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Calling on all AERO "Happy Days" Jacket owners...

Thuggee

Practically Family
Messages
876
Location
Australia
Thanks Sloan. I don't really like the dull finish of oil pull. I have sent an email to Aero asking their advice also. And I have also contacted Pickings and Parry (where purchased my original "Happy Days" and where I will purchase the second one), and the owner has suggested I come in to the store to see a jacket he has in stock made with black Italian Vicenza, to give me an idea of the weight and feel of that leather, and that he also has swatches of all available leathers from Aero (except the natural tan Vicenza).

I have a Aero 50s bomber jacket in FQHH which is essentially the happy days jacket plus 2 front cargo pockets way to heavy for my liking still a fantastic jacket though if I was going to redo things I would go the Vicenza route in black without hesitation I don't think you can go wrong with black Vicenza you won't be disappointed, I've a Areomarine in the seal Vicenza it's still a substantial leather much better for where I live here in Brisbane though my FQHH jacket meanwhile sits waiting to be sold on eBay as I just don't wear it


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Sloan1874

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,381
Location
Glasgow
I'd also give serious consideration to the blackened brown HH that Aero now offers. I'm fairly certain that it's mid-weight too.
 

Seb Lucas

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,573
Location
Australia
You won't feel shortchanged by Vicenza. A mid-weight hide isn't a roundabout way of saying 'mall jacket weight'. Most people will still think it's a relatively hefty piece of kit compared to a standard leather jacket. I'm just about to pull about my shinki Dust Bowl, roughly the same weight, because it's beginning to get a bit cooler in the morning over here.

Yes, it's still very thick and heavy at around 2.5oz - given a mall jacket is around half that weight. This is the most common thickness for an actual 1940's-50's leather jacket.
 

Dagenham Dave

One of the Regulars
Messages
229
Location
Australia
I'm just about to pull about my shinki Dust Bowl, roughly the same weight, because it's beginning to get a bit cooler in the morning over here.

What is shinki leather?

I'd also give serious consideration to the blackened brown HH that Aero now offers. I'm fairly certain that it's mid-weight too.

What is the blackened brown HH that Aero now offers?

Dave
 

Sloan1874

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,381
Location
Glasgow
It's HH which has a brown base and a black top coat which means that, as it wears in, the brown begins to show through. Absolutely will be the colour for my next Aero (I've come to accept that there will be another...)
 

Graemsay

Practically Family
Messages
983
Location
Melbourne
@Kasper if you're considered an unlined jacket for the Brisbane climate?

This Pritzer Air-O-Coat Cossack has the facings behind the zip sewn down, and the pocket bags are flat pieces of leather. It'd probably be easy for Aero to sew something like this up, and would sit well with a Premier Highwayman, which has a 1930s vibe.

Unlined Cossack.jpg


Also take a look at this unlined half-belt, which has a similar design.

The lightweight soft, Italian horsehide could work in Brisbane (and Melbourne) too. @breezer, who just posted above, has an A2 made from it.

Here's a photo of that jacket.

A2.jpg


@Carrie @ Thurston Bros. has posted a few pictures of jackets in blackened brown Vicenza in her thread.

This is probably the best comparison shot. The jacket on the right is black Vicenza, whereas the one on the left is blackened brown. It's got more of a brown hue, and it'll get a "tea core" effect over time, where the top coat will wear off, exposing the undyed leather below.

Blackened Brown.jpg


If you want a jacket that retains its colour, go for black. If you want one to evolve and age dramatically, go for blackened brown.
 

Dagenham Dave

One of the Regulars
Messages
229
Location
Australia
I just received my Aero A2 in soft black Italian HH. Its lightweight and very wearable - recommended.

Your jacket looks great in the picture posted by Graemsay. Congratulations!

Is soft Italian HH available in brown?

Seb suggests a hide that is no heavier than 2.2 oz. Does anyone know soft Italian HH's weight?
 
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Dagenham Dave

One of the Regulars
Messages
229
Location
Australia
Great thread! Awesome to see it rising from a two year hiatus for round two!!


I particularly appreciate DD sorting out so many of the issues I'm asking myself. How did you find the FQHH for our climate Dave? I note your comments it was too heavy and rigid for your tastes, however was it too heavy for Australian climate? I love the look of it, and I love heavy jackets, but I'm in Brisbane and concerned it's going to be too much. A lot of the advice seems to be leaning that way.


