Cooper A2 - orange label - age help

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by octopus_luke, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,575
    Location:
    Australia
    HanauMan has one of those less seen trimmer fitting Coopers I mentioned earlier (maybe it's best to stick with 1993 and under), and you'll note that at 20 inches the shoulders at size 42 are reasonable. You'll find that they are usually wider than that. The jacket also sits lower on HanauMan than usual. I would be happy with that too.
     
    Gamma68 likes this.
  2. octopus_luke

    octopus_luke Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Hello again! I spoke to Morten and ended up getting a very good quote for a new, first addition A-2. Now I just need to figure out the sizing.
     
  3. octopus_luke

    octopus_luke Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Yeah, that’s the thing.i really do not appreciate the boxy new style of leather jackets (though of course don’t want anything constricting).
     
  4. HanauMan

    HanauMan Practically Family

    Messages:
    809
    Location:
    Inverness, Scotland
    As I said in my original post, the labels are the same except for the 8716 / 8718. It thus may indicate that your jacket is an earlier jacket to mine. One good way to see whether you have a trimmer, earlier Cooper are the elasticated cuffs and waist bands. In later jackets they're brown, the early Coopers were a brownish - purple color.

    As to fit, the early Coopers are a tad roomier than WWII jackets but not as baggy as the later Coopers which had extra side panels fitted.
     
  5. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,575
    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks HM. Extra side panels would be the easy sign that the size might be wrong, much easier than trying to identify the number or the colour of knits in bad eBay photos.

    I tired on a few Coopers about 15 years ago - there was a shop selling US flight jackets here which is long gone - and they all fit badly, too short and very squat. I'm not sure any of those had panels.
     
  6. Brettafett

    Brettafett One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,275
    Location:
    UK
    I recon almost certainly a 40 (these are WW2 sizes). I'm 5'10+, 39.5" to 40" chest, 32 waist, trim and athletic, and had to go 42.
    You could order a 38 and a 40 and keep the one that fits best, at the cost of returning the other one, that way you will know for sure. But I recon you'll keep the 40 ;)
    If you go this route, remember to post fit pics!
     
  7. Brettafett

    Brettafett One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,275
    Location:
    UK
    Luke, is that a first edition of AVI's Bronco A-2 (copied from their original WW2 A-2 Bronco?), or their first edition A-2 jacket, which is more of a generic 'bomber' type A-2 jacket? Theres a big difference.
    The sizing is also different. The generic A-2 I would go for a 38 maybe even a 36. I tried a size 40 a year or so ago and it was quite roomy, I could easily have sized down.
    If at all possible, try and go for the Bronco though... Worlds apart on every level.
    The v1 Bronco is light and very comfortable, but has the brass Talon zip and is missing the cross stitch at the base of the windflap. Small details for this price-range, otherwise its a decent A-2 repro.
    The 55J14 G-1 is darn good also.
     
  8. Flightengineer

    Flightengineer Practically Family

    Messages:
    580
    Location:
    RF
    Cooper is a good jacket, but guys above are right - with broad shoulders. I gave mine Cooper to my tailor and redused shoulders to get more authentic WW2 look.
    But then....sold it anyway.
    Try AVI, you're from Copenhagen. It will fit you more better 100%.
     
  9. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,893
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    As @HanauMan said earlier, fit is subjective. The early 1990s Coopers are more slim fitting than later ones. Plenty of folks liked the fit pics of my circa 1992 A-2 Cooper. I just don't wear it often enough to justify keeping it, and I prefer my vintage G-1. Hence why my Cooper is in the classifieds. ;)
     
  10. octopus_luke

    octopus_luke Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Very good point. From trawling on their website, I could only find info on the Bronco. I now see from your own posts the distinction between the two. I will ask Morten and be pushing for the first gen Bronco.
     
