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My New SM Wholesale A-2

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by CBI, May 25, 2018.

  1. CBI

    CBI One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,017
    Location:
    USA
    With no intention of really ever buying another A-2 jacket I somehow ended up with this website photo sample A-2 jacket from SM Wholesale. Steve is a character and good salesman! I need to shorten the sleeves a bit and I am a sucker for DARK seal. Ok guys fire away...........

    I love this jacket, 2oz seal brown aniline dyed goatskin, I have not handled nicer goat - superb. Great details, nice hardware, great WW2 vibe. IMO, if this jacket were $1,200 it would be worth but at $499 retail - wow!

    There is NOTHING about this jacket for me that says, "mid-range" or "starter" jacket. Pretty amazing really. Steve has a great eye. It's not based on any specific A-2 contact, he is not interested in that and feels its a waste of time as interested buyers would just ask for a different contract - this is true! "Hey nice Aero, when are you going to make a Dubow?" He did agree and is going to change the pocket height from 2 inches above the knits to 1 inch. If you order, be sure to remind him. I don't mind the current placement. Not too far off the Cooper in Gary's book. He is keeping the current label since the jacket is not based on any specific contract and its his product and he is proud of it. The lining is excellent - I should have taken a photo...........

    I am not trying to take anything away from any makers but IMO there is very little that sets this apart from the premium makers. Maybe I am missing something here but If you are looking at saving some $, this is it. I can't attest to the other models/hides. I can get some fit pics but they will look odd until I address the sleeves (always an issue for me). Also, I am 44 regular, this jacket is a 46 so for VLJ, FL and Japanese/Heritage tastes, its roomy. But, I am flying a bit now and can attest that this trim fit business is total BS considering these were supposed to be flying garments.

    This weekend, SM Wholesale is offering 15% off all orders. Yes, I know there are a few little things that will drive the OCD'rs screaming but a total winner IMO and for the price, not sure anything else comes close. Oh, and no interest getting into an AVI LTR vs. SMW argument, leave that to another thread. As stated before, hides tanned in Mexico, jacket made in Mexico. Made by the fellow who used to work for Steve in the states. Steve made one of these for A list Movie Star "X" today for an upcoming film. Steven made most all of the Navy stuff for the new Tom Hanks Atlantic WW2 film "Greyhound" Don't get me wrong, this is not a Good Wear however, one can buy one of these and live a perfectly fulfilling authentic A-2 jacket life.........and then move on to a different hobby!

    IMG_0619.jpg IMG_0621.jpg IMG_0618.jpg IMG_0617.jpg IMG_0616.jpg IMG_0615.jpg IMG_0613.jpg IMG_0612.jpg IMG_0610.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  2. Hh121

    Hh121 Practically Family

    Messages:
    525
    Looks very nice, but where is fit photos, thank you
     
    Flightengineer likes this.
  3. Dr H

    Dr H One Too Many

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    1,578
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    The OP explained that the sleeves are to be shortened before fits photos will be taken.
     
  4. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,697
    Location:
    Japan
    That looks like a real bargain at the price. Looks like a really nice jacket, a good generic WWII style A-2. I wouldn't mind trying one myself.

    I'm a little worried about the quality of fit though based on the OP's comments. The OP is a size 44, but bought a size 46? Arms are now too long? Is there a problem with the sizing and pattern grading?

    Or has CBI ordered another oversized, overlong jacket? 'Trim fit is nonsense'? How does this 'loose' fit jacket feel with a parachute harness and a life preserver strapped on over it?
    You should really be honest with yourself about your reasons for your fit preference instead of making rationalizations about historical accuracy.

    Unlike the OP, I'm not on first name terms with all the jacket manufacturers, but Steve made jackets for movie stars, but this jacket wasn't made by Steve (whoever that is), so...?

    Anyway, looks like it might be a great jacket if worn in the correct size. Do it and the maker some justice, no?
     
  5. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,407
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    The OP reads like an advertisement.
     
    tweedydon likes this.
  6. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,023
    Location:
    Australia
    Yes it does. The jacket is a Steve McCoglan sold under the website smwholesaleusa.com
     
  7. CBI

    CBI One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,017
    Location:
    USA
    Geez Guys sorry for my enthusiasm, I will skip it next time. Sorry for rushing to post after getting an email advertising 15% off at SM and wanting to pass it on. Now - Ebbets Field Flannels Memorial Day Sale ale $20 off, Cockpit USA Memorial Day $10 off, etc. I almost always get sleeves shortened unless its a custom made item for me, I have short arms (ideally 24 inch sleeve length) I often go 25 in case of re-sale. I told Steve I am a 44 regular which I am (recently re-measured for a suit) but that I wanted some room, he said to bump up so I did and he was right. Yes, IMO, don't like skin tight/trim look. Check the jackets out for themselves online on Steve's site and/or talk to him directly for ?'s.
     
  8. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,697
    Location:
    Japan
    @CBI, why do you think that an A-2 tagged with your measured chest size is 'skin tight'?
    This is how it worked in WWII;
    QM: What's your size?
    Recruit: 44.
    QM: Here's a size 44.

    Although sometimes it may have been like this;
    QM: We're out of 44's, here's a 46.
    (Although now that I've said that, don't fixate on it).

    I'm really wondering if these SM jackets have a grading problem in the pattern if you really think that your tagged size is skin tight?
     
