Help out an Aero newbie

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Dbrn, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. Dbrn

    Dbrn Familiar Face

    Messages:
    78
    Hello Loungers,

    I'm Dan. First-time poster, but I promise I've done lots of reading prior to writing this crazy long post! I'm very keen to buy my first high-quality leather jacket, and I fell in love with the Aero Hooch Hauler's blend of Flight and Rider design elements when I first saw it. I do also love the Indian Ranger's style, but as a 45 year old (divorced) dad who doesn't ride, I'm not sure I can pull off a full-on motorcycle jacket. If I could walk into a store and try each one on I'd already be posting proud pics, but I'm feeling quite gun-shy about making (what is for me) a relatively expensive purchase without any such opportunity. I'm hoping this wise and experienced community ;) might be able to help me out with a number of factors I'm confused about. I'll explain my concerns first and then provide some background. Any and all advice/suggestions appreciated!

    My main area of concern is that I have no real idea what the HH or IR would look like on me. I've never worn anything like the HH; I recently tried on a cheap Double Rider at a biker shop and liked the fit/shape. I've obviously scoured FL and the rest of the internet for 'in the wild' photos of each (zipped and unzipped), and that's only left me more confused. I've seen some photos of people in the HH (or others from Aero's Prohibition series) that I've loved, and others that are exactly what I don't want to look like. That's not a criticism, as the fit in all photos was excellent. But I'm looking for a particular effect with my leather jacket - a strong V-shape - and while the HH seems to do that for some people, it doesn't for others. The more aggressive style of the IR seems to work for most people, but, like I said, it may be so aggressive I'll just end up feeling like a poseur in it. So, in theory I love the design of the HH, but am not sure it'll give me the silhouette I want; I think the IR would probably give me the silhouette, but am less sure about its other design elements on me.

    Given everyone's extensive experience with leather jackets, can anyone help me figure out if the HH will work for me?? :eek:

    Bit of background: I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Canadian Aero stockist, Bison, doesn't seem to send out fit jackets. While I could get a fit jacket from Thurston in the US, the cost - along with currency conversion - becomes prohibitive. I'd like a spring/summer jacket, which means temperatures between around 5-15 degrees celcius. I don't ride, so this would be strictly a fashion jacket worn casually with jeans and boots. I think I'd want to wear it mainly with just a t-shirt underneath, or maybe a very thin long-sleeve shirt. I'm about 5'9", and the measurements I took of myself are as follows: Chest normal/expanded 38.5/39.5; stomach at largest point 37; waist 35. Obviously I have a relatively small frame and normally wear size S or M.

    One final concern relates to Aero's leather. I understand that goat leather may be best for spring jackets, but Aero only seems to offer heavier leather. Are any of the leathers in which the HH and IR are offered suitable for what I want? I particularly want a dark brown and wouldn't buy tan or black.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. robrinay

    robrinay One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,247
    Location:
    Sheffield UK
    If I were you I’d also address these questions to Aero Leather.
     
    Guppy likes this.
  3. Peter Bowden

    Peter Bowden Practically Family

    Messages:
    527
    Location:
    united kingdom
    Hate to be a bore but you could find a middle ground with their Bootlegger-It has aviator and motorcycle heritage-You have to go with what you love though
     
    El Marro and ton312 like this.
  4. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,782
    Location:
    SoCal
    I would steer you towards Vicenza HH or...steerhide.
     
  5. VestCoast

    VestCoast Familiar Face

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Austin TX
    The V-taper silhouette is mostly a result of the wearer's build, particularly if you want to go with a lighter weight leather. The CXL leathers are stiffer and hold their shape a bit more, so you could potentially achieve a slightly broader look at the shoulder than you could in a lighter weight leather. That being said, it's hard to say whether the HH is going to give you a V shape without knowing what you look like. The hooch hauler measurements for some stock jackets on the Thurston Bros website show a 21.75" chest and 19.5" hem, which is not a particularly aggressive taper, but could end up giving you the silhouette you want provided you have the build.

    Bigbenbs has some good fit pics demonstrating a V-shape with the HH (in a stock size 40, should be easy to compare) (https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/boots-to-wear-with-new-aero-hooch-hauler.94637/) He posted some of his measurements/details in this sale thread. (https://www.thefedoralounge.com/thr...-40-russet-v-and-daytona-38-black-fqhh.96931/)

    As far as avoiding the motorcycle look goes, forgoing black jackets will distance you pretty effectively from that particular association.