    Brettafett likes this.
  11. green papaya

    green papaya One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,256
    Location:
    California, usa
    I use to own a couple of the COOPER A2 Flyers Jackets, I didnt like the modern fit / cut , I prefer a more authentic cut

    also I didnt care for the quality of leather used on the COOPER A2 , it almost felt like thin artificial leather, that doesnt get the natural lines & creases of the originals, almost reminds me of vinyl plastic, feels very light

    makes a poor winter jacket, not much protection from cold, except for wind resistance, more of a windbreaker
     
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  12. octopus_luke

    octopus_luke Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    An update on this: I have decided to hold off on the purchase. The returns deal was unfortunately only available for a size 38 v1 Bronco, which I am beginning to think wouldn’t fit so well (and I can’t quite afford the full whack 40 right now). I am back and forth on this though. There’s the option to return, but I’m travelling next week, which would make that a bit challenging.
     
  13. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,575
    Location:
    Australia
    I suggest you get a Cooper and learn from the experience. I'm sure you can easily sell it in Europe on the novelty value alone if it doesn't work.

    Part of getting a leather jacket to fit properly is buying one or more that don't. You have to earn and learn a good fit. I probably bought 8-10 jackets over years before I worked out that you need to ignore sizing labels and understand your own actual measurements before buying.
     
    Flightengineer and Gamma68 like this.
  14. w1rc

    w1rc New in Town

    Messages:
    22
    Personally I prefer the US Navy G-1 “Intermediate” flight jacket to the USAAC/USAAF/USAF A-2 jacket which is far more iconic and better known but in my opinion not as good. The difference in appearance is the G-1 has a mouton collar where the A-2 collar is leather. G-1s made prior to the 1980s are goatskin. Those made after can be either goatskin or cowhide, probably as a cost-saving measure. Goatskin is preferable. The date is usually shown as two digits in the contract or spec number. Labels are either woven which indicate earlier production or printed which indicate post 1970 production.

    The main advantage of the G-1 in my opinion is the pleated “bi-swing” back that offers far more freedom of arm movement than the A-2. In fact I always wondered why the A-2 didn’t offer this feature. I find when wearing my A-2 I definitely notice that my arm movement is restricted by the jacket.

    There were several contractors who made them, including Star Sportswear and Brill Brothers. Wikipedia has a very good article on the G-1.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-1_military_flight_jacket

    Since WW-II the G-1 has been pretty much continuously issues to US Navy, USMC and USCG officers and enlisted personnel on active flight status. There was a brief gap in the 1980s when they were not issued. They are relatively easy to find on eBay. Be prepared to replace the knit cuffs and waistbands as you would with any vintage jacket that has them.

    Go for one with the woven label and you will be happy.

    PS: I have several G-1s in sizes ranging from 38-42 and may be able to provide you with one depending on your size. I will post a listing a bit later in the CLASSIFIED section with my contact imformation.

    Good luck,

    Michael,
    Amateur radio call sign W1RC
     

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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  15. Flightengineer

    Flightengineer Practically Family

    Messages:
    580
    Location:
    RF
    wikipedia is of course a terrible power :)
     
  16. octopus_luke

    octopus_luke Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Update: I ended up finding a late nineties Eastman A-2 in size 40 pretty cheap (£250/$330). It looks like it’s in pristeen condition, and I’ll receive it in a week or so.

    I am a little concerned it will be too big and billowy, but I guess I can always sell on again.
     
  17. pjman

    pjman Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Biloxi
    Hi, Luke - I purchased a Cooper A-2 in 1988 or '89, right after the Air Force started re-issuing the jackets to aircrews. It was advertised as the same jacket as the one issued by the Air Force, but with the different orange label. It has no hand warmer pockets like the current A-2's, and it also has the throat latch, which has also been deleted from current jackets. The shoulders are a little broad, but otherwise it fits me nicely, and I'm a size 42R. The goatskin looks and feels great, and is more a lighter chocolate brown color, rather than the darker seal brown bit this really doesn't show well in the photo. The only gripe I have about the jacket is that the cotton lining makes it more difficult to tale on and off. I say if you can get one of these early Coopers for under $150 or so, buy it!

    Cooper A-2.jpg
     
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  18. octopus_luke

    octopus_luke Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Hey folks,

    I received my (first) Eastman. Would appreciate feedback on what you think of the fit here
     

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