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Five Star / 5* buttoned half-belt in black waxed premium goatskin

TartuWolf

Practically Family
Messages
975
Location
Tartu, Estonia
Greetings folks!
In the end of Feb2023 I received my first jacket from Five Start / 5* / Shawn.

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In this thread I will:
- Give my perspective on the brand / maker.
- Explain the reasoning for ordering this specific jacket.
- Give my thoughts on the ordering process itself.
- Give my initial impressions / review about the jacket.
- Discuss and ask advice about the fit.

Hope you enjoy and please do comment on the fit based on the pictures and my comments.



The maker / brand - Five Star / 5* / Mr. Shawn​

I've found out about this maker joining TFL and stumbling upon this thread https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/five-star-leather-jackets.101762/
It's a famous thread, having more pages than most other threads I suppose.
I didn't read through all of it, but I enough to get a general idea about what all the hype is about.
A no-holds-barred fully custom contractor that will make anything you specify. For better or for worse.
Not a jacket maker / specialist / tailor per se, but rather a producer with a massive production team.
As someone has said - you can get 80% quality for 20% of the cost compared to what the proper leather jacket market offers if you play your cards right.

Weaknesses : no hand holding, poor patterns (in most part, especially for the civilian stuff), mediocre materials (especially the leather, lining too I would say).
Strengths : value for money, absolute freedom in customization, fully made-to-measure, copying an existing jacket or from photos.



Why this jacket​

There were several reasons why I decided to "cheap out" and go for this jacket rather than from a reputable maker from US/UK/Japan.
In order of importance:
1 . Before ordering a "real" jacket I wanted to nail down exact measurements that I need to look for / specify when ordering. Ordering from 5* allowed me to do exactly that for a relatively low price.
2 . Wanted to try a completely new style that seemed extremely appealing to me. Loved the idea of a buttoned half-belt, but most of the ones I've seen from other makers are much longer and boxier than I would like.
3 . Wanted to try thicker / stiffer leather for the first time and see if I would like it as much as I imagine. All of my previous leather jackets have been soft and thin.



Ordering process​

I'd say the communication was on par with the price. Not too good, not too bad. Had to take some shortcuts in some topics because I saw that the discussion would drag on way too long. In general Shawn was reasonably responsive, had best luck talking to him via WhatsApp.

Started with trying to choose the leather. Not possible to get samples without paying 50$ for shipping a tiny envelope of samples, which I did not want to do. After various failed attempts to get enough info about the available leathers I decided to just take the premium waxed black goatskin. After Shawn said that it is also semi-veg tanned and quite thick at 1.4mm, I was happy enough to go with that. There was a consensus on TFL as well that it's a good safe bet to go for this leather.

Regarding everything else (measurements, lining, hardware, features ,etc..) I simply used a PDF that was sent to me by @MrProper as an example, made my version of it with a lot of pictures and sent it to Shawn. He looked over, confirmed that everything looks clear and sent me the invoice.

PDFs:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1u3EIAOkCyFu4sKfH4cWc4YyQNhoav8qqneKdQxUJh6Q
Note that I also sent another PDF with tons of high quality pictures in terms of how the pattern should look like.
Mostly based on several existing patterns from known makers. Combined my favorite parts/features together from several models.

It was 350$ total for a completely custom pattern from photos with shipping included. So ~285$ for the jacket.
Not sure how much it would cost to order another one now that they have the pattern developed from the photos. I would guess ~200-250$ total.

Shawn was flexible enough with the invoicing and value declaration to make various local taxes less of a burden. This was a big positive for me.

Everything related to payments and shipping was clear and smooth.

In total from confirmation/payment to complete jacket it took ~10-15 working days. Shipping took another ~3-5 working days. Very fast production, great for (near) instant gratification.



The jacket - off the body (review/impressions)​


Leather:
Black wax premium semi veg tan 1.4mm goatskin according to Shawn. Much stiffer and thicker than I would expect for goatskin. Very sturdy. Will take a while for it to drape and mold to my body. Definitely does not seem like the kind of leather that requires no break in. Some cool grain in certain places, mainly the back. I expected to see more of it as I specifically asked for it. Serious top coat / pigment, cannot scratch it at all.

Hardware:
The buttons are quite okay, nothing spectacular. Love the brass buckles on the sides.

Cuffs:
The cuff panel is longer than I would like, would specify a bit shorter next time. Also the area where the lining meets the leather at the cuffs is rather tight to pass through, not sure why or whether it could be done better. Seems like there are 3 layers of leather stacked at that particular point.

Lining:
Everything (inner pockets, outer pockets, body, sleeves) lined with olive cotton drill. Feels nice and sturdy to me, will see how it holds up. Would go for something more slick/slippery in the sleeves if I would order again.

Outer pockets:
Nicely sized hand warmer pockets. The chest pocket depth is ~11cm as opposed to the ~18cm that I specified. A bit of a bummer, but not a big deal. Can forget about holding my phone there though. Keys or wallet fit fine.

