Got my first A-2, is it too big???

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Oktobr, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Oktobr

    Oktobr New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    New Jersey
    First off, thanks so much to the members of this board who gave me advice on buying my first A-2. My girlfriend surprised me on my birthday (5 days ago) by giving me an A-2 from flightjackets.com. Its much nicer than I expected and seeing as how it was a gift, the best things in life truly are free. However, the smallest size US Authentics make is a 36R and its the size she got me. I think the sleeves might be too long, because of this you can barely see the cuffs which get overlapped by them. I contacted Shaul at US Authentics and he said they'd shorten the sleeves for free, so let me know what you guys think.

    I think it fits pretty similarly to this jacket:
    http://www.goodwearleather.com/pages/gw27753_images3.html

    Here are some shots of me in the jacket taken by my friend, sorry they're not close up but I dont have a camera to take my own shots. And these were taken just for fun, because of the graffiti a few blocks from me.
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  2. kojax

    kojax Practically Family

    Messages:
    922
    Location:
    haverhill
    return it get something else i got my father a a2 from gibson barnes size 36 horsehide i hope it fits him i will recieve it torrmow i will let you know how it fits
     
  3. garzo

    garzo One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    259
    Location:
    Berlin
    It looks good. You're gonna hear lots of different opinions here on what an A-2 should look like, but in the end, it should reflect your own taste and what works for you. I personally like how it looks in the pictures. The sleeves may be a tad long, but it's not a deal breaker -- you can barely see the cuffs on the guy wearing the Good Wear. I like the longer slimmer cut of this jacket. Many A-2s are cut short and stocky, resulting in a very roundish silhouette that is not always flattering.
    I own a Gibson & Barnes 1943-style A-2 horsehide and I find it's a tad too short and billowy. I would prefer it to be a tad longer and slimmer like yours. But again, it's all a matter of taste, and you cannot argue about matters of taste.

    Lots of people will say A-2s were originally supposed to fit like tight leather "shirts," which I don't buy. Looking at vintage photos from the 1940s, you see a lot of young guys wearing A-2s that hung well over the waist -- I imagine in war time not every guy was perfectly fitted, or guys even back then had their own preferences -- maybe some liked a bit of room to wear a sweater underneath.
     
  4. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    IMHO, the body length and width are great.

    As the sleeves on jackets tend to shorten slightly as you break in the leather, through developing natural creases, I'd ask the guy from Flightjackets.com if you can make the decision on whether or not you want 'em done in three months or so. Then, with regular wear during this period, you'll be able to see whether the sleeves 'pull back' naturally or you do need a bit taking off - it'd be horrible to have them shortened and then they 'pull back' too far from general wear! Mebbe other FL-ers can chip in on this?
     
  5. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

    Messages:
    5,292
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    What you have with the sleeves is called "tunneling." It is not a favored effect on the A-2. The shoulders appear to be well squared up and not droopy, which is the kiss of death in a jacket for me. As it isn't zipped, it is difficult to tell about the fit around the torso, but it appears to be OK in the pictures.

    I don't buy the A-2 "fit like a glove" theory either. I was a military pilot, and it would not have been comfortable for me to do my job in the cockpit with a tight fitting leather jacket. I imagine the pilots of the A-2 generation felt the same way. Additionally, most of the pictures of wartime A-2s I have seen don't support the fit like a glove theory.

    The Badger is right about the sleeves shortening as they wrinkle. I don't think it will take three months to properly wrinkle up, though. As the arms at the elbow get the most use, they will be the first to break in. You can help that process along by flexing your arms at the elbow as you wear your jacket around the house to quicken the breakin process. If you are diligent, and depending on the thickness and stiffness of the leather, it might get done in a few days. But if the leather is very stiff, it would take longer, much longer.

    I think you would be well advised to revisit this question after the sleeves have wrinkled up. My opinion is that you will be taking Shaul up on his offer of free alterations. You will need to give him the exact amount you want the sleeves shortened.

    The knits shouldn't tunnel, nor should they be stretched to the limit. A little relaxed slack in the knits, just below where they meet the leather of the sleeve, is what you are looking for. That way the sleeves aren't constantly riding up your wrist. The slack allows freedom of motion without ride up.
     
  6. I agree...everything looks fine..except the sleeves are definately too long.
    HD
     
  7. garzo

    garzo One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    259
    Location:
    Berlin
    Hey Oktobr,

    Is that the horsehide or the basic goatskin you have?
     
