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Weight distribution of leather jackets

Guppy

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Cleveland, OH
A recent exchange in another thread got me wondering about this topic.

@Carlos840 and some others have pointed out their unfavorable fit for jackets that concentrate their weight on the wearer's neck, rather than distributing the weight evenly across the whole of the shoulders.

I haven't noticed this problem with my Aero jackets, but I could have just never thought to pay attention to it before. So since I have a bunch of aeros in my hangar, I thought I would run an experiment, using other makers jackets as a control.

It will take some time for me to go through the entire collection, but I will keep updating this thread until I am through it all, or until I get bored.

Others are welcome to contribute to the data collection if they want. I'm not looking for a debate here, just collecting information.
 

Guppy

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Aero Board Racer:

I don't have a Board Racer any more, so I can't comment on that one accurately.

From memory it was a 44, well broken in CXL, I think fqhh, and a tight fit when I was at around 170 lbs. I felt like it was an inch too narrow in the shoulders, and I felt constrained wearing it. At 180 lbs, I couldn't raise my arms past my shoulders with the jacket zipped, and despite how beautiful it was, I decided to sell it since I was unable to drop the weight I'd need to make it comfortable. I don't remember how the weight felt, but I do remember feeling like I had to squeeze into it and the shoulders always felt tight.
 

Guppy

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Cleveland, OH
Aero Wayfarer 44
Brown heavy CXL FQHH
Weight about 6lbs
Stiffness: starting to feel broken in but still stiff enough to stand on its own.

Comments: weight distribution is very even across the shoulders, jacket is very comfortable. Aero made this jacket for me, to my measurements, and it fits me well. No complaints at all.
 

jglf

A-List Customer
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361
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USA
I think the reason Aero’s hang on the neck is because of their shoulder slope angle and small neck opening size.
 

Canuck Panda

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2,238
I agree that there is no weight distribution issue on Aero jackets. I have lots of them. I also have lots of other brands.

However, Aero do cut their 50's pattern with higher neck line/smaller neck hole than their other patterns and patterns from other makers. This I believe is the culprit behind the uncomfortable neck wear. For me it's not about the weight, but the higher neck line/smaller neck hole will push against the back of the top of my neck, especially when I put my hands in my jacket pocket, pulling the jacket forward.

Aero has patterns that are as comfortable as other makers. Just not their 50s cut. I also don't have any 50s cut from other makers. So I don't know if that's a thing or not.

But I've been trying to understand this "problem" myself and started documenting different neck width for my own comparison. Here are some:

IMG_6216.JPG

IMG_6220.JPG

IMG_6222.JPG

IMG_6224.JPG

IMG_6226.JPG

IMG_6227.JPG

IMG_6228.JPG

IMG_6230.JPG


IMG_6233.JPG

IMG_6234.JPG
 

Canuck Panda

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For me personally, comfort starts at 6" and wider. And unfortunately the 50s cut jacket are a bit taller and narrower. It's not the end of the world nor is it weight distribution problem. But I can feel a that extra leather at the back of the top of my neck. That's it. Some days it's annoying. The weight of the jacket depends on how tight it gets around my core / mid torso. Gravity only goes one way. The weight of the jacket will always be carried by my shoulders. But if I can get the mid torso tight enough my core will bear some of the weight and take some pressure off my shoulders. This is why I love the M500 because of its corseted waist. Langlitz also does this very well with their pin stripe back to fit tight at the waist. But for most non motorbike jacket designs, it's not possible to get an air tight seal around the waist. So the weight will always be on the shoulders, felt by the collar bones in my case.

I tried to do more of these photos. But takes time and I got lazy. This is all I got for now...
 

Guppy

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I think the reason Aero’s hang on the neck is because of their shoulder slope angle and small neck opening size.
Why is a question that comes after whether.

If they do, it's probably a combination of factors. The style of the jacket being one, whether it actually fits the wearer being another. Probably other factors that I haven't begun to consider. I don't believe it's a universal thing, so I'm going to be going through my jackets to see how many of them have any sort of issue.

