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Review of Simmons Bilt leather jacket

Hasslein

New in Town
Messages
12
This is my first post here, though I have been a reader for some time. I would like to make this a review of a leather jacket that I got today and hopefully help others who are looking into getting a jacket. I will be giving my honest account of my experience. Also, English is not my native language, so bear with me.

The jacket in question is from Simmons Bilt in Scotland. While I own and have owned several vintage jackets of very high quality (my 80's Aero CHIPS jacket being most frequently used), I have never purchased such a jacket new. But I have been looking for a really good new leather jacket in a style that is optimal to my estethic preferences and that also fits well. I find that most off-the-peg jackets today are cut in a way that completely messes with the proportions of the male body, being too narrow in the shoulders and with too long sleeves and body length. The body length is of course to compensate for the very low rise of men's trousers today, but it is not a good look in my opinion. I am 175 cm tall but have a rather slender and evenly proportioned body and I genuinely have trouble finding jackets that fit me properly, without being too narrow in the shoulders and too big/long in the arms and waist.

This is what led me to Simmons Bilt, since they offer a bespoke-service where they can adjust the fit to accomodate less general body shapes. I e-mailed them in january of this year and simply inquired about what kind of alterations to their standard sizes they could do and what the cost would be. The lady in charge of costumer service, Deborah, was extremely helpful and very professional, providing me with all the information I felt I needed and being patient with my inquiries (as you can see from this text, I do indeed write a lot). After thinking about the options for some time I made my choice. I went for the model "Clayton" but with a couple of changes, namely a classic collar as opposed to the original mandarin collar and a zippered inner pocket as opposed to one with a button. I also did not want the bi-swing back of the original jacket but rather wanted a solid "Half belt" back. I had my heart set on the Horween Chromexcel Steerhide in brown as I have seen many pictures of it and that leather just looks beautiful! I also live in Sweden and since two thirds of the year here is pretty cold, I wanted a robust jacket that I could wear for a good portion of the year. I also think the thick steerhide ages really beautifully and will be able to handle many years of love and frequent use. Even so, Deborah suggested she send me some leather samples so that I could see them in person and sent me a couple of brown heavier leather swatches. While they where all very nice, the steerhide was still my favorite.

So just after placing the order in early march, the whole UK went into lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and Deborah wrote to me saying that they couldn't work on any orders for the time being. She offered to re-fund me the deposit that I had paid but I said that they should keep it and that I'd pay the rest once the jacket was finished. On June 4th Deborah wrote to me saying that while the UK where still under lockdown, her husband Steve had made my jacket for me and it was now finished and ready to be shipped. This was great news, but of course this means that I can not give any indication to any future buyer as to how long it would take to get your jacket under normal circumstances. I had to wait a bit before I could pay the remaining sum of money but once I did, the jacket was dispatched very promptly and only took a couple of days to arrive, wich it did today.

I was extremely relieved and happy to find that the jacket fits me extremely well. This is such a gamble when dealing with made-to-measure clothiers of any kind where you are not able to go in for fittings, and especially since theese leather jackets cost a lot of money, but the fit was defenitely exactly how I specified in my correspondance with Deborah. I will include some fit pictures (not the best, it is merely screengrabs from a video) as well as some pictures of the jacket itself. The jacket is very substantial and heavy and is extremely well made, the quality is top notch and it both looks it and feels it. The lining is olive cotton and the inside of the cuffs are lined with suede. The Chromexcel Steerhide looks amazing in person, pictures do not do it justice. The jacket I chose was a size 36 but the length of the body and sleeves are cut several inches higher than the standard measurement options they list on their website, as per my requests.

So this is my review of my experience with buying a custom-made leather jacket from Simmons Bilt. I apologize if it was long but I tried to give a thorough account. I can absolutely reccommend this company to anyone looking to get a high-quality garment. The customer service was extremely good, wich is essential to me. At times it took a little long to get a reply to my e-mails but as previously stated, it is not completely fair to judge as the UK lockdown affected the bussines severely, but I wanted to mention it. As someone who works in retail myself and deals a lot with customer service of this kind, I can say that this company delivered in spades, in my opinion. Professional and friendly all the way. Hopefully this review will be helpful to people.
 