I'm looking at the Vicenza; have you have a chance to hit Pickings and Parry to have a look at that black Vicenza? I'd really appreciate your thoughts on it; if it's much lighter than the FQHH? I'm hoping it's going to be OK for Oz weather, but still substantial.

Kasper, regarding FQHH for our climate, I haven't worn it that much here in Geelong/Melbourne, and am not familiar with Brisbane's winter weather. I wore it in LA during their winter and felt I needed a denim jacket underneath to be warm enough at night. But for me it's more about how it feels when I'm wearing it (and carrying it) - it's just so damn stiff and heavy. Like Seb said, "it's not a great deal of fun to wear", so I have not really worn it this winter here.

I still haven't been to Pickings & Parry yet to see the Vicenza A-2, but will certainly let you know my thoughts once I do, and I will bring up my FQHH jacket to compare. However it seems others have already provided the comparisons between Vicenza and FQHH. And for me, Vicenza seems too grainy in all the pictures I see of it. I think I most prefer the lightweight 'soft Italian HH' here (http://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/aero-black-soft-steerhide.90965/page-2), if it exists, if it came in brown, and if it stayed smooth, because I don't like the idea of it developing more grain as the jacket wears in, as suggested by Harris HTM. However, according to the owner of Pickings & Parry, the lightweight 'soft Italian HH' is just Vicenza - "The only 'Italian Soft Horsehide' that Aero use is the Vicenza. We have not been notified of anything else Italian that is available. Being from a smaller tannery and vegetable tanned with a natural and variable material such as horse hide, the skins can always differ slightly and some are lighter and softer than others. My guess is that other stores and/or jacket owners are just calling the Vicenza 'Italian Soft Horsehide', because it pretty much is exactly that." So I'm confused about this lightweight 'soft Italian HH'.

Perhaps the smoothest available Seal Jerky is my best option to replicate this vintage 50s jacket in my second Happy Days:

design-template-front-jpg.81945


design-template-back-jpg.81946
 
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Sloan1874

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,381
Location
Glasgow
As far as I'm aware, it's only available in black, DD. I would wait until you've seen the Vicenza before making up your mind, but the seal jerky HH would be a fine choice and much closer to the weight you seem to be looking for.
Shinki is a Japanese leather. I was lucky enough to pick up a pattern test jacket made by Aero from a sample of the skin that was lying the storeroom.
 

Graemsay

Practically Family
Messages
983
Location
Melbourne
Pickings and Parry had a black Vicenza Premier Highwayman on display when I dropped by last week. The leather is definitely grainier than Chromexcel, although the black jacket in the comparison photo I posted above looked relatively smooth.
 

nick123

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,314
Location
California
The Vicenza is surprisingly very pliable and really looks good right away. I thought to myself that the leather break-in process is more of a long-term cosmetic endeavor. Already very comfortable off the bat. Even some thinner horses feel more cardboard-like when new.
 

Fanch

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,492
Location
Texas
My seal jerky Mulligan is sandwiched between my russet Vicenza Sheene and my black Vicenza Sheene, The seal jerky is much stiffer, less flexible, and doesn't drape nearly as well as my two Vicenzas, even though the Mulligan has had the most use. For a Happy Days, maybe the best choices might be between seal and blackened brown Vicenza if the latter is available. I had forgotten the Fonz's Happy Days jacket was brown rather than black. For either choice, I still like olive cotton drill throughout.
 

Harris HTM

One Too Many
Messages
1,540
Location
the Netherlands
Kasper, regarding FQHH for our climate, I haven't worn it that much here in Geelong/Melbourne, and am not familiar with Brisbane's winter weather. I wore it in LA during their winter and felt I needed a denim jacket underneath to be warm enough at night. But for me it's more about how it feels when I'm wearing it (and carrying it) - it's just so damn stiff and heavy. Like Seb said, "it's not a great deal of fun to wear", so I have not really worn it this winter here.

