Review and Fit Pics of Custom Thedi Shearling Cafe Racer

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by LordOfLeather, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. LordOfLeather

    LordOfLeather Familiar Face

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    Location:
    Michigan
    5D681285-1B7B-46C9-B3D9-F70EAFFF9970.jpeg 9A950FAD-FE1D-404B-A72F-222B33A66A09.jpeg 7695C2A2-CCDF-4AB5-855D-B321DBAB5085.jpeg E5ACFEF3-B1F4-451E-9D9E-67EF5E585781.jpeg CB7F5396-7653-4CA5-AF64-666366291E47.jpeg A3174DBE-D87E-42FB-AA35-28FBBA983022.jpeg 4F151742-A4FC-449A-8AF4-A6159EF4DDC2.jpeg 1D794B88-98DF-4A35-BBEF-EACF763C2EDD.jpeg 3C7BF20F-A237-482B-A93E-F0A794BE1872.jpeg B21961B6-709D-4790-96BA-D2A9271DD1A4.jpeg Background

    This winter I decided I wanted a shearling jacket for those coldest months of Michigan. I’ve never really been a fan of the traditional jacket styles typically made of shearling, so I began my search for something unique; perhaps a double-rider, as I’d seen the occasional double-rider in shearling.

    What I had never seen before was a shearling café racer – until Thedi posted pictures of this new model on Instagram on October 31st. I immediately loved it. I drooled over it for a few days before sending a private message to Thedi’s Instagram account to inquire about ordering one.

    The Ordering Process

    Communication moved to an email exchange with Theodoros, who was friendly, sincere and helpful from the start. Although I hadn’t interacted with him directly before, he remembered me from a custom Phenix I bought through Thurston Bros. He still had my jacket measurements on file, which I told him to use for this one as well.

    In the end, we exchanged a total of 15 emails. Since this style isn’t available on the website, I never placed an official “order” of any kind, just emails and a PayPal invoice.

    Jacket Details

    The only “official” details about the jacket are on the Instagram post, which says:

    Shearling jacket

    Café racer simple style

    RIRI zippers

    Color: cocoa brown hand dyed

    The shearling is thick and heavy; although I haven’t weighed it. It’s not quite as heavy as CXL or other “heavyweight” jackets I own, but it’s much more substantial than I expected based on other shearling jackets I have handled. This was a good surprise, as I wanted it to be warm, with a noticeable weight.

    The finish is unlike anything I’ve seen. I asked him for more information about the hand dyed finish, and this was his response:

    “There are things I can not explain to you, but honestly it is a very interesting and guaranteed quality. It is the same process, just as the skins were finished in the first decades of the century, when everything was then done by hand.”

    I am still curious to know more, but I didn’t want to be a bother. Since I have another jacket from Thedi and can attest to the quality, I trusted it to be attractive and durable.

    Whatever the case, it’s a very unique color, grain and hand-feel. It’s heavily distressed, which I know can be controversial to some. I will admit my own hypocrisy regarding distressed leather. When I see it on a mass-produced mall jacket, I cringe and judge. When I see it on a handmade custom jacket, I admire it. I know it doesn’t make sense, but it seems different when I know an artist spent time and energy carefully crafting a one-of-a-kind piece. Love it or hate it, I think it adds to the charm of this jacket.

    The cocoa brown has more highs and lows than any other jacket in my collection and seems to provide an endless amount of texture and depth to hold my interest. I can’t stop looking at it. (I will get some pictures in the sun soon so you can see it better.)

    With only the two chest pockets, it’s not a great jacket for hauling things. I never use chest pockets, as I find them impossible to get my large hands into, especially when they are higher on the chest than is practical. Additionally, these pockets are made of thick, unlined cowhide, making them even more unyielding. They are so substantial that I’d be comfortable filling them with loose razor blades and going about my business without concern for my safety. I was concerned they’d be uncomfortable with a thin shirt underneath, but I don’t even notice them.

    The RiRi zippers are something to behold in and of themselves. If you’re unfamiliar with RiRi, they make over-engineered, aesthetically-pleasing zippers for luxury items – often found on high-end designer labels. Depending on the design, they are made in either Italy or Switzerland. These particular RiRi zippers are made in Switzerland. If you look closely at the photos, you can see the unique shape of the teeth and their strange, zigzagging design when zipped. The main zip is a substantial 10mm gauge, which I appreciate.

