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First post - looking for advice for a "do it all" jacket (Aero Premier Highwayman - Belmondo style)

Rosecitymike

One of the Regulars
Messages
185
I think goat is really the way to go. Light and tough and though it may not patina like cxl, grain and the way it contours to the body make up for it. Look on the Himel IG for some photos of the Frobisher in goat and you’ll see what I mean.
 

Downunder G Man

One Too Many
Messages
1,190
Location
Australia
I have noticed for some years that various young women at work describe my leather jackets as "old guy's coats" or "dad coats." Down here you almost never see leather jackets at all so who knows how this works?

I hear ya Seb ! Trouble is I wear leather jackets at least 10 months of a year here in Perth WA. So do all my mates albeit we are all motorcyclists (Harleys for the most part!). When we pull up somewhere its a race to get into the shade of the pub and out of the jackets !

As for "Old guy's coats" I wear one of my "collection" of leather jackets to work most days where I am referred to as "Leather jacket guy" by my ( "trendy and tattooed" ) work colleagues , and that includes the 25 to 35 year old "sheilas" ! I am 61 shortly...
 
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Mr Knight

Familiar Face
Messages
80
Hi leather addicts,

longtime lurker, first time poster. I actually signed up for this post.
Since you don't know me, I'd like to introduce myself. I'm a German in my mitt tweenties who got into leather jackets at about three years ago and spent ages on this website reading posts about jacket styles, leather types and colour choices.
Right now, I own a brown FQHH Cafe Racer from Aero, a black 'Raid' by Vanson made from their Competitionweight cowhide, a black buffalo calf Cafe Racer made by Safak in Cologne and an old black Bavarian police jacket which I use as pub jacket. I used to have a vintage 118 Perfecto which I really disliked. Aero Leather seems to be the brand of my choice.

Back to business:
Gentlemen, I'm desperatly looking for your advice.
I'm afraid 'need' a new jacket. As much as I love my brown FQHH cafe racer, the jacket is not suitable for everyday wear. At least it doesn't fit my daily routine. It's too stiff and bulky for the gym locker and has no pockets. I think you all know the problem, there is always a reason for a new jacket.

So what am I looking for?
I'm looking for a jacket that is lighter than FQHH, has pockets, that can take a beating, is suitable for every day wear (501 levis, t-shirt or henley) but it also able to be dressed up with a chino and a nice business shirt. i want to wear it most time of the year so it needs enough space to layer with a sweater but it should also look fiine with just a t-shirt underneath. I think a premier highwayman might fit the bill even though I now there I not the one jacket and I'll always find a good reason to buy another jacket.

I desperatly need your opinion on colour and leather choices!

Colour:
Black is a no go. I like black jackets but I've got too many. I'd like the jacket to be some kind of "brownish". In doubt I'd always go rather dark . My dark brown FQHH is a stunner but going for brown FQHH again would make the purchase of another jacket pointless and boring.
Colour options for the Premier Highwayman I'd like are russet brown (goat), cordovan italian (HH), medium russet jerky (HH medium), midweight seal (HH medium) or dark seal vincenza (HH).
Since I want to be able to wear the jacket as much as often, is there one most versatile colour?

This leads to the actual problem!
Leather choices:
I know there is not 'the leather' but since I want the jacket to be suitable for everyday wear I'm looking for a sturdy leather that is remarkably lighter than FQHH. A nice patina development would be nice but I don't want to have to baby the jacket!
I read about the differences of goat, vincenza and jerky horsehide but getting first hand information would be highly appreciated.

I actually found a jacket that is pretty much what I'm looking for, the one "do it all jacket" tha looks nice with a white shirt and a tie but is also suitable for the pub. It's worn by Jean-Paul Belondo in "Peur sur la ville" (1975). My only concerns are that I'm 11cm taller than Belmondo (I'm 6'2, rather lean athletic) so that the premier highwayman might not suit my body as well.

And finally, yes, of course I already contacted Aero and asked for their opinion but I'd be very grateful to get an opinion from other leather maniacs.

While this post got a little out of hand I hope you guys had a merry christmas and I'm looking forward to get in contact with you!

Guten Abend Herresbach!

You sound almost exactly in the position I found myself in circa 5 months ago. I originally owned an Aero Board Racer in brown FQHH and parted ways with it on the grounds of me not finding it particularly ideal for daily use, I was convinced it was due to the slim fit and lack of pockets so I traded it in at Aero for a Premier Highwayman in Blackened Brown Vicenza.

