. All great advice guys, and after reading your suggestions it reaffirms my thoughts that I'll probably need to size up in order to have any chance at getting the fit right. As El Marro said, the Eastman's follow the older patterns, so will probably run trimmer through the shoulders and chest than I'm used to with my modern A2s.
And thanks Damon141 for mentioning HPA. I think ordering a jacket in a standard size (not long) first will allow me the flexibility to return it if I need to. I talked to Charles from HPA today, and we're already headed down that path. Thanks again for the advice guys. I'll try to keep this updated as the process continues forward.
 
Messages
16,548
Lol where all the A2 guys all of the sudden? They used to form a majority of the Outerwear.

I can't say I know much about the A2's but the first jacket looks good on you and it would look even better in a 44. You should sell the second one.

In any case, if I was in the market for an A2, Eastman would be my first choice and I would listen to their recommendation of buying the jacket in the right size. The shoulders on the LL Bean are too wide anyway & if the other numbers line up, you should be good.

Shoulder width is meaningless, anyway...
 
Messages
10,470
Lol where all the A2 guys all of the sudden? They used to form a majority of the Outerwear.

I can't say I know much about the A2's but the first jacket looks good on you and it would look even better in a 44. You should sell the second one.

In any case, if I was in the market for an A2, Eastman would be my first choice and I would listen to their recommendation of buying the jacket in the right size. The shoulders on the LL Bean are too wide anyway & if the other numbers line up, you should be good.

Shoulder width is meaningless, anyway...

When drafting my post I tried to think of a few A2 guys to link, and came up blank. Part of it is my less than stellar memory for certain things, but certainly there seems to be less of them.
 

Per Hansa

New in Town
Messages
16
Lol where all the A2 guys all of the sudden? They used to form a majority of the Outerwear.

I can't say I know much about the A2's but the first jacket looks good on you and it would look even better in a 44. You should sell the second one.

In any case, if I was in the market for an A2, Eastman would be my first choice and I would listen to their recommendation of buying the jacket in the right size. The shoulders on the LL Bean are too wide anyway & if the other numbers line up, you should be good.

Shoulder width is meaningless, anyway...
Ha, I noticed that too, but maybe because we're still having 90 degrees+ (F) days this time of year A2s just aren't on anyone's minds right now. Nevertheless, sound advice from everyone, and I think I'm at least headed down the right direction now--including your advice about Eastman.

Was interested to see you think even the Bean jacket seems a little big on me. I always thought of that as my best fitting jacket, but after looking through more photos I think you're right, the consensus seems to be to wear the A2 tighter in the chest and shoulders than mine. Maybe the trimmer cut that results from Eastman's staying true to the originals will suit me better than I thought--little nervous about the length though, but probably can be fixed with adding an inch (or 1.5 if necessary).

I can't get rid of the second jacket yet, as I need it for my day job still (standard issue these days--big difference from the quality the boys were getting back in the 40s, right?). I agree, kind of looks like crap though, and believe it or not it's a size smaller (44L) than my Bean jacket (46L). I've just always had a yearning for a high quality A2, like the guys were wearing back in that era--they were so much cooler looking than us!
 

El Marro

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,526
Location
California
Lol where all the A2 guys all of the sudden? They used to form a majority of the Outerwear.
I was thinking the same thing myself! It was a google search for the “best A2 leather jacket” that led me to the lounge back in 2015.
In those days it seemed that at least 50% of the threads were either someone asking advice about buying an A2 or someone showing off one they had just received. Some of those threads got pretty hot when people disagreed about whether the epaulet placement or the collar shape on a reproduction was accurate and true to the original jacket in question.
I’m sure if you post this question over at the VLJ forum you would get more answers and info because those guys are still very much into their flight jackets.
 

Per Hansa

New in Town
Messages
16
I was thinking the same thing myself! It was a google search for the “best A2 leather jacket” that led me to the lounge back in 2015.
In those days it seemed that at least 50% of the threads were either someone asking advice about buying an A2 or someone showing off one they had just received. Some of those threads got pretty hot when people disagreed about whether the epaulet placement or the collar shape on a reproduction was accurate and true to the original jacket in question.
I’m sure if you post this question over at the VLJ forum you would get more answers and info because those guys are still very much into their flight jackets.
I noticed the same El Marro, tons of threads to read through from 2010-2015, not so much anymore. Maybe when Spielberg finally gets his series "Masters of the Air" released it will reinvigorate people's interest in that look again--they're filming now.

