My New Rainbow Country x Mushmans A2 and a Question on Modified A2 Jackets

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by dudewuttheheck, Sep 13, 2021.

How do you feel about non-traditional A2 jackets?

  1. I will only buy accurately reproduced A2 jackets

    17.5%
  2. I like accurate details, but custom sized A2 jackets

    27.5%
  3. I prefer modified A2 jackets

    20.0%
  4. I would never buy any A2 jacket

    35.0%
  1. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I am quite pleased to say that I was recently able to obtain a leather jacket that will actually match my burgundy shell cordovan White Kloud boots. First of all, why does this even matter?

    For those that haven't seen, I received a new pair of White Kloud boots in Ogawa shell cordovan a few months ago. These are made by the best bootmaker (not dress shoe maker) in the world and in an incredibly special leather. They are the crown jewel of my clothing collection and needless to say, they are my favorite boots.

    You may still be quite fairly asking what this has to do with a leather jacket. I'm pretty obsessive about matching the leather of my jackets to the leather color of my boots. I generally strongly dislike when my boots don't match well with my leather jackets. I bought the boots in this burgundy color because I love burgundy and I thought it would look great and they look even better than I thought they would. However, they didn't match any of my leather jackets.

    At first, I tried to just wear them with some of my other jackets and while they look OK with some of my jackets, I soon realized that I really needed to have a jacket that matched better. The difficult part was actually finding one. There aren't exactly a lot of good red/burgundy leather jackets available. Thedi's red is too bright, Aero has burgundy, but it's chrome tanned and Aero's patterns just don't seem to work for me. My favorite maker, Freewheelers, doesn't even seem to make anything close.

    After a few months of searching and pondering options, I resigned myself to just wait for something to pop up on the used market. Fortunately, that's exactly what happened. I came across this Rainbow Country A2 collaboration with Mushmans in a unique red/burgundy color horsehide exclusive to Mushmans.

    This seemed perfect for me for several reasons.

    1. I really missed having an A2 jacket in my collection.
    2. Rainbow Country jackets are made in the same shop that Freewheelers jackets are made and therefore are the highest quality available in terms of stitching and finishing.
    3. The color met my needs and as an added bonus, is a limited edition version of horsehide. I believe it is Shinki as well given its characteristics. If it isn't, I still quite like it, but I'm fairly sure it is.

    The jacket is a size 36 which fits me quite well in terms of sleeve and body length as well as waist width. It's not super form fitting there, but it's an A2 so it shouldn't be too tight there. The chest is a bit tight as expected, but I can zip up the jacket and still move around. The sleeves are quite slim and I think this is actually what restricts my movement the most in this jacket. Still, as of now I am satisfied with the fit and am thrilled with how it looks in terms of fit. It also looks fantastic with my White Kloud boots and allows me to consider ordering some other burgundy boots that I have had my eye on.

    The construction is unsurprisingly fantastic. Stitching is tight and neat and a joy to stare at for a stitch-peeper like myself. The seems are well done too and despite the fact that the jacket has been well used, it is still in great condition. The leather seems to be some type of tea core and the lining appears to be a standard A2 repro cotton liner. Knits are wool, but incredibly comfortable even for someone like me who is fairly sensitive to wool. I also like how they are also burgundy. On that note, while the color is described as burgundy, it's a rather light burgundy. This works though because the Ogawa shell on my White Klouds is brighter than most burgundy leathers as well.

    This brings me to a related topic which is that of modified A2 jackets. Many people that like A2 jackets seem to be pretty adamant about them being as accurate as possible. There have been quite a few arguments that I have seen around the internet around the subject of which maker/makers makes the most accurate A2 repro jackets. I am surprisingly not all that into exacting A2 reproductions. I love exacting reproductions of vintage WII-era Levis jeans, but with A2s, I don't mind some modifications.

    My new Rainbow Country A2 is red first of all, but it's also probably slimmer than an actual Rough Wear contract A2 which is what this is a repro of. In all likelihood it is longer too. I despise when Type I and Type II denim jackets are made significantly longer and have handwarmer pockets added. However, for some odd reason I don't mind when A2 jackets are changed all that much.

    With that said, I don't like when they look completely different and are significantly modified. What is interesting though is that while accurate details matter to many people, it seems that most people still are OK with custom sizing which is inherently not period correct. I actually don't understand how people can want exacting details on Good Wear jackets and then go with custom measurements, thus making the jacket not period correct. If I were ever to get a Good Wear, I would ask him to recreate the pattern as accurately as possible and just figure out what size I would be. That's how I do it for jeans and denim jackets. If you are someone who does this, I am sure there are reasons that it makes sense. It's just something that I am personally a little confused by.

