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My new B-15 by Pike Brothers

MeachamLake

A-List Customer
Messages
363
Location
North West, UK
Okay, so here's the twist in this tale...

I got the XL today. The short answer, bizarrely, is that I think I am now going to hold onto my size Large, see how it goes for the next couple of months and if I still don't like it I will go ahead and sell it on.

A few things to note:

- For some reason, the quality of this XL feels nowhere near as good. The mouton collar is much shorter pile on the XL and feels not nearly as soft. The lining is much more scratchy too, and the talon zipper is shiny bright metal rather than the dull one on the large. Annoyingly, the zipper pull tab is made out of mismatched leather to the chest tabs on the XL. Generally, this just seems like a much more sloppily constructed jacket and I don't really know why.

- The fit is no better in the XL - in fact, it's pretty horrible on me. There seems to be no discernible increase in either body or sleeve length over the large, but the body is HUGE. It feels like a totally different pattern, not so much a single size bigger! Sure, I can fit some layers under it but I look like the Michelin man. Not a good look.

So there you go...the saga continues. I guess I'll just see how I go with the large. It looks a million times better than the XL and fits how I imagined the B-15 should.
 

Tommy-VF51

A-List Customer
Messages
358
I got one of these last March, it's only just coming back into use now really.

+ The Cloth
+ The warmth
+ The Talon Zipper (one of the good ones)
+ Around £200 cheaper than the Buzzrickso equivalent

- The cuffs were sloppy from the start and have only got worse
- Replacing the cuffs is an uneccessary expense and I may well do the moulton as well?

In between is the moulton, which simply isn't as good as Buzz Rickson. The fit is also very slim in the body and and a little too long in the arms
 

Cooper A-2

Practically Family
Messages
926
Location
France
I got one of these last March, it's only just coming back into use now really.

+ The Cloth
+ The warmth
+ The Talon Zipper (one of the good ones)
+ Around £200 cheaper than the Buzzrickso equivalent

- The cuffs were sloppy from the start and have only got worse
- Replacing the cuffs is an uneccessary expense and I may well do the moulton as well?

In between is the moulton, which simply isn't as good as Buzz Rickson. The fit is also very slim in the body and and a little too long in the arms
My dumba** question: did this brand already manufacture ww2 B-15’s?
If so, how accurate are the todays repros if compared to the WW2 originals?
Apologies for these silly questions.
Thx for sharing
 

EmergencyIan

Practically Family
Messages
918
Location
New York, NY
My Pike Bros US Navy Deck zip jacket fits beautifully through the torso, but the sleeves were about 2 1/2 inches too long. It's like they didn't account for the knit cuffs since that was the length of those. So, when it arrived, I had to take it to the tailor and have that issue addressed. It worked out fine, but I wish it weren't the case. The knits are what you'd find on an Aero, Good Wear or Buzz Rickson, but they're ok. I hung onto them for a season and then switched them out with knits from MASH Co, last fall. That turned out wonderfully and just added to the jacket. This fall, I replaced the repro M-42 Talon with a NOS M-42 Talon, from MASH co, and it's awesome. The last two things weren't necessary, however, I don't know how many seasons I would have gotten out of the original knits. Holding their shape wasn't their strong suit.

All of that said, I love the jacket. It's one of the best looking jackets I own. Overall, the quality is great, but Pike Bros. seems to have an issue with consistency, at least where their outerwear is concerned.

- Ian
 

MeachamLake

A-List Customer
Messages
363
Location
North West, UK
All of that said, I love the jacket. It's one of the best looking jackets I own. Overall, the quality is great, but Pike Bros. seems to have an issue with consistency, at least where their outerwear is concerned.

- Ian

You're spot on there. The difference in quality between the large and XL I ordered was very noticeable right out of the box, for no apparent reason. If I'd only ordered the XL, I wouldn't have been so positive about the jacket at all...much cheaper feeling Mouton collar, mismatched leather, messy stitching on the cuffs. Bizarre.

Sadly I ended up selling my large jacket on yesterday anyway...a guy offered a good price to me for it. I kept trying it on in the mirror and realised that it just didn't look right and wasn't comfortable enough - so I'd never love it. My quest for the next jacket is already underway...
 

EmergencyIan

Practically Family
Messages
918
Location
New York, NY
You're spot on there. The difference in quality between the large and XL I ordered was very noticeable right out of the box, for no apparent reason. If I'd only ordered the XL, I wouldn't have been so positive about the jacket at all...much cheaper feeling Mouton collar, mismatched leather, messy stitching on the cuffs. Bizarre.

