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Experience purchasing my Aero Hudson from Japan through Buyee

Jiantle

Familiar Face
Messages
52
Hello TFL!

This is my first post here and it certainly won't be my last. I'm very new to the leather jacket game (think I started becoming interested in Oct 2023, have been and still am a huge boot nerd) and have found TFL to be an extremely useful resource to research different brands, leathers and fits, as well as a great community to share a common interest with. Figured I'd also contribute and share my recent experience buying a jacket from Japan through Buyee since I've seen some posts on buying from Japan but haven't seen the Aero Hudson discussed much.

Pics first and then we'll get to the review!
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I purchased this Aero Hudson from Yahoo Japan Auction through Buyee. Initially, I was considering a Long Half Belt because I wanted something longer and with pocket flaps. But I saw this on Yahoo Japan Auction in my measurements which piqued my interest. It was definitely a gamble since you have to trust that the seller's measurements and description are accurate. I've read of some horror stories on here from musty and smelly jackets to plain misrepresentation of the product in the photos. I decided to give it a shot anyway.

In total, it cost me $418 ($352 for the jacket, $66 for shipping + fees). I'm not very experienced so I don't know if it was too much or too little to pay for this but it seemed like a decent price and I'm happy with it.

Shipping
It came wrapped in paper and plastic in cardboard box, which was secure and nice, no complaints there! Shipping from Buyee's warehouse in Japan to my front door in Seattle took under two days - extremely fast!

Initial impressions
Yahoo Japan Auction Photos & Description

The photos on Yahoo Japan were clear but the jacket was hung on a hanger that was not wide enough and made it look droopy. However, they were honest in posting all the flaws and all the measurements were spot-on (other than the sleeve length which was off by 0.3", but we all know how difficult it is to measure sleeves, right?). The brass hardware was covered in green oxidation and some had transferred onto the leather - they had included this in the pictures so it wasn't a surprise. No big deal, can be cleaned away easily.

Leather
I believe the leather is a brown CXL Steerhide although I'm not sure about the CXL. The leather does have a pull-up effect but is missing that cold and waxy hand like my CXL FQHH has - could be that it just needs a good conditioning (this is my first CXL Steerhide so I only have CXL FQHH to compare to). It is also very soft and a little thinner in some panels than others - certainly not as stiff and heavy as CXL leathers are known to be. But this could be due to the age of the leather and/or being thrown around during its lifetime. Breaking it in shouldn't be difficult.

Other than the leather clearly showing signs of age, the jacket has no creases in the sleeves which leads me to believe that it was never worn. Despite this, I really like how the grain is so pronounced. Not sure if it was made like that or if it got that way from being handled all these years. Nevertheless, I will get to enjoy the broken-in look of the leather despite not having broken it in yet.

Jacket details
This is the Hudson and it has all the bells and whistles except for the fur collar. I'm not sure what the lining is although it feels like wool. The sleeves and pockets are lined with cotton drill in brown and white, respectively. I was worried about the elastic bit in the waist crumbling from age, but it has retained its elasticity, for now.

It has the blue aero leathers tag which indicates that it may be a trainee-made jacket or their more recent blue label line which uses more sustainable/economical cuts. Its age leads me to believe it may be the former but the pronounced grain leads me to believe it may be the latter. The "Genuine Steerhide" tag is also missing the "Finest Quality" text like I've seen on more recent productions, not sure if this means it is an old production. There is a label in the pocket showing that it was made by Tom and is No. 4000.

If anyone is able to shed some light on the leather/lining or when you think it was made, let me know! I might also reach out to Aero to find out more.

Fit pics to follow in the next section!
 

Jiantle

Familiar Face
Messages
52
Fit
I got it in a size 40 and the fit on this is great. Like I said earlier, the measurements provided by the seller were spot-on, so it fits like how I want it to. I bought this as a cold-weather jacket (as it’s meant to be) and it leaves me with enough room for a thick sweater underneath without looking too bulky. The wool lining and internal storm cuffs further add to the warmth.

But enough talking, here are the fit pics! (Please forgive the poor photos. I’ll need to get a proper tripod stand if I were to do this more regularly)

For reference, I’m 5’11”, 180lb, 41-42” chest size, 35” waist.
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Although I don’t plan to wear it with a belt, here is a picture anyway.
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Bonus pics: Here’s my Field Leathers Chicago test jacket. One of Greg’s first Chicagos produced (maybe the first?) that I picked up here from a fellow member. Love it and the Badalassi Nappa leather to bits.
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Conclusion
All-in-all, I’m pretty satisfied with my first purchase through Buyee and would be open to doing it again, if the right opportunity comes along. I'm happy to be able to share my experience as well as cover this Aero model that is not as commonly discussed as the others. That concludes it - Hope you enjoyed the read.