    This jacket isn't trying to be exactly accurate and so I don't mind if several aspects are changed. I'm actually shocked how good it looks in the fit pics. I've never had an A2 look this slim on me, but then again, I've never been this slim before. Anyway, here are the fit pics. You will notice that despite talking so much about matching leathers, I managed to grab the wrong belt in these fit pics... I don't have time to take new pics until the next weekend and I'm too excited to share this jacket so you all can just make fun of me for my ironic gaffe. At least the jacket matches my Well Dressed Head cap fairly well.

    Here are the boots that I was trying to match:
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    I think I did a pretty good job.
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    nickv, El Marro, Fireflame and 17 others like this.
  2. Carlos840

    Carlos840 I'll Lock Up

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    Really nice boots, i would be too scared to wear something so nice on my feet.
    The jacket is also really cool, and a great fit, only thing i find weird is the collar shape, is that a traditional A2 collar?
    Maybe it's the fact it is snapped dow, but it looks a bit crumpled on itself...

    I actually think the unmatching belt looks good. IMO having matching jacket + boots + belt is a bit much and has a "try hard" thing going on. Since i also dislike mixing black and brown, a natural belt is IMO a great way to have a belt that works with both black and brown jackets and boots.
    It's mad to think you went from a 42 to a 36!

    Edit: and to answer the poll, i would never buy an A2 unless it was a "Hilts" version. I loved that movie as a kid and am a big Steve McQueen fan, but it's not a jacket i would ever wear. For me it would be a collection thing.
     
  3. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Personally, I couldn't care less about the accuracy of an A2 reproduction. Most of us probably wear these jackets because we want to look good, not because we're historians who care about how jackets were made during WW2. Also, there's a difference between accurately reproducing Levi's jeans and 'accurately' reproducing an A2 jacket. There were so many contracts and variations on the A2 that 'accuracy' in terms of A2 jackets doesn't make much sense to me.

    Fit looks great and I don't feel like the jacket is too long. Those armholes do look high/tight though.

    About the color of the belt, I don't think it looks off at all. I'm allergic to perfectly color matched outfits. I'm more of sprezzatura school of thought :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
  4. MrProper

    MrProper One Too Many

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    Location:
    Europe
    I'm not a fan of the A-2 jackets because I don't think they fit me. But yours in the pictures looks really cool. Thumbs up
     
    dudewuttheheck likes this.
  5. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    congrats, looks great on both jacket and boots, the style fit you well

    about the poll personally I find A2 has all the elements I don't love on jacket, also in my climate anything with sealing cuff will be too hot.
     
    dudewuttheheck likes this.
  6. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,017
    Location:
    Germany
    I want my jackets to fit me and look nice, not to be necessarily 100% historically accurate.

    A-2 jackets in original contracts usually feel somewhat restrictive in the shoulders and while I am no fan of modified hidden handwarmer pockets behind the patch pockets, I do miss inner pockets on A-2 jackets. I quite like my Cockpit A-2 with the wide shoulders, very comfy, 2 inner pockets so I don‘t have to carry stuff in my jeans.. if it didnt have the utterly useless and bulk-adding handwarmer pockets hiddem behind the patch pockets, it would be perfect. Then again, for what I paid, still one of my better purchases.
     
    dudewuttheheck and Canuck Panda like this.
  7. Jin431

    Jin431 Call Me a Cab

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    Bay Area CA
    Looks like it's made for you, lovely color for both boots/jacket and they match well. Don't really care about historical accuracy or being period correct as well, so long as it has a nice trim tailored fit to the wearer.
     
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  8. 58panheadfan

    58panheadfan Practically Family

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    754
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Great outfit as usual and you are sporting your A-2 Jacket nicely. The Belt in Natural Brown Color is the final touch. Only, I wouldn't wear the jeans so highly rolled up, for my eye the proportions doesn't match this way... but as always, that's a personal matter of taste.
     
    dudewuttheheck likes this.
  9. roadking04

    roadking04 Practically Family

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    The Rock 'n Roll Capital
    I had to do a double take also. I thought to myself, I thought this dude was around a 44 or so. I had to ask myself, size 36 can't be right. Isn't this a Japanese brand also, aren't they made smaller from the start. Then I had to ask myself, maybe this is Jin431 posting or something. Maybe my mind is still in a fog after the Browns game. lol.

