Vintage/military g-1 fit: potential snags?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by pipvh, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    I'm probably going to buy an older G-1 (pre-1965) in the next couple of days, and one thing has struck me as I've been hunting: measurements seem to bear only a slim relationship to the size as per labels.

    Is the fit of the G-1 problematic or is it OK to buy an old one based on the measurements of something one already owns? What I mean: I have a tweed jacket that measures just under 19 inches from shoulder to shoulder and about 22" across the chest. I would guess that to be around a 42, but I've seen G-1s with similar dimensions labelled 40s or even 38s. What gives? Are there structural peculiarities I need to know about, or should I just take the plunge and go by the measurements, not the label?

    Obviously different contracts were cut differently etc etc (I've been giving myself a crash course over the last couple of days) but if the more experienced could tell me what to look out for, I'd be most grateful.

    PS: This is a pretty basic question and other threads touch on it, so mods: please feel free to merge it if that's less annoying for everyone else.
  2. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    Vintage Navy jackets generally were tagged on actual garment measure rather than some concept of "your size." A man who takes a 42 suit would be strangled in a 42 jacket, because the 4" or so of extra allowance common in a suit chest would be only 2" extra, or often none at all.

    Add to that the issue that many Navy contractors (and perhaps the Navy itself) had definite ideas about an aviator's proper physique, and you'll find that many G-1s are decidedly V-shaped. Even 4" over tagged size may not fit you comfortably if you haven't PT'd till you puke lately.
  3. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    I haven't done anything 'till I puke for quite some time...

    Cheers, Fletch!
  4. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    So basically if I find a G-1 tagged 38 that is 19.5 across the shoulders and 44" around the chest, it's going to fit me? And the fact that I'm exactly 42" around the chest does NOT mean a size 42 G-1 will fit me?

    I've since found some other posts - notably Peacoat's from last year - which hint that a modern 42 will really need an original 46 G-1, which is why I'm a bit nervous about spending fairly large ££ on something I can't try on...
  5. captaincaveman1

    captaincaveman1 A-List Customer

    Your best bet is to measure other jackets you own that fit you well and compare measurements. This method has largely worked well for me.
  6. STHill

    STHill One of the Regulars

    Atlanta, GA
    This probably flies in the face of what was said above, but I have a 1959-60 Ralph Edwards G-1, marked 42, and it fits me perfectly. I wear a 42 suit jacket and my chest measures 42. This particular RE G-1 is about 23.25" pit-to-pit and 19" seam-to-seam at the top of the shoulders.

    I agree that G-1's tend to be much more v-shaped than, say A-2's. If you don't have much drop from your chest to your waist, the G-1 is going to be tight down below.

    I think the key with any of these jackets is to get accurate measurements, especially across the shoulders and pit-to-pit, and maybe the width at the waist. Use the tagged size only as a beginning point.
  7. 442RCT

    442RCT One of the Regulars

    California, USA
    G-1 Fit

    It's complicated. I'm a size 40-42 S in A-2s, but in the majority of G-1's I own, I wear a Sz 40. I have one Sz 40 labeled G-1 that's too small because it fits like a Sz 38. With a few of the contracts, I can comfortably wear a Sz 42 without being baggy. I have yet to find a Sz 44 that isn't too big and loose. One thing I will say about G-1s. With the bi-swing back, they are imho the easiest to move around in, issued leather flight jacket I've found. I've had one G-1 for over 15 years and it's pretty much molded itself to my body...fits like a glove is an understatement. The biggest downside of a G-1, at least for me anyway, is the fur collar, which is overkill in the mild climate I live.

    ps- When I got that small G-1, I measured three of my Sz 40's to see what they were:

    Brill Bros Sz 40
    Shoulder to shoulder seam = 18"
    Back to waist = 25"
    Shoulder to cuff = 22"
    Pit to pit = 21"

    Ferguson of Oklaholma Sz 40
    Sh to Sh = 18 "
    B to W = 24"
    Sh to cuff = 22"
    P to P = 20.5 "

    Ralph Edwards (marked sz 40...but measured out like a 36-38)
    Sh to Sh = 16.5 "
    B to W = 20"
    Sh to cuff = 20.25"
    P to p =19.5"
  8. deluxestyling

    deluxestyling One of the Regulars

    Suburbia. London
    my G-1...

    It's a Werber Sportswear spec J-7823 marked a 42 in the right hand pocket. I'm a 40" long suit size and it fits me nice and snug. I dated it when I got it but I've had it a long time now, if I remember rightly it's from the early 50's.

    It measures underarm seam to seam 23" across the front. If you go widest point it's about 24". Shoulders are 20" straight across. Arms are 26" straight down the outside. Length down the back from collar base is nearly 27". The arm pit curves out quite a bit from the narrow sides. This doesn't help if you're using the given dimensions against a similar bomber jacket that doesn't have the same cut.

    For cold winter wear with more layers under I've been on the look out for a bigger size 44 G-1 from the same era or older (using G-1 as a generic term here to include M422a and AN6552's) but when I've compared the given measurements I've found they varied quite a bit and not always bigger than my 42!

    Hope that helps in some way. My advice is going on what I've found is as a 40" chest I'd look for a vintage G-1 in a size 44.

    Best of luck and happy hunting...
  9. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    Waist leather ought to be a standard measurement for all sellers - not just for G-1s, altho it's particularly important there.
  10. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    One last question: I had the good fortune to try on an Eastman G-1 and an M422A, in a size 44. They were a size too big. Would this have ANY bearing on vintage fit?
  11. gyrobroyeur

    gyrobroyeur Familiar Face

    pre 65 G1

    It seems that the rule is: there is no rule... I have a Ralph Edward 7823A (1961), size 40: it fits like a little 42...:rolleyes:

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