Simmons Bilt jacket advice

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Asaha, May 23, 2017.

  1. Asaha

    Asaha Familiar Face

    Messages:
    90
    Hello Everyone, This is my first post here so forgive me if there's a forum rule being broken.
    As you can tell by the title that I have convince myself to get a custom leather jacket and from Simmons Bilt(or Alexander Leather). I have never owned any custom leather jacket so I had to educate myself on the various hide types. So far I have had goat or sheep.

    So, coming to the main point here, I am small build guy with 40'' chest and 5'10" height and I was eyeing towards Drifter or SB Half belt but Debs said none of them are slim fit. Now, I am confused as to what should I do. I saw Roadster is trim fit but I am not very fond of that style.

    Anyone here who own jacket from them probably can tell if they can tailor those jacket to fit or if it is still going to be lil baggy.

    Btw, I am sold on Horween CXL Havana brown ( loved Kudu, but not sure if they do it anymore).

    So, if anyone could give me some pointers in terms of their fitting, would be really appreciated.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Plumbline

    Plumbline One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,271
    Location:
    UK
    I've had a few SB's over the last 3 years or so ..... when you say "slim" what do you mean ?

    The SB hafbelt and Drifter are both pretty neat fitting .... the standard SB half belt is somewhere between a 1930's and a 1950's halfbelt from Aero ( having had both) ... my 42" SB half belt is noticeably neater than my 42" 1950's Aero Halfbelt. Their motorcycle jacket styles ( Oakland / Detroit) are slimmer again in body and sleeve. The drifter fits like the Aero 1950's halfbelt and is pretty much size for size with Aero chest wise but about 1" longer than the Halfbelt Deluxe and slightly neater in the sleeve and has slightly different pocket arrangement. While it's not "slim" it's not boxy like the Roadster.

    If you know your measurements that would be a great place to start ... or if you can measure a jacket that you know fits you well you can then compare. Std measurements would be:

    Pit - Pit
    Shoulder seam - shoulder seam ( straight across the back)
    Waist
    Back length ( base of collar to bottom of jacket)
    Sleeve ( shoulder seam - cuff)
    Sleeve (pit - cuff)

    if you're in the USA then Thurston Bros do a great fit jacket thing ..... though they don't stock SB ... but do stock Aero / Vanson etc.

    Otherwise it may be worth a trip up to the borders and you could visit both SB and Aero and try them both out.

    HTH
     
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  3. the loco

    the loco One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    142
    Location:
    Montreal
    I have a Havana CXL steer Roadster, and it's a great jacket. One detail is that the #5 Talon zipper isn't quite sturdy, but on the other hand it's almost completely tucked in. It's cut like a Levi's Trucker, I don't use the side adjustments though. The similar Schott 689H is very fitted, ie.
     
    Asaha likes this.
  4. Asaha

    Asaha Familiar Face

    Messages:
    90
    Thanks Plumbline. I understand the word slim could be very subjective, but I looking for something that would not have much extra fabric on the side. I wear a revolution 40R jacket that fits me very well and I know I can keep that for years to come without hitting the gym every now and then.
    Have got all the measurement taken , but wondering if all those jackets are true to size or should I try one size small.
    I live in Ireland, so can try visiting them sometime.
     
  5. Asaha

    Asaha Familiar Face

    Messages:
    90
    Thanks for the reply loco. I would assume #5 would be flimsy for these types of jacket. Levi's trucker fits me very well, however I wear size small and when I got my measurement it was 40", so taking my time to take the judgement. For roadster , I'm not liking the adjuster on the waist, I think it makes the upper body a bit boxy as Plumbline said.
     
