Sub $300 USA Made A-2's

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by TXFlyGuy, May 2, 2014.

  1. TXFlyGuy

    TXFlyGuy Practically Family

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    Foe the price conscious, there are several options for those of us who will only settle for "Made in USA" clothing (my wife, for one). Historic Aviation Magazine (www.historicaviation.com) offers a good looking A-2, brown or black, sizes 36 to 46, and made by the supplier to the US Air Force. At $299, a good price. Not sure of the manufacturers name, and a phone call did not help. Looks like Cockpit USA.

    A-2 Historic Aviation.jpg

    Two more USA made sub 300 buck jackets come from Leather Coats Etc. ($275), and The San Diego Leather Company ($245).

    Kinda seems like an A-2 should have it's origin in the USA...not offshore. Yes, there are fine examples available from other countries for sure.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  2. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    It'd be good if the range of these cheap jackets could be rated for pattern, stitching and leather. I've seen some of these and they are pretty ordinary items. This site mostly is about significant golden era items not just the wide range of cheap knock offs inspired by the period.
     
  3. I agree. Don't see much about cheaply made hats,suits,coats,jackets or shoes here.
    HD
     
  4. TXFlyGuy

    TXFlyGuy Practically Family

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    Please note that the word cheap was never referenced. Some are more cost conscious than others, and I thought this site catered to everyone. If I was mistaken in this regard, it is with deep disappointment that my apology is offered.

    The intent was informational in that you do not have to spend $$$$ to get a good quality, USA made jacket. I never referenced stitch count, thread count, HH vs. Goat vs. Cow, cotton vs. rayon, 100% correct repro, etc. Just a good jacket at an everyman's price that you would not be embarrassed to wear in public.
     
  5. pak

    pak One of the Regulars

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    For me price is not a measure of quality. The jacket has to stand on its own. There are certainly levels and measures of quality, but 'good quality for the price' isn't one of them.
     
  6. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Money always comes into it for me (I wish I could afford for that not to be the case!). I like to think that over the years, with guitars, shoes, clothes, whatever.... I've reached a point where I can tell the difference between two offerings at different price points, and decide whether the upcharge for the more expensive one is worth it. Sometimes it is, sometimes not (I still look at jackets on a "cost per wear" basis..... I'll spend more on one that gets worn a lot much more willingly than on a jacket which might get worn twice a year, if that...). The law of diminishing returns kicks in almost as hard with leather jackets as it does with electric guitars...

    I think there's definitely a place here for the notion of an "affordable" leather jacket, though obviously within the parameters of the period of interest. A civilianised A2 that could have been an 'inspired-by' civilian jacket in the post-war period, sure. One of those modern racing jackets that makes the wearer look like a power Ranger, not so much. [huh]
     
  7. IXL

    IXL One Too Many

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    Well, sure it is. For any given price, a value can be assigned, and for any given item one decides whether an acceptable value exists relative to that price.
     
  8. pak

    pak One of the Regulars

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    Value is a different from quality. Say you can get an Aero on the bay for say $300.00 and a new one for $1000.00. Quality is equivalent but the $300.00 piece is a better value.
     
  9. morrison2951

    morrison2951 A-List Customer

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    For me, it's not a quality A-2 unless it has a one piece back.
     
  10. Forrestal

    Forrestal One of the Regulars

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    Indianapolis, IN
    I agree. This site has never limited the discussion to A-2 stitching and leather and pattern.
    I remember when MK started this place; it was always open to anyone that had something to say or a question to ask.
    Personally, I have posted many times about my US Wings goat A-2 2000. I’m quite sure the pattern and stitch count is not 100% accurate, but for $195.00 it is a great “cheap” jacket.
    If we are only going to concern ourselves with stitch count…….count me out.
    Regards,
    Forrestal
     
  11. TXFlyGuy

    TXFlyGuy Practically Family

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    Many one piece back A-2's at under $300. What about the sleeves? How many pieces should a quality jacket have here?
     
  12. TXFlyGuy

    TXFlyGuy Practically Family

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    +1000!
     
  13. IXL

    IXL One Too Many

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    Okay, I'll take another stab at this before I sober up: a VW Beetle might well be considered to be good quality, relative to the price one pays for a vehicle of this type. But, a Beetle purchased for a price usually reserved for a Cadillac would be an example of poor quality for the price. Or, at least this is how it seems at the moment, while I'm swilling Jefferson's. :)
     
  14. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Well said Seb. These low cost A2s are fine if you simply want a leather jacket. The quality of these jackets is variable, but each to his own I guess.
     
  15. TXFlyGuy

    TXFlyGuy Practically Family

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    You are correct. From my short experience, there are fine examples available in the $400 - $500 range. But there are very good ones also at the $299 range, but you have to look harder to find them.

    I have 2 low cost ($99 - China) leather jackets, actually decent wearing coats. The kind you wad up, smash down into a suitcase, then press the lid closed. They take the beating quite well. Because of their price, I don't care that much about a small scratch here or a tear there. I would never treat my Schott or my G&B that way!
     
  16. TXFlyGuy

    TXFlyGuy Practically Family

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    From an engineering point of view, the example cited is one of the best ever in the automotive industry. I'll put a VW made at the factory in their heyday (late 50's - late 60's) up against any Caddy or other vehicle of your choice. These were precision built cars, with doors so well designed that the cabin was almost air-tight with the doors closed. The engine is ranked as one of the ten best designs of all time.

    It is amazing that these cars were built and sold at a price point far below the competition. Bet there are a few A-2 makers out there that will fall into this category.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  17. IXL

    IXL One Too Many

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    ^^^ Okay, how about a Suzuki.
     
  18. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    That said, if you rolled up in VW Beetle I'm less likely to want to take a closer look than if you pulled up in, say, an Aston Martin or similar. Same goes for A-2s. It's not that I don't appreciate or think they don't have a place here, it's just, well, less eye-catching. [huh]
     
  19. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    Personal taste is a funny thing! I owned a Morris Minor 62 Convertible followed by an original Beetle, then a Triumph Spitfire, then a 2CV, followed by a Spitfire, followed by an Alpha Spider, followed by another Alpha Spider and ended up with an early SAAB 900 (still owned by me). I also own a classic Vespa scooter. Went to Auto Italia in Bristol 2 weeks ago on the Vespa & enjoyed looking around the lower end of the vehicle spectrum. On my journey there, I rode with & accompanied a Fiat Dino (Ferrari Engine) & an early 60's Lancia Flamminia (appreciated both cars) . I love my 5 ELC jackets but probably derive equal pleasure from my cheap & cheerful nylon jackets. My ELC Roughwear A2 & service issue Alpha L2B are probably equal in my mind, both classic designs but...different price brackets :)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  20. pak

    pak One of the Regulars

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    I don't want to get too wrapped around the axle on this. The point I'm trying to articulate is this: is the product a quality product irrespective of price? The VW example illustrates my point. Some were indeed fine quality and some were not yet they were about the same price. I will end with this. As far as I'm concerned, price is not a criteria I use to determine the quality of an item. Price is a criteria, for me, when I determine value.
     

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