Newcomer seeking advice on what to look for.

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by TLW '90, Oct 2, 2021.

  1. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    176
    I am in the market for my next jacket and would like some tips or advice on what to look for and or keep in mind when looking for my next secondhand or vintage jacket.
    I've already made 4 impulsive Ebay purchases that didn't go so well, I'm looking to really do my homework this time and not make any more impulsive late night Ebay purchases.

    I'm not necessarily looking to find " the one " right now, but something worthwhile to help further develop my preferences.
    I can't do that if I keep buying duds no matter how little I pay.


    This taylors leatherwear police surplus is my current jacket ( not counting the Ebay duds ) which fits me very well and I'm quite happy with.
    [​IMG]
    I really love it but am itching for something in a lighter less bland color.
    Keeping in mind that it has a removable thinsulate lining, it's a size 36 and these are the dimensions.
    17" tip to tip across the shoulders.
    21" across the chest pit to pit.
    17" from pit to cuff
    23" from shoulder tip to bottom.

    Budget is ideally under $150
    I want something American made
    I want a more basic style like my current jacket
    I'd like to try something a few inches shorter.
    I want a lighter shade of brown than my current jacket, nothing particular in mind though.
    Gotta have lower pockets, and at least 1 breast pocket I can put my wallet in.
    And I really don't care too much about the type of leather, I just don't want a thin lightweight leather.
    I don't have anything particular in mind for a lining.

    What are some makes / models I should be looking for that fit my criteria which I should be able to find in my size ?
    Are there any obvious things to avoid in a jacket ?
    Any brands to avoid?

    I know that there were a lot of mall shop brands in the 70's selling inferior quality jackets, but the only of those brands I have heard of is Wilsons.

    Is there a list somewhere of vintage brands to generally stay away from ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
    navetsea and Jin431 like this.
  2. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    If you like the cafe racer style, try for a Brooks gold label. They come in a caramel, brown, black, and I have a dark green. They are lighter weight but casual and cool for around $90-$199.
    Fidelity also made great jackets that are around $100 on ebay.
    I recently picked up a Walter Dyer for less than $100 and it’s one of my favorites- in a copper/burgundy color.
     
  3. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,704
    Branded Garments. Especially if you know it's older--talon zips, etc. Usually sub 200. Without a doubt, the best value. Not just good for money, but straight out good.

    Lots of Lesco fans. The brown jackets are legendary.

    Fidelity and Brooks as Mike suggested.

    You have to come up a little bit, but you can find some nice Schotts in high 200 low 300 range very regularly. Vanson too hover in that zone unless it's special leather or collabs.

    As far as general advice. Always ask for measurement pics on ebay. Try to look at zippers, especially male side main to spot any damage. Don't chase anything for the most part. Better to miss out on a few and then you now know what the market value is. These are commodity and another will pop up. And something that took me a while to figure out, sometimes better to have one good one, than two average ones. So maybe save a little longer rather than rush.

    Our classifieds have plenty of gems. Check often. And Finds & Deals thread.
     
    Bahabp100 likes this.
  4. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    176
    Thank you for the info.
    I did some looking into the brands you mentioned and I can definitely see why there are tons of Lesco fans.

    This jaw dropper is available right now and in my size, but I still have a lot to learn and this could easily be a woman's jacket for all I know.
    [​IMG]

    Heres a nice looking lesco ( previously sold ) which was listed as a woman's jacket.
    [​IMG]

    I do not now enough to tell what makes it a woman's jacket though.

    Jacket #2 is pretty much the type of jacket I've got in mind, now I just have to do a lot of learning so I can eventually find something.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
  5. Carlos840

    Carlos840 I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    IMO the best quality jacket you can get for the money used on eBay are Vanson, they are very hard to beat.
    Other than that i would look at Walter Dyer, Branded, Brooks, Bates, Johnson.
     
    Peacoat likes this.
  6. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    176
    Johnson and Walter Dyer seem to have made just the kind of jacket I have in mind too.
    Thanks for the info.
     
  7. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,704
  8. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    176
  9. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    176
    Aside from which side a jacket buttons from., are there things to look for that would identify a piece as a woman's jacket if it's not a specifically woman's style ?
    If the jacket just zips up and doesn't have a mandarin collar like a Cafe racer, would the male half of the zipper actually be on the other side ?