From my own experience I can affirm that you will find the Vicenza a much 'easier' leather to deal with, it was very malleable when new and has plenty of grain character that would take FQHH months or even years to match. However I'm going to be the voice of opposition here and say that I have since trial fitted a Board Racer in Vicenza and found it to be completely different to wear compared to my original jacket, and actually fitted me better than my own Premier Highwayman, emphasizing that my Board Racer fit was perfect but it was the leather that made it less friendly.

If you need pockets and a little bit of adjustability in the gut/waist then I can happily recommend the Premier Highwayman (maybe even switch the sleeves to zip if you like the motorcycle style). If you're 'probably' going to not use the pockets and the Café Racer from Aero fits you well in your chosen size then maybe consider going for either another Café or maybe even the Board Racer in Vicenza (or potentially goat) which should be a little more user friendly.
 

Imuricecreamman

One Too Many
Messages
1,406
I have a highwaystyle jacket which suits me fine,but layering it for 3-4 season use feels a little cramped, I'm considering a 30's half belt a size up from my SB Roadster as I feel the waist adjusters offer a nicer profile when cinched than the hip mounted ones on Highwayman style jackets. This I feel is the biggest point when ordering a jacket for multiple seasons and temperatures.
 

Herresbach

Familiar Face
Messages
58
Location
Germany
I am also tall and fairly lean. Have you considered an Aero Seven? I think they only make it for Thurston Bros as an exclusive, but could be wrong on that. Not sure why I have that in my head.

That said, a Seven is a board racer with a collar. I have a couple of them and set the front up to have a slanted zip pocket on one side and two hand warmers with no zip. This gave it a highway man style front, but still has a one piece back and is a pretty form fitting jacket. The board racer is similar to the cafe racer, but the board racer/seven has a more hourglass fit and the cafe racer is like an upside down V that tapers to the waist. I have a 1.5" splay on mine so there are no issues with it covering my waist/belt. I have considered other jackets and tried on some other Aero options, but the Seven worked well for my body style and you can configure them still, so you can have the arm zippers on the back of the sleeve so they aren't visible (did this on my brown one).

Can't offer much input on hide since I order mine in thick CXL steer, but I really like Badalassi leather. If I deviated to a lighter hide, I would probably be deciding between Badalassi or Battered Tan.

Cheers!

Thank you for your input. I thought of the Aero Seven but somehow always prefered the Cafe Raver over the Board Racer. It‘s probably the V-shape. But I‘ll keep your suggestion in mind and I‘ll ask Holly for her opinion after giving her my measurements
 

FlatCap99

One of the Regulars
Messages
202
For sure! I really like the way the cafe racer fit me, but with the V shape my hips got in the way. If you don't have that problem stick with what works best for you :)
 

Herresbach

Familiar Face
Messages
58
Location
Germany
Guten Abend Herresbach!

You sound almost exactly in the position I found myself in circa 5 months ago. I originally owned an Aero Board Racer in brown FQHH and parted ways with it on the grounds of me not finding it particularly ideal for daily use, I was convinced it was due to the slim fit and lack of pockets so I traded it in at Aero for a Premier Highwayman in Blackened Brown Vicenza.

From my own experience I can affirm that you will find the Vicenza a much 'easier' leather to deal with, it was very malleable when new and has plenty of grain character that would take FQHH months or even years to match. However I'm going to be the voice of opposition here and say that I have since trial fitted a Board Racer in Vicenza and found it to be completely different to wear compared to my original jacket, and actually fitted me better than my own Premier Highwayman, emphasizing that my Board Racer fit was perfect but it was the leather that made it less friendly.

If you need pockets and a little bit of adjustability in the gut/waist then I can happily recommend the Premier Highwayman (maybe even switch the sleeves to zip if you like the motorcycle style). If you're 'probably' going to not use the pockets and the Café Racer from Aero fits you well in your chosen size then maybe consider going for either another Café or maybe even the Board Racer in Vicenza (or potentially goat) which should be a little more user friendly.


Einen wunderschönen Abend Mr. Knight und vielen Dank für Ihren Erfahrungsbericht!

Yes, I‘m probably in the same position as you were except for the fact that I‘ll never part ways with my FQHH jacket, it just suits me to well haha. Finally being kind of broken also improved the jacket a lot but it’s still kind of unpractical for daily use.

So, in your opinion leather choice has a bigger impact on the jacket than style choice?
Then I‘ll go for goat, no doubt. Won‘t risk heaving another jacket that‘s „too heavy/stiff“ for every day.

