Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds
  • The Fedora Lounge is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Minimalistic MA1 or similar mid-range options

BigBoss

New in Town
Messages
7
Hi folks, first post on the forum. I recently bought this black leather bomber from Thursday Boots and while it is relatively nice for a fashion jacket, I found their sizing did not meet my expectations for fit and overall cut, so I returned the jacket. I should note my initial goal with this purchase was to simply replace an old Wilsons leather jacket which occupied the Black leather slot in my wardrobe. But as I began to explore alternatives, I ended up down the leather rabbit hole (as I do with so many other things) which ultimately led me here.

At this point, I'm on the fence between investing in a made to order with a proper hide or simply finding a "better" version of the jacket I already tried. Ideally I'd find something in the $300-600 range for this purchase, and I thought it would be great if it were American made, but not a hard requirement. The challenge I'm having is that I really like the minimalist MA1 bomber look for myself, but have only really found low end fashion jackets and a couple that are $1k+ in this style. Although I did come across this jacket from Italian maker Darienzo, which looks to somewhat fit the bill...but pricing almost seems a little too good to be true which has me skeptical. I do understand nappa/lambskin is not an ideal leather for durability, and perhaps this combined with being closer to the source allows them to produce reasonably ok jackets at a lower price point. But I would be curious as to your thoughts.

I am also open to traditional collar (no button collar racers) jackets as well. I've been browsing through options from SB, Aero, Schott, Vanson, Coronado, Buffalo Jackson, and Overland. Honestly the Sportsman from SB is my favorite so far and is close enough to my upper price range.

But in either event, I thought I'd ask around to get some feedback as well as to see if there are others I should potentially consider. Thanks in advance.
 

BigBoss

New in Town
Messages
7
Vanson Enfield/Oxford or Schott 689H comes to mind.
hmmm those look more like the SB Tailgunner or Aero rider models to me. I'm looking to forgo the upper pockets and/or stick with the MA1 bomber style. I should also add, I want to maintain a slimmer fit, so my preference is for jackets cut more along the lines of 30's repro's.
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,430
Actual leather MA-1s usually look pretty bad (just IMO, as someone who loves leather jackets and MA-1s).

But I do think there are some nice, minimal civilian models with knits that should suit what you're looking for. Since you're aware of Aero, did you check out their Happy Days model? That in the black goatskin would be a really fantastic look that nails what you want.
 

Emphasis

New in Town
Messages
11
I once considered the following Schott MA-1 jacket, before ultimately passing on it and purchasing a pre-owned Lost Worlds:

https://www.uswings.com/product/schott-lightweight-pebbled-cowhide-leather-ma-1-jacket/

It seems to closely match what you're looking for, and it looks like all sizes are still available.

_
Edit: I almost forgot about the following Fox Creek Leather bomber jacket that I ordered last year:

https://www.foxcreekleather.com/mens-leather-bomber-jacket/

I stacked a holiday discount on top of the sale price, but unfortunately the jacket wore a bit too trim for me so I returned it. Technically I don't think this is in the same category, but I think it's still a sharp looking bomber jacket.
 
Last edited:

El Marro

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,485
Location
California
I once considered the following Schott MA-1 jacket, before ultimately passing on it and purchasing a pre-owned Lost Worlds:

https://www.uswings.com/product/schott-lightweight-pebbled-cowhide-leather-ma-1-jacket/

It seems to closely match what you're looking for, and it looks like all sizes are still available.

_
Edit: I almost forgot about the following Fox Creek Leather bomber jacket that I ordered last year:

https://www.foxcreekleather.com/mens-leather-bomber-jacket/

I stacked a holiday discount on top of the current sale price, but unfortunately the jacket wore a bit too trim for me so I returned it. Technically I don't think this is in the same category, but I think it's still a sharp looking bomber jacket.
I think that Schott is probably as close as you will get what you are looking for.
 

cbez

One Too Many
Messages
1,042
Location
CA
That ahistorical back seam on the schott would be an absolute deal breaker for me
 

BigBoss

New in Town
Messages
7
Actual leather MA-1s usually look pretty bad (just IMO, as someone who loves leather jackets and MA-1s).

