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Does anyone have a Real McCoy AND a Buzz Rickson N-1?

BloodEagle

A-List Customer
Messages
440
Location
UK
Rather than getting sleeves permanently shortend just do what I do and roll them up a bit at the end - these jackets are not high end tailoring.
 

CatsCan

Practically Family
Messages
567
Location
Germany & Denmark
His sleeves are so much too long while the rest fits, that this is not an option. Actually the sleeves on N-1 Jackets are rather not the easiest to alter. You have to undo the knit cuffs, shorten the fur liner, re-attach the knit cuffs, shorten the sleeve, re-do the attachment to the knit cuff inside. For all this, you have to open the double stitching until above the knits and sew it back together, ideally again with double stitching. To not ruin the taper and end up with a wider sleeve opening at the new cuff, you would have to tailor a new taper into the sleeve. Low end tailoring it may be but there is definiteley no low end construction involved. We are talking about a 700 $ Jacket, so this has to be done flawless to not ruin the value too much.

There are many tailors who don't look at it from the value perspective, but think practically and do a job, which would be good enough for the avarage jackets most people bring in, mall street jackets that have no re-sale value after all. When you tell them about the value and that you strive to preserve a high re-sale value, most will refuse to do the job. It is just not economically meaningful for them to take in such an order. And I would not let them cut into a Real McCoys. There are tailors who know how to do it well. But you have to know them.

I have a 85 years old tailor in our next village, he is in the fourth generation of tailors in his family, his great grandfather had no workshop but rode from Farm to farm, doing mending and tailoring jobs on the spot. My tailor can do things many can not. Half a year ago he fell from a ladder (he has doves), his little finger remained stuck at the top of the ladder. Looking at his hand with his little finger ripped off, bleeding, he decided it would be a good idea to have a doctor looking at it. So he walked through the village and stepped into the doctors reception and politely asked, if he could have the doc looking at it. The receptionist was shocked and immediately phoned for the ambulance. He told me later, he was surprised, that they drove him to the city to a real hospital! The city he talked about is only 15 minutes from this village. When I had my last tailoring job done by him, he still had his hand bandaged. I asked him, why he didn't call the ambulance? H said, he did not think it was important enough. Asked, how he could still work, his answer was: I have a sewing machine! And laughed.
Those guys slowely die out.
 
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Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,821
Location
China
True. There are very early ones made from Jungle Cloth. They seem to be the rarest. But it's hard to find examples in NOS or mint condition. Most I have seen were totally battered, only good for rags as my wife would put it but still run over $250. The rectangular pocket flap appeared towards the end of Vietnam War. From back then the Jackets stayed the same until into the 80s. Chances to find a mint one or at least a very good condition one are better for the later ones. My A-2 is from 1978 but near perfect condition. I paid 90 € for it. I do have a good condition M-65 from 1967 with aluminum zippers, triangular cuff gusset. I paid 85 € for it but the guy didn't know about it's vintage. I like to have them in very good condition. When I was younger I liked my military jackets faded and a little torn, just like I wore my jeans.
I didn't know the difference in m65 when I bought my first. There was no internet forum etc for information and I did not buy a book or Japanese magazine. I just went with the one I thought is cool and fits at a local vintage store. An Alpha small short with brass zippers and a few patches.
As for A-2 deck, I agree with you. Those are rarer than n-1. I have only seen one wearable grosgrain original so far, at a vintage market and someone bought it before me. I own a 80s original but I really like the grosgrain so I ended up with a couple of RM repros.
 

CatsCan

Practically Family
Messages
567
Location
Germany & Denmark
I didn't know the difference in m65 when I bought my first. There was no internet forum etc for information and I did not buy a book or Japanese magazine. I just went with the one I thought is cool and fits at a local vintage store. An Alpha small short with brass zippers and a few patches.
As for A-2 deck, I agree with you. Those are rarer than n-1. I have only seen one wearable grosgrain original so far, at a vintage market and someone bought it before me. I own a 80s original but I really like the grosgrain so I ended up with a couple of RM repros.
There are times when I think that despite that N-1s as well as A-2 were issued to ships not individuals, some could have been private purchases tailored for one personally. I have seen N-1s made from pique fabric with better fur. I sometimes think that the A-2 in grosgrain was another curiosity of the same kind. Mostly I read, that both were experimantal samples. It is astonishing how little information we can dig out about these. One thing is the collector value, it really is! The other thing is, that an A-2 made from Jungle Cloth is extremely good looking and at least feels sturdier somehow to the touch. It is as if the best of both worlds are combined in on jacket. The features of the A-2 with the nicer fabric of the older N-1.
 

