Cross-zip Jacket back fit - wrong, right and indifferent

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by AeroFan_07, Sep 15, 2021.

  1. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 I'll Lock Up

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    I've agonized over this thread and the subject matter here quite a bit over the years, but just never took the time to start a thread on it. This is different than a general "fit thread". It should stay specifically to Cross-zips, of any brand, and specifically with side & back issues of fit.

    I started wearing cross zips (Perfecto style) jackets ~ 25 years ago during college. Not daily, but often. I have owned makes such as Excelled, Bermans/Wilsons, Hercules, Harley Davidson, Vanson, Schott, Cal-Leathers, Lost Worlds, Langlitz, Aero, and likely a half dozen others. Presently I only have the three you see photographed below.

    I have found it is pretty easy to nail the fit of a Cross-zip jacket from the front, provided the torso length works with your jeans, you understand Pit to Pit, and tack in the sleeve length. Shoulder width is a big bonus.

    Then -- we are left with the back. In my experience, I find the build of my body to get in the way of getting the back to fit well. I am 195 lbs, 6' 1" tall, size 36 waist, and could stand to loose ~ 10 lbs these days. 16.5 34/35 dress shirts. Note the side profile on a couple of the jackets below. My back "curves" inward a bit toward the lower part, no back issues (very thankfully) but this along with a small "gut" does make the waist and "back" fit pretty challenging to get just right.

    I'll share several photos below of jackets with various levels of fit correct-ness. Of course, my favorite one, the Indian Ranger, is the least proper fit. Then I'll show a couple photos of a non-cross-zip Premier HWM as a comparison. Please feel free to add in your own stories of fit - good, bad and otherwise! Let's learn together how to pull these cross-zips into a better realm of fit...

    Starting with the Vanson/Harley Collaboration Cycle King "Size Large" starting with three shots of the back:

    DSC_0181.JPG DSC_0178.JPG DSC_0179.JPG

    Some extra material showing upper and lower, but not too bad overall. Middle of the back is almost a correct fit in my opinion.

    For reference, a front fit photo too:

    DSC_0182.JPG

    Indian Ranger:

    DSC_0184.JPG DSC_0186.JPG DSC_0187.JPG

    Quite a bit of extra material showing upper and lower, I think a lower kidney belt feature would help here.

    Front fit for reference -

    DSC_0183.JPG

    Next post will feature one that fits a bit better...
     
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  2. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 I'll Lock Up

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    Here is a Johnson Leathers that is a little bland in the back.
    I do like the overall fit of this one...

    DSC_0190.JPG DSC_0192.JPG DSC_0193.JPG

    Front view of the same jacket:

    DSC_0189.JPG
     
  3. MrProper

    MrProper One Too Many

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    I don't know if that counts, because my Crosszip has no belt and is therefore more like a Café Racer. But here is one of the rare back views.
    BE9BEFD1-6A5A-42DD-98A7-0EE755772E3D.jpeg
     
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  4. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    In my eyes these are three great fitting jackets Randy. Yes the Indian Ranger is a bit roomier in the back but I'd say it goes well with the style. What are your concerns?
     
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  5. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 I'll Lock Up

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    Thanks Marc -- just wishing the IR (in particular) was a more tidy fit on me.

    For an example, here's the fit of an Aero Premier Highwayman on me (46L)

    DSC_0196.JPG DSC_0198.JPG
     
  6. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I'm not 100% sure but I think mc jackets have a different sleeve rotation than the highwayman. Mc jackets have a forward rotated sleeve (A in the drawing). The more they're rotated forward, the more material will bunch up on your lower back and vice versa.

    9388656E-88D0-4DB8-B6EF-CB5CA59F2C1B.jpeg
     
  7. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    forward rotated sleeve will produce C. also harder to put your arm in and out, I think a bulky coat with fur collar will be pulling to the back thus produce A, and B is just neutral.

    I bet your roomier back will one day look great with natural looking creases, but it looks overwhelming when new and not yet broken in like that... I honestly don't get why a jacket with gusset back need to allocate that much room on the back for reach, but maybe that was the concept of that era maybe also wider back looks manly or something and perhaps even designed to be worn shorter on the body so it won't touch your back side and won't crumple.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
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  8. jonbuilder

    jonbuilder My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I think you would have less issue with the back bunching if the jackets were shorter and did not ride so far down your hips
     
  9. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    I strongly dislike a look where a cross-zip falls on the hips in the back and consequently bunches up in the back. I prefer to err on the side of shortness in x-zips, lol. I also understand that some folks dislike that look...:)

    Spiegel DSC_0132.jpg

    P1070923.JPG
     
  10. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 I'll Lock Up

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    ^^ These photos show it well what I appear to be doing wrong. I can certainly appreciate what others have said too regarding arm placement, and maybe having the back of the belt uncovered does indeed make sense.