  9. CBI

    CBI One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,017
    Location:
    USA
    I go by the pit to pit measurement. For an A-2, my preferred pit to pit is 24 inches. Depending on the repro company or original jacket maker, that is typically either a tagged size 44 or 46. The SMW tagged 46 has the pit to pit of 24 inches. I told Steve about the 24 inches preference so he said, get the 46. I think these jackets run a hair small but a 24 inch pit to pit on a tagged 46 is in the standard "range"
     
  10. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,697
    Location:
    Japan
    Hmm, that's interesting. Usually an extra six inches above measured chest gives the correct fit in A-2s. It's interesting that you had to go up one size just to get the extra 4 inches.
    These jackets seem to be sized strangely.
     
  11. CBI

    CBI One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,017
    Location:
    USA
    if you go for example to the HPA site and see the size variations of Eastman's A-2's, this SMW is similar (within the range)
     
  12. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,697
    Location:
    Japan
    I'm sorry CBI, but that's just not true. I just checked, and depending on the version of Eastman A-2 you order, in a size 44, you have around 4 inches above measured chest of 44.
    Your size 46 SM jacket, by your own admission, has only 2 inches above a measured chest of 46. You are a size 44 wearing a 46 giving you an extra 4 inches.
     
  13. Cocker

    Cocker Practically Family

    Messages:
    567
    Location:
    Belgium
    Depends on the Eastman contracts. The Rough Wear 1401-P and 27752 and the Star Sportswear in size 44 have 46 inches chest. Similarly, those in size 46 have 48 inches chest. So if CBI is a 44 chest and wants these extra 4 inches, he would have had to go with a size 46 on these ELC contracts too.
     
  14. CBI

    CBI One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,017
    Location:
    USA
    thanks yes, check again, as Cocker stated, you have to look at all of the contracts, to get a 24 inch chest at ELC some contracts would be a marked size 44 and other 46. If I want a Cable, then a size 44, a Monarch either a 44 or 46, a 1401 RW a 46, a 27752 RW a 46, a Star a 46, a 50 Cal a 44, etc. Some makers have the size tag as the EXACT chest measurements meaning I would need a 48 (like my Headwind A-1, at least it measures that way), Japanese makers used to do this which really messed up ordering the correct size. Worst case, SMW have a pattern like some of the trimmer fitting original jackets, I would not call that a problem with their sizing/grading. Hopefully, they will add a sizing chart with product measurements which wold take care of this for sure for the customer.
     
  15. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,697
    Location:
    Japan
    OK...
    So Eastman and SM, with their vast and superior resources and knowledge, are both making size 44 jackets that measure 46 around the chest, but you're still going to claim that you know better about accurate fit and sizing.
    Just like y'all knew better than Buzz Rickson's.

    Why aren't you running your own 'accurate' repro company, or at the very least headhunted by these guys to sort out their 'inaccurate' 'fantasy' jackets with 'BS trim fits'?

    For real?
     
  16. Cocker

    Cocker Practically Family

    Messages:
    567
    Location:
    Belgium
    Well I think we all know the fit depends on the maker/contract anyway. I didn't interpret CBI's rant as one against the manufacturer's fit, but more against the fit people want out of their A-2 jacket. A lot of WW2 pictures show guys with jacket that'd be considered one size too big on this forum, and I have to agree with CBI when he says that a trim fit is not the best in a warbird cockpit. I'm sure an M-422 or G-1 would be an entirely different matter, with the action back. But an A-2, with it's single panel back, if too trim, will not allow for easy movements inside the cockpit the way a slightly larger one would.

    In the end, as usual, to each is own.
     
    Edward and Flightengineer like this.
  17. Peacoat

    Peacoat My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,837
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    That is really a deep and rich seal brown. The goat looks nice, although I'm not a real fan of goat because it takes decades to show any wear. For those who like their jackets to stay new looking for years, then goat is the hide of choice.

    After you get the sleeves shortened, I, too, would like to see the fit pictures.
     
  18. CBI

    CBI One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,017
    Location:
    USA
    Yes, fit pics when back from tailors. Yes, goat takes forever for the grain to pop but I did want one seal gaot A-2 so this worked out well. My rant clarification, I don’t care nor it is any of my business how someone wears anything. For many years there was a belief that the “correct” vintage fit for an A-2 was/is trim. Countless WW2 photos prove this to not be the case, that is all I meant. Seen many people over the decades wearing REALLY tight A-2’s saying “this is the correct fit” and that statement is wrong. It may be the fit they prefer and really like, fine but not the “correct” fit…that’s all. I suppose its the correct fit for them……… In regards me starting my own jacket company, nope, vintage aviation anything/everything is a fun hobby for me. However, YES like other forum members here and other places I have been headhunted/asked for my advice by repro makers for my knowledge in re their products. As mentioned in the OP, Steve will be lowering the pockets after our conversation about it. I am actually kind of on the downward spiral of the jacket hobby as I am working on my PPL so most of my limited free time is with flights and ground school. Back to the OP, these are killer jackets at a great price. If anyone has any concerns about sizing, contact Steve directly via phone or email. I’m done…………..except for fit pics in a week or so.
     
    El Marro likes this.
  19. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,299
    Location:
    UK
    Just ordered a new 48 Monarch contract A-2 from ELC (generous numbers), sold my 46 RW as it was bit too snug..can't believe how much I pay for my jackets!!! Frightening really!!!

    Onto an expensive G-1 vibe next (originals even in 48 come up snug), going to get 'time worn' work done to age the goat a few years :)
     
    Flightengineer likes this.
  20. pak

    pak One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    Ak
    CBI, congratulations on your flying ambitions. I've been flying and have owned airplanes for over 25 years and it is a great accomplishment. When compared to money spent on airplanes money spent on jackets is modest, but you are discovering this :). Tailwinds
     
    thor likes this.

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