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Good Wear Hercules

Superfluous

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Stitching/attention to detail is IMO the real show of quality.

I could not agree more!

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red devil

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Never heard/seen of BKS. A quick google search seems to show they make motorcycle gear?

I should rephrase my observation like this: I think Himel has the best patterns amongst the leather jacket makers usually discussed here. Just my humble opinion of course and entirely based on fit pics.


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Yeah, BKS is specialised in riding gear, but they also make some vintage styles, I am getting an armoured cross-zip from them for riding:
https://www.bksleather.co.uk/

Getting back to patterns, I don't think that whether they fit well or not visually in a fit pic is that relevant. Rather what is really important is how the weight is distributed for one. For example is all the weight of the jacket being carried by the neck area or is it well distributed over the shoulders? Another point is how much movement does it allow regarding the function the garment is made for, etc...

And getting back to fit pics, a bespoke garment will fit better than made to measure which will fit better than off the rack all things being equal. Of course some people have ideal proportions and get amazing fits off the rack, but that would confirm this rule.

And speaking of Himel, his off the rack patterns don't really fit any better than other makers, sometimes much worse as the Orvis jackets showed us.
 

Imuricecreamman

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There seem to be a few manufacturers that seem to be obsessed with their attention to detail, precision of manufacture and quality of materials. They all seem to produce at a miniscule scale as they aren't able or willing to train staff to produce at their extremely high standards. This is the same in most fields of manufacture. The waiting time of GoodWear is the epitome of luxury and exclusivity and is just a niche corner of a niche corner. Where Aero and others are a business with ambition to grow and prosper, I don't think the same way about GoodWear and LW as they seem like passion projects by driven, nihilistic individuals.
 

jeo

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I agree that certain patterns are more suitable to certain body types than others but if one pattern look consistently off on differently shaped people than I think the pattern could do with some tweaks.

From what I can see, Himel has got the best patterns. If properly sized, I’ve yet to see one example of a bad fitting Himel jacket.


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There are certainly some bad patterns that should not exist anymore, but saying that Himel has the best patterns is a step too far.

Although Himel customers seem to be getting good fitting jackets overall, calling him the best is completely ignoring other makers who provide fantastic fitting jackets.

I will mention as an example BKS made to measure, their work in improving the patterns for riding as well as the bespoke process which is extremely detailed goes beyond anything I have seen so far.

Are they the best? I wouldn't even attempt to say it

Edited for clarity

Never heard/seen of BKS. A quick google search seems to show they make motorcycle gear?

I should rephrase my observation like this: I think Himel has the best patterns amongst the leather jacket makers usually discussed here. Just my humble opinion of course and entirely based on fit pics.


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This is another one of those "who's best" type of discussions that can go on and on to no end as there is no correct answer.

I do not think there is a maker that has the "best" patterns.

Are there makers that produce patterns that are more suitable for a wider range of body types, yes, but does that make said patterns better? IMO no. I think it's a case by case basis for each individual. For a short skinny guy like myself, Lost Worlds patterns aren't ideal. For others who are bigger and have more meat on the bone, they're perfect.

With regards to Himel...while his patterns are great and seem to fit many different body types, it's my opinion that knowing your patterns and being able to size them correctly and accordingly to each individual is just as important. And that's where I think Himel really nails it. Perhaps more-so than other makers. A perfectly applicable example is the Imperial that Himel made me. It's a GW pattern, yet Dave nailed the fit.

IMO most makers have great patterns that fit a wide variety of people. I can only think of The Flat Head and perhaps there's another that I'm forgetting that have very specific type of cuts that may not fit a wide variety of people.
 
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Maybe i see this in an unusual way, but to me leather is now pretty meaningless in the quality equation.
Most of the jackets we talk about are made with what i would describe as quality leather.
Is CXL better than LW, worst than Vicenza, equal to Shinki? It's all a subjective call based on personal preference.

The fact that we all have different bodies makes patterns just as hard to be objective about.

Stitching/attention to detail is IMO the real show of quality.