If nothing else it's something to do.
 

Canuck Panda

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Hang on, I do have a 50s cut from GW. And it has similar neck line to Aero's 50s neck. The tightest I have from a US maker. So without having an actual vintage I'd like to assume that's period correct. Killer zip on the Arcadia.
IMG_6240.JPG


In comparison, Norshor is built for comfort too, but that was a 30s pattern I believe.
IMG_6241.JPG
 

Manolito

New in Town
Messages
35
Great idea for a thread, i don't want to give up on Aeros and would like to know the more confortable jackets from their collection.

On the Board Racer, in the description, there is a sentence that says

" the collar is curved at the ultimate angle to combine comfort and practicality riding and to offer the best wind protection"

I thought it was this peculiar angle that make the neck piece painful in my case (it pushes on the back of my neck), not really the weight of the jacket.

It's true that the neck hole is small, i could barely close the collar with the button and then my neck was almost blocked.

I bought a ready to wear Board Racer jacket in 40 (my true size is 38) base on the measurements and it was slim, but still wearable. Although the arms and the shoulders were tight.

I think the Board Racer shows the limits of the tight fits for cafe racers. The Board Racer looks good on photos, but is not confortable in everyday's life. Especially when built in some rigid leather like a thick horse leather.

I have only one other Cafe Racer, that is a 141 Schott 38, a very different jacket of course made of a very different leather (naked cowhide, very soft). It is known to look bulky, but the confort and the freedom of movement are perfect.

I also have the college the Aero Leather 1950s college jacket in brown suede, 36 (one size down from my natural 38), and it is a tight fit of course, but still very wearable and confortable - and beautiful.
 
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Guppy

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Cleveland, OH
Aero "Jersey Special" Teamster (custom built for @jpk_NJ, later purchased by @Guppy), customized pocket configuration, Harris Tweed wool lining
Size 40
Leather: Battered Tan FQHH (CXL?)
Stiffness: moderate, fairly soft, waxy hand. Battering must have softened it up considerably, although the grain on this battered tan is very smooth and even. Just a beautiful leather.

Weight distribution: very evenly distributed through the shoulders, nothing unusual or uncomfortable.

Overall, the fit is close and snug throughout. The Teamster is a great jacket, the standard fit is a bit boxy and so sizing down it works well for me, although it leaves little room to layer under. But I find it very comfortable to wear.
 

Guppy

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Cleveland, OH
Aero Sheene 42
Natural heavy CXLFQHH
Purchased from Thurston Bros, I returned the original for a remake with shorter sleeves and the thickest natural CXL FQHH they had available.
Stiffness: very. Still haven't broken this one in yet, it stands on its own, and due to the extra thick leather it's going to be a while. The hide has a fairly hard hand to it, and it'll take a lot of beating up to soften it.

Comments: weight distribution is again even through the shoulders. I do notice the collar on this one somewhat, as it presses against the back of my neck, but I don't feel excessive weight concentrated there. I believe due to the thickness and stiffness of the collar, the fold over is more noticeable. Like with rolling a newspaper into a tube, it stiffens the already substantially stiff collar and gives it structure. I believe with wear, once this breaks in, it will become less noticeable. It's already better than it was when new, but I need to put a lot more wear on it still. But even as it is, I don't find it uncomfortable. I could not fall asleep in it when it was brand new, but after wearing it many nights it's definitely begun to break a little bit. Time will only improve this, and it's still very young at only two years old.
 
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Guppy

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Cleveland, OH
Aero Sheene
Size 40
Horween CXL FQHH Color No. 8, or Cordovan as Aero brand it.

I bought this from a lounge member, I believe, but I don't recall who. It was purchased originally through Thurston Bros., and despite being a size smaller than my Natural Sheene, it fits nearly identically, just a little bit slimmer through the belly and waist, but about the same really. The shoulders and p2p are indistinguishable by feel from the Natural Sheene.