  8. too much coffee

    too much coffee Practically Family

    Messages:
    912
    Location:
    Not too far from Spokane, WA
    Hello Oktobr,

    I agree with the Peacoat, Mr. Badger and garzo; could the fit be better? Of course, but just about all of us can say that with some of our "keeper" jackets. That tunneling will minimize as your stiff horsehide relaxes and creases are formed at the inner elbow. I've always considered US Authentic's HH A2 a decent product for the money. The guy on your GoodWear leather link is John Chapman, founder and owner of GoodWear. His company is a high end manufacturer of A2s. Your comparison pic is very altruistic to your own.
    Remember one thing, some worshipers of the A2 jacket pay $900.00 and up for the most authentically reproduced WWII jacket that money can buy. Sometimes that jacket is made with horsehide imported from Japan, ironically.
    You look fine in your A2 and your girlfriend is a class act for buying you that jacket.
    Regards, coffee
     
  9. Oktobr

    Oktobr New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Thanks for the feedback, and yeah I'll e-mail Shaul now and see if he'll give me a month or so grace period on the alterations. Hopefully, he'll be more gracious about this than he was about visiting them up in Katonah, NY.

    @ Garzo
    The jacket is russet color Horsehide.

    @Coffee
    Thanks, and I'll let my girlfriend know about your kind words. I'm sure she'll appreciate it.
     
  10. rgraham

    rgraham A-List Customer

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Nor Cal
    Considering your age, you will grow into it in a couple of decades. By then, it will be well broken in and awesome.
     
  11. Oktobr

    Oktobr New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I'm 23. So if you meant, I'll grow vertically; I wish! lol But if you meant the inevitable growth in fat I'll put on through the consumption of beer and fried food... you may have something there. haha
     
  12. 58panheadfan

    58panheadfan Practically Family

    Messages:
    660
    Location:
    Switzerland

    Well said... same I belive was thinking these pilots...

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  13. Justhandguns

    Justhandguns Practically Family

    Messages:
    756
    Location:
    London
    I agree with all of you here. The sleeves are a bit long in my opinion. But what we see here is probably the modern kind of fit, more relaxed. Of course, if you are not entirely happy, try to see if you can exhange the sizes or if somebody can professionaly modify the length of the sleeves for you.

    I just recently had a huge debate (but constructive) with some fellow flight jackets fanatics in Hong Kong (I was born in HK by the way....). They all think that "fitting like a snug shirt" is a must. What I think is that, they have been hugely influenced by the Japanese kind of styling modelled by some "average built" Japanese guys.

    [​IMG]

    I guess you can will see what I mean from the pics. For a person who has been living in the West for some many years like myself (with plenty of fish & chips....), I am really sorry to say that these fittings just don't look right to me. Oktobr, I can assure you, yours jacket looks much better than those Japanese in the pictures. They are just way too small.
     
  14. Aether

    Aether One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    293
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    I think the fit is fine, maybe a touch long in the sleeve, but looks good.

    I returned an Aero A2 that fitted like the examples given by Justhandguns because I knew it just wouldn't be comfortable enough that I'd actually wear it!

    I say keep it but have a little taken off the sleeves.
     
  15. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,893
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    If Shaul will take up the sleeves for free, you should definitely do it. (The hide breaking in will not shrink up the sleeves that much.) I think it fits fine apart from that: the shoulders and body length are good.

    (It's the first really cool morning here: I'm wearing my US A horsehide A-2 today also!)
     
  16. atkins

    atkins Familiar Face

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Jakarta
    I think you're very lucky to have a superb fit on your first A-2. I've been looking for that shoulder fit in my last two A2 jackets and still searching. Yours just perfect! The sleeves will do just fine many years to come. Wear in good health!

    How tall are you Oktobr?
     
  17. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    Everybody's first A-2 is too big.

    Everybody's next A-2 is too small.
     
  18. Carnage

    Carnage One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    London
    Nice jacket, do take them up on their offer of shortening your sleeves, although not by too much though.

    But please feel free to burn that hat!
     
  19. kojax

    kojax Practically Family

    Messages:
    922
    Location:
    haverhill
    a-2 horsehide jacket

    my father a-2 jacket just came a-2 horsehide from gibson barnes nice leather not stiff at all . i got him a size 36 the fit is right on fits me well to i am 5/7 130 pounds waiste size 31 the 38 would of been to big for him. gibson barnes jacket run big..
     
  20. rgraham

    rgraham A-List Customer

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Nor Cal
    I did mean the latter. Believe me, I know. ;)
     

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