I don't mean to sound like a dick, but all it took was for me to look at the pictures of Natal jackets on this thread to see that they are not on the same level as LW (full disclosure i have never handled a Natal):

https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/natal-leather.84202/

Looking at post #4

The main zipper is completely wavy on the left lapel, both sides have different stitch count. The pockets are not symetrical and their angles aren't square, they also are IMO pretty messy (pic 8 shows a missed stitch and an extra solo stich where it shouldn't be there).
I can also see a few inconsistencies in the stitch spacing, where the stitch count becomes tighter and tighter before jumping a big fold and becoming looser again (last picture, the seam going from the pit to the gusset).
Or the opposite, if you look at picture 8 and 10, you can see that on either side of the bottom hem, at the junction between front and side panels there are a couple stitches that are almost 1/2" long!
The same thing can be seen on the back, picture 4, junction between kidney panel and side panel on the right side.

To me these Natal jackets are on the level of attention to detail i have seen on Schott jackets, it does the job, i am sure they are sturdy enough to be completely functional on and off the bike, but i don't see much precision in the details or the execution, and i would never see them as being on the same level of "quality" as LW or Freewheelers or RMC.

If i can spot this in pictures, i am sure i would find at least 5 "mistakes" if i held it in my hands.
My LW, FW and RMC have 0.

Now, i am not saying that this is not me being crazy, i fully admit that the difference might not be worth it to a lot of people, but it is worth it to me.

Picture of the mistakes i wouldn't tolerate:
(I also don't think the pockets are well shaped, and the fact that the stitch count is completely different on both sides of the main zipper is pretty poor)
5Gmmhu6.jpg

All true - And yet, a $150 jacket, one made in thicker leather, leaves nothing to be desired functionality-wise, worn either as a bike jacket or worn casually, every part of it performing perfectly (and fitting even better) while a $1500 jacket fails on some of the most critical features like the wide sleeve openings or being self destroyed by its own sleeve zippers.

Same with a Schott Perfecto which I still say is a better Perfecto than the one LW makes.

For me, bad stitching < flaws in functionality. Going about it this way, I could say I don't see the Lost Worlds on the same level as Natal since the Speed Demon, being as flawed as it is, is objectively an inferior motorcycle jacket.

So why should one aspect by which a jacket should be judged be valued more than the other (which, IMO, is more important). I sold my Aero motorcycle jacket because it wasn't very wearable on a bike at all. I kept the Natal because it is.

Ultimately, how can a sign of quality be something that has no effect on the actual quality of a leather garment, which - again - I personally translate to longevity, durability & the way it fits.

Again, Lost Worlds jacket is a perfectly stitched jacket that due to an oversight is cutting itself to shreds. How is that quality, then?

But yeah, we're just spinning around now and could go on forever. . .

@Monitor your Natal is cowhide isn't it? Why are you even comparing it to a horsehide jacket?[/QUOTE]

Because it makes no difference, the two hides being literally exactly the same.
 

Superfluous

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"Functionality" is as subjective as any other measure of quality. If you ride a bike, your "functionality" requirements are vastly different than if you do not ride a bike. Moreover, even bike riders emphasize different attributes and have different preferences.

The overwhelming majority of the jackets we discuss here will outlive the owners, so durability is largely a wash.

All true - And yet, a $150 jacket, one made in thicker leather, leaves nothing to be desired functionality-wise, worn either as a bike jacket or worn casually, every part of it performing perfectly

A Toyota Corolla will transport the owner to and from work as effectively as any other car and "leaves nothing to be desired functionality-wise." That said, I would greatly prefer a Ferrari, even though it is no more functional for pure transportation purposes. Moreover, I suspect that most would agree that a Ferrari is a better quality product, even though no more functional than a Toyota Corolla. Therefore, IMHO, there is far, far more to quality than mere functionality. Of course, if a particular product is not functional, it matters not how well it is made. That said, among functional products, workmanship and manufacturing details are key indicators of quality.
 
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To summarize the quality debate: beauty only exists in the eye of the beholder. I vastly prefer my $100 Taylor’s CPD jacket to my (former) Aero PHWM. The Aero is exponentially better quality. And I’m quite sure I’m alone in that preference. LOL. But nevertheless...it’s true.
Quality has never equated to desirability or more precisely wearability for me. I find quality in fit and feel over finish.
 

Superfluous

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Quality has never equated to desirability

Like everything else, the relative importance of quality, and its affect on desirability, is entirely subjective.

For me, personally, quality is a critically important and essential component of desirability. There are many good fitting, functional jackets that I will not purchase because the workmanship and details do not meet my personal, subjective preferences.
 