  6. ton312

    ton312

    Messages:
    11,272
    Location:
    Chicago
    In my experience SB does cut their jackets quite slim. The arm holes are sky high as well. They do allow customers to specify measurements against their own numbered sizes. Use caution with this. Here is a pic of my size 42" SB Detroit. The fit is quite slim
    IMG_0806.JPG
    I am 5'11 215lbs and probably should've ordered a 44" for a little more room. Here's a pic of a size 40" CR that the original or intended owner sized more closely to a 42"
    IMG_3109.JPG
    My advice would be to order your actual size. Do not size down.
     
  7. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,911
    Location:
    Germany
    You should make up your mind what kind of jacket you want, order it in your size and trust in the creator of the design that it will fit you as it should. Right now I am under the impression you have no clue what kind of jacket you want and your only requirement is that it is slim fit. I feel that is an odd approach to buying a jacket. There is so many different styles who all fit very differently and rightfully so. A Cafe Racer will fit tighter than a casual Half Belt and a car coat will be roomier than them both and every one of the three would look off if you started messing with the numbers.

    So, if slim is all that matters to you, ask Deb which of their styles is the slimmest and order it in your true size. But if you like the look of the Drifter, you should take its sizing as it is and not try to turn it into something it isn't.
     
    AllanP, Asaha, 58panheadfan and 2 others like this.
  8. Asaha

    Asaha Familiar Face

    Messages:
    90
    Thanks ton312. That Detroit is gorgeous.
     
  9. Asaha

    Asaha Familiar Face

    Messages:
    90
    Thanks for your input jacketjunkie...i have narrowed down my choice to civilian jacket (hope that's what is called) , what i don't know is hiw all those classic jacket should fit. Which you answered somewhat.
    And that's why I came here to understand how those jackets fit so I can take my best judgement whether it's for me or not.

    Now, whatever I read so far, some of the half belts from 30s are neat fit and i have seen some post as well which seems well fitted for people of my build.
    What I don't know bcuz of my lack of experience with these guys is, what should i give them in terms if measurement to achieve that look. And that's what I'm after. Hope it makes sense.
     
  10. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,911
    Location:
    Germany
    30s HBs generally fit tighter than 50s HBs, that's right, at least when it comes to Aero. SB does not care about historic accuracy as much as Aero, so you cannot take that for granted there.. however SB generally tries to size all of their jackets tighter than Aero, so no matter which style you pick, it will most likely fit tighter than its Aero counterpart.

    Measurement-wise there's two ways. Either, as stated before, you have someone measure your chest size (Don't do it yourself, these numbers are ALWAYS off!) and order in that size and trust them they have it figured out. Option two, which imho is for the more experienced who already own a few (dozen) jackets, you can give them the measurements you want your jacket to have and they will pick the size that is closest to it and adjust sleeve and body length. In that case, you should take a jacket whose fit you like and measure it up. Generally speaking, a jacket is a tight fit if its actual chest measurement is 3"-4" wider than your real chest measurement. That means, if you have a 40" chest, the jacket should have 43-44" (21.5-22" pit to pit). This will fit reasonably tight. If you go for less than 3" more than your chest, thing may become messy depending on how the styles armholes are cut and how flexible the leather of the jacket is. You occasionally see jackets that have only 2" on top of your real chest measurement (21" pit to pit incase of a size 40) but I would not recommend that in a jacket made of heavy horsehide. Personally, because of wear comfort and the wish to be able to put on a sweatshirt under the jacket, I don't wear jackets with less than 5" on top of my real chest measurement (22.5" in a size 40). There's pics of me in my Vanson America jacket here in the FL, you can look them up to get an idea. If you really want your jacket to fight tighter, you can go for 21.5-22" pit to pit.
     
    El Marro likes this.
  11. Carlos840

    Carlos840 My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,667
    Location:
    London
    I'm sorry, but that's just bad advice! There is no such thing as "your true size" I own 7 leather jackets that all fit me, and they range from size 40 to size 44.
    If i asked any maker to make me a 42 size jacket (my "true size") and trusted them to "fit as it should" i can guarantee that 90% of the results wouldn't fit me at all, or in a way i am happy with.
     
