First Aero custom jacket, some thoughts and anything to look out for?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by JanW, Nov 29, 2016.

Should I get an Aero Highwayman or Windward?

  1. Highwayman

    10 vote(s)
  2. Windward

    2 vote(s)
  1. JanW

    JanW New in Town

    Hi All,

    I have been considering a leather jacket for a while, and decided I would have one custom made for my build. I plan for this to be my only leather jacket, so I want it to fit properly.

    I've narrowed it down to two styles: either an Aero Highwayman or Aero Windward, both in tumbled cordovan FQHH (I'm aware of the bleeding issues in the Cordovan, but most of my shoes are in shell cordovan no. 8, so it's not really a question). What in your opinion would be a better style? Of note, I'm not very tall and probably had one too many doughnuts.

    The following are my measurements:
    • Height: 170 cm – 5ft 7”
    • Chest (relaxed): 113 cm – 44.5”
    • Chest (expanded): 116 cm – 45.75”
    • Stomach (at widest point): 112.5 cm – 44.25”
    • Waist (actual waist, not jeans size): 98 cm – 38.75”
    I wear my pants at the hips due to my belly. Also, I have a particular quirk in that I usually wear a "holster" for my cellphone, car keys and small knickknacks (which was done custom), which hangs off my belt. He's a photo of it (not very stylish, but I love it anyway):


    I'm thinking the Windward, as it is a shorter jacket, would ride higher, over the belt, and would be able to clear this, but it would leave my belt exposed. The Highwayman, on the other hand, would cover my belt and the holster, but may leave a bulge. Also, I wouldn't be able to zip the jacket, unless I pull the bottom edge up and over the holster on one side. Despite this, I am slightly deciding in favor of the highwayman due to versatility. Any thoughts on the Windward however? Will it be as versatile as the Highwayman? (putting up a poll on what to get)

    In any case, down to my question:

    As I've decided to do a custom, I've contacted Holly from Aero leather, and she has been very patient and helpful. Based on my measurements, she has advised me to get a size 42 for a Highwayman, is this about right based on my measurements?

    For those who have ordered custom from Aero before, are there any options that are particularly recommended that are not in their basic jackets? Pockets? Linings? Zippers? Sleeves? Also, would it be possible to specify a hanging loop for FQHH or is it too heavy?

    I don't think I'll be wearing many layers with this jacket, as I imagine it will be something I just put on top of a t-shirt or shirt. I will also be wearing it in warmer weather, so that's also a consideration.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

  2. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Just an opinion. To my taste the Winward just accentuates girth and lack of height. For a shorter, stouter man a longer, lengthening jackets would look better. A Hwy that sits a good inch or two over your belt would look good. The bulge is never going to be easy to deal with. The Indy jacket was designed with a back flap to deal with a whip and gun. Maybe that?

    I would buy goat with cotton drill lining for warmer climes.
  3. BobJ

    BobJ Practically Family

    Coos Bay, OR
    That's what I'm thinking too - get a Highwayman that is wide enough at the bottom to be able to zip up over the holster. A Windward, with you wearing your pants that low, wouldn't cover your shirt, and would be a good six inches above your belt, in the back, when you sit down.
  4. JanW

    JanW New in Town

    Those are excellent points, and as mentioned, I was already leaning towards the Highwayman :D

    Are there any "non-standard" options for the Highwayman that might be good to include in a custom order? Looking at some other forum threads, I'm looking at the following things to consider:

    1. Leather:
    1.1. Type: Horween Tumbled FQHH (goat would be more practical, but I'm really attracted to the look and color variation of FQHH)
    1.2. Color: Cordovan
    1.3. Color of stitching: (Never thought of this, what would be good to match with cordovan?)

    2. Lining:
    2.1. Body Type: Cotton drill, for warmer climates.
    2.2. Sleeve Type: Cotton drill or satin? I'm hearing it's hard to pull bare sleeves into other linings.
    2.2. Color: (Black? Brown? What matches with cordovan?)

    3. Pockets:
    3.1. Outside pockets: Standard HWM 3-pockets, with liner.
    3.2. Inside pockets: Yes, at chest level, with zip closure (because its just too convenient. Thoughts?)

    4. Shoulders:
    Is there a way to maintain "square" shoulders, with little, if any material hanging off the sides? This would be one of my primary concerns regarding fit, it has to look "right" at least at the shoulders.

    7. Zipper:
    7.1. Type: YKK
    7.2. Color: Antique brass

    8. Others
    8.1. With hanging loop
    8.2. ???

    Anything else I missed? Would appreciate feedback. Thanks!
    ericsanpablo31 likes this.
  5. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

    East Java
    if you wear a jacket with enough pockets you don't need a gadget holster at the same time.
    it is a shame to compromise the size of a leather jacket just to accommodate a gadget my opinion
  6. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie One Too Many

    I ordered a Windward once and it is the only jacket I ever sent back to a maker. It is just too short. Definitely go for the Highwayman or a shortened Veste de Rallye. In their true sizing, both fit relaxed enough to not to unfavourably accentuate your body and should be wide enough to cover your holster. Holly, for some reason, has adviced you to size down in the HWM but that's not unusual. Most people around here do not like the HWMs baggy fit in true size.