Now to clean and condition the jacket and start breaking it in!

Happy holidays!
 
Messages
17,151
Location
Chicago
Certainly looks to be CXL. Something happens to CXL in Japan. It seems to lose its oily, waxy feel. I bought a Halfbelt from Japan and when it arrived it smelled like the ocean and it was a bit dull and very soft (was brown CXL too).

Can’t date your jacket but the liner looks like Harris(?) tweed. Awesome jacket, I really like this model and for the money I’d say you’ve done really well!
Edit: And it fits to the nuts!!! Brilliant!
Double edit: looking at the chest zip pulls I’m throwing a guess at around 2010-2012. Aero could certainly date it for ya.
 

Jiantle

Familiar Face
Messages
52
Certainly looks to be CXL. Something happens to CXL in Japan. It seems to lose its oily, waxy feel. I bought a Halfbelt from Japan and when it arrived it smelled like the ocean and it was a bit dull and very soft (was brown CXL too).

Can’t date your jacket but the liner looks like Harris(?) tweed. Awesome jacket, I really like this model and for the money I’d say you’ve done really well!
Edit: And it fits to the nuts!!! Brilliant!
Double edit: looking at the chest zip pulls I’m throwing a guess at around 2010-2012. Aero could certainly date it for ya.
Thanks for the info, Ton! Yea I believe it's CXL too although like you said, it doesn't have the usual waxy, oily feel. It's much softer and lighter than the CXL FQHH I have so if it's just a matter of conditioning the leather, I'll take it!
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,860
How's the mobility? Aero vs FL? (When moving your arms, which one feels more comfortable)
 

Jiantle

Familiar Face
Messages
52
How's the mobility? Aero vs FL? (When moving your arms, which one feels more comfortable)
It's hard to say. Ignoring the fact that one is probably over a decade old and the other is half a year old, as well as the different fits, I'd say that the FL beats Aero slightly.

The one issue I have with the FL is that the sleeves are cut rather slim. My arms are decently sized so I'm getting some bunching when bending my arms which limits mobility in that regard. When I first got the jacket, I could barely bend my arms fully. It's a lot better now after two weeks of breaking by wearing as well as stretching with water.

The moleskin lining in the sleeves gives it some warmth but adds to the thickness too (given a choice, I would not have opted for moleskin lining in the sleeves), not to mention it's strictly a short sleeve t-shirt jacket because it's such a struggle getting a long sleeve past the moleskin. Other than that, mobility is really good - high armholes and a front panel that allows me to stretch my arms further back than my Highwayman in CXL FQHH.

In my opinion, this Aero Hudson and the Highwayman have mobility that equal the FL only because they are cut generously. I have lots of room in the back and in the sleeves that I am able to move comfortably. But they have much lower armholes so I can't lift my arms very high without pulling the whole jacket up with it. With that said though, I haven't yet owned an Aero that is meant to be trim fitting so I can't say for sure. So for first-day mobility, I'd say Aero beats the FL.

*Edited to add more info regarding Aero vs FL
 
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Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,184
Congrats. Good fit good price.
looks like Bison. Not sure about the actual tannage. But I had a CXL Bison Aero jacket and it was teacore but didn’t quite behave like CXL SH. It was summer time so jacket stayed soft. If the inside white tag is still intact you can take a pic and send to Aero and ask them date of production. But your jacket looks to be in like new condition.
Buyee has discount coupons. You’d have to click a few times to claim them before using them at the checkout page. You can save more on both the jacket and shipping.
Always do a double search to see if the same jacket is listed on Rakuten, there’s weekly discounts and you can buy outright no bid.
 

AeroFan_07

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,347
Location
Iowa
I think you did great! Sure looks good on you and I agree that grain on the leather is slightly different than any CXL Steerhide I've handled. However like Tony said the trip to & from Japan and something over there may have affected the hide to a small degree. In any case - that's a very good price and so glad it fits you as well as it does. :)

Welcome also to FL!
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,860
The one issue I have with the FL is that the sleeves are cut rather slim. My arms are decently sized so I'm getting some bunching when bending my arms which limits mobility in that regard. When I first got the jacket, I could barely bend my arms fully. It's a lot better now after two weeks of breaking by wearing as well as stretching with water.
Thanks for elaborating. This was an issue with my first FL as well so I asked for wider sleeves at elbow height for my second and third jacket.

