Leather jacket colours in the 1930s and 40s

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Benny Holiday, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. Benny Holiday

    Benny Holiday My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    We're all familiar with black and brown leather jackets in the Golden Era, especially the brown shades from dark seal all the way through to russet, "cognac" and tan. But what about other colours? I have seen catalogues with two tones, even black with white panels. Were there burgundy/cordovan/cherry jackets back then? What about midnight blue or other blue shades? Or olive (yeah I'm still thinking about that Thedi olive I think Guppy posted the other day!)? Or did those colours only appear later, in the 60s, 70s, or even 80s? Just wonderin', is all.
     
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  2. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    Great question. There's a bit of a discussion pertaining to the speccing of olive for use on early U.S. flight jackets but it most likely never came to fruition.
     
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  3. Rabbit

    Rabbit Call Me a Cab

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    Pretty sure that cordovan was around. I've personnally seen only one, on a 1930s Finnish horsehide jacket.
    As for blue, green and other more vivid colours: I've seen exactly one blue hide from the 30s, it was a medium blue ostrich hide on a two-tone jacket.

    Where the 20s-30s jackets went wild, though, is with suede rather than grain leather. Catalogues explicitly mention rust, navy, other shades of blue, shades of green (including lime!).

    20s cossack jackets were frequently of so-called "natural" colour, i.e. a light tan.

    My guess is that if you do find a particularly crazy colour on a 30s grain leather hide, chances are it will be on a two-tone (leather/leather or textile/leather).
     
  4. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 Call Me a Cab

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    Check out the Sears catalogs online.
     
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  5. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie One Too Many

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    I own a very red-ish brown Windward jacket from the 40s, the color is pretty much cordovan just more weathered than a new Aero jacket. Also seen others on ebay, by different makers. So these red tones definitely were around.

    Dark Green leather jackets have been a thing in Germany from the 40s to the 60s, mostly coats. Idk about use of that color in the US.
     
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  6. regius

    regius Call Me a Cab

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    I'm sure there were light tan, lots of them, from deerskin and goat.
     
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  7. tropicalbob

    tropicalbob My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    General Patton's design for his tank corp in WWII included green leather jackets.
     
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  8. regius

    regius Call Me a Cab

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    I have the Lightning book, maybe I'll post some photos.
     
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  9. Benny Holiday

    Benny Holiday My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Thanks for your interest and replies gents. Thus far in catalogues I've only seen references to black and a variety of browns/tans, such as 'aviator brown' or 'English tan'. I'm definitely with Rabbit in that other colours were more likely to seen on two tone jackets, be they all leather or half textile.
     
  10. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck One Too Many

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    That's a great question. I know I have seen some light tan/natural jackets, but I don't think I have personally found any white jackets of that age. However, I do not look for it too actively.
     
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