    If you are from the US, you should contact Thurston Bros for a 42 HWM fit jacket, best and easiest way to make sure about sizing.

    edit: No snaps on inside pockets, they will show when leather broken in.
    Fanch likes this.
  7. Fanch

    Fanch I'll Lock Up

    I have a Mulligan lined with cotton drill throughout. The leather is seal jerky horsehide, one of my least favorites primarily due to stiffness with less optimal drape than Vicenza or FQHH. However my Mulligan is the go to jacket I grab on the fly due to the large cargo pockets and the button design. I wear my IPhone placed horizontally on my belt and generally leave the bottom button unbuttoned. However I'm unsure that any leather jacket would reasonably accommodate your holster without wearing a hole in the lining.
  8. Carlos840

    Carlos840 My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Like everyone else, i think it would be a shame to get and odd fitting jacket just to accommodate your "holster"!
    I agree with Seb Lucas that a Windward wouldn't be the best choice, and a short windward with that "holster on your side would look weird to say the least.

    I do think you would be a great candidate for a highwayman, it is a wide boxy jacket, and you could get away with having the side strap on the side of your "holster" slightly looser to make room for it underneath the jacket.
    El Marro and Peter Bowden like this.
  9. Monitor


    As much as I love the HWM, I gotta admit that the Windward looks much, much more flattering. I know I never even noticed it on the site but when one member who has two of 'em, posted photos of them wearing the jacket, I actually seriously started to consider it.
  10. Superfluous

    Superfluous My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Missing in action
    Given where you wear your pants, a Windward would likely be too short.

    Your body shape is ideal for a Highwayman.

    Your large holster will create a problem with any waist length jacket -- if the jacket sits above your holster, it will be too short -- if the jacket sits over your holster, it will have an awkward bulge/fit, particularly when the jacket is closed. If accommodating the holster is your primary consideration, you might consider a longer jacket and/or a jacket with vents.
  11. Peter Bowden

    Peter Bowden Practically Family

    united kingdom
    I think decent leather jackets are hanger-only.Way too hefty for loops, especially FQHH.Maybe consider their Hudson or NorthEaster styles as these have a lot of cargo-space.I think your holster would go in one of the cargo pockets.

    Apologies....On re-reading your original post I guess the longer styles are not to your taste.The Royale and Half Belt Deluxe styles may be worth considering
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
  12. tropicalbob

    tropicalbob My Mail is Forwarded Here

    miami, fl
    How about the "Happy Days?" It's one style that I don't think gets near enough attention. Might be perfect for you.
    Edward likes this.
  13. Harris HTM

    Harris HTM One Too Many

    the Netherlands
    having both a beer belly and a happy days I can affirm that!
    El Marro and tropicalbob like this.
  14. lina

    lina Practically Family

    Washington DC
    Or a Cossack..
  15. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

    A Windward would be a disaster for you. It's a very short jacket, one for those of us who wear our jeans with a high waist and, if I may be blunt, are on the slim side. Look at this guy:

    Now, looking at your pic, I'd have serious concerns that the jacket front would sit higher than the rest of it and wouldn't cover your belt.
    A Highwayman, with its boxy, square fit would be a good choice, but you might want to look at the Teamster - you could undo the bottom button and that would accommodate your holster.
    Oh, and forget the loop. A hairdresser hung one of my Aeros over a hook on the back of a door when I wasn't looking once, resulting in it pulling the hook and its screws out of the door. I suspect it was a weak fixture, but it was a lesson learned! Thankfully, the coat wasn't damaged, but I could easily see the leather being stretched if it had spent any time on the hook.
    Edward likes this.
  16. JanW

    JanW New in Town

    Thanks everyone, for the great advice. Yeah, forget the Windward.

    After due consideration, I think I'll stick to the Highwayman, and either wear it on top of the holster or go without it.

    Yeah, Holly just advised me against this as well. I also weighed my in-law's leather overcoat from Danier (which I thought was pretty thick and heavy), and it measured something like 1.5 kg, and Aero FQHH is heavier than that! So nix the hanging loop as well.
  17. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    London, UK
    Agreed.... though a decent inside pocket should surely obviate the need for the holster altogether. Definitely, though, unless you plan to go vintage in the trouser department, the Windward will look off at the waist - and, like most vintage designs, there's not much length you can add to the pattern to bring it down to meet lower trousers before it starts to affect the proportions and look wrong.
  18. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    ^^That Windward looks great though! :)
    The Half-belt deluxe is an often overlooked jacket. It is really cool too!
  19. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

    I want to echo Sloan1874's recommendation for the Teamster. I find that I usually wear mine with the bottom button open and it looks great that way. I think the length would also work well to diminish the belly whearas some of the shorter tighter models would accent it.
  20. drcube01

    drcube01 New in Town

    Caseyville, IL
    That holster is cool. But it's just an extra pocket, essentially, and one you don't need when wearing a jacket with many pockets. Does it snap off? Or is it affixed to your belt?

    It seems the best method would be to keep your holster, with your stuff in it, wearing it on your belt in the summer and just throw it in a jacket pocket when it's cool enough for jacket weather. Kind of like a wallet.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.