Lewis Leathers Phantom Jacket 437

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Marc mndt, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Call Me a Cab

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    Recently @Monitor found this Lewis Leathers jacket, listed on Spanish Vinted. I made the seller an offer but he refused and sent me a link to an eBay listing from someone who was trying to sell a similar jacket for the asking price of - I kid you not - $2.377 USD.

    Two weeks later the seller reached out to me, asking whether I was still interested. He accepted my initial offer.

    A couple of days later the jacket was delivered to me and it turned out to be in great condition. Couple of loose threads here and there, a missing collar snap and a windflap that needed to be reattached. Nothing my tailor couldn't fix.

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    I'm normally not a huge fan of quilted shoulder and elbow padding but for some reason I think it looks really cool on this Phantom.

    This is an early version from the 70s with the vibrant red lining and blue felt inner collar. There were two versions of the Phantom, this one and his taller brother called the Super Phantom, with 2' added body length and an extra sleeve pocket.

    Super Phantom review by @Monitor

    https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/lewis-leathers-super-phantom-no-443.85106/

    https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/fs-lewis-leathers-super-phantom-no-443-large.100364/

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    I managed to find an original Lewis Leathers catalogue from 1976, the 53rd edition. This catalogue was most likely used by a Dutch dealer in motorcycle gear. Someone added pencil notes, adding Guilder prices (Dutch currency before we had the €) and additional information on sizing. Some items were crossed through, I guess because they were not bought in by the dealer.

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    I love the description on the items. "If you're a man who likes to look good and feel good you'll set your heart on the Phantom jacket."

    Usually I would add fit pics to my review but unfortunately the jacket doesn't fit me :(
    With a ptp of 22.5' the chest is fine but the sleeves (22.5') are way too short for me. They're also really narrow at the cuff ends.

    Because I can't wear it I initially thought about selling the jacket, but I've now changed my mind. It's a really nice jacket to have as a collectors piece.

    Edit : typos
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
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  2. Carlos840

    Carlos840 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    That looks good, i would love a vintage LL but as you say, sleeves are often very short.
    Watch out, keeping jackets you can't wear is a slippery slope...
     
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  3. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Call Me a Cab

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    It looks ok as long as I don't stretch my arms :)

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    It's an interesting catalogue. 95% of items are Lewis Leathers but they also show a couple of Barbour and Belstaff items.

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    'Bits and pieces'

    They not only sold studs and badges, they even sold rabbit's foot pulls :)

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  4. MrProper

    MrProper One Too Many

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    Right, the sleeves
    are very short. Nevertheless it looks pretty good in the photo. When I look at the pictures on Instagram and Pinterest, the trend seems to be towards short sleeves anyway.
     
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  5. Robbie79

    Robbie79 One Too Many

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    Thanks for the informative review! It’s indeed a collector’s piece in a beautiful condition and I was so close to buy it from you but pit to pit would have been at least one inch too wide. If I was you I would search for a better fitting one (not sure if sleeves of a larger size would be any better) and would then sell this one.
     
    Marc mndt likes this.
  6. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

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    Interesting...genuine leather tag...very interesting :D

    Awesome jacket. I’m all in on padded shoulders and elbows. I love the look, and it certainly works for you.
     
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  7. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    Marc, you are the one who told us about sprezzatura. Wear it! Short and narrow sleeves are just the right amount of sprezzatura imho.
     
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  8. Carlos840

    Carlos840 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    It's a propper "The Ramones" fit IMO.
     
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  9. Tom71

    Tom71 Practically Family

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    Great review, Marc! Thank you very much for taking the time. No secret, that I am a big fan of LL.
     
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  10. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Call Me a Cab

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    I'm giving the Ramones a run for their money.

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  11. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Call Me a Cab

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    Thanks! It's nice to hear that you guys appreciate my reviews.
     
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  12. Carlos840

    Carlos840 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Oh yep, i get it, that's super short!
    The hand in the pocket made it look longer than it really is.
     
  13. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Call Me a Cab

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    I just checked the catalogue. They mostly refer to the leather or hide being 'hand selected' 'real' 'premium grade' 'finest' 'solid' or 'superb quality'.

    They do mention bullhide, horsehide and sheepskin a couple of times but I assume most jackets were made from cowhide.

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  14. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

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    I thought sheepskin was the LL traditional leather. Most vintage LL are sheep as far as I know. That said even the newest LL only have a “genuine hide” tag (mine from 2017 at least came like that and it was HH).

    It’s not a bad fit but yeah as much as I hate long sleeves these are way too short for you Marc.
     
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  15. breezer

    breezer Practically Family

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    ok the sleeves are short, but I could live with it.......jacket looks great, keep it!
     
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  16. Monitor

    Monitor

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    12,998
    This exact style was the longest I've held on to a leather jacket. Was really low on money so had to sell it. I'm sad I did but that's how it goes. Completely cool jacket. Unique cut, style, fit. Don't see that anymore. Mine was the same year, probably. Only these early ones had collar lined in blue cotton. Essential piece of UK bike history. Hold on to it, Marc.
     
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  17. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    I remember's Monitor's, great looking jacket and wonderful to read the review. You can wear it over long sleeve sweater, or maybe time for wrist beads and wristbands:D
     
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  18. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Call Me a Cab

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    I have relatively broad shoulders, which is something I sometimes fail to calculate in when assessing sleeve length.

    For example, here's a pic of @Monitor and I wearing the same jacket. He's more than 2' taller than I am, yet the sleeves look longer on him. Even though I'm only wearing a tshirt and he's layering. (Would have been a better photo comparison if I had held my arms straight)

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    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
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  19. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    perhaps looking at the proportion of the jacket including its small neck opening in comparison of the size of the jacket, I think they area supposed to be worn a bit roomy across the chest and thus the sleeve length would work, on that catalogue page all the models wearing it are all wearing it roomy across their chest, sure posed one arm on the waist, bring the shoulder back, chest forward, 3/4 angle to sell it, but roomy if you look closely, and imagine how they look with arm down facing forward
     
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  20. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Always noticeable in the early photos. Joey was 6'4" to 6'6", depending on who you ask, and for the first few years his jackets were always "too short" on him, given his build. Notably AFAIK Johnny was the first of the to adopt a Schott branded jacket, which might explain his sleeves looking a touch short; Schott had that reputation at a time. I've often wondered whether this was in part connected to the typical motorcycle gloves back in the 40s when a lot of these designs originated tended to be the longer, gauntlet style. Makes more sense you'd want a longer sleeve if you're wearing a glove that doesn't go so far pas the wrist....

    Interesting to see the "Colourful World of Lewis" bit of the catalogue. Lewis got big into pushing brightly coloured leathers in the mid-late 70s; they sold them as a 'safety feature', given the supposedly increased visibility (this in the era of the British Public Information Film 'Think Bike' campaign). I get the impression, based on how rare most of them are on the vintage market, that they weren't a particularly popular choice, though arguably it did after a sense predict the more eighties trend of replica racewear and the 'power ranger' style.
     
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