    Some practical advice regarding your fitting situation--I would go to thrift shops/somewhere you can try on leather jackets and bring along a tailor's tape and take the measurements of a jacket that fit like you want. Make sure to use the same measuring techniques that Aero uses. After that, just get in touch with Aero for sizing advice and if needed have Aero adjust the side panels to get you the best fit. This forum has the fervor and passion of numerous enthusiasts but IMHO the professionals at Aero will give you the most actionable advice, particularly considering your location and inability to get a fit jacket. Good luck!
     
    El Marro and Guppy like this.
  6. Boyo

    Boyo One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,199
    Location:
    Long Island NY
    Have you had a look through the Aero sales pages?.. there are at least 5-6 different jackets (bootlegger, aero-marine, 30's half belt, Hwyman) available in size 38 all for about $650 or so...and im pretty sure a sale jacket is returnable
     
  7. dubpynchon

    dubpynchon Practically Family

    Messages:
    579
    Location:
    Ireland
    I'll second the Bootlegger choice, it's a great jacket. My two horsehide jackets are relatively light, not as light as goat but lighter than steerhide, both are good for summer wear, just ask Aero for lighter weight horsehide and you'll be fine.
     
  8. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,543
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Dan, Welcome to the Lounge.

    I haven't seen it, but I have read others' comments about Aero's goat. It has gotten good reviews. Aero offers the mid weight goat in a seal brown. Might offer it in other colors as well. Handy Mike's suggestion of a Vicenza HH is an excellent one.

    Good luck in your search.
     
  9. Dbrn

    Dbrn Familiar Face

    Messages:
    78
    Thanks to everyone for these helpful responses so far! I'm continuing to check back regularly.

    @robrinay I'm in discussion with Holly at Aero :)

    @Peter Bowden I'm trying to figure out the differences between the HH and the BL, which is challenging since Aero doesn't post measurements. It's one of the things I'm asking Holly. I guess the BL is just less close-fit and slightly boxier?

    @VestCoast Thanks for the detailed reply! I had seen Bigbenbs's photos but not his measurements in the Sales thread, so thanks for that. Thrift shops is a great idea, though I don't know if there are many in Edmonton :rolleyes: - I'll check it out.

    @Boyo Great resource!
     
    AbbaDatDeHat and robrinay like this.
  10. Canuck Panda

    Canuck Panda New in Town

    Messages:
    47
    Style is a very personal thing, I would suggest to only buy what you love, strongly. Buyer remorse sucks.

    FQHH is very different than all other leather out there. My oversized Roots Canada calf leather bomber jacket weighs only 2.6 lbs while my downsized, lightest Aero FQHH Cafe Racer weighs 5.4 lbs. It's different, in a very good way, for me.

    Sizing is a tricky thing, but you can always exchange. It cost about C$250 to ship a 3.5kg back to UK for exchange, so you might want to budget for that, in the worst case scenario.

    Cheers!
     
  11. Guppy

    Guppy Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,742
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I'd echo everything @VestCoast said.

    I'd also add that fit is very tricky. Some of us here have owned... a lot... of jackets, and we are more discerning. You will likely get fit wrong with your first jacket, but with the help of a good stockist like Carry @ Thurtston Bros or Holly @ Aero, they can get you dialed in.

    MOST people have been wearing ill-fitting off-the-rack clothing most of their lives, or even hand-me-downs, and have no idea what actual good fitting clothing feels like, which makes it harder to know really when something fits, and when something doesn't. Arguably, maybe they're better off not knowing, because they can be happy in an ignorance-is-bliss kind of way, and don't end up spending $20,000+ on leather jackets in 5 years looking for perfection the way some of us can be prone to do.

    With leather, it breaks in, and the drape of the jacket will change as the leather breaks and molds to your form. What initially feels too tight and restrictive and stiff can transform dramatically, feeling like a second skin, but it takes time. So knowing whether it truly fits or not takes time, and fit generally improves with time. But it has to be right to begin with. A bad fit will not get fixed with time. But a good fit will improve with time.

    A lot of people who aren't used to heavy leather like Aero uses aren't prepared for this, don't know what the're getting into, and balk when they find out what it's like, but the ones who persevere with the break-in for CXL FQHH or CXL Steer are rewarded. That said, Vicenza HH and goat are both very good options, and are much easier, with little to no break-in required. CXL midweight leathers are also good and easier to break in. There really isn't a leather Aero offers that isn't good, but it depends on what you are looking for.

    When you're trying on, don't just put it on and take it off a minute later. Spend time in it. Get someone to take pictures of you, from various angles, in various positions. Go through your natural range of motion. Try to be as observant as possible. There is a learning curve.
     
