Leather Jackets in the 1920s

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Dinerman, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

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    What is now known as the "A-1" style of leather jacket came into vogue in the 1920s. The A-1 was adopted in 1927. By that point this style, adopted from golfers and sportsmen, had already been on the market for the better part of a decade.

    The separable bottom zipper wasn't invented until 1927, and wasn't seen on jackets until around 1930. Zippers were seen on specialized full flight suits (which didn't require a separable bottom) and on pullover shirt style jackets (mostly for children), but for the most part, but in the 1920s, buttons were king. In 1930, once the kinks had been worked out of the 1927-patent separable-bottom zipper, and the design entered production, they started being applied to jackets, both leather and cloth, in a big way.

    As the 1920s progressed, ads for leather jackets became much more common. Presumably this mirrors their ascension in popularity in mainstream fashion. (That is to say outside of specialty aviation/motorcycle suppliers). Suede was a common material, but it is seen less and less in ads over the course of the decade. This style was marketed heavily towards golfers and for other outdoor pursuits. Early ads reference that before its boom in popularity, it came from hunters/outdoorsmen.

    1923
    These styles were made and advertised for both men and women. The styling was nearly identical, the biggest difference being the direction of the buttoning.
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    1924
    By this point, leather jackets were already established for motoring, aviation, and motorcycling. Generally, the 3/4 length double breasted style was favored.
    Waist length jackets with knit collars, cuffs and waistbands began hitting the scene after World War I. This Vanity Fair piece discusses the introduction of this type of full-button-fronted jacket. Available in gray, taupe, green and all shades of brown. Early on, many of these jackets were made of suede.
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    1925
    Attached collar and long body length. Fancy knit pattern to the cuffs. "The Leather Jacket is no longer the exclusive property of the huntsman". Blue suede.
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    1925
    Suede, yet again. Shown in outdoors, hunting, ice skating and golfing contexts. Tan and Gray.
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    1926
    A sleeved vest style, also aimed at the golf market. Cloth jackets of this style had been marketed to the golfing crowd since the 1900s. It has a shirt style collar, despite the vest styling. Knit cuffs.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  2. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

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    1927
    This particular style of leather jacket went by a number of names. It was called the "Leather Lumberjack". The same style was also produced in wool and was called the "Lumberjack Jacket". These were generally made out of heavy mackinaw cloth or blanket material and were an offshoot of the jackets seen in this thread and this thread. They were called "Leather Windbreakers", for obvious reasons. They were called "Leather Blouses".
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    1927
    This ad shows what appears to be a leather shawl collar instead of a knit one. As with most, available in suede, and in gray and tan. You don't see a lot of gray leather jackets these days.
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    1927. Capeskin leather.
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    1927. Leather shirt-style collar. No knit banding at bottom of jacket. Button cuffs, and breast pockets. An early example of the cossack style.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  3. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

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    1927. Suede again. Knit collar, cuffs, waistband. Women's style offered is more feminine, less unisex.
    [​IMG]

    1928. Turkish sheep leather. Attached collar. Reversible to plaid.
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    1928. Reversible to plaid. The "traditional" colors of black and brown.
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    1928. PReversible to plaid. Shirt style collar.
    [​IMG]

    1929.
    [​IMG]

    1929. Suit style lapels
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    1929. Golfing
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    1929. Most ads for this style of jacket plug it as a sporting style. The aviation angle for jackets like this wasn't generally seen in non-aviation-specific advertising outlets until the 1930s.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  4. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

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    1929. Alligator finish. I wonder what that looked like in person, and whether it was a trade term, or if it means alligator print embossing.
    [​IMG]

    1929. Reversible to plaid.
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    1929. Horsehide. Reversible.
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    1929. Reversible.
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    Reversible. I like that the turndown shirt style collar shows the opposing material.
    [​IMG]

    "Blouse style windbreaker"
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  5. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

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    Interesting, that your 1905 adds, were of a much better quality then the later 1920 adds.
     
  6. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

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    Catalog vs. newspaper, scans of original vs. microfilm.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  7. fishmeok

    fishmeok Vendor

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    VERY very good- thank you for posting. When did you start running across what we think of as the "Cossack" style that's all the rage these days?

    Cheers
    Mark
     
  8. majormajor

    majormajor One Too Many

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    I'm very taken with the shawl collar arrangement on this one. The lower lapel (complete with buttonhole) is leather, but the upper and back are knitted. I don't think I've ever seen a recreation of that style. Fascinating! And grey suede, too! Thanks again DM:D;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  9. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

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    I found ads with the "cossack" name starting in 1931. Prior to that, it looks like that name was used, but mainly for women's jackets.
     
  10. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

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    Tracking this style back even further. Here's an example from 1917.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. simonc

    simonc Practically Family

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    Well spotted MM, yes that's a lovely idea with the half knit shawl collar. And another terrific post Dinerman, keep them coming.
     
  12. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

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    It's a bit modified, but that lapel/collar setup was used on the 1964 US Olympic team uniform parade coat.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. simonc

    simonc Practically Family

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    With trim on the pockets too, def food for thought.
     

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