I always wondered whether I was the only one who thought his jackets could use wider sleeves.
 

Jiantle

Familiar Face
Messages
52
Congrats. Good fit good price.
looks like Bison. Not sure about the actual tannage. But I had a CXL Bison Aero jacket and it was teacore but didn’t quite behave like CXL SH. It was summer time so jacket stayed soft. If the inside white tag is still intact you can take a pic and send to Aero and ask them date of production. But your jacket looks to be in like new condition.
Buyee has discount coupons. You’d have to click a few times to claim them before using them at the checkout page. You can save more on both the jacket and shipping.
Always do a double search to see if the same jacket is listed on Rakuten, there’s weekly discounts and you can buy outright no bid.
Thanks CP! Now that you mention it, it does look like Bison. Would it still be labelled as Steerhide if it was Bison? Also, yes the inside white tag shows it was made by "Tom" and is No. 4000 - Will be asking Aero about it. And thanks for all the Buyee tips! Will definitely use them for my next purchase.
Edit: I forgot to mention in my main post that the leather has a slight plasticky feel to it where the grain is most pronounced. Didn't expect that from CXL.

I think you did great! Sure looks good on you and I agree that grain on the leather is slightly different than any CXL Steerhide I've handled. However like Tony said the trip to & from Japan and something over there may have affected the hide to a small degree. In any case - that's a very good price and so glad it fits you as well as it does. :)

Welcome also to FL!
Thanks AeroFan, great to be here! Will be looking forward to seeing how the leather develops with wear. I don't intend to baby this jacket at all.

Thanks for elaborating. This was an issue with my first FL as well so I asked for wider sleeves at elbow height for my second and third jacket.

I always wondered whether I was the only one who thought his jackets could use wider sleeves.
Ahh I just chalked the issue up to this being a test jacket instead of a custom one. Hopefully Greg has altered his pattern slightly if there have been requests to widen the elbow area. But I guess it's still safer to state sleeve measurements if I ever get a custom jacket from him in the future. I think both the elbow and bicep width can be increased slightly for me. Thanks for sharing, Marc!
 
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Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,789
Location
London, UK
I do like the Hudson and the Northeaster - both basically the same jacket, but the former is the 'Winter' version. The Northeaster has button cuffs as on a 30s Halfbelt, while the Hudson has engineer cuffs with storm cuffs as standard. The Hudson is typically specced with a range of warmer linings, as a Winter jacket. The non-standard element of this Hudson is the all-leather collar. It looks really good. The Hudson with a mouton collar and a blanket lining has been a jacket I've had my eye on for a while. Maybe in 2024....

Aero should be able to date this one for you from the information you have. I should think it's a Blue Label series as now understood rather than an earlier 'Apprentice Made', though. I have a Highwayman that was AM and carries the blue label. This dates back to 2012, when Ken came back to sort out the mess after the Lauder furore blew up, and hired a bunch of talented new machinists. Shortly after the batch including mine were done, Aero introduced the new 'Robin Hood' label for their apprentice made jackets. As memory serves, the Hudson came out some years later (2016? 2017? definitely after the Robin Hood label), so it's more likely to be a Blue Label series as now understood.
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,184
Bison technically is still in Bovine family, doesn’t taste as good as corn fed beef though. The shiny coating is just a glazing. CXL can be ordered with a topcoat, so it’s cement-able, there are many different ways the individual makers orders their stuff.

I too believe this is actually from a newer production, and not from the previous management. But the leather seems to be stocked/forgotten in the basement from the previous management. And thats why the blue label. You’ve got a really good deal. Had the current management decided to carry the bison hide I’m sure your jacket would came with regular label and priced higher.

And that’s another thing to look out for on the Japanese used market. There is a clear price gap. I’d stay away from the ¥40,000 and under Aeros posted there. They’re most likely from the previous management where everything goes. The risk isn’t worth the reward. The newer productions used Aero usually go for ¥80k and up. ¥60k to ¥80k is the grey area where the real gems like yours hides out. And of course there’s always Aeros own sale page, especially when they run sales.

I’m a big fan of the Hudson/Northeaster. I’ve got the latter but I prefer the pockets on the Hudson, more like the HD Townsman.
 

