Newbie help request deciding first a-2 leather?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by chamburger1, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. chamburger1

    chamburger1 New in Town

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    New York NY
    Hi All I'm Chamburger. Newbie. I am interested in a leather with a more trim fit. I am 5'5" athletic body(winter weight gain with gym brings me to 190) but I wusually drop to 170 in summer/spring) and I would like to get something quality but for max 400$.

    I am looking at US authentic, US wings, Gibson and Barnes, and Cockpit USA.

    i would like something thats classic and will last. I usually wear a 40 S suit jacket and am not sure how my sizing would transfer to one of these vendors. I contacted US Auth and the guy Shaul suggested a 44R or a custom.

    Any advice for a newbie? Other brands I shoudl look into? Checked out ebay and theres not too many, maybe guys in my size frame selling theirs? I would like it to be brown and sturdy. Not too concerned with historic accuracy but would be a plus.

    I made the mistake of buying a wilson's leather jacket that I stupidly didn't inspect, and realized it is grain is fake looking land appears ike bonded leather-working on securing a refund but it was a store purchase at an outlet. WOuld like to avoid dissappointement again so I turn to the FL. Thanks.
     
  2. Fanch

    Fanch I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,447
    Location:
    Texas
    Gibson & Barnes used to make jackets in short, regular, and tall sizes. However, it appears that they now only take custom orders. I own a couple of their jackets (Expedition/Indy and Model 43 A-2). My experience is that G&B makes a durable, well constructed product. In your situation, you might contact them and specifically inquire about their current Air Force A-2 that should be in your price range. I imagine their Model 31 and Model 41 A-2's would be well above your $400 price point. I have no personal experience with the other companies you mention.
     
  3. chamburger1

    chamburger1 New in Town

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    New York NY
    Thank you. I was looking at the model 41? What's the difference that puts it into an upper $$ range?
     
  4. Fanch

    Fanch I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,447
    Location:
    Texas
    Their Model 41 comes either in russet or dark brown horsehide, cotton lining, wool knits, and collar stand. Their Model 31 comes in veg tanned russet goatskin, silk lining, wool knits, and collar stand. I think they no longer make my Model 43 that is identical to the Model 41 but without the collar stand.

    All of those are their premium models and have a slimmer profile similar to the "average" WW II pattern if there is such a thing. Their regular USAF A-2 comes with a lighter weight chrome tanned goatskin and polyester lining and knits, and aso a "fuller" cut in the torso.

    BTW if you are ever in San Diego, it is worth a ride on the San Diego Trolley to El Cajon to visit the G&B factory.
     
  5. chamburger1

    chamburger1 New in Town

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    New York NY
    Thanks. So the 41 is slimmer than the 31? Do you know how accurate they are in terms of sizing? I'm a 40s suit jacket, medium in my Levi's denim jacket. How would the sizing correlate?
     
  6. Brettafett

    Brettafett One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,195
    Location:
    UK
    Welcome... and I am sorry.... in advance. For most, one jacket will never do and once the 'bug' bites, well.... we're here for you ;)
    Anyway.
    Besides what you mentioned above, this Lounge's classifieds and Ebay, have a look at the following:
    ps I am quite trim, with an athletic build. and prefer the trim cut myself.

    www.aerialstar.com

    Very well made jackets, unique, trim cut, comfy and robust. Lovely steerhide. A little more than you said you wanted to spend, but they do installments. Heres my one from last year.
    Aerial Star Jacket.png

    Another worthwhile option is www.smwholesaleusa.com
    The A-2 may not be on their website, (try Google), certainly email him, friendly guy. They apparently made some of the A-2s for the 'Unbroken' movie and within your price range at $399 I think... A very underrated jacket, very well put together. I would get the Chestnut...
    Heres my seal one from 2014/15.
    Steve McColgan A-2.png

    Also, not to be forgotten is Wested's Memphis Belle jacket, if you play with sizing and some details...
    Not bad at £169 or £189 custom... This is someone else's from a while back...
    $T2eC16h,!)kE9s4,Bum1BRr2KdlQcQ~~60_3.JPG

    If you are lucky you could grab an Aero A-2 on their sale page or Quartermaster page.

    Also check out:
    www.buckstarrlegends.com in at $399...
    www.noble-house.eu a little more $ perhaps... I seem to recall their standard A-2 is based on the Werber pattern.
    They seem to have a few different options.
    Alpha Industries... they have a goat version I think.

    Good luck
     
  7. Fanch

    Fanch I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,447
    Location:
    Texas
    No, the 31 and 41 are sized identically. The less expensive G&B USAF A-2 has a fuller fit in the lower body (I think) than the 31 and 41. My past experience with G&B is one must be careful regarding G&B labeled sizes though. I wear a 44 long sports coat, 42 (long) in most everything Aero sells but would normally wear most Aero A-2's in either 44 (long) or 46 (long). My G&B Model 43 is labeled as size 40 (tall) but fits similar to an Aero A-2 in size 46 (long). Hope I haven't confused you. o_O Best bet would be to talk to G&B directly. If anything they sell that doesn't fit, they will either exchange or refund unless they have changed their policies.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
  8. chamburger1

    chamburger1 New in Town

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    New York NY

    Thanks a lot! Nice looking jackets up there. I'm on the shorter side at 5'5" would I still order a 40, or do I need to spcefiy if its a short or not? I'd be willing to bump my limit to 500. the buck starr and the smwholesale are a difference of 100$ wich do you suggest? Also same sizing issue, no specification of S-R-L so I assume a 40 is a not cut for specific body lengths.
     