Inner pockets:
Very spacious, swallows a modern large smart phone with space left to boot.

Stitching:
Not too bad apart from a few places where it should not have passed QC. Shawn apologized for those.

The pattern:
I'd say they did a really good job with creating the pattern from scratch based on the photos that I gave them. I forgot to specify that there should be no folds/gussets above the half belt, but that's on me.

Overall, to my untrained eye, the quality is pretty terrific, can't complain. Above expectations for this price point.

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Will continue with the fit in the next post...
 
Last edited:

TartuWolf

Practically Family
Messages
975
Location
Tartu, Estonia

The jacket - on the body (fit)​

I'm quite happy with how the fit turned out.
The main issue is that I don't know what to expect in terms of mobility from this kind of leather and pattern.
Is it restrictive in some aspects? Sure. Is it unreasonably restrictive? No idea. Seems tolerable to me.

I would say it is mainly restrictive in these aspects:
1 . Bending the arm a lot bunches up material at the inner elbow, which slightly cuts off blood circulation. My pair of 21oz denim have the same effect at the inner knee when squatting. So in this case I think it comes down to the amount of material stacking up more than insufficient room at that location.
2 . The elbow seems to really get caught in the sleeve when I bend my arm and try to move it forward. Maybe specified the sleeves too narrow at the elbow?
3 . There is a lot of pull under the armpits quite early when I try to lift the arms up to the sides. Especially when the arms are bent at the elbow. And the shoulder / whole jacket rides up a lot when lifting the arms.

Again, I would guess that all of this is quite normal to some degree, but I don't know to what degree.
Currently it seems to me these changes would make things a lot better:
- Slightly narrower armholes - would help with the armpit pull when raising the arm.
- Roomier / wider sleeves, especially in the forearm area - would help with the elbow getting caught and pulling on the back.
- Slicker material in the sleeves - would help with the elbow getting caught and pulling on the back.

Hem and waist - completely fine. Even with a shirt + wool sweater + phone and wallet in inner pockets it's not too tight. Happy with this part.
Shoulders - Specified 43cm. It's fine but I would probably go with 45cm to give a tiny bit more room there.
Half belt - specified it too high, would lower it at least 3-4cm.
Pit-to-pit / chest - pretty good I think, even with inner pockets and chest pocket loaded it's not restrictive.
Sleeve length - Spot on I would say.
Body length - Pretty good, ideally would be about 2cm shorter.
Cuff width - Allows me to easily wear gloves as is. Would narrow it down if ordering again, but quite happy now as well.

Please comment on the fit, what you think should be improved and in which areas.
As I'm planning to order another jacket soon it is very important for me to get feedback regarding the fit :)

For the fit pics I dressed/layered how I would wear it ~90% of the time. Button up shirt + button up heavy cotton vest. Keys in chest pocket, wallet in inner pocket. The phone would be in the inner pocket as well, but in this case it was used to take the photos.

Front buttoned​

PXL_20230227_120558964~2.jpg


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PXL_20230227_120635507~2.jpg


Side buttoned​

PXL_20230227_120613230~2.jpg

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PXL_20230227_120630443~2.jpg

PXL_20230227_120611110~2.jpg


Back buttoned​

PXL_20230227_120616006.jpg


PXL_20230227_120619722.jpg

PXL_20230227_120622881.jpg
 
Last edited:

KBlake

One Too Many
Messages
1,320
The jacket looks great on you. I’ve had the same problems with my 5* forearms and have resorted to stretching them with a shoe stretcher and a vase. You have to specify a larger measurement than you would think in order to get any comfort in that area. I recently asked for 5.75” at the wrist and that seems to be the minimum for a comfortable forearm and I’m no Popeye.

Enjoy your beautiful jacket!
 

MrProper

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,944
Location
Europe

The jacket - on the body (fit)​

I'm quite happy with how the fit turned out.
The main issue is that I don't know what to expect in terms of mobility from this kind of leather and pattern.
Is it restrictive in some aspects? Sure. Is it unreasonably restrictive? No idea. Seems tolerable to me.

I would say it is mainly restrictive in these aspects:
1 . Bending the arm a lot bunches up material at the inner elbow, which slightly cuts off blood circulation. My pair of 21oz denim have the same effect at the inner knee when squatting. So in this case I think it comes down to the amount of material stacking up more than insufficient room at that location.
2 . The elbow seems to really get caught in the sleeve when I bend my arm and try to move it forward. Maybe specified the sleeves too narrow at the elbow?
3 . There is a lot of pull under the armpits quite early when I try to life the arms up to the sides. Especially when the arms are bent at the elbow. And the shoulder / whole jacket rides up a lot when lifting the arms.

Again, I would guess that all of this is quite normal to some degree, but I don't know to what degree.
Currently it seems to me these changes would make things a lot better:
- Slightly narrower armholes - would help with the armpit pull when raising the arm.
- Roomier / wider sleeves, especially in the forearm area - would help with the elbow getting caught and pulling on the back.
- Slicker material in the sleeves - would help with the elbow getting caught and pulling on the back.

