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Good quality but affordable first leather jacket

Tom71

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,459
Location
Europe
It seems that many of these suggestions are pre-owned jackets from aero and other more premium brands. That is great and those jackets look very good, but I just prefer the relative ease of being able to buy something new.

Are there not any other entry-level brands that offer great quality at prices that are a bit lower?

I do get it! I was living on a very, very tight budget, until I was about 30, so good quality leathers were completely out of the question.

Unfortunately, you won´t get any of the brands discussed here in new condition (unless, of course, there is a factory sale). I guess, in your shoes, I would search the online-sellers for acceptable "Tier 2" options. Lot´s of mall-jackets around, and not all of them are bad.
 

Mike_27

New in Town
Messages
10
No, great quality costs money.

It's better to invest a bit more than to compromise on quality imo.
I have gotten to the same conclusion. I usually always prefer to spend slightly more to get something that is of great quality and lasts a long time. This way of thinking is just getting a bit too expensive as I find new areas of interests.
 

Mike_27

New in Town
Messages
10
I looked at aeros stock offering and found a few jackets that I’m interested in. I’m still a bit unsure about the sizing of the highwayman as many have said that it fits quite large. Do any of you wear a size 40 or 42 highwayman?
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,779
Location
London, UK
Hi all, I’m looking to purchase my first leather jacket and stumbled on this forum when trying to find more info on certain manufacturers. I’ve found all the conversations to be very informative, although the amount of new information is a bit overwhelming. So I thought that I should post my own question here.

I’m searching for a good quality jacket that would also be fairly affordable (around 500-600 €/$). I’ve read lots of good things about aero, but their prices are a bit out of my budget after taxes and other fees. I’ve also been looking at some jackets from five star leather, but since I’m getting my first jacket, I don’t like the idea of taking a gamble with the pattern and measurements. What would be some good manufacturers that make jackets priced somewhere between aero and 5*?

I live in europe, so ordering from the US is quite expensive as there are around 30% of taxes and duties added to the price of the jacket. For this reason, I would prefer buying the jacket from a EU country so I could avoid this issue but it’s still an option to buy from the US if the price is reasonable.

Thanks in advance!

Aero crop up used on eBay here and there. You can also get a really good deal on their "apprentice made" jackets - some years ago, I bought a Highwayman "apprentice made" for about 60% of the cost of the regular line. As good as any, or sometimes (appropriate priced) with the sort of minor stitch wobble that most of us would never even notice, though always very clearly identified on the sales page. These jackets are those produced at the last stage of training a new Aero machinist, and they are never anything Aero wouldn't be happy going out the door with their name on them. As with used, of course, takes a bit of patience, and it's much more likely you'll see a Highwayman or an A2 in this line, so it depends what you're after, really...

If you're interested in a classic, British-style motorcycle jacket, GoldTop are a good option. https://goldtop.co.uk

Another one I'd throw into the mix is Cathcart Heritage. Their jackets are all a nice goat leather. I've tried them in person. Pay particular attention to the size chart on the website as labelled sizes can run small (can't go wrong with the actual measurements chart, though. I wear a 42to 46 in most leathers, but I need A 48 in this). Their Flat Track jacket is on sale currently at 40% off - GBP237 instead of the full price of GBP395. Excellent bargain at the price if they have your size. https://www.cathcartheritage.com/collections/summersale23/products/flat-track-jacket


Both Goldtop and Cathcart are set up to deal with all charges up front when ordering from the EU, so you won't have any nasty surprises on delivery:

https://www.cathcartheritage.com/pages/eu-customers
https://goldtop.co.uk/blogs/news/ordering-from-the-eu

Aero will sell to you direct in the EU deducting VAT (currently 20%, meaning you pay 20% less than the UK retail price - click on the right option when you land on the homepage), which should apply to all options, including the Apprentice Made jacket as well as used and sale items. this does mean you'll need to sort out the customs charges at your end,. though if your part of Europe is lower VAT rate, you might come out ahead for that. Alternatively, Aero also have a number of EU stockists which would save you the bother on this. Not sure what part of the EU you're in, but here's a list:

https://www.aeroleatherclothing.com/stockists

I guess even if they're not nearby, it might be easier for you to mail order from one of those?
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,779
Location
London, UK
I looked at aeros stock offering and found a few jackets that I’m interested in. I’m still a bit unsure about the sizing of the highwayman as many have said that it fits quite large. Do any of you wear a size 40 or 42 highwayman?

My Highwayman is a 42. I would tend towards a 44 or a 46 in the halfbelt models, depending on cut (mostly because I don't have a pre-war chest to waist drop!). Ignore the stated label size, though - it's all about the actual jacket measurements. If it's a pre-made jacket, they should be able to give you actual measurements - best option is to check these against a jacket you already have that fits in the desired way. If it doubt, always talk to Aero first, they're very good with the advice in my experience, and will know exactly how each pattern will be designed to fit, what will suit your bodyshape best and such. Just make sure to provide them with accurate measurements, and be clear about what is your own body sizings, and what's a jacket you'd like it to fit like.
 

torfjord

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,526
Location
Sweden
I want to echo the advice to look for used Vanson’s in the EU. Vanson makes amazing jackets, some of the best patterns in the game. Superb mobility and comfort. On the market for used jackets they are well within your budget. You might even find one overseas within your budget including taxes and shipping.
 

Tom71

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,459
Location
Europe
I looked at aeros stock offering and found a few jackets that I’m interested in. I’m still a bit unsure about the sizing of the highwayman as many have said that it fits quite large. Do any of you wear a size 40 or 42 highwayman?