Sadly I ended up selling my large jacket on yesterday anyway...a guy offered a good price to me for it. I kept trying it on in the mirror and realised that it just didn't look right and wasn't comfortable enough - so I'd never love it. My quest for the next jacket is already underway...

Sorry to hear that! Could you contact Pike Brothers directly? Does anyone know about their customer service? Maybe they could fix this for you with another XL.

- Ian
 

Cocker

Practically Family
Messages
627
Location
Belgium
Sorry to hear that! Could you contact Pike Brothers directly? Does anyone know about their customer service? Maybe they could fix this for you with another XL.

- Ian

As far as my experience with them goes, their customer service is really good. Had ordered trousers from them and I was not satisfied with the fit, so I asked for return/refund. They emailed me a prepaid return label in the next hours after I contacted them, and sent a full refund as soon as they received the trousers.
 

Tommy-VF51

A-List Customer
Messages
358
My dumba** question: did this brand already manufacture ww2 B-15’s?
If so, how accurate are the todays repros if compared to the WW2 originals?
Apologies for these silly questions.
Thx for sharing

Do you mean did they make they during WW2 (as in the original brand)? Then no, the name I be live was from an English Company and was brought up for use manufacturing in Germany, who did manufacture uniform for American Service men, but I've never heard of them actually manufacturing any of the Flight Jackets they actually sell?

My impression of Pike Brothers is that they are a lifestyle manufacturer. They're not aiming to produce a truly accurate product like say Buzz or Eastman's. I have always avoided there trousers since they seem pretty low waisted, but I think the general quality of their products is pretty good.
 

Cooper A-2

Practically Family
Messages
926
Location
France
Hi Tommy,
thx for that.
Great jacket anyway. Will try to find a bargain in Istanbul airport, since apparently made and sold there...
Thx a lot.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,779
Location
London, UK
Do you mean did they make they during WW2 (as in the original brand)? Then no, the name I be live was from an English Company and was brought up for use manufacturing in Germany, who did manufacture uniform for American Service men, but I've never heard of them actually manufacturing any of the Flight Jackets they actually sell?

My impression of Pike Brothers is that they are a lifestyle manufacturer. They're not aiming to produce a truly accurate product like say Buzz or Eastman's. I have always avoided there trousers since they seem pretty low waisted, but I think the general quality of their products is pretty good.

I'd agree. They're a sort of "vintage-style" manufacturer, taking nods from the past but really targetting the present day vintage heads, not all of whom appreciate an accruate vintage look, certainly not outside the jacket end of things. THe quality of everything I've actually handled of theirs has been very good indeed; the B15s and B10s I handled at Rhythm Riot last year were somewhere between Buzz and an equivalent of Alpha's much-missed 1990s 'Replica Series'. It does sound though like it might be worth buying a jacket in person wherever possible if their QC varies somewhat as some have suggested. My experience with the trousers was that they were too low in the waist and too tight in the leg for my preferences, though I recall somebody posted on here recently that they have recently introduced a higher, wider cut that might be better. For somebody searching for the ultimate B15A for display / living history / reenactment, they might not be the best option, though for anyone looking a well -made jacket in that general style to wear in a civilian context, it's where I'd start. I do wish, though, that they would do their N1 in a navy colour as well, as that would make it easier to evnetually justify owning both.... ;)
 

EmergencyIan

Practically Family
Messages
918
Location
New York, NY
As far as my experience with them goes, their customer service is really good. Had ordered trousers from them and I was not satisfied with the fit, so I asked for return/refund. They emailed me a prepaid return label in the next hours after I contacted them, and sent a full refund as soon as they received the trousers.

Thanks for that heads up! I don't really have a complaint for them, but I need a new grosgrain/jungle cloth zipper pull for my PB USN deck zip. I hope that they can provide one. Just didn't know what the communication would be like via customer service.

- Ian
 

Dav

One Too Many
Messages
1,706
Location
Somerset, England
Been buying their long sleeve utility shirts for a couple of years now, great for layering or on their own, I've found the thickness to vary slightly with different colours but generally top quality to my mind.
 

Lord Flashheart

A-List Customer
Messages
398
Location
Victoria, Australia
I've got a few pairs of their 1937 roamer jeans and very happy with. I've also got a couple of shirts and a vest. I do find they fit on the large size tho. I he jeans are 36 waist which is a size I haven't been since 1998!

Garry
 

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