Jiantle

Familiar Face
Messages
52
Bison technically is still in Bovine family, doesn’t taste as good as corn fed beef though. The shiny coating is just a glazing. CXL can be ordered with a topcoat, so it’s cement-able, there are many different ways the individual makers orders their stuff.

I too believe this is actually from a newer production, and not from the previous management. But the leather seems to be stocked/forgotten in the basement from the previous management. And thats why the blue label. You’ve got a really good deal. Had the current management decided to carry the bison hide I’m sure your jacket would came with regular label and priced higher.

And that’s another thing to look out for on the Japanese used market. There is a clear price gap. I’d stay away from the ¥40,000 and under Aeros posted there. They’re most likely from the previous management where everything goes. The risk isn’t worth the reward. The newer productions used Aero usually go for ¥80k and up. ¥60k to ¥80k is the grey area where the real gems like yours hides out. And of course there’s always Aeros own sale page, especially when they run sales.
That's interesting. Haven't read enough on this forum regarding the differences in quality of products between both managements, but good to know! Luckily I hadn't come across a sub ¥40,000 jacket that was in good condition and in my size or I might have made the mistake of buying it.

I wouldn't be surprised if my jacket has both bison and steerhide as I'm noticing more and more differences between the grainy and smoother panels (thickness, shiny topcoat, grain pattern, slight color variations, density). Like many others here, I'm also in love with the brown CXL FQHH and how it ages, so I hope the shiny topcoat on my jacket gives way to some beautiful patina in the future.
I’m a big fan of the Hudson/Northeaster. I’ve got the latter but I prefer the pockets on the Hudson, more like the HD Townsman
I actually looked at your post on your Aero Northeaster to check out the fit since photos of the Hudson on the body is so rare (another reason why I decided to do this write-up). So, thank you for that!

I also prefer the pockets with cord stitching. Was also considering a Hercules for that special detail down the front panel.
 

Jiantle

Familiar Face
Messages
52
I do like the Hudson and the Northeaster - both basically the same jacket, but the former is the 'Winter' version. The Northeaster has button cuffs as on a 30s Halfbelt, while the Hudson has engineer cuffs with storm cuffs as standard. The Hudson is typically specced with a range of warmer linings, as a Winter jacket. The non-standard element of this Hudson is the all-leather collar. It looks really good. The Hudson with a mouton collar and a blanket lining has been a jacket I've had my eye on for a while. Maybe in 2024....
Well said! I'm liking the all-leather collar as well. Mouton collars may look a little out of place here in Seattle as it doesn't get very cold (leather jackets are already pretty out of place as it's REI Central here).

Maybe it's the tigher fitting waist, but this actually feels lighter and more comfortable on my body than my Highwayman despite being over 2 pounds heavier.

Well 2024 is close. Don't forget to post some pics when you do! ;)
Aero should be able to date this one for you from the information you have. I should think it's a Blue Label series as now understood rather than an earlier 'Apprentice Made', though. I have a Highwayman that was AM and carries the blue label. This dates back to 2012, when Ken came back to sort out the mess after the Lauder furore blew up, and hired a bunch of talented new machinists. Shortly after the batch including mine were done, Aero introduced the new 'Robin Hood' label for their apprentice made jackets. As memory serves, the Hudson came out some years later (2016? 2017? definitely after the Robin Hood label), so it's more likely to be a Blue Label series as now ununderstood.
Oh I did not know the Hudson only came out later. That puts this jacket at under a decade old then. Thanks for the info!
 

Kennyz

Familiar Face
Messages
76
Location
Ohio
@Jiantle - Sharp jacket, congratulations. Your Hudson has the nicest, grainiest hide of any CXL that I've seen - Aero should do more with Bison! I enjoyed seeing photo's of a Hudson, this style is very appealing to me and I can't recall seeing fit images before.

Ken

 

Jiantle

Familiar Face
Messages
52
@Jiantle - Sharp jacket, congratulations. Your Hudson has the nicest, grainiest hide of any CXL that I've seen - Aero should do more with Bison! I enjoyed seeing photo's of a Hudson, this style is very appealing to me and I can't recall seeing fit images before.

Ken

Thank you, Ken! It's certainly the grainiest I've seen. +1 regarding the lack of fit images (on TFL as well as Instagram). When looking for fit pics, I was only able to find @Canuck Panda's post on his Northeaster jacket for fit pics of a similar style. That was another reason for me to do this write-up.

There's also a picture of Luke Evans in a Hudson with the mouton collar on Instagram. If I wasn't sold on the design before, I certainly was after seeing it!
 

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