ELC Star A-2 vs. Bill Kelso Star A-2??

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by AirTransportCommand, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. AirTransportCommand

    AirTransportCommand New in Town

    Good morning Gents,
    I'm in the market, and am wondering whether the Eastman or Kelso version of the Star A-2 is the way to go. I'm a tall guy, and fairly lean (6'3"/1.90m x 190 lbs/87kg) and wear a 42 X-Long at ELC, and from what I've heard, the Star contract is naturally 'long' anyhow, and may be a good fit for me. For those of you who have or have seen either or both of these jackets, what are your thoughts?

    Thanks very much!
  2. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

    I've handled both brands, but only an ELC Star. Tbh, stitching on the ELC Star A-2 was pretty woeful around the collar - On one side, instead of travelling in straight line to the point, it veered away from the edge before correcting itself, resulting in a sine wave shape. I recall other bits of stitching were a bit ropy, but it struck me that they had allowed a jacket to go through with under-par stitching on one of the most visible areas.
    Of the BKs I've seen, they seem pretty good quality-wise, but the after sales care can been rather variable - have a read in old threads here, you'll see what I mean. I realise that in even suggesting this I'll probably get message threatening me with legal action, but them's the breaks...
    On balance, I would still probably go with ELC, purely because they're jackets are stock made so if you don't like it or it doesn't fit then you can sent it back - it's an A-2, so it's not going to have a perfect fit. With BK, it's a made-to-measure and you'll have to fight your corner if you're unhappy with it. If you're interested in longer A-2 contracts, you might want to look at Cable Raincoat or the Bronco ones. They're both longer in the body as standard.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
    bn1966 and dannyk like this.
  3. Brettafett

    Brettafett One Too Many

    Hi Drew,

    I've owned many (too many ;) ) ELCs, BKs, GWs, Aeros, and originals etc...
    Currently own 3 BK A-2s, among others... Very happy with the jackets.

    Where are you based? If you are UK, I'd agree with Sloan regs ELC, or USA with History Preservation - you could at least try one.

    Stars, as other originals varied from production run to production run. Some may appear longer per given size, others shorter! So it all depends... Each of the high-end makers, have one or more original to base their jacket on, so their jacket will represent the particular original/s in their collection.
    This doesn't detract from authenticity, in fact Id say it adds to it.

    OK, the jackets. Both ELC and BK (yes, along with GW and others) are all top of the tops, as far as high end jackets go.
    All great quality, authenticity and workmanship. All use originals to create their patterns and repro the details, so really, any of these would be a good call.

    I am 5'10 72kgs/ 158 pounds (approx) and wear a 42 original, 42 long in BK, and usually a 40 XL (or 42 L) in an ELC.
    ELC's Star is a lovely jacket, a 42 fits me ok, lengths are OK (42 L would be best), but its tight under the arms at the back for me. 44 fits comfy, but looks a bit blousy. Yes, ELC's Star is a touch longer than most of their other contracts for a given size, besides the H.L.B., which may be their longest.
    BK's Star... I have never owned one, but have enquired. Apparently their version is trim compared to some other original contracts in their collection, and quite short... so I would size up, but go with measurements that suit you, and add length.

    ELCs Warhorse is terrific, but so is BK's Liberty. BK's seal liberty is very close in hue to ELC's seal Warhorse, approx same weight and thickness. BK's has a touch less sheen out the box, in some cases more grain... but this is relative, as all depends on the batch.
    ELCs knitwear is a downside. BK's knit is definitely better.
    ELC's customer service is great, the guys are stars! BK, well... you have to be patient. You will receive answers to your emails, but may not happen overnight... You will get your jacket, but may have to wait a few months for it.
    ELC's are not cheap, BK's neither, but better value for what you get imho.
    Pattern-wise, both are made from originals (and these varied), but BK's seem to have the Star's curvy collar right.

    If I was after a Star A-2, GW, ELC and BK would all be on my list.
    GW is pricey and a long wait and will depend on what leather John has at hand, may not have what you want.
    ELC is also pricey, great jackets (besides the knit), pretty consistent, great customer service
    BK great jacket for the price, excellent quality, may take a bit longer, patience required lol

    I'd try an ELC if nearby, if it works great... but ultimately I would go with a BK.

    All my BKs.... x 2 Dubows and a RW fit impeccably, I absolutely love them... The Liberty hide is awesome and these jackets are wearing in nicely. I went up a size from recommended and accounted for lengths (I have my A-2 measurements down pat). I aim to order a russet A-2 from them in the near future.

    Hope this helps.
    bn1966, Fonzie, Boyo and 1 other person like this.

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