    I have a vintage Brooks Cafe racer coming, and I realized after buying very cheap that it was actually a model 400 or 401 which is a women's jacket. ( based on the 2 waist zips on the back, listed for these in a catalog scan I saw )

    Obviously the snap direction on the mandarin collar is a giveaway ( didn't know before ) and it apparently has " darts " on it that give it away as well.
    I don't know what those are exactly, or if they always look the same.

    It seems that as long as it's not an obvious woman's style a jacket will often be listed as mens on Ebay, and I just don't know what to look for.
     
  10. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    Darts are also a give-away.
     
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  11. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

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    That's what I've been told.
    I just don't know exactly what they are and how to generally identify them, unless there's a universal design for this feature.

    All I know is it's some kind of feature on the front of the jacket which were pointed out to me.
     
  12. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    no, the side where zipper pull hangs is more american vs the rest of the word thing. I do feel on cross zip I prefer my zipper pull rests on the wearer's right side (american side) rather than hanging on the bottom tip of the left side as in (european and the rest of the world) zipper style. so I flip the slider to be on "american side", it is not gender based.

    women jacket probably leave more room on the chest for the size, and not V cut, if you get it on your pit to pit probably it will be too short both on sleeve and body length, and perhaps too narrow for your neck. I think if the jacket is laid flat then the front of the body won't be able to lay flat on women's jacket , while men's jacket torso is flat or even curving inward for racing style.
     
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  13. Monitor

    Monitor

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    14,385
    So called darts are the two seams going from under the armpit toward the front of the jacket (or toward the pockets in the specific image I linked). Being a strictly anatomical feature, you are 100% safe to assume that any jacket having these kind of seams is intended to be worn by women.

    Occasionally you will see darts on shoulders, closer to the sleeve, reaching downward, toward the chest. Or at the waist. Rarely, shoulder darts can appear on men's jackets but it's a feature somewhat unique to fashion-oriented pieces.

    Not all women's jackets have darts so that's also something to keep in mind as well.

    Other than these seams and size number classification, of course, there aren't any indicative features appearing on men's jackets that you won't see on women's. And vice versa.

    [​IMG]
     
    Edward likes this.
  14. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    176
    Thank you for the info, that explains a lot.
     
  15. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

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    176
    Thanks.
     
  16. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    176
    I received this Brooks cafe today.
    It's a very nice jacket, and even though it turned out to be a woman's jacket it seems to wear okay on me as far as I know.
    I'm sure there are multiple things about fit that I'm unaware of and am missing.
    [​IMG]
    I have listed it in the classifieds here, and hopefully it soon finds it's way to a more appropriate wearer.


    If it wasn't for this forum I would never know and would probably be wearing this jacket blissfully unaware, but I also wouldn't have heard of Brooks either ( been watching Terry Mitchell's YouTube channel the past year ).
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2021
  17. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    You almost got away with it...except for the darts. ;)
    2CF07AF0-974E-45DF-AABA-7CD72CA5DF28.jpeg
     
  18. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    176
    Well yeah I guess aside from just being there they do kind of effect how it wears because they're there for a reason after all.

    It's now packed up and awaiting somebody to take it off my hands.

    If theres anything good in this situation it's that the jacket will hopefully wind up with someone on this forum.
     
  19. Bahabp100

    Bahabp100 Practically Family

    Messages:
    640
    I second branded garments. Natal and Walter dyer but the colors are mostly black and brown . Brooks and fidelity for vintage color .
     
  20. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    176
    Okay so I got a recommendation email from Ebay, this jacket popped up and I'm really liking it.
    This nice looking brown mens ( I'm starting to learn )Cafe appears to be in good condition, It has what I believe are 40's-70's Talon zippers, and there's no brand present but I swear I have seen this label before. Very recently too, I just know I have.
    Those L and E's really stand out to me.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I like the way it looks, it seems like a nice one to me, and it's under $100 too.

    Does anyone recognize the make, and do you think it would be a good buy ?

    I know I don't need to jump right in to buying another jacket, but it's pretty cool and seems like something I might kick myself for letting go.
    I like the color, style, and it's in my size.

    The lining ( at least in the sleeves) is my favorite color too.
    [​IMG]

    I don't wanna rush and make another dud purchase here though, so I'm looking to get some insight before proceeding.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2021

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