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New forum member brand (Rugged West)

MrProper

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,947
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Sometime in January I saw the first pictures of the jackets from Rugged West and thought why not try out a new label. Especially as I don't have a trucker jacket anyway.
So I made an impulse purchase, so to speak.
At first, the payment function was not yet set for use outside the UK, but a quick email to Leilah and the problem was solved.
Nothing stood in the way of the deposit.

I had ordered the model "The Lonely Hunter" as described on the website.
There were only three things I wanted

1. not a standard size, but everything customised to my measurements
2. no hand warmer pockets
3. no hanger loop

Communication with Leilah was straightforward and response times were quick. Leilah really does her best to make everything right.

Today was the day and the jacket was delivered.
The jacket fits (almost) as I imagined and the measurements are exactly as specified.
The leather is slightly oily to the touch compared to the more waxy feel of a Badalassi or CXSH or the dry feel of a Vicenza.
What surprised me was how incredibly soft the leather is. Even my Lewis Leather Sheepskin seems slightly stiffer than this leather.
It's unusual, but not unpleasant. The jacket feels almost like a thick fabric jacket and is very comfortable. If the leather were thin, it would be a disaster, but because it is rather thick and even, it works well.
The weight of the jacket is 2.45 kg/5.4 lbs. I would have thought a 4oz jacket would be heavier. My black Badalassi and the CXSH PHWM weigh 2.6kg.

At first glance, the lining looks like the woollen tartan of my LL jacket. Unfortunately, it is made of 100% polyester and is also padded. To be fair, I must say that I didn't ask any questions about the lining beforehand. I somehow assumed that it was some kind of heavier cotton fabric. I definitely hadn't reckoned with the padding. But now I have my first ever padded leather jacket and hardly need to wear anything underneath when it's cooler. But it's definitely not a jacket for the warmer months.

The buttons are the mass-produced stuff you get in droves when you search Amazon/Google. Better than the ones from 5* back then, but definitely not a highlight. But I knew that. I'll look for nice buttons and replace them.

The workmanship seems flawless. I saw two minimal points on the inside, but that's nitpicking.

The jacket has two inside pockets. One with a zip and one with a press stud. I didn't realise this and would definitely order without it next time. The zip and press stud look cheap. Better to sew a piece of fabric onto the lining as an inside pocket and you're good to go.

The label is sewn onto a piece of leather, making the jacket thicker. It's not annoying, but it's completely unnecessary. But of course I knew that beforehand.
I have already emailed Leilah about the label, buttons and inside pockets. She has already found the suggested donut buttons and the label will be sewn on without leather in future.

I wrote above that the jacket fits almost as I wanted it to. This is because I thought it was slightly shorter. So if you take the measurements of an Aero jacket and want the same length for this jacket, you have to subtract about 1 - 1.5 cm, because the upper collar seam seems to be a little lower than on the Aero. I had specified a length of 67 cm, but would have been better off taking 66 cm or 65.5 cm. But that is of course the risk with a new jacket. I assume, however, that it will be a little shorter when a few creases form.

The leather is a bit shinier in the pictures than in reality. I'll go over it with a brush to make it shinier ;-) Maybe it will help. I'm spoilt by the Badalassi ;-)

What will I do differently next time?
Definitely a lining made of heavy cotton drill, inside pockets as described above only made of fabric, different buttons, 1 cm shorter.

Apart from that, I have to say that I'm quite happy with the jacket. We'll see how in the coming weeks.
I think the price/performance ratio is really good and you get a really good and solid jacket for your money. I think it's a great alternative to other cheaper brands.
Does it come close to my Aero jackets? Not quite, but that's not because of the workmanship, but because of the material. Of course, a Horween/Vicenza/Badalassi is in a different class. But an Aero also costs twice as much.
I'm curious to see how the leather will develop and I'm looking forward to another model in rough-out leather in brown ;-)
I can imagine that this jacket has the potential to become a grab and go jacket.

If you want to try it, you have my recommendation.
If you have any questions, please ask.

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Tom71

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,494
Location
Europe
Great write-up, Karsten! Really helpful to get a feel for the brand and how to go about getting everything sorted.

Jacket looks good on you. I agree that you could loose an inch or so in length, but even that looks good from the back.

I duly note your points about the leather being super soft and the lining. Both are issues that could go away if RW were to offer choices here somewhere down the line.
 

MrProper

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,947
Location
Europe
Great write-up, Karsten! Really helpful to get a feel for the brand and how to go about getting everything sorted.

Jacket looks good on you. I agree that you could loose an inch or so in length, but even that looks good from the back.

I duly note your points about the leather being super soft and the lining. Both are issues that could go away if RW were to offer choices here somewhere down the line.
Leilah has already noted a few points and I'm sure that these will be taken into account for new jackets.
The soft leather is not necessarily a disadvantage. In any case, it's super comfortable. I think my love would prefer this leather umpteen times over the stiff Aero leather. Definitely the better choice for women's jackets.
I can live with it and now have a jacket that is definitely something different from my previous ones.
As I said, I'm still waiting for the rough-out version ;-)
 

MrProper

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Quick update... I don't know if it's the pattern or the soft, thick leather, but I wore the jacket for 11 hours straight today and didn't notice it. In fact, the measurements are on the tighter side, but it doesn't feel the least bit tight. Rather the opposite. The first day was very satisfying ;) IMG_8209.jpeg
 

Mickiemac

One of the Regulars
Messages
199
Location
Just passin' through
Quick update... I don't know if it's the pattern or the soft, thick leather, but I wore the jacket for 11 hours straight today and didn't notice it. In fact, the measurements are on the tighter side, but it doesn't feel the least bit tight. Rather the opposite. The first day was very satisfying ;) View attachment 598947

The fit of the jacket after a few days wear is incredible - I doubt it could fit any better.

After giving this jacket a look on the Rugged West site I thought about the Fox Creek Leather Trucker jacket I bought about 12 years and how similar it is to your RW. It's not exactly alike (snaps versus buttons, no Western yoke).and the fit is far from ideal on the FC. The leather on my Fox Creek does resemble yours in that it's super soft but that's it.

Congratulations on your success with jumping in on what has turned out to be a stunner.
 

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Leilah Wilde

New in Town
Messages
37
So… flat donut buttons are in. Currently working on the first Type 1 for a customer in the States. They’ve never been my favourite, but I’m starting to warm to them and excited for us to try something new. I’m keeping it classic… I really don’t want it to end up looking like a certain other jacket that’s very popular at the moment that matches the RW price point. I’ve seen so many targeted ads of it recently that I feel like spooning my eyeballs out.

Anyhow, looking forward to updating you all with pictures.
 

MrProper

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,947
Location
Europe
So… flat donut buttons are in. Currently working on the first Type 1 for a customer in the States. They’ve never been my favourite, but I’m starting to warm to them and excited for us to try something new. I’m keeping it classic… I really don’t want it to end up looking like a certain other jacket that’s very popular at the moment that matches the RW price point. I’ve seen so many targeted ads of it recently that I feel like spooning my eyeballs out.

Anyhow, looking forward to updating you all with pictures.
I thought the Type 1/2 was pretty cool at one point, but not so much any more. At least for myself. I like Type 3 better or completely different interpretations of it.
But you'll manage to come up with a good version ;-)
 

MrProper

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3,947
Location
Europe
Can you comment on the pattern? Are the sleeves curved or straight like pant legs?
The sleeves are curved and the pattern works perfectly for me. This could possibly be due to the fact that a trucker jacket is perhaps simply constructed. However, since I got the jacket, it has become a grab and go. Very comfortable, looks good, what more could you want? ;)
 

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