NE202DC

Familiar Face
Messages
64
There are times when I think that despite that N-1s as well as A-2 were issued to ships not individuals, some could have been private purchases tailored for one personally. I have seen N-1s made from pique fabric with better fur. I sometimes think that the A-2 in grosgrain was another curiosity of the same kind. Mostly I read, that both were experimantal samples. It is astonishing how little information we can dig out about these. One thing is the collector value, it really is! The other thing is, that an A-2 made from Jungle Cloth is extremely good looking and at least feels sturdier somehow to the touch. It is as if the best of both worlds are combined in on jacket. The features of the A-2 with the nicer fabric of the older N-1.

I think we can sum up what most including the TO agreed on.
Ranking:
Option 1: Keep the Buzz, let the sleeves be shortened. But check one size bigger first if the bigger size solves the armhole issue.
Option 2: Keep the McCoy's N-1, let the sleeves be shortened. (No armhole issue, feels good, TO would prefer this over the other)
Option 3: Check for other Makes, including the cheapest but also Bronson (most likeley armhole issue, too).
Bonus: Buy a good vintage A-2 (easiest solution)
Thanks for the link to the a2 on ebay. I messaged the seller and am waiting to hear back. If all goes well, I'll probably pick it up.

I'll likely try the BR in the larger size and see if that works better for me. If neither the 36 or the 38 feel right or don't look good, I'll move on, either to the McCoy's or a "cheaper" model.

As for the sleeves, I originally thought they might have to roll the storm cuffs and tack them. The tailor said the final product will be just like the original. I'm still debating if I want to alter such an expensive jacket, but I would like to have the sleeves taken in a bit. It sounds like altering the sleeves is a fairly common practice, though. The shop I went
to is one of those "been in the family for generations" places, and they are highly regarded in the city.
 

NE202DC

Familiar Face
Messages
64
There are times when I think that despite that N-1s as well as A-2 were issued to ships not individuals, some could have been private purchases tailored for one personally. I have seen N-1s made from pique fabric with better fur. I sometimes think that the A-2 in grosgrain was another curiosity of the same kind. Mostly I read, that both were experimantal samples. It is astonishing how little information we can dig out about these. One thing is the collector value, it really is! The other thing is, that an A-2 made from Jungle Cloth is extremely good looking and at least feels sturdier somehow to the touch. It is as if the best of both worlds are combined in on jacket. The features of the A-2 His sleeves are so much too long while the rest fits, that this is not an option. Actually the sleeves on N-1 Jackets are rather not the easiest to alter. You have to undo the knit cuffs, shorten the fur liner, re-attach the knit cuffs, shorten the sleeve, re-do the attachment to the knit cuff inside. For all this, you have to open the double stitching until above the knits and sew it back together, ideally again with double stitching. To not ruin the taper and end up with a wider sleeve opening at the new cuff, you would have to tailor a new taper into the sleeve. Low end tailoring it may be but there is definiteley no low end construction involved. We are talking about a 700 $ Jacket, so this has to be done flawless to not ruin the value too much.
There are many tailors who don't look at it from the value perspective, but think practically and do a job, which would be good enough for the avarage jackets most people bring in, mall street jackets that have no re-sale value after all. When you tell them about the value and that you strive to preserve a high re-sale value, most will refuse to do the job. It is just not economically meaningful for them to take in such an order. And I would not let them cut into a Real McCoys. There are tailors who know how to do it well. But you have to know them.