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Like everything else, the relative importance of quality, and its affect on desirability, is entirely subjective.

For me, personally, quality is a critically important and essential component of desirability. There are many good fitting, functional jackets that I will not purchase because the workmanship and details do not meet my personal, subjective preferences.
I understand. Somehow, along the way, I left that stuff behind as it never translated to meaning anything at all to me. For all intents and purposes it should have. I certainly spent enough in pursuit. But it did not.
 

Mich486

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I also think functionality is of secondary relevance in casual clothing in the sense that you are not supposed to do anything special in it. Isn’t that what we are discussing here?

If I’d need proper motorcycling gear I would look in a completely different direction than that of any of these makers.


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Seb Lucas

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The main distinction between the expensive boutique jackets and some others is the stitching and attention to detail.

These are aesthetic differences rather than advancements. Some people will value and pay extra for these differences. That's fine.

I wouldn't say these aesthetic variations between jackets are as great as the difference between a Toyota and a Ferrari. To begin with, the gap between jacket performance isn't going to be that significant. So it's more like the difference between a Toyota with factory paint and one with a custom job.

The other main difference between jackets is reputation. Some brands have a mystique which also makes them more exclusive or coveted.

I'd have to say Boyo - on your original post here - that is one of your best fitting jackets and looks pretty cool.
 
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Some brands have a mystique which also makes them more exclusive or coveted.
Agreed Seb. Also a lot of false praise based solely on the label, while ignoring the standard lesser brands are held to. Not the case in this thread but I’ve seen it many times over across the board. I’m guilty of it (and been the recipient) myself. Imho that is the true “TFL effect”.
 
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Blackadder

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"Functionality" is as subjective as any other measure of quality. If you ride a bike, your "functionality" requirements are vastly different than if you do not ride a bike. Moreover, even bike riders emphasize different attributes and have different preferences.

The overwhelming majority of the jackets we discuss here will outlive the owners, so durability is largely a wash.



A Toyota Corolla will transport the owner to and from work as effectively as any other car and "leaves nothing to be desired functionality-wise." That said, I would greatly prefer a Ferrari, even though it is no more functional for pure transportation purposes. Moreover, I suspect that most would agree that a Ferrari is a better quality product, even though no more functional than a Toyota Corolla. Therefore, IMHO, there is far, far more to quality than mere functionality. Of course, if a particular product is not functional, it matters not how well it is made. That said, among functional products, workmanship and manufacturing details are key indicators of quality.
I think the consensus is Toyota Corolla is way more reliable than a Ferrari. So as far as functionality goes, Toyota even exceeds the Ferrari unless you are a street racer.
Coming back to the beautiful Hercules, I don't think you can compare in terms of function the Hercules to a more modern motorcycle jacket. The Hercules design is not even a dedicated motorcycle jacket. It is a Sports jacket and many (some may even say a majority) of the jackets made by say Aero and LW are aviator or sports jackets. They are not dedicated motorcycle gear manufacturer. And yes the vintage style jackets that many of us here like so much is pretty dated. It is hard to expect a 50s Buco design (and its exact copy the LW) to be more advance than a 80s-90s motorcycle jacket with velcro etc and pockets for armour. Even zipper on a motorcycle jacket is dated in this day of age no matter which way it goes.
Also I simply wanted to point out that in order to get the brown patina and crease like those on the vintage jacket, you need veg tanned leather and it may not be possible to make really thick veg tanned leather wearable. I did not expect people to go into a debate about functionality. Boyo, sorry for derailing the thread. A really nice jacket. Wish I had put in an order for a GW A-2 back in 2012.
 
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ProteinNerd

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You certainly do. I’d be curious if any other members have heard about the goodwhereabouts of their jackets? Seems if Boyo’s ship has come in other members who have been waiting 3 or 4 years might only have a couple more to go. ;)


My deposit was paid in January 2015...still waiting and no, I haven't heard anything from Jon since Sept 2017 when he said he was going to call me lol
 
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My deposit was paid in January 2015...still waiting and no, I haven't heard anything from Jon since Sept 2017 when he said he was going to call me lol
You might well be approaching the finish line though. I’m not saying that facetiously. I hope for those stuck in the queue the jackets do start to materialize. My gaskets would’ve long blown. In spectacular fashion.
 

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