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  12. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,911
    Location:
    Germany
    By true size I mean the size that the maker intended for you to wear with a certain chest circumference, like if you have a 40" chest, the size 40 is designed by the maker to fit you as they think the style should fit you. I don't see how it is bad advice to tell someone with a 40" chest to order a jacket in a size which the creator of the jacket intended for him to wear. Because these people have put a lot of work and effort into trying to make sure these standard sizes work out.

    Ofcourse, it can occur that the makers idea of the ideal fit in a certain style is different to your idea of the ideal fit in that very style, but I would not generalize that to "any maker" or any style. I own many jackets, some where I have insisted on certain measurements, some where I didn't and just went with a standard size and so far I have always been happy with the jackets where I just ordered a standard size as indicated by my chest circumference. It was in fact my first few jackets where I tried to go by the numbers and adjusted standard sizes that didn't work out so well for me. Now that I have experience, that probably wouldn't happen again, but for a first jacket, I wouldn't recommend to get all experimental.
     
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  13. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,460
    Location:
    Australia
    Jeez, that's all very dense and confusing.

    Best way to size a jacket it to find a casual style jacket you like the fit of - a denim jacket or something similar that is cut a bit like a leather jacket and work out your measurements from there. I would measure the jacket, not your body.

    If you find a jacket that fits you the way you like then you are almost there.
     
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  14. Asaha

    Asaha Familiar Face

    Messages:
    90
    Debs from SB also suggested the same thing. Get a measurement from a jacket that fits well and then they can tell which size is best for me in neat cut. I guess we all know fit to someone is subjective and varies to many. So any adv8ce that you have works for you is good advice to me..End of the day I'm going to have to make my judgement on what i wanna get. But for starters, I will send them those measurements from a jacket and see what they come up with.
    Also, can someone probably can tell how heavy a steerhide is compred to say sheep or goatskin? I never handled one so I have no idea. Lets say a mid weight 1.4mm steerhide.
     
  15. ton312

    ton312

    Messages:
    11,272
    Location:
    Chicago
    Seb is right. Measure and compare those numbers against the pattern that you're after. The size tag actually means very little but whereas I have sized down in Aero and Johnson Leathers I would not do so with SB. The key is th shoulder, chest, and lengths. SB cuts the sleeves trim, shoulders fairly narrow with high arm holes. You won't have to worry about baggy sleeves. If you get an idea of your core numbers and get those to correlate with the correct stock size you'll be fine. They will recommend the stock size and you can adjust up or down from there.
     
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  16. Asaha

    Asaha Familiar Face

    Messages:
    90
    Great stuff ton312
     
  17. samo

    samo One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Hi Asaha,

    Regarding the weight .... at size 48 my jacket made of heavy steerhide weighted over 3,5 kg. Size 40 should push the scale close to 3 kg. You should also take in mind that steer or horse leathers are heavier as goat (even in the same thicknesses).

    P.S.: 1.4 mm or 3,5 oz. thick leather is generally considered as heavy weight.
     
    Asaha likes this.
  18. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,460
    Location:
    Australia
    Where are you? I ask because if you live somewhere warm like me, you will only want to try goat or light horse hide. Basically any hide under 2.5oz. The thicker hides are great but they are very heavy and unpleasant to wear when it is warm.

    These days I reach for a 2oz light calfskin jacket more than anything. If it gets cold I wear a sweater underneath it.
     
    Sloan1874 likes this.
  19. Asaha

    Asaha Familiar Face

    Messages:
    90
    I live in Ireland. With steerhide i probably won't need a jumper underneath.
     
  20. Asaha

    Asaha Familiar Face

    Messages:
    90
    I saw most of their hides are of 1.4mm except shinki(1.2mm). To my understanding horween cxl ages very well, not sure about shinki. My whole idea for this to have a jacket i can own untill last days and vintage looking.
     
    BobJ and Fonzie like this.

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