I have a 85 years old tailor in our next village, he is in the fourth generation of tailors in his family, his great grandfather had no workshop but rode from Farm to farm, doing mending and tailoring jobs on the spot. My tailor can do things many can not. Half a year ago he fell from a ladder (he has doves), his little finger remained stuck at the top of the ladder. Looking at his hand with his little finger ripped off, bleeding, he decided it would be a good idea to have a doctor looking at it. So he walked through the village and stepped into the doctors reception and politely asked, if he could have the doc looking at it. The receptionist was shocked and immediately phoned for the ambulance. He told me later, he was surprised, that they drove him to the city to a real hospital! The city he talked about is only 15 minutes from this village. When I had my last tailoring job done by him, he still had his hand bandaged. I asked him, why he didn't call the ambulance? H said, he did not think it was important enough. Asked, how he could still work, his answer was: I have a sewing machine! And laughed.
Those guys slowely die out.

What should I be asking the tailor if I move ahead with having the sleeves shortened? How much should they be shortened? Is it better to have the creases settle? I've been wearing the jacket for about a month.

The first 3 photos are from when I fist purchased it. The next three are more recent.
 

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CatsCan

Practically Family
Messages
567
Location
Germany & Denmark
Oh I must have misunderstood you, the McCoy's is already ultimately yours so the window to return it is already shot? Somehow I though you still have to chose between the Buzz and the McCoy's.
In this case I think it's clear.
As for your sleeves, it depends on how you like them. The creases have already established, so don't expect the sleeves to become any shorter than now. I like to have my sleeves not too long, say ending where my wrist meets my hand's back so as to just cover my wrist watch. And the inner cuffs about a finger width above so that they don't show. If it is an experienced tailor, he will know how much they should be shortened. Tomorrow I will take some photos of N-1 sleeves my own tailor had tapered and shortened for me. You can't see at all that they had been altered except they are shorter and newly tapered now. On my photos you can pretty well se, how long I like my sleeves, either because they are the right length to begin with or I have them cuffed up one turn. But I don't claim, that this is the right way, just the way I like them. By the way, I find flannel shirts not very comfy worn under my Deck Jackets. I feel the sleeve cuffs of the shirt interfere with the storm cuffs of the jacket every time I put on the jacket or when I stretch my arm out to reach for something. They ride up and this is very annoying.
 

CatsCan

Practically Family
Messages
567
Location
Germany & Denmark
Thanks for the link to the a2 on ebay. I messaged the seller and am waiting to hear back. If all goes well, I'll probably pick it up.
Wasn't it with the instant buy option? I'd pick it up. It's in very good condition and So-Sew Styles belonged to the best makers back then. You can see it was hardly worn when you look at the knit storm cuffs. Those things are frayed on most jackets that had been worn. This seems to be in a condition like mine is, I would rate it as near perfect. I bet the colour is darker than in the photos because this is typical for photos taken with smartphones or simple digicams. Other than with the repros, I bet this A-2 will instantly fit you without any alterations. It's an original, the Navy knew how to fit things.
 
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NE202DC

Familiar Face
Messages
64
Oh I must have misunderstood you, the McCoy's is already ultimately yours so the window to return it is already shot? Somehow I though you still have to chose between the Buzz and the McCoy's.
In this case I think it's clear.
As for your sleeves, it depends on how you like them. The creases have already established, so don't expect the sleeves to become any shorter than now. I like to have my sleeves not too long, say ending where my wrist meets my hand's back so as to just cover my wrist watch. And the inner cuffs about a finger width above so that they don't show. If it is an experienced tailor, he will know how much they should be shortened. Tomorrow I will take some photos of N-1 sleeves my own tailor had tapered and shortened for me. You can't see at all that they had been altered except they are shorter and newly tapered now. On my photos you can pretty well se, how long I like my sleeves, either because they are the right length to begin with or I have them cuffed up one turn. But I don't claim, that this is the right way, just the way I like them. By the way, I find flannel shirts not very comfy worn under my Deck Jackets. I feel the sleeve cuffs of the shirt interfere with the storm cuffs of the jacket every time I put on the jacket or when I stretch my arm out to reach for something. They ride up and this is very annoying.
Yep, the window for return closed a while ago. It would have been an exchange/store credit anyhow.

When he marked the sleeves, it looked as if he marked it similar to what you said you like--right below where my watch sits. I'll follow up with them regardless because I do have a couple of questions (and I'd also like to reiterate that it is a fairly expensive jacket).