Since you said I should go for a Seven/Sheene if I „probably“ won‘t use the pockets, are they difficult to reach or why is the highwayman more userfriendly regarding the pockets?
 

Herresbach

Familiar Face
Messages
58
Location
Germany
Asking all Sheene/Seven owners:

Since the BR/CR pattern is quite tight, do you use your handwarmer pockets? Can actually put both hands in the pockets comfortably when the jacket is closed?

Would you choose zipped or unzipped handwarmer pockets and why?

Whats the standard Aero inner lining for those pockets, moleskin?

thanks in advance!
 

FlatCap99

One of the Regulars
Messages
202
I have front pockets on my Seven with no zippers and really like it. I will say that having the zippers on the front warrents being a bit more careful you don't scratch up the leather with the sleeve zipper, but a simple fix to this is getting the hidden zippers on the back of the sleeve ( I did this on my brown one). I prefer no zippers in the hand warmers and have moleskin in mine. I got the one pictured in 42 so it would have more room for layers and not be as tight all the way through.
 

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tropicalbob

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,956
Location
miami, fl
I’m surprised to hear this sentiment because it is something that never occurred to me. I feel equally cool (which is to say very cool!) whether I’m wearing a Vanson cross zip or a GW half belt. Nor have I seen old men wearing a half belts, they all wear the same polar fleece and Gore-Tex crap that everyone else does. When I do see an older person in a leather jacket it usually is an oversized A-2 variant or something like a modern day Members Only jacket.
Nicely put.
 

Herresbach

Familiar Face
Messages
58
Location
Germany
I have front pockets on my Seven with no zippers and really like it. I will say that having the zippers on the front warrents being a bit more careful you don't scratch up the leather with the sleeve zipper, but a simple fix to this is getting the hidden zippers on the back of the sleeve ( I did this on my brown one). I prefer no zippers in the hand warmers and have moleskin in mine. I got the one pictured in 42 so it would have more room for layers and not be as tight all the way through.


That‘s a beautiful jacket, what kind of leather is that, FQHH in cordovan?
I did not really get the zippers part, I‘m afraid.
What are hidden zippers? Hidden just because they are on the back or are there special „hidden zippers“?
Wouldn‘t this be a reason to go for hwm styled sleeves with a button, so that you can‘t scratch the leather with your zipper?
 

Herresbach

Familiar Face
Messages
58
Location
Germany
I have front pockets on my Seven with no zippers and really like it. I will say that having the zippers on the front warrents being a bit more careful you don't scratch up the leather with the sleeve zipper, but a simple fix to this is getting the hidden zippers on the back of the sleeve ( I did this on my brown one). I prefer no zippers in the hand warmers and have moleskin in mine. I got the one pictured in 42 so it would have more room for layers and not be as tight all the way through.

Personally I‘m not a friend of zippers at the back of the sleeves, the always tend to be in the way when you place your arms on the egde of a table. If I‘d be doing my CR again, I‘d place them at the front or maybe on the sides if Aero does so, I‘ver never seen them on the sides before
 

FlatCap99

One of the Regulars
Messages
202
The hidden zippers on the underside have leather that covers them up as you zip it which should help with them hitting the table. I don't have my jacket right now that uses those, but it works well. The HWM uses the button cuffs so it's not an issue. The jacket is heavy CXL Steerhide. I am pretty sure I asked about the button sleeve on these before and Aero couldn't put them on the Seven, but it has been a while. It never hurts to ask to see if they can do that, though!
 
Messages
15,572
Location
East Central Indiana
I’m surprised to hear this sentiment because it is something that never occurred to me. I feel equally cool (which is to say very cool!) whether I’m wearing a Vanson cross zip or a GW half belt. Nor have I seen old men wearing a half belts, they all wear the same polar fleece and Gore-Tex crap that everyone else does. When I do see an older person in a leather jacket it usually is an oversized A-2 variant or something like a modern day Members Only jacket.

Hmm...Guess I must sell my Half Belts and find some more fitting 72 yr old man crap....

20190118_173542.jpg 20190214_185600.jpg
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,745
Location
London, UK
Apart from Nick123, I rarely see a standard Highwayman that doesn't look boxy and shapeless. You picked that well. with these if you are normally a 42 you need a 38.