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Hasslein

New in Town
Messages
12
Fit pictures
 

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torfjord

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,515
Location
Sweden
Welcome to the lounge, glad to see a fellow swede here!
That’s a real nice looking jacket and SB did a really good job with the fit!
 

Downunder G Man

One Too Many
Messages
1,190
Location
Australia
Well done Sir ! I have 2 Simmons Bilt jackets myself , a J100 café racer and a Nebraska , both in black goat.

Both are stock off the rack in 44" and fit me well. Maybe "dumb luck" or perhaps I am "Mr Average".

I have them here in Perth Western Australia and wear them riding my Harley as well as for "casual" wear.

I really REALLY like both , and I now have an extensive jacket collection of which they are the pride.
 
Messages
17,131
Location
Chicago
Welcome aboard! Jacket looks fab. Hard to beat a nice trim HB. Looks like a perfect match for a plain white T and a pair of jeans.
 

sweetfights

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,225
Location
Canada
I have had two SB jackets. I still own one but both were fantastic. Well made and the leather "Clayton" and "Shinki" were fantastic.
Congrats!!
 

Hasslein

New in Town
Messages
12
Well done Sir ! I have 2 Simmons Bilt jackets myself , a J100 café racer and a Nebraska , both in black goat.

Both are stock off the rack in 44" and fit me well. Maybe "dumb luck" or perhaps I am "Mr Average".

I have them here in Perth Western Australia and wear them riding my Harley as well as for "casual" wear.

I really REALLY like both , and I now have an extensive jacket collection of which they are the pride.

Those jackets are beautiful and the J100 is in my opinion the perfect Cafe Racer for its minimalism and clean lines. I'm curious, how would you say this particular goatskin is in terms of heavyness and stiffness? Id love to see pictures!
 

Hasslein

New in Town
Messages
12
Welcome aboard! Jacket looks fab. Hard to beat a nice trim HB. Looks like a perfect match for a plain white T and a pair of jeans.

Thank you very much. I have seen your pictures of your jackets in other threads and they where instrumental in making me decide to go with Simmons Bilt, your jackets simply looked amazing. I agree about the HB, it really is one of the most timless jackets one can own, especially in brown.
 

Hasslein

New in Town
Messages
12
I have had two SB jackets. I still own one but both were fantastic. Well made and the leather "Clayton" and "Shinki" were fantastic.
Congrats!!

Thank you. I looked at the Clayton leather too. I wonder, do you have pictures of your jacket in this leather? I'm thinking that if I decide to get a black jacket down the road, that leather might be a good option but I havn't found so much information on it.
 

Hasslein

New in Town
Messages
12
congrats, looks clean minimalist and that shorter hem make it looks sportier.

Thank you. I agree, and it also means that the jacket moves very well with the body and I can sit down with the jacket zipped and it doesn't billow or rise up. In such a thick and heavy leather, that would be really uncomfortable if the jacket was the same length as most modern jackets. Basically, I wanted to have a jacket that is thick and robust but still not constricting and that moves well with the body. I defenitely got it!
 

Robbie79

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,122
Warm welcome to the lounge also from my side! Congrats. Beautiful jacket. I also like SB a lot, especially Debs is nice to talk to!
 

Jejupe

Practically Family
Messages
957
Location
Finland
Congrats for the new jacket! It looks great! I agree that SB makes top notch jackets and they're nice people to work with.
 

sweetfights

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,225
Location
Canada
Thank you. I looked at the Clayton leather too. I wonder, do you have pictures of your jacket in this leather? I'm thinking that if I decide to get a black jacket down the road, that leather might be a good option but I havn't found so much information on it.
Thank you. I looked at the Clayton leather too. I wonder, do you have pictures of your jacket in this leather? I'm thinking that if I decide to get a black jacket down the road, that leather might be a good option but I havn't found so much information on it.

https://www.thefedoralounge.com/thr...yton-vegetable-tanned-leather-size-44.100731/
 

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