  9. chamburger1

    chamburger1 New in Town

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    New York NY
    ha certainly have. So given GB sizing what is your suggestion?
     
  10. Fanch

    Fanch I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,447
    Location:
    Texas
    I edited my previous post to add:
    Best bet would be to talk to G&B directly. If anything they sell that doesn't fit, they will either exchange or refund unless they have changed their policies.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
  11. Fanch

    Fanch I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,447
    Location:
    Texas
    I will add if you usually wear a 40 S suit jacket, I imagine you would wear a labeled 36S or 38S with G&B, at least based on my limited experience. However, most of us here on the Lounge tend to disregard labeled sizes rather than go with measurements based on a jacket of yours that fits the way you like it to fit. Below are I think Andy Falzon's pics on how to measure a jacket correctly:
    IMG_2221.jpg
    SHOULDER

    IMG_2222.jpg
    BACK LENGTH

    IMG_2224.jpg IMG_2227.jpg
    SLEEVE LENGTH - CORRECT AND INCORRECT

    IMG_2228.jpg
    PIT TO PIT
     
  12. chamburger1

    chamburger1 New in Town

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    New York NY
    can I do this with any jacket or only leather?
     
  13. Fanch

    Fanch I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,447
    Location:
    Texas
    The illustration is merely a guideline since even leather jackets can vary in design and thickness of both outer shell and lining. You are seeking a simple answer to a complex problem, namely sizing, that often perplexes even the more learned of Lounge members here. o_O
     
  14. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,745
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Nothing wrong with G&B jackets - I have two, and they're great. But I'd like to also put in a good word for US Authentic. If you want the WWII A-2 style (and a jacket that feels rough-hewn compared to the factory perfection of G&B), their basic goatskin jacket is a great choice... if their trim/long sizing can work for you.

    https://www.flightjacket.com/a2-jacket.html
     
  15. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,543
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    As Fanch said, The measurements in p2p will vary greatly depending on the thickness of the leather. Also, you will not be able to take a jacket of another fabric that fits you well, measure the p2p on that jacket and expect to have a leather jacket of similar measurement fit you. Your best bet is to measure the circumference of your chest, wearing nothing thicker than a T-shirt, and give that measurement to the manufacturer, who will then have a good idea of what size you need. If you prefer a slim fit, then tell them.

    Take three measurements of your chest at the widest point to see how consistently you are measuring. Then you can sort of average the measurements. Hopefully they won't vary by more than 1/2". Take a shallow breath and hold it while measuring. Do not take the p2p of your chest and then double it. That will induce even more error into the measurement. Circumference is for chests; p2p is for jackets.

    Welcome to the Lounge, and good luck in your search.
     
    El Marro and Fanch like this.
  16. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,091
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I make no claims of expertise when it comes to jackets and leathers but wanted to share my experience. I picked up a used Orchard goat leather jacket on the Bay for $150, almost new. I own a Schott naked cow, a Johnson Leather horse and a Vanson steer. I really like the Orchard and think for the money I paid represents great value. It is a slimmer cut than my Schott and I had to get used to it just covering my belt but it fits well, is well made and I like the goat leather. Not as heavy as my Johnson or Schott but that is a good thing as I can wear the Orchard longer into the spring/early summer.
     
  17. chamburger1

    chamburger1 New in Town

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    New York NY
    Thanks to all that gave me advice. I ended up deciding on a size 40 from an ebay seller selling SM Wholesale chocolate Steerhide a-2-the ones made for the movie unbroken. Got it for 298$ and the seller spoke of Steve by first name so I assumed a good relationship with the SM Wholesale owner. There is also a 30 day $ back guarantee(I must pay for return shipping) but better than all sales final. If this does not work out I will look into the US authentic. Gibson and Barnes quoted me 700$ for their jacket which is a bit high for me at the moment. There was a nice brown highwayman aero in size 40 on Ebay and I was tempted for 150$ but I really had my eyes set on a bomber. But I like the Indy style of the Highway man but might opt for Wested as it looks similar, and more affordable.
     
  18. Marv

    Marv A-List Customer

    Messages:
    443
    Location:
    England
    good luck with the jacket and don't forget to post photos once you receive it
     
  19. chamburger1

    chamburger1 New in Town

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    New York NY
    Will do!
     
  20. Brettafett

    Brettafett One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,195
    Location:
    UK
    Good stuff. Looking forward to pics!
    (ps you can get a Wested on sale for really cheap)...

    Just to add to the list of relatively affordable A-2s, check out...
    http://www.avilthr.com/shop5/a2-jacket-type-bronco/
    Have not heard or read much about these guys, but its probably the cheapest Bronco repro on the market ;)
     

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