I still haven't been to Pickings & Parry yet to see the Vicenza A-2, but will certainly let you know my thoughts once I do, and I will bring up my FQHH jacket to compare. However it seems others have already provided the comparisons between Vicenza and FQHH. And for me, Vicenza seems too grainy in all the pictures I see of it. I think I most prefer the lightweight 'soft Italian HH' here (http://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/aero-black-soft-steerhide.90965/page-2), if it exists, if it came in brown, and if it stayed smooth, because I don't like the idea of it developing more grain as the jacket wears in, as suggested by Harris HTM. However, according to the owner of Pickings & Parry, the lightweight 'soft Italian HH' is just Vicenza - "The only 'Italian Soft Horsehide' that Aero use is the Vicenza. We have not been notified of anything else Italian that is available. Being from a smaller tannery and vegetable tanned with a natural and variable material such as horse hide, the skins can always differ slightly and some are lighter and softer than others. My guess is that other stores and/or jacket owners are just calling the Vicenza 'Italian Soft Horsehide', because it pretty much is exactly that." So I'm confused about this lightweight 'soft Italian HH'.

Perhaps the smoothest available Seal Jerky is my best option to replicate this vintage 50s jacket in my second Happy Days:

design-template-front-jpg.81945


design-template-back-jpg.81946
One of the main differences between the soft italian horsehide and vicenza is tanning. Vicenza is vegtan. Soft italian is chrome tanned.
 

Harris HTM

One Too Many
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1,540
Location
the Netherlands
I wonder if the chrome tanned HH might be more water resistant than veg tanned?
Well, I remember when we received the swatches we tested them under the shower. The vicenza reacted better. I was insisting that my gf should get the vicenza, to match my black vicenza happy days, but she chose the soft hh. It turned out lighter and softer.
 

Kasper

New in Town
Messages
26
Location
Australia
Kasper, regarding FQHH for our climate, I haven't worn it that much here in Geelong/Melbourne, and am not familiar with Brisbane's winter weather. I wore it in LA during their winter and felt I needed a denim jacket underneath to be warm enough at night. But for me it's more about how it feels when I'm wearing it (and carrying it) - it's just so damn stiff and heavy. Like Seb said, "it's not a great deal of fun to wear", so I have not really worn it this winter here.

I still haven't been to Pickings & Parry yet to see the Vicenza A-2, but will certainly let you know my thoughts once I do, and I will bring up my FQHH jacket to compare. However it seems others have already provided the comparisons between Vicenza and FQHH. And for me, Vicenza seems too grainy in all the pictures I see of it. I think I most prefer the lightweight 'soft Italian HH' here (http://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/aero-black-soft-steerhide.90965/page-2), if it exists, if it came in brown, and if it stayed smooth, because I don't like the idea of it developing more grain as the jacket wears in, as suggested by Harris HTM. However, according to the owner of Pickings & Parry, the lightweight 'soft Italian HH' is just Vicenza - "The only 'Italian Soft Horsehide' that Aero use is the Vicenza. We have not been notified of anything else Italian that is available. Being from a smaller tannery and vegetable tanned with a natural and variable material such as horse hide, the skins can always differ slightly and some are lighter and softer than others. My guess is that other stores and/or jacket owners are just calling the Vicenza 'Italian Soft Horsehide', because it pretty much is exactly that." So I'm confused about this lightweight 'soft Italian HH'.

Yeah, I hear you re FQHH being stiff and heavy. I have a heavy steer jacket, really heavy, and when I first started wearing it, was a bit of a trial. But what I found when it wore in was that the jacket moulded to my body and, being so stiff and heavy, it actually started to grip my body. So rather than just hanging off the shoulders like a cloth jacket, my steer hide "holds on" like a big hug. It's actually really comfortable to wear now and I was hoping for the same result with an Aero horse.

Of course, there's got to be a limit to how heavy a hide should be for a jacket in certain climates and it appears the general consensus is FQHH is too heavy for Oz and I have to respect that.

The Vicenza for me also has the "black right through" quality, rather than a brown nap wearing through over time, which is also important for me.


I know what you mean by the grain though. I really love that FQHH waxy grainless finish. I also got a sample of goat, but I don't know about the pebbly texture of it. I think the Vicenza is at the crossroads of a lot of qualities I'm looking for and I respect the advice I've seen TFLers sometimes give that no hide's going to tick all boxes, it's always a compromise. Choice anxiety is such a struggle in the planning stages!!
 
D

Deleted member 16736

Guest
I found this Singer goatskin bomber jacket on the bay today. Fifties-ish in "Fonzie brown." The wool lining is a nice touch, and makes it a four-season jacket except in extreme cold.

To replicate it from the Happy Days pattern, make it in seal goatskin with an alpaca or other wool lining with satin sleeves. It has a shoulder yoke you can add or not. For the collar, you can swap out the chunky Aero standard collar for the more pointed ANJ-3 collar for a sharp, period-correct look.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/122962716698
 
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