Hem and waist - completely fine. Even with a shirt + wool sweater + phone and wallet in inner pockets it's not too tight. Happy with this part.
Shoulders - Specified 43cm. It's fine but I would probably go with 45cm to give a tiny bit more room there.
Half belt - specified it too high, would lower it at least 3-4cm.
Pit-to-pit / chest - pretty good I think, even with inner pockets and chest pocket loaded it's not restrictive.
Sleeve length - Spot on I would say.
Body length - Pretty good, ideally would be about 2cm shorter.
Cuff width - Allows me to easily wear gloves as is. Would narrow it down if ordering again, but quite happy now as well.

Please comment on the fit, what you think should be improved and in which areas.
As I'm planning to order another jacket soon it is very important for me to get feedback regarding the fit :)

For the fit pics I dressed/layered how I would wear it ~90% of the time. Button up shirt + button up heavy cotton vest. Keys in chest pocket, wallet in inner pocket. The phone would be in the inner pocket as well, but in this case it was used to take the photos.

Front buttoned​

View attachment 493265

View attachment 493266

View attachment 493267

Side buttoned​

View attachment 493268
View attachment 493269
View attachment 493270
View attachment 493271

Back buttoned​

View attachment 493272

View attachment 493273
View attachment 493275
Congratulations. It looks very good. So good that I have to resist the reflex to order one of those too. Goat still seems to be the right choice.
Also, the typical 5* sleeve crease is absent here, which is surely due to the thick leather and the good fit.
Thank you for this report.
 

Fonzie

One Too Many
Messages
1,539
Location
Australia
What a great review and super helpful to this forum, thank you for taking the time.
The jacket looks amazing and it suits/fits you perfect, congratulations. I wouldn’t change anything, one of the best 5* jackets done so far.
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,613
Before ordering a "real" jacket I wanted to nail down exact measurements that I need to look for / specify when ordering. Ordering from 5* allowed me to do exactly that for a relatively low price.

Nice jacket, nice hide, nice photos and text. I have to caution you about this, though. The same measurements with a bad pattern can fit terribly while they’re amazing on a good pattern.
 

TartuWolf

Practically Family
Messages
975
Location
Tartu, Estonia
Thank you for all the positive comments everyone!

Small update : Shawn was very happy to get feedback (and this review) from me and offer to build a new jacket with all the adjustments / tweaks that I would do if I was ordering again for 50% of the cost.
This is another huge plus for Five Star leathers / Shawn.
Currently I will not take the offer as I want to wear the jacket as is for a while and I think it turned out very well.
But maybe in the future.

These are the adjustments that I would currently make:
- Slicker / smoother lining in the sleeves to help the arms slide around inside.
- Slightly larger forearm diameter.
- Thinner / less stacked leather at the wrist area.
- Smaller/shorter cuff panel.
- Higher / smaller arm holes.
- Half belt lower, maybe 2-4cm.
- No leather folds above the half belt.
- More of the grainy leather that I asked for.

So yeah, Shawn is very reasonable and I would definitely recommend Five Start leathers.
The only thing to note is that you save money and get a good product only by investing time into careful measuring, planning and specifying.
And time is money.
Unless you actually enjoy the learning process, which is more valuable than money.
 

navetsea

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,711
Location
East Java
congrats for the nice jacket and thanks for the pleasant reading material. The jacket looks great on you and the creases looks great for a goat jacket, higher armhole might solve the problem with the shoulder of the jacket rising upward as you lift your arm to shoulder height, and also very nice gesture of Shawn regarding your future purchase discount
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,243
Looking good. Wax thicker black goat is the best choice. I like how the buttons are sewn, with enough space and a bit relaxed stem length.
 

TartuWolf

Practically Family
Messages
975
Location
Tartu, Estonia
Thank you @CombatWombat . The main issue with this jacket remains the overly-narrow sleeves and the overall lack of mobility. Partly due to the poor pattern (I guess) and partly because of the plain back (no mobility features). And it feels like it just never sits quite right on the body. I'll put it up for sale when I have time.
 

CombatWombat

Familiar Face
Messages
57
Thank you @CombatWombat . The main issue with this jacket remains the overly-narrow sleeves and the overall lack of mobility. Partly due to the poor pattern (I guess) and partly because of the plain back (no mobility features). And it feels like it just never sits quite right on the body. I'll put it up for sale when I have time.
If I wasn't a extremely tall and stocky built bloke I'd offer to buy it off you.....
Thankfully I've got Shawn making me a copy of a old 50's Brewer's coat in a similar goatskin
 

navetsea

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,711
Location
East Java
the problem here, they make a slim sleeve but with low armhole, so the armhole opening is far wider/ more oval than the circumference of the sleeve, so when the arm lifted the whole shoulder raised like that, if they make low arm hole then they should make wide sleeve too, if they make slim sleeve then it also needs to have high armhole
 

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