    By the way, this is for all folks who have have cross-zip fit issues, especially the the back & sides as we've already seen.

    Great to keep the ideas coming!
     
  11. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    ^^
    There is plenty of wiggle room in the back length between the jacket in the original post and my second pic, which borders on the bolero and may prompt questions like where is your bull? ;).

    I am pretty sure you can find the "right" length.
     
  12. Rich22

    Rich22 A-List Customer

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    Black jacket= Ideal for me
    Brown jacket= Riding too high for me to be comfortable (or look right).
     
  13. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

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    Randy, I think they all in an acceptable range of "good fits". Man we getting really picky analyzing back shots LOL, but I get it, that's why we're here. The Ranger, yeah I agree is on that edge of too big. That's CXL though, right? Maybe once it breaks in some, it'll at least lay flatter.

    You could probably come down about .5 inch on ptp, especially with gussets or action back, to address the top heavy sort of vibe going on. I'm usually a 23 ptp, but with gussets, I can really push it to 22 for sure, maybe even 21.75.

    For me, I bought into the shorter jacket length thing when I first got on here. I just sold off 11 jackets. I think most of them were all the shorter styles except I kept my Cal straight zip. It could be that I'm mostly wearing the jackets with shorts or low to mid rise jeans, so it just didn't look right. Or maybe because I'm 6'0, although that isn't super tall. Or just didn't like it. I like the look on some of the people on here, but it ain't for me. Think I need a minimum 25 and prefer 26 to 26.5 if no extra front drop. I'd have to think about it some more, but I think it being shorter wouldn't necessarily help the issue of your jackets being a little top heavy.

    edit: also forgot to mention Action Backs. Not for me. I don't ride. Can totally appreciate their functionality, but for fashion, it reminds me of Janet Jackson 1990s music videos. Even deeper cut shoulder gussets (i.e. Schott 141) I tend to avoid now. Creates a gap on the side profile that's not sleek looking for me. And I find there's a very narrow range of the right size so it holds taut, but not too much or too little. Totally my opinion here on what I like and no right or wrong answer.
     
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  14. Rich22

    Rich22 A-List Customer

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    It really depends on the gussets in question. Those IR gussets, they appear to be the essentially non-functional cosmetic gussets I've worn on other Aero jackets- they connect right under the armpit and provide zero extra give on your P2P. The only advantage I've seen in them is that if the shoulders are cut wide, then when you raise your arms you don't get the 'wings' effect on top of your shoulders you otherwise would have.

    A full action back, or shoulder gussets that extend a few inches below the armpit, absolutely do give leeway on the P2P.

    Edit: I agree with what you say about gussets- the often spoil the side profile and you have to get the measurements just right so that they aren't perpetually flaring, as you would want them to sit flush and snug.
     
  15. Canuck Panda

    Canuck Panda Practically Family

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    The Johnson jacket looks the cleanest because the full action back ends just above where the kidney belt would go. And it has the side laces to pull things in. The Vanson Harley jacket has the same action back but no side laces. These guys are basically twins separated at birth and one stayed in the East while the other one went all the way West.

    The Indian jacket looks the puffiest because of its cafe racer style back. BUT it is the coolest jacket imo. It has a lot of cool features and history that the others just don't have. Correct me if I am wrong, but this is the only jacket design that Indian included in their brand right? (Before the bean counters messed it up after the war)

    You got some great jackets here!
     
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  16. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

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    The Indian ranger seems like it’s got a massive taper and if not of the right length it bunches up. You should’ve probably gone shorter. I don’t think it looks bad, but i find it personally uncomfortable when there’s that bunching up at the hips.

    In the chart above from @Marc mndt i recognise C as the most common way most non premiere Aero’s fit. I too thought that is the result of the sleeves being rotated backwards like @navetsea says. I keep reading Aero’s tend to have sleeves rotated forward but it’s the opposite?
     
  17. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I agree, it indeed looks to be the result of backwards rotated sleeves.
     
  18. TREEMAN

    TREEMAN One Too Many

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    Aero, what is your chest size ?
     
  19. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 I'll Lock Up

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    between 42 - 44L
     
  20. TREEMAN

    TREEMAN One Too Many

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    Not jacket size… chest size. IMO ( upper body wise ) IR jacket is at least one size ( maybe two sizes) too big.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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