    The sleeve zippers are in an odd location, which I was uncertain of when I first saw the design. Most of my jackets have the sleeve zippers in the traditional location on the underside of my wrists. I have a couple on the top of my arms, including my other Thedi jacket. These, however, are on the side/inside of my arms. Having used them a bit now, I think this is actually the perfect location for them. The location feels more natural than any other position. Perhaps this needs to become the new norm.

    As with every other Thedi I’ve seen, the stitching is impeccable. There is not a single stitch out of place. The thread is also extremely thick, and the subtle tan contrasts nicely with the muted brown of the leather.

    The one thing about the design I was really on the fence about is the large, metal logo on the right sleeve. I didn’t know if I wanted to include this in the design when I saw the sample jacket. I usually prefer minimal to no branding, whenever possible, and I’m definitely not a fan of patches or buttons on my jackets. But, because the logo is just the letter “T”, I decided to keep it. My name starts with a “T”, so I figured it will seem like another personalized touch to everyone else who sees it; even if I know that’s not the case. I also have a certain amount of respect for a designer’s decisions. Besides customizing the fit, I wanted Theodoros to make the jacket exactly as he intended it. I’m buying a piece of wearable art, in a sense. That being said, I was surprised by the heft of the logo. I don’t know what type of metal it is, but it’s substantial. Thankfully, the leather is heavy enough for it not to sag or cause any issues. The heft is proportionate, so to speak.

    The Fit

    I’m 6’1”, 185 lbs. (winter weight; drop 10 for summer), with a 39” chest. I got a size small with added length in the sleeves and body. I like my jackets to fit slim – basically as tight as possible while still being comfortable.

    I will admit I was slightly nervous about the fit, since I never actually gave him specific measurements. He said he had the measurements from my past jacket, so I just trusted he could translate those to this one. I raised concern about the shearling being thicker than the goatskin of my last jacket, but he assured me that would be accounted for.

    My concern was unfounded, as the fit is absolutely perfect. Better, in fact, than the jacket I sourced through Thurston Bros.

    Verdict

    I am extremely happy with this jacket and can’t wait to break it in.

    (Though I did not like the customs fee I paid to get it here from Greece.)

    Sorry for the poor lighting in the photos. Will post better ones when I get a chance to take some outside. Let me know if you have any questions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
    Mandarin, NZJono, roadking04 and 16 others like this.
  2. MrProper

    MrProper One Too Many

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    Absolutely great :thumbs up:
     
    LordOfLeather likes this.
  3. Jin431

    Jin431 Call Me a Cab

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    2,418
    Location:
    Bay Area CA
    Perfect fit, love all of this jacket from the color/choice of hide/details/contrast stitching/hardware. Great detailed review. Thank you for sharing this beauty. Congratulations!


    *and those boots! Wow
     
    LordOfLeather likes this.
  4. LordOfLeather

    LordOfLeather Familiar Face

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
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    Thank you!
     
    Jin431 likes this.
  5. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    13,509
    I have immediately recognized this as the coolest, most promising style on Thedi's page! Love both shearling and racer jackets so I'm glad to know that I wasn't wrong - though I had my doubts because this must've been extremely difficult to create. There's a reason why it's an extremely rare combo and although there have been some attempts in the past, I've never seen one as perfectly executed. Trim fitting sheepskin jackets are... Well, practically don't exist and believe me, I've looked. Spent years and years looking for one, only to settle down with a sheepskin trucker because it's not a B-3.

    So don't need to tell I'm absolutely floored by how well this thing fits you and can't even quite understand how did they manage to get a shearling jacket to fit this well, without making it restrictive and/or bulky. Especially considering the fact that the shearling is thick, as you mentioned.

    In any way, forget the logo or any other reservations you may have about this piece 'cause what you have is something truly special that I don't believe many other makers can pull off, if any at all, and especially not this perfectly.
     
