The exacting nature of leather jacket fits

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by JCSD, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. JCSD

    JCSD One of the Regulars

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    195
    Prior to my time here at TFL I was never aware of the subtle differences and exacting nature of the fit of a jacket, especially ones constructed of leather. I always thought that I had sizing down and would always find a suitable fit at 38-40 and small to medium. The eye-opening moment for me came once I realized that slight modifications of body length, shoulder width or chest measurements could make a world of a difference. Then the search began for me as I worked through a range of sizes and measurements to find the right fit. I also began to understand the limits that certain jacket patterns had for me and that ultimately I couldn’t wear every style even if the measurements seemed right. All of your fit pics led me further down the rabbit hole.

    Have you found that certain patterns/styles seems to fit best for you? Or a certain manufacturer seems to be suit your build more frequently than others?

    I’ll continue to make my way through the Japanese makers of interest as well as more neo-vintage patterns but live every day vicariously through you all and your jackets!
     
    dannyk likes this.
  2. Taking your measurements correctly is key. Finding where you like your sleeves to end and body length can be a personal preference. Various leather stiffness along with pattern is something to also definitely consider while attempting to achieve a comfortable leather jacket. After purchasing quite a few top tier custom jackets, I found my preference for a substantial but comfortable, easy wearing jacket. They are Thedi's buffalo with a washed and bee's wax finish.
    20191125_145526.jpg 20190220_181518.jpg
     
  3. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Practically Family

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    I've learned that jackets from Japanese makers will probably never be a good fit for me. I've tried a couple from Addict Clothes, Y2, Black Sign and some obscure Japanese makers which names I don't remember. Had to size up to accomodate my chest, but the result was a huge overhang on the bottom hem. Moreover, Japanese jackets tend to have a back length of 26' or longer, which is too long for my taste.
     
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  4. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    For me it's four lessons - 1) the idea of a 'good fit' is about personal taste and preferences and varies between people. 2) Size lables on jackets can generally be ignored; you have to go by the actual measurements. 3) A pre-owned jacket bought used frequently fit and look better than a custom jacket. 4) People often overthink jacket styles and fit and the most scrupulously specced jacket frequently ends up on the Classifieds page as somehow unsatisfying.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
  5. Turnip

    Turnip Practically Family

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    Europe
    Buying / ordering new leather or other jackets online is always kind of a crapshoot in my opinion, at least as long as tolerances of a 1/2“ are on the line.
    Back width and sleeves length both on lowest end of tolerance can easily make a jacket feel too small, similar other way round, in my opinion.

    But also personal condition may matter when trying on, just watch your relaxed position in your car seat in relation to your rear view mirror driving to work in the morning and back after a ten hours working day.

    Some might say my jacket sits too baggy or back is too wide, I don’t care too much to be honest, that’s all personal taste imho.

    Cheers

    Turnip
     
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  6. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One of the Regulars

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    I went through a Schott phase where I bought several jackets in short time frame with some of the Covid inspired sales. I'd read the reviews and be confused by what sizes people would go with. Someone would say 5'10, 160 lbs, went with large, perfect fit. Then someone else would say 5/9, 165 lbs, went with medium, perfect fit. So yeah clearly, people have their own idea of what's perfect.

    Besides just the obvious, i.e. how you carry your weight, are you more fit, what are you wearing underneath, etc. then you get into the leather types, cut, etc. as you mentioned.

    I have a couple jackets where the verdict is still out on whether I like how they fit. I'm waiting for them to break in, the leather to drape some, etc. My Schott 141 for instance I've almost sold like 5 times already. Went to put it on yesterday and was like damn, this is a nice jacket. That 100 series leather is just dreamy. But something about the bi-swing, gussets, etc. that just has to settle down and lay flat otherwise it just looks like a clunky mess.

    And now that I own an Aero, I can tell that the cut is just different. So same exact measurements, will just fit different. So you do have to experiment some.