I've been attempting to get into VLJ for over a week now with no luck, including a direct email to the administrators asking for help. If you have connections maybe you could put in a good word, HA.
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,081
I’m sure if you post this question over at the VLJ forum you would get more answers and info because those guys are still very much into their flight jackets.
I thought so too so I paid vlj forum a visit this morning too see what's going on over there. Looks like the place is deserted though, ten or so new posts a month.
 

Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,373
Location
South of Nashville
I noticed the same El Marro, tons of threads to read through from 2010-2015, not so much anymore. Maybe when Spielberg finally gets his series "Masters of the Air" released it will reinvigorate people's interest in that look again--they're filming now.

I've been attempting to get into VLJ for over a week now with no luck, including a direct email to the administrators asking for help. If you have connections maybe you could put in a good word, HA.
I just tried to log in without success. Tried again about 30 minutes later, and it worked.
 

Per Hansa

New in Town
Messages
16
I just tried to log in without success. Tried again about 30 minutes later, and it worked.
I can log in and see everything. Just haven't been officially approved yet, so can't post or reply. After setting up account I get a message saying "your account is awaiting confirmation, a confirmation email has been sent to your email address", but no such email has ever been sent (confirmed proper address, and nothing in junk folder either). Tried the "re-send confirmation email" button 3 times, still no email gets sent. Sent an email to the administrators two days ago....crickets. Maybe they're taking a break, will try again some other time.
 
Messages
10,470
I was thinking the same thing myself! It was a google search for the “best A2 leather jacket” that led me to the lounge back in 2015.
In those days it seemed that at least 50% of the threads were either someone asking advice about buying an A2 or someone showing off one they had just received. Some of those threads got pretty hot when people disagreed about whether the epaulet placement or the collar shape on a reproduction was accurate and true to the original jacket in question.
I’m sure if you post this question over at the VLJ forum you would get more answers and info because those guys are still very much into their flight jackets.

It seems a shift to MC and HB jackets occurred. Too bad some of the others members aren’t around. I did enjoy reading about the flight jackets. However little (nothing) seems to have stuck with me.
 

bn1966

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,098
Location
UK
Big Eastmans A-2 fan here and a modern size 46“ chest. I now size up to a 48” to get a comfortable fit. The A-2 appears to have differing measurements depending on the contract. Being big in the shoulders and back I go with Roughwear or Monarch variants to get enough room. Charles HPA site is invaluable where the numbers are concerned or ring ELC and ask at source…
 

Per Hansa

New in Town
Messages
16
Big Eastmans A-2 fan here and a modern size 46“ chest. I now size up to a 48” to get a comfortable fit. The A-2 appears to have differing measurements depending on the contract. Being big in the shoulders and back I go with Roughwear or Monarch variants to get enough room. Charles HPA site is invaluable where the numbers are concerned or ring ELC and ask at source…
That’s good advice. I’ve been in contact with Charles and he’s sending a size 48R Eastman “House” jacket to start off. He also mentioned the Roughwear was a historical model that was more in line with modern sizes. Thanks.
 

Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,827
Location
China
I was thinking the same thing myself! It was a google search for the “best A2 leather jacket” that led me to the lounge back in 2015.
In those days it seemed that at least 50% of the threads were either someone asking advice about buying an A2 or someone showing off one they had just received. Some of those threads got pretty hot when people disagreed about whether the epaulet placement or the collar shape on a reproduction was accurate and true to the original jacket in question.
I’m sure if you post this question over at the VLJ forum you would get more answers and info because those guys are still very much into their flight jackets.
Interest shifted. Back then quite a few members were obsessed with details in different contract. That is understandable because some of them collect the originals too.
Then many newcomers came and simply asked which contract is the slimmest. Now quite a few chooses the RM or other Japanese made A-2 simply because they are slim cut. Accuracy not big factor as long as they are the vintage WW2 style with WW2 A-2 details. Nothing to discuss besides fit now.
 

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