    LordOfLeather likes this.
  6. Boyo

    Boyo One Too Many

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    1,911
    Location:
    Long Island NY
    Man, Thats cool!

    100% agree.."Wearable Art"
     
    LordOfLeather likes this.
  7. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,110
    Very unique jacket. I've never seen a shearling cafe racer before. Maybe others exist, but I think this is the first one that I have seen. Great fit on it!
     
    nickv and LordOfLeather like this.
  8. LordOfLeather

    LordOfLeather Familiar Face

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
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    I'm glad to hear you are as excited as I am about the style. They did an excellent job with it. I'm not sure how they managed, but I'm thrilled they did.

    And I agree, it's near-impossible to find a slim-fitting shearling. While I was waiting for this, I picked up a shearling double-rider style, made by Coach (who makes some surprisingly nice jackets, but not always). I love the design, comfort, and warmth, but it is not very slim and it's very stretchy. It seems to stretch out wider and ride up shorter while wearing it, making it even less flattering. As my first shearling jacket, I assumed/feared that all shearling might behave this way. What a relief to find the Thedi is quite stiff and doesn't feel remotely delicate, like the Coach jacket. I do believe the Coach jacket is virgin lamb shearling, which makes it extra soft to the touch. I'll take the hardiness of sheep anyday.
     
  9. LordOfLeather

    LordOfLeather Familiar Face

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    69
    Location:
    Michigan
    It was the first one I had seen too! Otherwise, I'd have already owned one. :)
     
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  10. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I would be curious to hear if/where this had been done before.
     
  11. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    13,509
    Coach is great but yeah, they probably used lamb and heavily processed one if it's that stretchy. Sheepskin shouldn't stretch and it can be actually surprisingly stiff and tough. I mean, this hide was used for war jackets. Just never in such a cool way, of course. :)

    Yeah, they exist alright. Not my favorite subject right now but they exist. . .
     
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  12. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    @Monitor I figured there had to be others out there.
     
  13. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    That is RiRi zipper they call the TOP model, teeth look a little like vintage Crown, absolutely fabulous zippers. #10 would be a monster, I think if I were ever to order a bespoke jacket I would specify the #10 RiRi TOP.
     
    LordOfLeather and Jin431 like this.
  14. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    3,101
    Some unknown Italian maker. Looks pretty cool.
    EA1AB4CB-06BE-4AB5-BD19-80976694B527.jpeg
    03C3DD9E-A82D-439A-BF04-E2DBF77D6E14.jpeg 33372ED0-6707-40A7-9A4F-8B4E07EBCCDF.jpeg 5E06F5E5-B6AA-4A35-9C4A-AA2BA72EB57A.jpeg
     
    Mandarin, navetsea, Monitor and 5 others like this.
  15. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

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    1,149
    I got to have my wife call my credit card company and tell them to ban any transactions to Thedi, Greece. Their line is dangerous. I think I would seriously consider selling all my other jackets except for 2 or 3, and then taking the proceeds and maybe buying 2 or 3 Thedis. But then I know I'd get bored.
     
    Mrfrown and LordOfLeather like this.
  16. LordOfLeather

    LordOfLeather Familiar Face

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    69
    Location:
    Michigan
    That's relatable. I hadn't used my Discover card in a few years, and then I got a notification of 0% APR for 12 months promotion, which prompted me to immediately pursue this jacket.
     
  17. LordOfLeather

    LordOfLeather Familiar Face

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    69
    Location:
    Michigan
  18. LordOfLeather

    LordOfLeather Familiar Face

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Michigan
    That's right! I found all the details on the RiRi site. Originally included all that in my post, but deleted because it was already so long. haha
     
  19. LordOfLeather

    LordOfLeather Familiar Face

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Michigan

    You're probably right about it being heavily processed. I'll admit I don't have enough shearling experience to tell and a down side of brands like Coach is they never include enough details about the materials and processes in their descriptions, since their average customer won't care about such things.

    I plan on posting a review of it sometime soon, as it is a unique piece, even if it's a bit stretchier than I'd prefer.
     
    roadking04 likes this.
  20. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    @Marc mndt is that the amazing jacket that @Monitor was just telling me about? That thing is insanely cool.
     
    Marc mndt likes this.

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