    But no doubt, you got to get your measurements and then try to get close. Pit to Pit, shoulder, waist, hip. Without that, you guessing.
     
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  7. Turnip

    Turnip Practically Family

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    I ordered through an Aero retailer, getting an impression about styles/fits, different colors, leathers, hardware first and not at least getting measured right in relation to the model I finally picked.
     
    JCSD likes this.
  8. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 Call Me a Cab

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    For me, getting measured at a proper suit shop helped out a lot. Also (while Thurston's still had a brick & mortar store) Carried measured me out as well. When I queue her up and order something through them, with some simple questions & Preferances back & forth, I know it's going to fit. If it for any reason it would not, I trust they would make it right. I have been doing less classified ads of late - unless the dimensions are really spot on.

    Also fully agree it's all about preferance. See my entry in "What Jacket are you Wearing today" with the Indian Ranger - that was a Classified ad find, and Think_Zot did his dimensions right. I was just a bit too hopefull! Some would call it perfect, but for me it was a no-go...
     
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  9. dannyk

    dannyk Practically Family

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    953
    Yes to all you said. But also on the other hand I’ve learned to stop caring quite as much. I’ve learned to be ok with close enough. Because you can have an absolutely beautiful fit that everyone here will rave about. But you’ll notice some measurement off by a centimeter and it will drive you nuts like ocd. You’ll sell it because if it’s custom you can’t return. Then you’ll do the next jacket and this can happen over and over and you’ll never be happy. If something looks and feels good just accept it. Realize all the vintage jackets we drool over and the Japanese makers reproduce were mass produced jackets. Most were not custom sized. Just standard sizing and you had a jacket. And they looked effortlessly cool. I don’t worry as much now. Close is close enough.
     
  10. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    Most of my jackets are second hand, so I'm more forgiving with them. When I did order a custom jacket, it was a full custom (pattern and all) by someone I considered top of the game. Even so, it took a couple goes to get it right. The jacket is very special to me and will never leave irregardless of "perfect fit" or not.
     
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  11. Benny Holiday

    Benny Holiday My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Sydney Australia
    The overthinking of 'perfect fit' is a road to much misery around here. It's easy to get caught up in looking for the ideal measurements, we all do it, me included. In reality, I think that between what is clearly a size too big or a size too small, there is a decent leeway for a jacket to just fit generally and still look just fine. I don't want to spend all my energy obsessing over half a centimetre here or there.
     
  12. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    for me chest or P2P is what I care the most beside neck hole opening, I don't want too big there, it will make the jacket appear sloppy, I can live with narrower or wider shoulder, and now I have broader taste for sleeve length as long as it tapers well toward the cuff opening, the rest will take care itself when the jacket is worn in.

    being a middle of the road normal joe body or in the skinnier side helps a lot in making more off the rack fits as if tailored for you... but also make things in your side sold out first unless you buy fast after release.

    off the rack denim jackets that fits my chest is normally a bit short on my sleeve, I come to like it as long as the cuff is at my wristbone and tapered close to my wrist, since I was very late converted into raw denim thing just almost 2 years ago, probably since then I've been lurking and browsing too much denim forums and pinterest pics, have shifted my taste to liking more bulky leather belt and also wristbands now and so needing shorter sleeve jacket and hemline too to "show them off"
    To me personally I like some variety in term of fits as long as the chest fits right.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
  13. I must be fortunate then. I measured myself for my first custom order leather jacket ( Aero Highwayman ) specifically arm and body length, and it fit. In fact all of the jackets I've custom ordered have fit the way I like a jacket to fit by using those same measurements. Only problem I have had is with regular sized vintage or off the rack jackets. My overall jacket size is 40 with 26 1/4-1/2" sleeve length and 26 1/4-1/2" body length. In a longer coat like my Aero Teamster I prefer a 28" length. Never had a custom ordered jacket arrive too short or too long enough to be disappointing.
    So it seems to me if correct measurements are taken for the desired sleeve and body length and applied to the same jacket size they should fit no matter who is the custom maker. I've had Aeros, LWs, and Thedis all using my original measurements and they fit.
    HD
     