I couldn't disagree with you more there. The thing about the HWM standard model is that it *is* a boxy jacket by design. I take one size small in it than I do in the pre-war models; I'd expect most people will vary in size per cut (I need a size bigger in an M422a than an A2, for instance). BUT when folks start buying several sizes down to get a neater fit in a HWM, well... to my eye it simply does not produce the desired effect. (Ironically, I remember being talked out of doing this with a similarly shaped jacket by a salesman way back around 1995.) What happens is you end up with a jacket that looks like a boxy jacket that's worn several sizes too small. Far better to start with something that is cut neater by design - which is, of course, where the Original 59er Highwayman (cut to replicate entirely the slightly slimmer, British fit of the Rivetts of Leytonstone Highwayman-branded jacket on which the first Aero was based) and the Premier Highwayman (a re-imagining of the HWM concept as a 1930s jacket rather than a mid-late 1950s design) come in. An Aero Royale might be another, slimmer alternative to the original (the patch pockets being the biggest difference, though I guess Aero could be asked if they'd do handwarmers there). The AL/SB Roadster, being one of the 'first generation' of AL designs, is, of course, the same cut as the standard Highwayman, but sized 'one-up' (thus a 44 in place of a 42, a 46 in place of a 44 and so on) rather than being cut differently strictly speaking.

One thing OP might well consider is the layering issue. One of the things I love about the slight boxiness of my std Highwayman is that it allows for Winter layers without looking like a jacket that's a size too big when worn without them.

I’m surprised to hear this sentiment because it is something that never occurred to me. I feel equally cool (which is to say very cool!) whether I’m wearing a Vanson cross zip or a GW half belt. Nor have I seen old men wearing a half belts, they all wear the same polar fleece and Gore-Tex crap that everyone else does. When I do see an older person in a leather jacket it usually is an oversized A-2 variant or something like a modern day Members Only jacket.

Oh-oh, you poked the bear.... ;)

Srsly, though..... it's unsurprising that most older people, like most people in general, will follow mainstream fashion norms... TFL's outerwear section is a bit more 'modern' in general as many folks have come here for the jackets alone. For those of us for whom they're more part of an overall, now historical, look, I think it's different. I always have as little chuckle when anyone complains about a detail of a jacket being too "old-=fashioned" or whatever, because for me that's the point! ;) Little or nothing of any real value has happened in men's fashion since 1959. I'm firmly with Ken Calder on that one! ;)

I think Mr. Ford looks like a crumpled guy from the housing estate because his A-2 is about 2 sizes too big. Look how the shoulder seams are hanging off his shoulders. I can never get behind that look.

Not immediately obvious in that photo, but doesn't Ford favour the modern (post 1990 / MKII) A2 design? I know that one seems to have been cut much baggier from the off than the original A2. I tend to agree myself; while I can see the practicality of an A2 which can accomodate a Winter sweater, the look is just all off for me.

Hmm...Guess I must sell my Half Belts and find some more fitting 72 yr old man crap....

View attachment 204177 View attachment 204178

;) Nah - keep stickin' it to the man!
 
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Seb Lucas

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,573
Location
Australia
I couldn't disagree with you more there. The thing about the HWM standard model is that it *is* a boxy jacket by design. I take one size small in it than I do in the pre-war models; I'd expect most people will vary in size per cut (I need a size bigger in an M422a than an A2, for instance). BUT when folks start buying several sizes down to get a neater fit in a HWM, well... to my eye it simply does not produce the desired effect.

I hear you but the measurements speak for themselves. A size 38 HWM has at around 23 inches, the pit to pit of a size 42, and a size 42 has at around 25 inches, the put to pit of a size 46.

Just as Thurston Bros recommends (they've done the hard thinking about this), it's best to size down to wear a HWM. Partiality if you have a slim build. Larger guys can probably be less discerning. Now in sizing down like this, the HWM in no sense fits tight or in any way substitutes itself for a 1930's half-belt or other trim fit jacket. It remains boxy, just trimmer and less like a sack.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,745
Location
London, UK
I hear you but the measurements speak for themselves. A size 38 HWM has at around 23 inches, the pit to pit of a size 42, and a size 42 has at around 25 inches, the put to pit of a size 46.

Just as Thurston Bros recommends (they've done the hard thinking about this), it's best to size down to wear a HWM. Partiality if you have a slim build. Larger guys can probably be less discerning. Now in sizing down like this, the HWM in no sense fits tight or in any way substitutes itself for a 1930's half-belt or other trim fit jacket. It remains boxy, just trimmer and less like a sack.

Of course a lot also depends on how you define a '42'. there being no recognised standard for the same. I've owned various garments (from a wide range of brands) over the years labelled a 42" that were anywhere between 42" and 52" in actual garment measurement. The only real option is, of course, to know what measurements work for the individual and take it from there...
 

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