    Nope, this was Dude in a Japanese size 36! Wow! Congratz my friend. You look great in this jacket. Those boots are crazy. I would be afraid to go off road with them.

    I voted never buy an A2. Take that with a grain of salt. I wouldn't buy anything that wasn't a cross zip.

    Great review as always.
     
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  10. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    Nice jacket. A-2s are my favorite. It’s an airplane thing.
     
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  11. Tom71

    Tom71 One Too Many

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    Looks great, Jake! The slim silhouette and ever so slightly longer body work extremely well on your physique. The color is out of this world!

    It’s fine zipped up too but looks a bit restrictive over the chest. Not a visual issue for sure, but I hope it doesn’t bother you.

    I much like A-2’s. I insist on accuracy but only in the following sense: An A-2 needs to follow mil-spec, i.e. it must have all the features so it COULD HAVE BEEN an actual contract. I don’t care about accurate repros of actual contracts. In this - very subjective- sense, your jacket is absolutely fine.

    Another cool look, and once again another unique piece!
     
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  12. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    Also, size measurements deviated commonly then. So theoretically, if you were to order a custom A-2 today with an inch added, it could have fallen within spec from back then. They’re discussing this on VLJ with Platon’s A-2s, where he does not offer anything except for stock sizes. However, original J.A. Dubow examples probably exist in the same size that are longer than Platon’s stock measurements. So it’s not totally un-authentic to order a jacket slightly longer or shorter. If I’m wrong I stand corrected.
     
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  13. Canuck Panda

    Canuck Panda Practically Family

    Messages:
    575
    Flight jackets are the OG of cool leather jackets. The history and the graphics that came with them are never dull either. Burgundy brown takes that A2 jacket up to a new level. Very nice jacket!
    I voted for modified or customized A2. There were already many different contracts then, it doesn't hurt to have some variations now.
     
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  14. Brandrea33

    Brandrea33 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    362
    You wear it well! Congratulations on another great jacket Jake.
     
    dudewuttheheck likes this.
  15. jeo

    jeo Practically Family

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    Philadelphia
    Awesome jacket, awesome fit and unique color to boot!
     
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  16. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Thanks! The collar has just been crumpled probably due to how the original owner wore it or stored it or something like that. I will try to do something about it, but for some reason I don't mind it too much. Maybe it will bug me more over time. That's the thing though, I am quite try hard :p The hat matching the boot works out well though.

    That's one of my top three favorite movies of all time. I'm thinking I'll do a modern/modified version of his look from that movie for Halloween. I even have the navy blue sweatshirt and tan military chinos. Mine are more accurate than his though as he slimmed them down, but my boots and jacket will be way less accurate.

    That's an interesting point about the fact that there are so many more versions of the A2 than of WWII Levi's jackets. There are variations among the jeans and jackets, but likely not as many as there are with the A2 jackets. Yes, the armholes are the only issue. The chest is small, but it probably wouldn't be an issue without the armholes being how they are.

    Yeah you're in far too excellent of shape to wear an A2 :D

    Yeah with you being so slim and the knits, these jackets just are not for you probably. You wear much more unique and cool stuff anyway.

    I despise when people add handwarmer pockets on any jacket that did not originally have them. However, I do also miss having an inner pocket. I don't want one on an A2, yet I still miss having it.

    Thanks! Yeah I do want it to be somewhat accurate. I wouldn't want the pattern to look way off, but other than that I prefer the fit to be flattering and I think this achieves that.

    I didn't do the cuffs well here. They are new jeans and I am still figuring them out.
     
  17. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    By the way, I always enjoy reading your reviews. Very informative. Thank you.
     
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  18. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    These boots, man. Work of art. So much so that any scuff on them would hurt me like a wound. I know that they are meant to be worn hard, age, yadda yadda. Jake, how do you deal with that? They still look new.
     
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  19. jonesy86

    jonesy86 I'll Lock Up

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    Fits nice and trim compared to some in the small knowledge I have of the accurate
    A-2 repro rabbit hole. Very nice!
     
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  20. red devil

    red devil My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I am more into the civilian side as you can imagine, but this looks good!

    Historical accuracy has never been a concern of mine, I just want the jacket to look good on me :)

    As for the belt, I think the colour works really well with red, I would certainly not call it a gaffe, quite the opposite in fact. I would push this further by saying that your boots have a really beautiful shade of burgundy/red. I woud wear such boots with many colours!
     
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