Weight feels nicely distributed over the shoulders, but I can again notice that the collar is there. Again the fold over of the already fairly stiff horsehide is the reason. This jacket is a bit further along in its process of breaking in, and it feels fantastic to wear. I really like the Sheene, it's such a great jacket, very easy to wear and looks great on me.
 
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15,386
Never much cared to find out why exactly but unfavorably balanced pattern is something that I undoubtedly have noticed very early on in this hobby and it's a phenomenon that, in my case, was most consistently prevalent with jackets by Aero. Pretty much every jacket I've had of theirs, regardless of the size, felt taxing to wear & it wouldn't take long that I'd have began avoid wearing in favor for a more comfortable, albeit otherwise clearly inferior, alternative.

Cafe Racer I held on to the longest and while I absolutely loved the way it looked on me, I never quite... enjoyed wearing it.

I don't know, it wasn't ever unbearable and I am perfectly open to the idea that this may just have been a compatibility issue but my experience was always the same; Once the novelty of a visual aspect of the jacket wore out, I just felt I didn't want to spend time in it. Some special occasion was about the only time I would chose to wear it. . .

Felt the same about some Schott jackets, too. Never Vanson and rarely ever with any vintage piece.
 

newtojackets

Familiar Face
Messages
96
To me there are 2 main reasons for this,

1. The top of the back is convex, becoming horizontal
DF45CD69-EE55-4092-853E-F26E1738A34F.jpeg

If the top of the back was concave like this (became more vertical) it would more closely follow the neck
30DA5294-9983-4D1D-AFCE-501D6F842B1E.jpeg

2. On the board racer, the collar is angled forwards. Therefore people with necks that are tilt forwards are comfortable in this but if you stand completely straight you have to work against the collar
 

Guppy

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Location
Cleveland, OH
To me there are 2 main reasons for this,

1. The top of the back is convex, becoming horizontal
View attachment 455521

If the top of the back was concave like this (became more vertical) it would more closely follow the neck
View attachment 455520

2. On the board racer, the collar is angled forwards. Therefore people with necks that are tilt forwards are comfortable in this but if you stand completely straight you have to work against the collar
I think this would work for a forward leaning rider on a motorcycle.

My board racer was not my most comfortable fitting Aero, but I think that had more to do with my shoulder width being too wide for the way the pattern is designed. The BR has notably narrower shoulders as compared to the Cafe Racer. It's a pattern that doesn't work for everyone.
 

Manolito

New in Town
Messages
35
In France, it is strongly advised to motorbike drivers to wear jackets with reinforced protections on the elbows, the shoulders. They are not mandatory yet, but i've heard that some insurance companies require their customer to wear them for instance.

I don't know for the other countries.

Therefore I am not sure that making jackets that are only adapted to drive a motorbike, but are not fit to receive modern protections (the BR is super tight on the shoulders and the elbows) is a very good idea...
 

Blackadder

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Messages
3,505
Location
China
Hang on, I do have a 50s cut from GW. And it has similar neck line to Aero's 50s neck. The tightest I have from a US maker. So without having an actual vintage I'd like to assume that's period correct. Killer zip on the Arcadia.
View attachment 455512

In comparison, Norshor is built for comfort too, but that was a 30s pattern I believe.
View attachment 455513
I only have 2 Aeros an A-2 and an ANJ-4. The A-2 is pretty light weight (not CXL) and I have never worn my ANJ-4 other thatn trying it on at home (local tropic weather and too bulky to bring on a trip). I have had no weight distribution problem with my Aeros.
Off topic- I just wonder how your jackets can range from size 40 to size 46, especially the size 46 LW J-23. My experience does show that LW sizing is all over the place. My LW A-2 tag size 34 is more like a size 38 but then I did buy my LW A-2 from the sale page so it may be reject/return due to incorrect size tag. My LW Ryder is from Japan and that may be why it fits small for a size 36. But my size 38 LW J-23 is definitely not over/undersized. It is a true western size 38 hence I had to sell it.
 

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