Funny you should mention the issue with flannels/layers underneath. I'll make another post, but I was just trying the BR on again, this time with a hoodie (I'd probably never actually wear a hoodie with it), and when I put it back on without the hoodie, it didn't honestly feel that bad, even in the armholes and shoulders. With the hoodie, I couldn't even cross my arms.

I posted some photos below (sorry for all the damn photos). The last 4 are without the hoodie. (I truly am a tough nut to crack).
 

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CatsCan

Practically Family
Messages
567
Location
Germany & Denmark
You could also have them tapered to reestablish the same geometry and width at the sleeve end as it has now.
 

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NE202DC

Familiar Face
Messages
64
Just my suggestion depending on where your wrist is. You stretch the arm out so this could be the right length if I had to choose.

View attachment 580269
That looks about right to me. The tailor did inspect the entire jacket (pulling the sleeves inside out, etc.), and he seemed to indicate the final product would have the storm cuffs placed as they were originally.
 

CatsCan

Practically Family
Messages
567
Location
Germany & Denmark
Funny you should mention the issue with flannels/layers underneath. I'll make another post, but I was just trying the BR on again, this time with a hoodie (I'd probably never actually wear a hoodie with it), and when I put it back on without the hoodie, it didn't honestly feel that bad, even in the armholes and shoulders. With the hoodie, I couldn't even cross my arms.
As I said, I like the fit and look of it, much more so than the McCoy's. And I also had to find out what clothes workes best underneath. I wear thin merino knits or light baseball sweatshirts, sometimes medium heavy sweatshirts. Best, when the shirt or sweater I wear are fitting close to my body. This Jacket simply does not need thick things underneath. And it simply does not work with all sorts of shirts you are used to with other jackets. This is all too normal.
I never wear hoodies under mine (just not comfy).
 

NE202DC

Familiar Face
Messages
64
As I said, I like the fit and look of it, much more so than the McCoy's. And I also had to find out what clothes workes best underneath. I wear thin merino knits or light baseball sweatshirts, sometimes medium heavy sweatshirts. Best, when the shirt or sweater I wear are fitting close to my body. This Jacket simply does not need thick things underneath. And it simply does not work with all sorts of shirts you are used to with other jackets. This is all too normal.
I never wear hoodies under mine (just not comfy).
I actually wanted to "slimmer" jacket to get the more fitted look and with the intention of limiting what I wear underneath. If I had it my way, I'd wear tees all day, every day. Circling back to that, it makes me feel a bit better about the fit.

Originally, I was going to have the a2 as my "t-shirt only" jacket since it is more of an intermediate jacket, imo--good for slightly cold/cooler days in the fall and tail end of winter. But since I'll have a navy/blue n1 of some sort, I'm less inclined to buy the civilian a2.
 

CatsCan

Practically Family
Messages
567
Location
Germany & Denmark
I actually wanted to "slimmer" jacket to get the more fitted look and with the intention of limiting what I wear underneath. If I had it my way, I'd wear tees all day, every day. Circling back to that, it makes me feel a bit better about the fit.

Originally, I was going to have the a2 as my "t-shirt only" jacket since it is more of an intermediate jacket, imo--good for slightly cold/cooler days in the fall and tail end of winter. But since I'll have a navy/blue n1 of some sort, I'm less inclined to buy the civilian a2.

I wore my vintage issued A-2 yesterday out in the city. Drafty, wet weather 35° F. I wore exactly what you can see in my first fit pic, thin polyfleece over thin merino baselayer and was warm even sitting outdoors for an hour in a Café and had a coffee watching people passing by.
 
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CatsCan

Practically Family
Messages
567
Location
Germany & Denmark
honestly, these jackets don't need much layering to keep you warm. Thin layers better than one bulky thick layer. It is all about to trap your body heat. There has to be some air between Jacket and you that can warm up.
 

CatsCan

Practically Family
Messages
567
Location
Germany & Denmark
Try the Buzz with T-Shirt, then try it with a close to body merino baselayer, a thin wool sweater. This is about all you need underneath. If it gets any colder than what you can stand with a Deck Jacket than it is time for another type of jacket. Where I live Winters can get as cold as -4°F. I only feel comfy in a down jacket then.
 

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