My rule-of-thumb rationale is:

- Size 42 for the standard (1930s cut) offerings.
- Size 40 for the 1950s offerings (including HWM)
- Size 44 for the "Premier" range.

As always: the safest bet would be to measure a jacket that fits good and take these numbers as a departure point (not as the ultimate truth because people tend to measure differently).
 

nattevagten

A-List Customer
Messages
308
I looked at aeros stock offering and found a few jackets that I’m interested in. I’m still a bit unsure about the sizing of the highwayman as many have said that it fits quite large. Do any of you wear a size 40 or 42 highwayman?

You can find a size 42 Aero Highwayman here (only €460):


Says it has a 58 cm pit-to-pit.
 

3.14nche

One of the Regulars
Messages
247
Location
Belgium
Maybe SJC?
Their goatskin leather jacket is on sale at the moment.
1691590120699.png
It's in the UK but duties are taken care of.

Or Pike Brothers (Germany) but you have to be at the right place at the right time as they don't seem to have a lot of stock.
1691590153026.png
 

morrison2951

Practically Family
Messages
667
Location
F-V, NC
Welcome!

My first quality leather jacket was a pre-owned, older no longer made horsehide Vanson Enfield that I purchased from our Classifieds.

3 more Vansons later and I can't say enough about their quality.

Check out the Vanson! Vanson! Vanson! thread.
:)
 
Messages
10,985
Location
SoCal
When it comes to quality leather jackets, new is not the way to begin IMO. The classifieds are full of beautiful jackets that are still going to last you years. Some have only been tried on or used for a month or 1 season. Buy used, find what works, then down the road order a custom (or not). You can easily find one for your budget.
 

Yango

One of the Regulars
Messages
144
Buy a second hand jacket. It’s much less painful if you make a mistake. And you’ll get your money back if you resell it.

Both of my favourite jackets are second hand—and I paid a fraction of what they would have cost me new.
 

Harris HTM

One Too Many
Messages
1,801
Location
the Netherlands
$600 minus 30% import cost is $460. This is too much for a 5Star but not enough for an Aero. Save an extra 200 dollars, that will get you a horsehide Highwayman on the sale page.
https://www.aeroleatherclothing.com/stock/highwayman--seal-jerky-hh--40----s-5783/s-5783
Unless my math is not good an extra 200$ (thus 660$) won't buy the OP an Aero jacket in Finland.
The jacket you posted costs 575 pounds or 667 euros. Ignoring shipping costs, adding up VAT and import duty (30% in Finland) we come up to 867 euros. Add the 17,5 euro "handling" cost of DHL (at least here in NL) and the total cost, excluding shipping, is 885 euros or 973 US dollars.
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,179
Unless my math is not good an extra 200$ (thus 660$) won't buy the OP an Aero jacket in Finland.
The jacket you posted costs 575 pounds or 667 euros. Ignoring shipping costs, adding up VAT and import duty (30% in Finland) we come up to 867 euros. Add the 17,5 euro "handling" cost of DHL (at least here in NL) and the total cost, excluding shipping, is 885 euros or 973 US dollars.
Thanks. I've changed it to save up 400 dollars.
 

VansonRider

One of the Regulars
Messages
219
I just want to echo the chorus of "buy a second hand jacket" from the site. I've only ever bought one new leather jacket, and I've since moved it on. Currently every one of my leather jackets are used, and with the exception of one Hein Gericke Dakar, they're also all Vanson. I have maybe 12 or so in all, and four were purchsed in very near new condition.
I came into this site from a motorbiking perspective, so most of mine are sportrider variants. But I have a classic cross zip in there, too.
I fully admit I'm VERY biased, I grew up near the Vanson factory in Mass and they're my "home town" company. But they developed their patterns building one piece racing leathers for track use (I have two of those as well) and they incorporate all the feedback about comfort and freedom of movement into their lineup.
 
Last edited:

Fifty150

One Too Many
Messages
1,847
Location
The Barbary Coast
I live in europe, so ordering from the US is quite expensive as there are around 30% of taxes and duties added to the price of the jacket. For this reason, I would prefer buying the jacket from a EU country



Don't order from the US. It's a ridiculous price to pay. I would not order anything from Europe if I had to pay an added 30%. Surely, there are manufacturers in Europe who could sell you a good quality jacket.

Or....... find someone in The USA. Have them buy the jacket, and take off the retail price tags. Then send it to you. It's that simple. Just like me, sending a birthday gift, to my cousin. It's not a commercial transaction. I didn't sell anything to my cousin. And I can declare on the customs declaration that the jacket is worth $100 or less.
 

nattevagten

A-List Customer
Messages
308
In addition to 24% VAT, Finland also has a customs duty / import tariff for cloths, which is 12% (just checked from tulli.fi), so ordering from the US is madness indeed. Fortunately the customs duty doesn't have to be paid for goods manufactured in the UK, so Aero is still a good choice.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,779
Location
London, UK
In addition to 24% VAT, Finland also has a customs duty / import tariff for cloths, which is 12% (just checked from tulli.fi), so ordering from the US is madness indeed. Fortunately the customs duty doesn't have to be paid for goods manufactured in the UK, so Aero is still a good choice.

That should mean then the outcome would be just 4% over the UK price..... VAT here is 20%. For now - I wouldn't be entirely surprised if it changes +/- 2.5%-5% over the next eighteen months, though in what direction I couldn't call.
 

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