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  14. dannyk

    dannyk Practically Family

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    I think you probably were a bit lucky. But two other things. You have long arms you’ve mentioned that many times so you probably need custom orders ha. And second based on convos and comments I’ve read you’re not super picky. Certainly discerning and know what you like. But some people get so hung up they will literally examine every single stitch and measure down to the cm. If someone’s doing that they will be chasing rainbows. I don’t think they can be satisfied. You have to accept “good enough.” And I don’t mean accept subpar. Just if something looks good and feels good don’t fret over the tiny little thing no one else on earth will notice.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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  15. JCSD

    JCSD One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    195
    My issue from the beginning is that I prefer a slim fit and have sought out patterns and jackets that fit that aesthetic. The bane of my existence is the Aero Board Racer. I have had 3 iterations of the same jacket in differing sizes and measurements as well as various hides. It always feels restrictive in some way and I’ve gathered from the posts that I’ve read that it seems to be the nature of the beast with the curved arms and tight shoulders and back.

    I love cafe racers so my go-to at the moment is an RMC J-100. Looks great in pics but in reality it’s tight in the chest and a bit restrictive as the Japanese brands seem to be. Increasing size would mean longer body which Marc has pointed out in most of the Japanese cuts.
     
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  16. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Practically Family

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    Which one is that?
     
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  17. Monitor

    Monitor

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    11,437
    Exactly what @dannyk and @Benny Holiday said - at the very end, it's a road to hell and something I'm actively choosing not to give a rats ass about. Close enough is perfect if for no other reason than for the fact that perfect doesn't exist.

    It's especially sad when I see people posting photos on other forums, the sort of fits that'd have passed for a "perfect" fit on TFL, asking if it's alright only to get torn apart by people pointing out "flaws" and "issues" that I'd have never in a million years even notice.

    Regardless, that kind of bs still plants a seed of doubt. I had to switch from believing that jackets that I thought fit me 10/10 now fit good enough. The internet took a good sized chunk of confidence out of the whole deal and that's not something I particularly enjoy all too much. I know it's all bs and that it's all subjective but... I miss that "wow this fits me perfectly!" feeling.
     
  18. Downunder G Man

    Downunder G Man Practically Family

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    Location:
    Australia
    I must be "Mr Lucky" Re jacket fit. 44" from every maker seems to fit , some 100 % like bespoke.

    Schott/Vanson/Simmons Bilt and many others, perhaps I am indeed "Mr Average"...

    Admittedly some fits are "loose", for example Aero Highwayman and Schott leather peacoat, but that's down to design.
     
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  19. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    4,258
    Location:
    East Java
    man, I never ask others about how my jacket should fit me, we already know if the jacket make us feel cool or not regardless numbers or specifics, even when people tell us it fits perfect if we feel its not then it is not, and the other way around even when people tell you it fits boxy or too small, if you feel cool in it, you won't listen to them. I never have problem about it, I respect other people opinions but won't affect my judgement, I think most people are like that by looking at how many guys sell their jacket even when tens of people saying it fits him perfectly.
     
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  20. jglf

    jglf Familiar Face

    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    USA
    Nothing beats a perfect fitting leather jacket. Feels like when you wear a perfectly tailored suit. I have a muscular/athletic build (9in chest to waist drop). I’ve purchased and sold off boxier styles (e.g. highwayman and any form of an A2) bc they didn’t compliment my build. I also hate baggy sleeves or overly tight ones, so a 3 piece sleeve fitS better than a 2 piece, and the under footballs help a bunch too. I also make sure to get waist measurements so I can gauge how much of a Chest/waist drop the jacket has.
     
    JCSD likes this.

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