    El Marro likes this.
  12. VestCoast

    VestCoast Familiar Face

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Austin TX
    Happy to help!

    As for the differences between the HH and Bootlegger, you're spot on about the fit difference--HH is closer, BL fits larger. Pattern wise, the back construction is the main difference.
     
  13. ProteinNerd

    ProteinNerd My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,650
    Location:
    Sydney
    Just to muddy the waters there is a STF (Super Tight Fit) (AKA Premier Fit) Bootlegger option as well that is not listed on the Aero site. I think it's actually a slimmer fit than the Hooch Hauler.

    IMG_0795.jpeg
     
    jacketjunkie and VestCoast like this.
  14. zebedee

    zebedee Practically Family

    Messages:
    941
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    For a first Aero, I'd recommend a Highwayman - it's a great everyman style. The brown front quarter HH is a lovely colour which gets better with age. Aero's goat is also a good hide, and is lighter out of the box.
     
  15. El Marro

    El Marro One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,466
    Location:
    California
    The Bootlegger is a roomier cut, similar to the 50’s halfbelt, while the Hooch Hauler is slimmer. If I were looking for a jacket with a V shape I would choose the Bootlegger because I think you have more freedom to go big up top and taper down to a narrower waist. It’s harder to achieve this look with a jacket that is meant to be trim throughout.
    Zebedee,
    I agree with almost everything you have ever posted but I have to disagree with you on your suggestion for the Highwayman as a first Aero. My first Aero was a brown CXL steerhide Highwayman and it is one of the few jackets that I have sold or moved on. You are absolutely right about the leather being amazing, but this is one of the harder styles to get the fit just right on, especially if you are new to this. My Highwayman was tight in the shoulders and blousy and loose from there on down I have seen some awesome fits in this model (nick123 and Dav in particular) but I think it’s a tough one to get right.
     
    Peacoat likes this.
  16. ProteinNerd

    ProteinNerd My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,650
    Location:
    Sydney
    I have to agree with @El Marro I think the Highwayman is a poor choice for someone that is after a jacket to help give or accentuate V silhouette.
     
  17. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,920
    Location:
    Iowa
    ^^ Agreed...lots of good details here, too bad there's not a local place you could try on a few first. Another reason to try them on for some time is to let the leather warm up a bit and soften a bit to your body. This is a real thing and it's why when Carrie had her store in Seattle, she would encourage folks to do just this.

    Take a good long read through the threads of "What jacket are you wearing today" and any Aero Bootlegger, J106, or Motorcycle jacket threads. Lots of there here and ton of information indeed. Enjoy the process!
     
  18. Dbrn

    Dbrn Familiar Face

    Messages:
    78
    So much help! It's great finding communities of mania... uh, connoisseurs :p

    @Canuck Panda A fellow canuck! I hadn't realized the weight difference, but I'm totally okay with it. I want a jacket I can feel. I don't quite get how exchanges to Aero work once you factor in pre-order modifications to things like sleeves or drop-sizing from shoulder to waist. I've read the site but need to follow up further with Holly.

    @Guppy Thanks for the extensive advice! I'm old enough :mad: to be patient and a break-in period doesn't bother me; neither would initial stiffness if it meant a nicely fitted shape in the long run. But given that I'm after a spring/summer jacket, do you think the stiffer leathers are still appropriate? I don't know how much stiffness/thickness and warmth are connected.

    @zebedee Thanks for the recommendation, but I had already eliminated that from my initial list. It seems too far away from what I'm after given other options.

    @El Marro That's a really excellent point I have not considered! Do you think that would require creative sizing of some kind? I'm just trying to understand how you would do that...

    @ProteinNerd I've wondered about that Premier Fit. Given El Marro's point, I wonder if maybe I should avoid that as potentially being too slim and not V enough. Thoughts?

    Thanks for all the ideas! Please keep em coming!:D
     
    Peter Bowden likes this.
  19. El Marro

    El Marro One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,466
    Location:
    California
    Dbrn, I know that Thurston Brothers has done this on jackets to achieve a trimmer fit. In this case you might order a size 40 chest tapered to a 38 waist for example. A less extreme tweak might be to ask for half an inch or so removed from each of the side panels. Since you are dealing directly with Aero in this case I would ask them what their thoughts are.
     
  20. zebedee

    zebedee Practically Family

    Messages:
    941
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Cool- I'm sorta oblong, so it works for me...
     
    El Marro likes this.

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