But I do think there are some nice, minimal civilian models with knits that should suit what you're looking for. Since you're aware of Aero, did you check out their Happy Days model? That in the black goatskin would be a really fantastic look that nails what you want.
Good call, I somehow missed the Happy Days model, and it looks like they even have a second hand one in black in my size currently for sale! The only possible downside is that I see the fit is described as relaxed...which isn't surprising considering this is a true reproduction of the original MA1's which were develpoed in the 50's. I've just really liked the modern spin on the bomber with a more tailored fit. Yes I know, I am trying to have my cake and eat it too!

Here's a couple solid examples:

The first one I believe is a Saint Laurent which is going to be many thousands. Not sure about the second one.
 

BigBoss

New in Town
Messages
7
I once considered the following Schott MA-1 jacket, before ultimately passing on it and purchasing a pre-owned Lost Worlds:

https://www.uswings.com/product/schott-lightweight-pebbled-cowhide-leather-ma-1-jacket/

It seems to closely match what you're looking for, and it looks like all sizes are still available.

_
Edit: I almost forgot about the following Fox Creek Leather bomber jacket that I ordered last year:

https://www.foxcreekleather.com/mens-leather-bomber-jacket/

I stacked a holiday discount on top of the sale price, but unfortunately the jacket wore a bit too trim for me so I returned it. Technically I don't think this is in the same category, but I think it's still a sharp looking bomber jacket.
I considered the Schott, but something about it was off putting to me and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. It's also a bit above what I want to spend on this one.

But that fox creek is pretty damn close, especially if it's trim fit as you said. Did you get the one with the removable shearling? I'm assuming the collar will look like a traditional knitted bomber collar without the shearling attached. It's too bad they don't appear to have my size (36-38) in stock, or I'd probably buy one at that price point!
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,430
50s fit doesn’t mean hyper wide like an issued MA-1. It wears like my Buzz Rickson’s slender fit MA-1.
 

Emphasis

New in Town
Messages
11
I considered the Schott, but something about it was off putting to me and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. It's also a bit above what I want to spend on this one.

But that fox creek is pretty damn close, especially if it's trim fit as you said. Did you get the one with the removable shearling? I'm assuming the collar will look like a traditional knitted bomber collar without the shearling attached. It's too bad they don't appear to have my size (36-38) in stock, or I'd probably buy one at that price point!
Yes, I ordered the Fox Creek jacket without the shearling because I didn't plan on wearing it. When I emailed Fox Creek about additional specs on the jacket, they also informed me it was full grain cowhide.
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,430
I think the Fox Creek could be a great fit for your needs, if you are okay with patch pockets. Their stuff is bulletproof by all accounts.
 

cbez

One Too Many
Messages
1,042
Location
CA
I think you would ultimately end up disappointed in the fox creek and wishing you had bought a nicer jacket from the start. Used market deserves serious consideration half the time they're indistinguishable from a jacket that's been tried on in a store.
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,430
I think you would ultimately end up disappointed in the fox creek and wishing you had bought a nicer jacket from the start. Used market deserves serious consideration half the time they're indistinguishable from a jacket that's been tried on in a store.

The thing is something like a BR Gibson leather MA-1 won't give him the super drapey fashion jacket look from the example pics. But then again neither will the Fox Creek, probably.

The closest you'll get in quality jackets is a goatskin Aero Happy Days.
 

cbez

One Too Many
Messages
1,042
Location
CA
I think these cheap looking, back seam jackets are just bottom tier. There are nice 'fashion' lambskin ma-1s that at least adhere to most of the historical details correctly. /semi-purist rant over lol
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,430
I think these cheap looking, back seam jackets are just bottom tier. There are nice 'fashion' lambskin ma-1s that at least adhere to most of the historical details correctly. /semi-purist rant over lol

I don't really understand let alone agree.

The MA-1 was a nylon flight jacket with an interlining, initially wool-cotton pile, then synthetic. It was not a leather jacket. Every leather MA-1 is ahistorical.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
107,241
Messages
3,031,925
Members
52,704
Latest member
southpawdraw
Top